photographer: unknown. (creation date: ca. 20C). Tube sponge from the Carribean.. [Photograph]. Retrieved from

I decided to take a stroll on my second day at Sound and Music Summer School. Having worked behind the scenes for months to make this week happen, nothing could have been more reassuring than hearing music fill the hallways of The Purcell School.

In hindsight, I actually don’t think I could have picked a better day for this outing. It was the day in which all tutors were demonstrating possibilities of the instruments/the media, young people were going to use to compose their pieces. The possibilities were endless, whether they were created using the smooth muscle tissues found in the voice box in the throat or strings of an acoustic instrument.

I took inspired notes of my immediate impressions after seeing, without an exception, all the young people sit quietly in various rooms of the school and let these new pieces of information sink in. It was like seeing a sea sponge take in an elixir of magic provided by a secret stream running into the ocean, and multiplied by 60. (There were 60 young people in the school)

When I revisited my notebook to finish this long overdue blog post, I saw that I wrote down: “Music is magic, and hearing the words ‘music is magic’, is also magic.”

On this day 2 of the Summer School, magic was in the air. What could have been more life affirming than being presented with endless possibilities for composing, especially when those possibilities were brought to life by real people, professional musicians for real, in front of our very eyes(particularly after seeing most things musical in 2D on a computer screen for over a year)?

To capture this felt magic, I couldn’t help myself but do some recordings (which now make up the little sonic clip you can find above this blog post).


I had no idea how the tutors were going to structure this week of making music. I always knew that it would end with the concerts, celebrating young people’s pieces composed during the week, but I didn’t know when and how they would start this journey!

After this walk, I realised that day 2 was when they were presented with all the possibilities, new ideas, new ways of using the voice, nuances in ordering instruments differently when composing (i.e. David Horne, the Advanced Instrumental Composition tutor, asked the musicians to play the same melody, but each time with a change in the order of the instruments) or how a seemingly small change, like switching from keyboard sounds to piano, could have such a big impact when creating the mood of a piece, like when the Electronic Music tutor Tony Nwachukwu explains it in the sonic clip.

I am now writing this post, after the week and the concerts have ended, yet all the composing possibilities didn’t. These sounds of magic that I followed in my stroll, at times standing outside the classrooms in the hallway just to hear them from far– to add to this magical feeling-, will carry on for all those who were hearing those particles of composition ideas on day 2 of the Summer School, just like friendly ghosts that will emerge in the process of creativity.

Openings and opportunities are vital and they shape the sounds of one’s development and expressions.