What We Make of It
suppose you could say that "What
We Make of It" was
interactively composed, in the sense that it was written over a number of weeks
in between visits to and rehearsals with the members of the Brighton & Hove
Youth Concert Band and String Chamber Orchestra.
the very outset, I was keen to involve the musicians in my compositional
process, to listen to their ideas, and to give them a say in how the final piece
would eventually sound. Together,
we discussed what the music would be about, and we agreed that the composition
should make reference to a wide selection of different aspects of Brighton and
its surrounding area. To help give
the piece some structure, we decided that the composition would depict what
might happen within one day in and around Brighton.
my first session with the musicians, I asked them to not only tell me but also
play me two contrasting impressions that they had about the area, and from this
all sorts of ideas emerged. Many
were agreed that the sea had a dominant effect on the town and so the music
should reflect that in some way. Similarly,
it was felt other influences such as the majestic looking Pavilion, and the
liveliness of the city, should find their way into the composition; and there
was also the less obvious: the presence of Brighton's homeless on the streets
and the council's various roadwork widening schemes, to name but two.
returned to work with the musicians on various occasions, each time arriving
with a larger score as more of the music was written.
We would play through the evolving composition and I would explain what I
was trying to do with the music and how I had made use of the previous session's
ideas. We would then try to come up
with new musical ways to connect with our theme.
In one particularly succesful session, for example, the musicians played
me their addresses on their instruments one at a time for me to record, and many
of these were eventually integrated into the composition.
musicians would often offer new ideas and quite often comment on what was
written so far, requesting minor alterations.
For those with internet access I was also able to email the score in
between visits so they could keep up with my progress as well as have the
facility for inputting their own ideas.
then, through this interactive method, "What We Make of It" became
realised into a finalised composition. Through
listening to the piece of music you will get a glimpse of how we perceive
Brighton and Hove. Listen out for
the sun rising over the sea, the town waking up to another busy day, the
emergency services being called out to an accident, the sounds of traffic, and
the sea and town preparing for another lively night’s entertainment. Most of all, listen to the music and decide whether your
experience of Brighton is similar as to what we make of it.
Now, click here to listen to score!