We are delighted to share with you some music created by young composers at the Sound and Music Summer School 2022.
During this week-long residential, composers aged 14-18 were able to work in their own style of music-making, as well as work alongside other composers and musicians to explore new and different ways of making music. By the end of the week, every young composer had a new piece of music which was performed and recorded by professional musicians.
Listen to a selection of music created by young people at this year's Summer School below.
Weaving is a piece about stories, nature, and the voice. The words come from three different poems that all have a focus on nature. The three voices move freely and weave through each other during the verses, then combine in the chorus, before moving apart again. The piece uses a graphic score, so the exact notes are left up to the performers. Live looping is used to create a vocal soundscape. The singers loop and layer fragments from the poems and different consonant and vowel sounds. This piece was written in a week during the 2022 Sound and Music Summer School. My plan for the piece’s structure evolved into the graphic score.
THE SANDSTORM BECKONS is a piece written for Clarinet in Bb, Marimba, Tabla, Tam-Tam and Vibraslap, and it follows the story of a group of travellers in the Arabian Deserts. Unknown to them however, they are headed straight for a sandstorm, and an encounter with a rattlesnake!
In the modern music world, how do we navigate the relationship between classical music and jazz? The Promenade is my response to this question. It tells the story of three Baroque musicians who go on a walk together, but accidentally stumble into a jazz club. At first they don't get along with the musicians inside, but gradually they realise they have much more in common than they thought…
In this scene from The Revenant, a frontiersman is chased on horseback by the Arikara tribe and driven over the edge of a cliff, where he then has to survive the night. The crux of my composition was creating the contrast between the frantic chase and the cold isolation of his environment. I created this frenzied energy with the layering of acoustic and electronic sounds, as well as further musical elements: for example, prominent perfect fifth intervals to evoke hunting horn calls and double-dotted rhythms to allude to the horses’ galloping. In order to capture the unnerving, serene environment, I made use of exotic harmonic palettes and soloistic, transparent textures, often using unusual registers and combinations of the instruments to create unfamiliar timbres. This, I believe, has enabled me to capture the scene's essential dichotomy, presenting and accentuating it further in the music.
‘Unforgiven’ was made as an abstract resemblance of inconsistency. Cheers to Tony, Dan and the rest of the gang who helped me with my track.
‘Beau’ is a celebration of discovering confidence in a world that is so often full of negativity and realizing the beauty in being bold. It was a challenge to write a new piece of music in such a short amount of time, a challenge that I am grateful for as a growing and evolving composer. It begins and ends with the musicians humming, and throughout I have used stamps to explore the idea that a musician is more than just the instrument, but the unique human body that holds it. This piece has allowed me to explore and break the boundaries in structure between traditional forms and modern forms, including the concept of a ‘bass drop’. In retrospect I have often referred to this piece as “putting main character energy into music”, an idea I would love to explore again in my future work.