Aim for the starlight: Paul Burnell at Sounds New

April 25, 2013

Aim straight for the starlight is an education and community development project at this year’s Sounds New, in collaboration with CoMA.

Paul Burnell

Paul Burnell

Leading to a public performance of composer Paul Burnell’s Aim Straight for Starlight, this is a project where the composer himself will come down to work with local schools and the CCCU ‘Scratch Orchestra.’ The piece is composed with this educational and community purpose in mind and its instrumentation includes (amongst others) different hand-held percussion instruments as well as ocarinas, melodicas, even bottles, all of which can be used by children performing alongside professional players (playing wind, brass and string instruments), giving them a real sense of playing as part of an ensemble in a public occasion.

This project is helping to strengthen the relationship between CoMA, Sounds New, the local community and Christ Church University; an educational project, where amateur musicians and students studying to become professionals work alongside each other and with school children towards a public concert.

The performance of Aim Straight for the Starlight will be a part of  the All for One concert series, in the concert taking place at St Peter’s Church, Canterbury, on Tuesday 7 May at 11am, with a discretionary entry of £1.

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Three Questions: CoMA London Ensemble

April 17, 2013

Ahead of its visit to Sounds New on May 4th, I caught up with Liz Herbert, co-ordinator for the CoMA London ensemble, to find out what’s in store.

Tell us about your ensemble.

LH:  CoMA London Ensemble is one of CoMA‘s (Contemporary Music for All)  many ensembles around the country. There are no auditions, and our ensemble has players of mixed ability, some very good indeed. The ensemble is run by an elected committee of playing members. We meet every Tuesday evening and give about four concerts each year. We play only new music, most of which has been written specifically for CoMA ensembles using flexible scoring, by established or emerging composers.

What excites you about contemporary music ?

LH: Contemporary music is always unexpected; we enjoy exploring pieces which haven’t been played before and also working with composers, trying out pieces in different ways and hearing what they had in mind. The music we play is very varied and usually quite challenging.

What can we expect from your visit to Sounds New next month ?

LH: Our plan is to spend the day workshopping and performing some pieces written for the CoMA London Ensemble by composition students at Canterbury Christchurch University. Our music director, Gregory Rose, visited the University and gave a talk about writing flexibly-scored work for amateur players, and some of the students are now writing pieces for the event on May 4th. We will also be playing some of our past CoMA repertoire to demonstrate some pieces which have used the flexible scoring in different ways.

CoMA London cond. Gregory Rose, at Sounds New in 2012

CoMA London cond. Gregory Rose, at Sounds New in 2012

Many leading  composers have written for CoMA including Philip Cashian, Jonathan Harvey, Stephen Montague, Michael Nyman, Alwynne Pritchard and Sir John Tavener, and works for CoMA have been honoured at the British Composer Awards. Sounds New is delighted to welcome CoMA London ensemble back, after their visit last year with conductor Gregory Rose (pictured).


CoMA London coming to Sounds New next month

April 8, 2013

Next month, the London arm of CoMA (Contemporary Music for All) returns to Sounds New, for a day’s workshop at Christ Church University on Saturday 4 May.

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CoMA at Sounds New in 2012

The ensemble visited the festival last year, in a lunchtime concert conducted by Gregory Rose (pictured) that included works by Tansy Davies and Philip Cashian. This year, some of tomorrow’s composers being nurtured here in Canterbury will have their music performed.

Find out more on the CoMA webpage here.