Go Compose! 2019

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! 2019 took place 13th-15th October at The Barn, Banchory. With the help from professional composers Ailie Robertson and Linda Buckley and musicians from Red Note Ensemble, 11 young composers created their own, original piece of music. The course finishes 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.

Go Compose! is a collaboration between sound, Red Note Ensemble and Sound and Music with support from Creative Scotland, Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeenshire Council, David and June Gordon Memorial Trust, Aberdeen Endowments Trust, The Robertson Trust, Michael Tippett Foundation, and the Hugh Fraser Foundation.

sound would also like to thank Banchory Academy Music Department for their continued support of Go Compose by allowing us the use their departmental keyboards.

Into The Wild - Emma Swanson

This piece looks into four main elements of our planet – atmosphere, woodlands, water and the mountains. It begins with the unknown and mysterious atmosphere before going into the known world for us.

An Eventful Stroll - Timothy Wang 

This piece follows an adventure in a fantasy world, starting off with a cheerful walk, full of optimism and hope, though soon there is concern and uncertainty within the parts as the adventurers begin to get lost. Lost in a mysterious place the adventurers try to find their way out, feeling alone and disheartened. Suddenly, they find a beast. The adventurers engage in battle, tension is high and the adventurers are afraid and desperate. They soon realise they must work together, filled with determination, the adventurers win their battle and find their way back to peace After a relieving journey, the adventurers celebrate their victory and are filled with hope and relief.

Glaciation - Josh Ian Marshall

This piece is based on the formation of a Glacier and its raw destructive power. The piece starts with a build-up of ice that then melts into the summer. But then, come the next winter it builds up into a glacier and the summer fails to melt it entirely. This causes the Glacier to tear through the land, irreversibly changing it. Then it finished on a changed summer landscape finishing on a positive note.

Music in The Forest - Katelyn Louise Share

I was inspired by the forests I walked through with my family, hear the birds singing, the sound of rivers and just the calm peaceful sound of Nature.

Air in the Ocean - Nadine Ralston

I was inspired by other composers like Scott Skinner. 

Breaking Tradition - Jenna Stewart

This piece was inspired by Scottish traditional music, and describes various landscapes around Scotland. However, in this piece, I decided to ‘break tradition’, so I decided to use a variety of unusual techniques to give it a modern twist. Yes, I did feel guilty approaching this style of music in a futuristic manner, but as a true Scotswoman once said: “I have decided to do what’s right and break tradition” – Merida from Brave.

The River’s Course - Caroline Waters

This piece was inspired by the River Dee which I grew up beside. The different sections of the piece represent the different stages of a river that flow together. Beginning high up at the source of the river in the mountains, there is a sense of magic before it tumbles down the waterfall to the strong and calm river that meanders across the Scottish countryside.

Consume Within 90 Minutes: An Interstellar Chicken Odyssey - Alexandre Gardie

Inspired by a true story of three astronauts who have completely ran out of rations and end up fighting over a Tesco’s rotisserie chicken in a bag. After one of the astronaut wins the chicken by ending his crewmates life’s he consumes the chicken 91 mins after buying resulting in interdimensional teleportation. This commentary on the human psyche explores guilt, wrath, greed and solitude.

The Wizard Lizard - Blythe Primrose

This piece is dedicated to Elliot Milne and the name comes from one of her nicknames, the wizard lizard. It is inspired by Scottish/Irish Traditional music and is in the style of a Strathspey. Because of this I decided to give the musicians the opportunity to use ornamentation freely to give it a more folky feel.

Dee - Erin Thomson

Taking inspiration from this beautiful picture of the River Dee. The piece explores the serene landscape and unique nature of one of Aberdeen’s most iconic rivers, as the warm tones in the sky reflect upon the water’s surface.

Laughter, Sorrow, Land and Sea - Ruaraidh Williams

From the poem ‘Between the Dee and the Don’ by Jackie Kay:
“I live between laughter and sorrow. I live between Land and Sea.”
“I was conceived between the Dee and the Don. I was born in the city of crag and stone.”

I found that my piece seemed inspired by Jackie Kay’s poetry. The piece travels to a joyful and contented space which slowly transforms to a wistful and sorrowful atmosphere until the initial spirit is regained as the piece traverses' expansive landscape and distance as if soaring across the sea.