Ben looks back at his week at Sound and Music
Well – what a week! I’ve been on the Jazz course at the Sound and Music Summer School and I have loved every moment of it. I found working with composers, artists and tutors truly inspiring! I have learnt such a lot in such a small space of time. Issie and the musicians were all truly fantastic and brilliant to work with.
Coming into this week knowing little about jazz rhythm and harmony was tough, and as a classical composer, it was exceptionally hard to turn to; I have, however, learnt a great deal more due to this. At the end, I felt I was up-to-speed and understood a great deal more than I started off with, knowing how to write well for drums and bass and so-on, as well as understanding what is meant by the term ‘jazz chords’ (generally referring to extensions to a chord above and beyond those of diatonic harmony). I learnt such a lot from this week, and all the progression I made can be drawn from the hard work of student and tutor a-like, and an inspiring energy and passion for music that really rooted my work.
I really liked the piece I came out with at the end, and none of it would have been possible without the musicians bringing my music to life, and for that I thank them; without them and the ability I had to ‘test’ my music on them, I doubt my piece would have come out so well. My piece, ‘Soul Spectrum’, was a ballad-type piece taking influence from many other classic jazz ballads, all which attempt to draw on the ethereal. This was, ultimately, what I aimed to accomplish, and what I felt I did.
Working with all the young composers on the course was also a great help, as we all seemed to draw ideas and energy from each other, and, indeed, I was inspired a great deal by all of them. Everyone was immensely talented, and I can tell they will all go far in the music industry.
I would recommend this week to any young composer – it is a fantastic way to meet like-minded young people and work in an environment where your ideas and feelings can be freely expressed. A massive to thank you to Sound and Music and everyone who was involved for bringing it to life, and to all of the young composers for making it such a friendly and free place. I hope to see many of you in the future!
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