This is the third in a series of blogs where I introduce OCA composers (or, indeed, anybody else who might be interested) to UK-based ensembles, particularly those that are new, exciting, and focus on performing recently composed music.
Recently I have become interested in composing works that present multiple superimposed narratives; music that is about more than just one thing. That is, by combining and juxtaposing stories I can create pieces that operate in structurally unusual ways.
The New Music Collective met at Iklectik in London on 17 March, for a study day based on collaboration. A month before the event, the students were asked to work in pairs to produce new work to be presented on the day. Each student had to take part in the project both as a performer and composer, but they were able to choose how whether to write together or separately.
OCASA has generously agreed to fund a small number of bursaries to enable OCA students to attend this year’s rarescale Summer School at Harlaxton Manor.
The course is an intensive week of creative music making, composition and collaboration, under the guidance of composer Michael Oliva (professor of composition at the Royal College of Music in London) and Carla Rees, OCA’s music programme leader.
OCA’s Programme Leader for Music – Carla Rees has been busy…
The New Music Collective will meet again on 17 March 2018 at Iklectik Art Lab, in London. Following on from our work on group composition, individual performance and improvisation, the theme of this meeting is collaboration
OCA music students are required to submit digital versions of their scores for assessment, and a proportion of the marks are given for the quality of typesetting and presentation of notation. It is important that the assessors are experienced in the choice of software used, allowing them to judge the student’s original work and to recognise how much of the presentation is automatically generated within the program.
It has given me the confidence to believe in my work and my ability as a composer, justifying the efforts I made in the writing, developing and refining this score. Also, as mentioned above, it fulfilled my dream of hearing one of my compositions performed live, by other musicians.
The first three posts covered the basics of the programme through to working with large, complicated scores. I’m going to continue the series with several posts dealing with advanced techniques and non-standard notation. This post deals with issues of spacing in complex scores.
In this third post I’ll be moving on to music for large ensembles and orchestras, and using Sibelius to extract parts for players. I’ll be covering some advanced techniques and Sibelius-specific workarounds.
Hearing one’s music is a very important part of learning how to compose. It can be difficult for fledgling composers to secure performances, but it is worth exploring whether there are any local ensembles willing to look at your music.
In late July, OCA music students from across the UK and Europe met up at the MAC Birmingham for a day of music making and discussion with music tutor Chris Lawry and saxophonist and publisher Keri Degg. The day was focussed on writing for saxophone with a particular emphasis on composing music for educational and examination purposes. Students got to hear their compositions workshopped and received feedback and advice from tutor and performers, as well as bound scores and recordings to take away for further study.