Seeing stars: composition day next week

Ahead of the composition day at Sounds New next week, I caught up with Education manager, Peter Cook, to find out what’s in store.

So, Sounds New starts next week: what’s happening next Wednesday ?

PC: It’s the secondary school composition day, called Star Compositions and Darker Matters.

And what does this involve ?

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Captain Cook…

PC: Well, we’ll be exploring the extraordinary exhibition installation called the Universe of Sound, which is on show as part of Sounds New this year and features a ‘walk-in orchestra’ viewable from wild and wonderful angles, performing Holst’s The Planets and a new piece by Joby Talbot.

Ah, yes: the composer of the recently successful ballet-score to Alice in Wonderland at Covent Garden ?

PC: That’s right! And the Head of Digital from the Philharmonic, Richard Slaney, will be at the composition day and will be talking about how he put the installation together and why it is a ‘must-see’ exhibition.

And how will you be exploring composing that day ?

PC: Paul Edlin, a former President of the ISM and a composer himself will be talking about Gustav Holst, as well as his own compositional technique. After listening and watching aspects of the installation on video, we will break into smaller groups to explore new sounds ourselves. I’ll be exploring improvisations connected to the theme of the day. We’re very excited to hear from both speakers and to work with young musicians to create something really special. And the day will end with a recording of what we achieve and a discussion about the relevance of new music.

We’ll bring you pictures (and maybe even some of the compositions) from the day. Find out more about the Universe of Sound, which comes to Canterbury on 27 April, here.

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