Category: Music

Composer/Performer or Performer/Composer?

I have, probably since the age of 14 or so, identified myself as a composer. I played piano (and also guitar and flute rather unsuccessfully), and have variously performed as a classical pianist, accompanist, duo partner, cocktail pianist, jazz pianist, and even a keyboardist in a rock band, yet because I studied composition at music college, and I now lecture in composition, I never really identified as being a performer.

Student study event news

Following a review earlier this year it was agreed the funds provided to OCASA would be substantially increased to encourage both a wider distribution of funds to students and to encourage a diversification in the types of activities available to students.

In conversation with: Rob Bentall

“I think piece titles are very important! A piece should drape naturally from its title, in the same way a coat hangs off a peg. I often find the music suggests a title, which certainly happened in Summer Anthem, with the title drawing upon the generic association of dance music with the summer season and of this genre with club ‘anthems’, this term often indicating a big hook.”

Reflection and the edit: Part 1

Reflecting on your work underpins your entire practice; it is essential to be able to look objectively at your work and really review things such as- why you have done something, how does it work, is it a success or does it require more development/thought, how would it be improved, and the specifics of why it has worked/not worked.

Getting the most from Sibelius: Part 2

In the first blog I covered the fundamentals: what you need to include in a score and how to make it look clear and easily readable. In this second post I will explore the presentation of more complicated music, including larger ensembles and more complex rhythmic notation.

Life after level one

Beginning my first Level Two course last year, I had confidence I would be just fine; happily settled after receiving a pleasing result at assessment for my previous course at Level One. I flew through L2 Developing Creative Textiles, sure I knew what my path and career specialisation would be. As far as I was concerned, I had developed my “style”… All I had to do was repeat it.

A stark shock came at assessment, when I got a much lower mark than expected. Why? I questioned; with my confidence in tatters.

Exploring David Lake’s listening logs

It is easy to dismiss the Listening Log as less important than the composition component of an assignment, but this is not the case; listening is a crucial part of improving one’s musical ability. Therefore, when assessing, it is wonderful to see the work of students who have fully embraced the Listening Log, and David Lake’s submission is a perfect example of this.

New OCA Principal

We are delighted to announce on behalf of the Board of Trustees, that Will Woods has been appointed the new Principal & Chief Executive Officer for Open College of the Arts.

Emma Arandjelovic

Emma’s composition 1 submission was outstanding, and serves as an excellent example of what can be achieved within the brief for each assignment. While her work had a consistency of quality throughout, the counterpoint exercise at Assignment 4 was particularly worthy of note.

Get familiar with your local gallery

There are hundreds of smaller galleries across the country showing a wide programme of work. They may feature local/regional artists or show touring exhibitions. It is well worth getting frequented with the galleries in your local area and subscribe to their mailing list to keep up to date.