PICTURE the scene: a dimly lit concert hall, filled to the brim with eager punters of all shapes and sizes; a stage riddled with trumpets, mutes and sinister looking horns; a lonesome man sat donning a penguin suit and bowler hat, staring out with a Clockwork Orange-esque grimace upon his mug.

All is quiet with anticipation. There have been curious whispers around town for days. Now just silence...

What follows is a two hour explosion of bedlam, sonance and jangle. A cacophony of wondrous sounds, oh-so mellow tones, flaming tubas, Morse code, fanfaric brilliance, melodious echoes from times forgotten and one almighty hammer blow that would have made the Devil himself shudder.

This is trumpet sorcery taken to a whole new level. Fiendishly distorted

Brendan Ball's production, Not Just a Trumpet is a gargantuan understatement. This is trumpet sorcery taken to a whole new level. Fiendishly distorted.

Heart-wrenching dissonance and sheer beauty cleverly infused to produce a miscellany of emotions. The masters have been at work, the musical Who's Who of contemporary heavyweights - Nigel Clarke and Anthony G. Morris both providing equally breathtaking world premieres.

The show took a further turn to the surreal when the head postman of the city's Georgian Quarter strode through the crowd to deliver a first class delivery for Brendan containing nothing more than the solo trumpet part to Morris's Weltstadt II.

Ingenious, yet dangerous, thus intensifying the already fervid atmosphere. The unequivocally resplendent genius of Ailis Ni Riain tailoring a Concert Suite version of Treasured, a Titanic production that shook the bones of Liverpool back in 2012.

Tim Souster's The Transistor Radio of Saint Narcissus is given a fresh and unforgettable airing. Finished off with a stunning finale and yet another world premiere from the pen of Timothy Jackson - Mari's Tango creates a flamenco flavour of colossal ingenuity. An evening of utter magnificence from the creator - Brendan Ball, the Goliath of 21st century trumpet performance.

All was beautifully summed up at the exit whilst overhearing a gentleman utter a few modest words to his good lady companion.... "I think I'm now at peace with the world."


Simon Cowen.