After being introduced to the instruments which were available to us to use, the obvious next step was for us to learn how we might be using them.
We had a fantastic opportunity in having Kuljit Bhamra working with us, a well-established musician, specialising in the Indian Tabla, specifically when being used in more Western music (he has worked with the Sugar Babes, for example). He has spent the last few years developing a unique notation system for the Tabla, and this is what allowed us – a group of young people unexperienced in Indian classical music – to write for the instrument. We therefore spent the morning learning about this notation system, and experimenting with rhythmic cycles, an idea I had been somewhat familiar with before the course, but this helped me to further understand this concept. I spent the day and my evening’s homework writing a piece for marimba, clarinet and table, which would utilise a rhythmic cycle.
We also had our two final taster sessions – for me, this was a taster session with both the ‘Music for Film’ group and the ‘Jazz’ group. I wrote a short account of the film taster session for the Sound and Music blog, which I will include on the next page.
Jazz is something which I am not familiar with, but which I would absolutely love to become familiar with. I find the chords and harmony it uses to be fascinating and beautiful. Therefore I found this foray into the world of jazz extremely interesting. We discussed and played around with modes, and I concluded that I would strive to include some of these newly learned ideas in my final composition; which I did.