Go Compose! is a 3-day composition course for young composers and creative musicians aged 14-19 and in full time education. It’s a unique opportunity to work with professional composers and musicians.
Go Compose! 2018 took place 14th-16th October at The Barn, Banchory. With the help from professional composers Edwin Hillier and Laura Bowler and musicians from Red Note Ensemble, 10 young composers created their own, original piece of music. The course finishes finished with a fantastic performance from the players of Red Note, with 10 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.
Go Compose! is a collaboration between sound, Red Note Ensemble and Sound and Music with support from Creative Scotland, The Robertson Trust, The Gannochy Trust, Aberdeen Endowments Trust, Radcliff Charitable Trust, Woodend Barn and soundbytes investors Margaret Carlaw and Derek Ogston.
Theme and Variations with the Shipping Forecast - Kit McCarthy
This piece is inspired by the BBC shipping forecast, although the finished music is unlike what I imagined at the start. I planned to write something avant-garde, minimalist and ominous, and ended up with a piece suggesting a Scottish traditional style with a walking bass and a section in 15/8.
Red Squirrel - Graham Salway
My piece is called Red Squirrel, I got the idea for the title simply from a painting on the wall which I realised actually represents my piece quite well. With a more broken jumpy section at the beginning of the piece moving towards a more flowing section much like a Red Squirrel moving through the tree canopy. In one part of the piece I changed the time signature from 4/4 to an uneasy 7/8 and then straight back to 4/4 which puts the stress on the second beat of the bar. This creates an uneasy feeling and tension.
Stormy Season - Eleanor Gould
I based my music on a walk through the countryside. It starts off spooky, peaceful and quite calm. The second section takes off and completely contrasts with the rest of the music when they are met with a 'storm'. This depicts the struggle of the walker. The third section then continues on and shows the victory of getting through the storm and safely returning to normality. The opening music is centred around 5 pitches for the melody which are then expanded at the arrival of the storm.
1812 Overjazz - Alistair Grandison
My piece is called 1812 Overjazz I enjoy improvising jazz piano and I feel like this piece evokes this characteristic of mine. I used the cello as the base line and picked out chords that would synergise with the main melodies. I predominantly based the harmonies on the chord on G major, because G resonates very well on the cello. I picked this title because I accidentally took a direct reference from Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture, you will hear this in the viola part!
Sometimes Seven - Johanna Christiane Woitke
In this piece, I wanted to experiment with converting a melody from a 4/4 time signatures to a jazzy time signatures like 7/8. This has been extremely fun and slightly alarming, involving cutting a full quaver of melody out of every bar- an interesting process opening entirely new perspectives to the existing music.
White Noise - Amy Stewart
This piece depicts the charismatic ‘white noise’ sound from an untuned radio, and the journey from this sound to a fully tuned radio. The audience hear and see this in three dimensions. At the beginning unusual playing techniques on all the instruments are used to create the texture of the ‘white noise’ and throughout the piece, snapshots of melody can be heard, foreshadowing where the players arrive together at the end when the radio has been tuned.
Bleep - Ruaraidh Williams
Bleep - Bleep - Bleep
A decisive breath?
Lairig Ghru - Sam Martin
In this piece the three instruments experiment with a constant theme, which runs throughout. The melody is fast-paced and lively, inspired by Scottish folk and the Cairngorms landscape. The accompaniment is more modern and often off the beat, creating an interesting and unsettling effect.
Manipulate - Jenna Stewart
This piece is called Manipulate. In this piece, one of the instruments, with an intense presence is carefully and discreetly manipulating the other instruments techniques and tunes. The manipulator becomes more clear towards the end of the piece. Can you tell which instrument it is?
Taking the Lead - Chris Christopher Burr
This piece is inspired by video games - Street Fighter and others - in which two people fight each other in their own styles. Taking inspiration from the music which accompanies these games, my composition sees the trio of Flute, Viola and Cello engage in combat, each feeling they should be the lead player.