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Oliver Searle: Go Compose! 2015

Go Compose finished with a fantastic performance from the players of Red Note, with 11 new pieces being aired for the first time. Each of the composers introduced their own works, as well as producing a short programme note about the pieces, explaining how they had got to the point of completion over the last few days.

On the first day, we spent some time talking about making sound with the ensemble of flute, trumpet and 'cello, with some useful demonstrations from the players and a discussion about how to notate a range of techniques; this was completed with a short, 10-minute Composing Challenge (for which Red Note are famous at their Noisy Nights events), where the composers could use any method of notating musical ideas as a starting point for their compositions.

Later that day, members of the Aberdeen Astronomical Society gave an informative introduction to stargazing, with many facts about the vastness of our solar system, with a view to encouraging the young composers to think about extra-musical stimuli as they were writing. The following morning, Shiori and I continued with an interesting discussion about starting points for composers, which culminated in
everyone listening to a piece entitled 'Stargazing', by Nigel Osborne, followed by us posing a number of questions for future consideration.

There was an inevitable rush to complete the new works before rehearsals began in earnest on Tuesday afternoon (giving the players an extremely good workout!), with any issues of notation and interpretation ironed out in discussions and repeated listenings.

It was wonderful to be involved in Go Compose this year, and I am sure that this crop of new composers will continue to develop their skills and talents into the future.

Oliver Searle

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