Khan Cordice’s presentation on the steel drums at the Sound & Music Summer School was really inspiring and exciting. I have a good knowledge of jazz music so it was great to hear Khan play an arrangement of ‘Misty’ on the steel drums. There wasn’t really anything I didn’t like apart from that he could […]

Going into this talk I knew absolutely nothing about steelpans as an instrument. The speaker and performer was Khan Cordice, who explained that he was a professional steelpans player, and that he was at the Purcell School due to funding from, and links with, the high commission of Antigua. He then went on to inform […]

It’s quiet… Too quiet. Aside from odd noises coming out of practice rooms, or composers scribbling and tapping away, there appears to be very little noise at all. Having spent the last few days in a school bursting to the seams with music, this sort of softer atmosphere is almost eerie. Of course, the reason […]

Things are heating up about now, and we’re not just talking about the weather! Midweek here at the Sound and Music Summer School is when things start to get serious. After a few days of getting to know each other, their tutors, and the impressive arsenal of musical techniques they have at their disposal, Wednesday […]

Day 3 in the Summer School house (notably more classy than it’s Big Brother equivalent on Channel 4), and there’s a real sense of community now building. With everyone living together, eating together and, most importantly creating together, you get the impression of a big family built around composing. Tuesday is a rather pleasant affair, […]

Today was our first full day, of course starting out with a healthy breakfast. One quick assembly later, and the students were already cracking on with their compositions in their Key Tutor Groups! After the day’s first KTG, we quickly moved on to the week’s first two taster sessions. These allow our students to get […]

Wow – what a first day! Sunday might traditionally be a day of rest, but it’s been a jam-packed first day for us here at the Sound and Music Summer School. After bringing together our huge staff team (including tutors, composers, instrumentalists, chaperones and the Sound and Music team), we couldn’t wait for this year’s […]

Violinist and Cellist look at one another, Judith Weir and David Horne in the background

Review of Judith Weir’s Workshop, Arts Award 2018 On Tuesday 7th August, the Summer School played host to a performance workshop given by Judith Weir. This event particularly stood out to me, as before I came on the Summer Course I was not particularly fond of new styles of music such as minimalism and contemporary […]

Judith Weir explaining a score to young musicians

Part of the summer school involved visiting talks by accomplished composers and one such event was the talk by head of Queen’s Music Judith Weir on Tuesday the 7th of August at the Purcell school who had a conversation with David Horne over different aspects of being a composer as well as what works in […]

On Tuesday 7th August, Judith Weir held a concert at the main auditorium at the Purcell School of Music as part of the Sound and Music Summer School. She started by showing a piece that she wrote called ‘Sundew’ which was written for a duet for the cello and the violin. The piece was inspired […]

The score to Judith Weir's Sundew

As her talk focused fundamentally on the ideas of notation in music, I was particularly interested in the variety of ideas which she put forth. She painted the picture that a piece of music shares similarities with a piece of artwork, and using her own example of ‘Sundew’, which is a violin/cello duet, she showed […]

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 […]

Have you applied to the Sound and Music Summer School yet? If not, now is the time to do so, as applications close 29 March!  Make sure you visit our website in order to apply. The video below provides a brief insight into the accommodation, dining and recreational facilities at the Summer School. Watch as […]

IT’S BACK We’re delighted to say that the Sound and Music Summer School will be returning, August 5 – 11. Full details and more information about the week are available on our website, where you can also fill out your application. The application deadline is March 29, which is fast approaching. Apply Now!

On Tuesday night, we took part in a workshop which was led by Laura Bowler where we viewed some of her work. I felt like she was a very charismatic person and taught us to think about music in a new way – through movement. She started off with teaching us all a group warm […]

On Monday, a special guest visited, Judith Weir. Seeing her music visually and listening to some of her compositions live was inspirational for me. I really enjoyed the jail folk inspired compositions played by the cello. This was because it explored many extended techniques of the instrument, something that I am very interested in. I […]

I thought the event was very inspiring. It made me think about using extended techniques in my own compositions. I very much enjoyed the King Harald Saga, it was very compelling. It told a short story of Harald Hadrada, but the message behind the piece was the futility of war. I didn’t really like the […]

Register Your Interest For Next Year’s Summer School! If this year was your first time attending the Summer School, you can now register your interest for next years programme ahead of the application period! Please do not feel discouraged to register or apply if you have already been once, for students are allowed to attend […]

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 […]

“ The Judith Weir workshop session was very informative! I enjoyed listening to the pieces, and it was a great opportunity to take inspiration for future compositions of my own. Judith not only talked about her history as a composer, but also had some of her pieces played by one of the tutoring musicians at […]

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 […]

I’m reviewing Orphy Robinson workshop/session at the SaM summer school, which took place on Sunday 31st July 2017. I thought that the workshop was very interesting, engaging and fun as he showed us a new way of expressing our ideas and making music called conduction. I particularly enjoyed the active side of the session as […]

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 […]

Orphy Robinson ran a performance workshop on Sunday 30th July during the SaM Summer School. It was about the ‘Art of Conduction’ – a process in which a conductor directs a musical ensemble who are simply reacting through improvisation to his/her gestures. I didn’t know what to expect from the workshop as I’d never done […]

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. […]