On the 4th of August, Yshani Peripanayagam came to visit the Purcell school for our Sound and Music Summer Programme. She is a renowned composer, and showed us one of her piano compositions inspired by the game ‘snake’, and it was very avant-garde and fascinating.
After that, she presented the app ‘Echoes’ which allows you to record your own sounds in the form of a walk. The task for that evening was to record at least five sounds around the school area and upload them onto a Google Drive so Yshani could edit them. I worked with Eva and Ciara, and we took various recordings around the school campus (in the fields and within the actual school). Some examples of our sounds include footsteps, percussion with sticks, a soothing piano melody and vocals improvised by Ciara.
I felt very inspired by the myriad of ways that sound could be produced, and also the general concept with creating music with others made me feel grateful for the opportunity. At times, it was challenging to find new sounds that would fit nicely with our walk ‘Sunset Stroll’, but we shared our ideas and persevered. Regarding Yshani’s compositions, her style of using a solo piano to convey so many atmospheres. When Yshani released everyone’s walks, it felt amazing to see our walk professionally edited and uploaded on the app!
One thing that I didn’t really enjoy was the actual recording process. Sometimes, background noise such as people talking disturbed our recordings and it was tedious to do it again. However, I learnt how to compromise with this by doing certain recordings at a different time, so that everyone had a chance to record at a certain place. I also learnt how simple it can be to create your own sounds, such as using sticks from a tree or humming a tune.
I shared my review with a few of my classmates on Discord, a communication app. I recommended that they download the Echoes app and explore the walks for themselves! I also shared a few pictures with those classmates to show them what it was about. Turns out that they really enjoyed the app, but wished that they could visit Purcell School to truly experience the walk.
This event has inspired me to check out Yshani’s compositions as I really enjoyed her ‘Snake’ composition and her ‘The Shining’ improvisation that she performed at her talk. I didn’t know how versatile the piano could be until she completely changed the atmosphere of ‘The Shining’ clip with it. Also, I have begun to record some of my daily sounds that I create and insert them into my compositions, as it gives off an organic, homely feel. If I were to recommend this event to someone else, I would say to enjoy the experience of the creation of sounds and to be open-minded; you may create a piece that you would not have expected!