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. […]

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 […]

Before you read Sami’s thoughts on Judith’s workshop, why not read the article on her session to get some context? It’s right here! Sami: I’m reviewing Judith Weir’s workshop concert/workshop at the SAM summer school, which took place on Monday 31st July 2017. Overall, I thought the event was both very engaging and interesting. I […]

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 […]

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 […]

Our guest-lead workshop yesterday evening was delivered by none other than master of the Queen’s music, Judith Weir. The session involved Judith giving us some insight into her early years as a musician and composer, featuring live performance examples of some of her earliest works by tutors working at the Summer School. She discussed her […]

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 […]

During my time in the film group taster session, I learnt that silence can be just as effective as music when married with moving image. Despite only being an hour long taster session, we were taught how to compliment film with music by creatively thinking of sonic metaphors to the visual that reflect what is […]

To close the first day of this year’s Sound and Music Summer School, the students received an insightful jazz improvisation session from British jazz multi-instrumentalist, Orphy Robinson. Orphy kicked off the evening by getting each student to produce a completely spontaneous vocal sound on the spot! As a collective, the results were quite profound (make […]

With the wet and rainy weather we’ve had over the last week, the plants have been growing quick and strong over the last couple of days. I’m sure that this is a good omen for the week of compositions which will grow out of the Sound and Music Summer School at the Purcell School in […]

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 […]

Members of the Sound and Music team visited the Summer School on Wednesday. Emma, the Communications Intern, reflects on a great day out… “If you could walk into the hypothetical future of the ‘new music’ world, you might find yourself in the same place as I was last week. Now, I swear on Henry Flynt’s cooking […]

My time at sound and music this year has been unlike any other experience I’ve had – from creating a short vocal piece from the word ‘happiness’ to finger sword-fighting in a theatrical workshop, the week has been full of pleasant surprises. Initially, I didn’t know what to expect. Right from day 1, we’d started […]

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 […]