Sunday’s workshop

Last Sunday’s workshop was great fun! Kirsty asked me to lead a group warm up, and I choose quite a lively one. It was a warmer I learnt while a trainee animateur at Spitalfields Music via James Redwood.  It involved minimalist phasing exercises, football chants, voice and instruments. I was told it woke us all up. We also discussed musical texture; whilst listening to Jack talk and give a live performance via his contemporary folk duo, it was great to listen to the different ways he and his partner exploited this via percussive elements, layering, timbre, etc. **This is quite a useful video explaining the basics of musical texture. Please exploit them in your compositions:

The best part of the day was working with intensively with Georgie – I certainly learned a lot. Georgie is great at coming up with lots of new ideas, complex rhythms and material, and it comes very naturally to her. What Georgie finds a little challenging is sitting with the material and developing/really getting the most out of a cell/motif or rhythmic pattern. Developing material is something I also find really challenging, well most composers I believe do too, right? Anyway, it was a great experience to work with Georgie. It helped me realise, (through Georgie’s frustrations; which I often share with my own work), that I don’t need to keep creating new ideas, but rather return to previous material and work out new ways to exploit it.  Together we looked through the piece; a duet for marimba and saxophone and realisedsome of the strongest material was polyrhythmic cell/interplay between the two instruments. We wrote out the rhythms (without pitch) and looked at ways in which to return to the rhythmical  idea via variation and inversion. Georgie did well and extended a 4-bar idea, so it became 16 bars. Well done Georgie! Although I was unable to help the other participants with their compositions, it was clear from the atmosphere and end of session feedback, that the rest of the gang are doing exceptionally well. It was lovely to hear their sounds and growing confidence!

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