Tag: Music

Ensemble in focus – Platform 4

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.

Study visit review: OCA music composition workshop

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.

How to interpret graphic scores

I have just finished my five-date solo piano tour, ONE, which featured me as the performer, Debbie Sharp as a video installation artist, and Jacob Thompson-Bell as producer. It was a lot of fun, if a bit exhausting, and it was great to see some OCA students in the audience at two of the gigs.

rarescale summer school – a level 1 student’s experience

On a warm July morning, twenty one musicians descended on Harlaxton manor for five days of flute playing and composing at the annual rarescale summer school. An eclectic bunch, the flautists ranged from talented amateurs to music college graduates embarking on performing careers, and the composition group consisted of undergraduate music students and early career composers.

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.

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.”

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.