Back to the grindstone today! As far as I’m aware everyone hit their deadlines, but I think we’re all just a little bit bleary-eyed and un-bushy of tails. There’s a definite element of ‘that-monday-feeling’. However, no time to dwell on that, just have to crack on and get back to the music.
Next up was Matt Magerkurth, but unfortunately, I had to duck out of the presentations at this point to attend a rehearsal with Great Noise Ensemble (more on that later) - but he was able to send me links to his music so I was able to listen to it on my own and at least get a semblance for his work. From talking to everyone who was in Matt’s presentation I knew that his music was incredibly well received by the group, so I definitely wanted to know ‘what the fuss was about’ so to speak! Matt’s a young composer, only 19 and still at college, but the calibre of the work he is producing is pretty damn amazing. His piece "Off Centre" which was commissioned by the university of Nebraska Lincoln's Chamber Music Institute creates an amazing landscape of something very out of kilter. He expresses that 'being centred is something he feels he is constantly striving for, but is perhaps something that is not quite achievable, at least for him. This is definitely something you can really hear in his music, and the essence of 'organised chaos' is brilliantly portrayed. Have a listen for yourselves: https://soundcloud.com/matt-magerkurth/offcenter
Last up for the presentations was Jeremy Parel. Jeremy’s style was probably more ‘crunchy’ than the other guys presenting this morning, and I know he has a rooted love of punk-rock music, which I can really hear in his music. A piece which was greatly focused on was entitled ‘Letter’, written for 4 hands at piano & soprano voice. This piece came from a very personal experience for Jeremy, which I do applaud him from being willing to present, as it’s certainly something that, as composers, is extremely difficult: presenting a personal piece for scrutinisation can be like a punch to the heart. For me, I don’t think this piece is quite there yet, I think Jeremy can afford to spend more time with it to develop it, and give the subject matter the care I think it deserves. The MIDI realisation of this piece also didn’t really reflect the piece, but that aside there are some interesting harmonic concepts in Jeremy’s music - his other piece ‘Quintet’ showed some lovely colour in writing for double bass.
|Great Noise Ensemble rehearsing "Voul-ous enne P'tite Goute?" (by me!!)|
The afternoon session today was a masterclass, presented by John Fitz Rogers, in orchestration, focusing on how to create colour within a score, and how orchestration is not just referring to a full orchestral ensemble, but that it refers to the sound of all music, from large groups to solos. For someone who's been out of education for a few years, this was an amazing refresher course in things I already knew, and also a new perspective on how to think about and approach orchestration, for any instrumentation. John had some amazing things to say about resonance, and also how there's only ever really three things going on at any one time, which sounds bizarre to most people, but when you really listen (and look at a score) you can see how there's only ever really foreground, middle ground and background in terms of layers - or at least, that's how it should be when it's well written (Holst's 'Planet Suite' is an excellent example) - at the very basics, really great orchestrations come down to melody and accompaniment. This class certainly has re-awakened my love of orchestral music: I wouldn’t class myself as an orchestral composer, I’ve only written two full orchestral scores, so I think I’ll be having another go in the very near future.
|In amongst the audience and using the space|
|Just not an american festival without 'Beer Pong'|
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