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 […]

Here at the Purcell School, things have been incredibly busy for our young composers! They’ve all begun work on their final pieces (which are already sounding INCREDIBLE), and they’ve been working with the tutors in their groups to develop and realise their ideas. To end the third day, the evening workshop session was lead by […]

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 […]

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 […]

This is my second time at the SaM summer school, and looking back, I can safely say that I’ve improved in many ways, not only in a practical sense, but also in terms of attitude.

One of the challenges I’ve found is writing a finished piece to a deadline; my first piece had the makings of a completed composition, but lacked a strong identity, something that I feel I’ve captured in this years composition. It helped that between both summer schools I’ve found a sort of ground I can stand on, and not feel insecure about my material or people’s opinion of it.

On a more practical note (like concert C), I have noticed that composing away from the instruments and Sibelius does lead to both more natural and/or ambitious ideas. I feel it is also important to look at your material as a musician, and not just as a composer.

This years composition, and other pieces I have played and/or composed has also led me to believe that material that has been forced, or made to impress people, never really sounds as stuff that I could hear or feel before I put it on paper.

Can I also just say that this year was so rad and inspiring!

Thanks

The Sound and Music Summer School is one of the most enjoyable courses I have ever taken part in. The schedule is packed full of activities and at the end of the first day I felt like I had already learnt enough to make my head burst!

Usually I find the composing process to be quite slow, with a piece taking several months to finish, but at SAM I managed to write a short vocal piece in just a couple of days, which I put down to the constant inspiration coming at me from all directions – tutors, other participants, concerts, taster sessions and masterclasses. When the week ends I will have a typed-up vocal piece and a performance and recording of it by professional musicians.

Despite the action-packed day, there is still time to make friends – everyone is very friendly and there is a real sense of supportiveness and interest in one another’s work.