On Tuesday 7th August, I attended a session, at Sound and Music summer school, on composing led by Judith Weir, which I found very interesting and presented many sides to music and music notation I had not thought about before. One of the pieces performed was Judith Weir’s composition “Sundew”, which depicted a carnivorous plant. […]

Judith Weir with a microphone

This is a review Judith Wier’s visit to the Sound and Music Summer School on the 7th of August 2018, which I attended. Judith talked about different ways of notating other than the standard notation to simplify, or to explore different musical experiences such as giving the performer(s) more freedom. She used one of her […]

David Horne and Judith Weir talk and address a crowd of young composers

  I am going to review a performance lecture given by Judith Weir and David Horne on the subject of scoring techniques and the performance of unconventional scores; this includes graphical scores and music that cannot be described in conventional notation. The event takes place at the Purcell School of Music on the 7th of […]

To close the Summer School, the audience of parents, students and tutors witnessed performances from the World Music group. Having waited patiently all week, it was finally time for the largest group of the Summer School to unveil their cross-cultural compositions! The concert began in a similar fashion to the Vocal Music group; the students […]

Laura’s Bronze Arts Award Review As part of my Bronze Arts Award, I chose to review a workshop put on by Laura Bowler, a professional composer, musician and theatre director, for an hour and a half. The event took place within the Purcell school of music main hall on 01.08.2017. I recorded my thoughts about […]

Olivia’s Thoughts on the Week The Sound and music Summer School has been amazing. The amount of talent I’ve seen during the course of the week is phenomenal, everybody was as talented as each other and everyone was their own individual. I can’t thank enough the amazing tutors and musicians that were there throughout the […]

As part of the Jazz composition group, I have composed a small jazz piece for a sextet which I managed to finish today. I have never composed for jazz before so it was an amazing experience as I have learnt so much from the tutor group sessions and the tutorials such as different modes, chord […]

Incredible. The second group to perform on the final day were the Instrumental Group, lead by David Horne and accompanied by musicians Richard Harwood (Cello), Tom Kemp (Violin), Hannah Grayson (Flute) and Anna Hashimoto (Clarinet). The compositions presented by the students were jaw-dropping. I found myself (much like the audience) completely stunned by the intricacy […]

As part of the Jazz group, it was really nice to have a refreshing overview of the theory involved at the start of the week, such as multiple different modes, chord symbols, chord functions, and so on! This helps greatly as I had a slightly rusty understanding of it all before, but having completed the […]

The composition for screen taster session was a really useful insight into writing for short film clips under pressure. I thought that having hit points in the film notated in a part really helps with linking the music and the film, which is the most essential part of writing film music.

I’m having a great time at the SaM composition Summer School 2017 so far! I just finished writing and recording a score for a short film for solo cello. Corinna is an amazing player to just be able to pick up all of these random compositions and record them within a very short amount of […]

This is my first year at the Sound and Music Summer School and I love it! Everyone is very friendly and all the sessions are really interesting, despite sometimes being quite challenging! I am most certainly learning something new every day! My only criticism is that the taster sessions are really short, and I would […]

The SaM Summer School has been great so far! I’ve found the taster sessions most enjoyable, as we got to explore composing for different genres of music. I’ve also learnt a great deal from the workshop sessions too, as we’ve been able to associate with other musicians who play the same instruments. The musicians are […]

At the SaM Summer School, we spent the mornings of the second and third days doing taster sessions to try other types of composition! One of those was composing film music. Our task? To compose a piece of film music for a short 25 second snippet from film The Grand Budapest Hotel! We had 25 […]

I had a great time in the Film Taster Session! I am very interested in writing film music, so getting the opportunity to do this was very enjoyable! I think one of the most exciting things about this taster sessions is being able to write a piece and then have it recorded in The Purcell […]

The film’s setting of a snowy mountain gave me the idea to use harmonics and different bow positions, with large spaces of silence, to create impression of the icy atmosphere within the setting. It was very exciting to hear it performed!

In the Film Music taster session, we had 30 mins to write a short piece that would accompany a film clip. This was the first time I’d participated in such an activity, and in doing so I got to experience what it might be like to be a film composer! Aidan Goetzee, the film taster […]

The final day of the Summer School commenced with performances from the Vocal composition group, and I think it’s safe to say everyone was blown away! The majority of students within this group had never written specifically for the voice before (as in, entirely for the voice – the only other instrument used was a […]

Let me set the scene – the jazz sextet were intimately set up in a corner of the room, candlelit tables seated the students on the main floor and the stage had been converted into a raised seating area. The lights were low and the atmosphere thick, and everyone was treated to Friday night gig, […]

Woah. That was quite something. The audience has been spoilt by the quality of the Film Group’s recitals this evening! Each student had a three minute long clip that a live ensemble performed in real time to the moving image. The compositions evoked an array of emotions, each and every one receiving an enormous round […]

I found the film taster session enjoyable, however also challenging because of the limited amount of time we had to complete our compositions! We needed to consider hit-points and represent actions that occurred in the short film clip to emphasise and convey emotions that the audience would understand. For my piece, I used quiet scalic […]

I can’t believe it! We’re already on day 6 of the Summer School! I’m not quite sure how it’s gone by so fast…but there’s still so much more to come! Today is the first day of final performances, which will be from the Film and Jazz groups this evening! Everyone’s been working tremendously hard towards […]

I am currently working on a short marimba piece as part of the world music composition group. I wrote the first couple of bars myself, but it was then passed around the room at five minute intervals, so it has actually been written by six different people. It was an interesting exercise, because the piece […]

I am writing a clarinet piece as part of my work in the world music composition group. For the basis of the piece, the entire group passed around a melody that I started, and each student added to it to create a full piece. I found this really interesting as the end product reflected the […]

The taster sessions have been both informative and challenging. The Jazz session involved modes, jazz notation and improvisation, which meant we had to think on the spot and remember the notes and patterns. The film taster was also done under time and so we had a limited period in which to compose a solo cello […]

As part of the experience at the SaM Summer School, everyone has a chance to experience a taster session with the four tutor groups other than your primary one. In the film group, I had 25 minutes to write a short piece for solo cello to accompany a film showing a dramatic scene of a […]

The taster session for the film course involved us having to score a thirty second clip from “The Grand Budapest Hotel”! We had to write a solo cello line, which I have never done before (let alone writing for the moving image). The whole experience was brand new for me, and I really enjoyed it. […]

My first experience of the SaM Summer School has been absolutely fantastic so far. Opportunities and ideas come at you from all directions, and professional players are always on hand to help and give insight into the details of writing for their instrument. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the week, and hearing […]

I have really enjoyed the taster sessions, simply because they offer us as composers the opportunity to experience different styles and methods of composing. They really broaden your knowledge and open your mind to new ideas at the start of the week! In the jazz taster sessions, we learned about improvising in various modes, alongside […]

For the second and third days of the summer school, the morning’s activities involved us partaking in hour long sessions with all of the key tutor groups. One of today’s sessions was with the Film Group, and involved writing a short piece for cello to accompany a short film. Crucial moments were identified (known as […]

I think everyone found the film taster session enjoyable but challenging! Nonetheless, it deserves to be said that the staff were incredibly supportive and useful, offering detailed advice on how we should consider writing for the given scenarios of the short film we encountered. It was a deeply commendable experience.

The film music taster sessions tested my ability to write music in a limited time frame, and I ultimately found that I could do so. It provided me with an introductory experience to writing music that mimics the movements and actions within a 30 second film clip. The initial challenge of the task pushed me […]

It’s been fantastic to have the opportunity to work within the musical disciplines outside of my Key Tutor Group, such as Film Music. I’ve found that these stylistically varying sessions have broadened my knowledge of how to write for specific instruments and individuals within an ensemble. When working with film, I’ve also gained an understanding […]

Composing a piece as part of the 30 minute Film Group taster session proved incredibly challenging due to both time and orchestration restraints. Nonetheless, it was a valuable learning experience that offered incredible insight into the typically stressful conditions a film composer may encounter on a day-to-day basis. What really pushed me outside my comfort […]

Having completed the Sound and Music Summer School at the Purcell School I can honestly say that it was one of the best weeks of my life. In that week I grew so much as a composer, and it will be invaluable to me in the future when I pursue my career in music. The […]

The evening of day six and the morning of day seven were dedicated entirely to concerts of the final pieces which people had produced. This started with the ‘Film’ group, and then the ‘Jazz’ group. I particularly enjoyed the Jazz concert, as it was done in such a way that it mimicked a dimly lit […]

The day had come: it was time to hear my piece. Everyone in my group arrived to breakfast the next day rather bleary-eyed and sleep-deprived. I could only assume that they, like me, had pulled a late night trying to finish their compositions in time. I was excited to hear the fruits of everybody’s labour, […]

Day five was the most tiring, intense and stressful day of the lot. Writing three minutes of music, entirely by hand, in a crowded environment, for instruments I had never written before and in just 24 hours was, to put it lightly, hard work. But this is not a complaint; that’s what I came for. […]

Day four marked the first day in which we would be working on our final piece. It was therefore with excitement, but also some slight apprehension, that we headed down to breakfast. Before we could work on our piece though, we first had to listen to everyone’s piece based around the rhythmic cycles we had […]

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 […]

This was the first day where we were given taster sessions for the other courses available. For me, this involved the advanced instrumental session and the vocal session. As a classically trained musician, the instrumental session appealed to me naturally. We were given the task of writing a short piece for a solo instrument – […]

Meeting people is always a scary experience. There is always a heavy sense of anticipation as you draw nearer to your destination, which you know is unnecessary but which you just can’t stave off. For this reason the long drive to the Purcell School was nerve-racking, to say the least. This was only made worse […]

After a thrilling few days we have now completed our compositions, and are excited to hear them played in the forthcoming days. However that is only the icing on the cake to such a great week. A highlight of ours has been the intriguing guest speaker talking about gramophones last night. He captivated us all […]