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Well, what can I say? I have started writing a lot, and although some of the quality is questionable, it feels good to be in the process of writing.  So many questions get thrown up and then answered by circumstance.  I’m really enjoying digging into my jazz chord hall of fame.  Of course, I also know that the material I’m using goes past so quickly, that ultimately, I will have to sacrifice their richness for the sake of clarity.  Oh well. And so on to South African Print Making.  After the LSO’s concert for A Journey through Life, I have been thinking a lot about image and music.  The only other orchestral example I have seen was Adés’ Seven Days, which used a very different technique.  I have been around Southern African prints all my life, and they are deeply fascinating to me.  To what end, I don’t know, but I think that I have a way to investigate this relationship between image and sound.  William Kentridge and Ndavasla Muafangejo are the starting points for me with this.  Oops, just checked the time – five mintues…… Better stop.!

Experimenting with some jazz ideas.  The plan is to try to use them at three different strengths.  At the moment it is the extra mature variety: rich chords, moving fast, similar to what I would write for my jazz group.  It has been an interesting LSO week so far. Phillip Glass and Franz Lanting.  I have learned a lot by just going to the rehearsals and seeing where it takes my ear.  I have come out with impressions that I did not expect to have.  Up until this week, I never realised how much I liked the triangle.

Here’s the plan. 3 minute piece, so only 3 minutes to write each blog entry…… Firstly, the title of this blog was going to be ‘What would Frank Zappa say?’, but then I changed my mind. The theme is the same though: how do non-classical musicians/composers write for classical musicians? At the moment I’m listening to A Fiddler’s Tale Suite by Wynton Marsalis. Full with New Orleans rhythmic stye, it shows a very interesting solution. Marsalis writes for non-jazz musicians, and does not include himself (its always easier to import your style when you are there to do it). Useful for me? Can’t say: 3 mins is up…..

This year’s participants are:
Nancie Gynn
Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian
Christopher Mayo
Edward Nesbit
Dan Stern
Elizabeth Winters

The 2010 composers commenced their participation on the Panufnik Young Composers Scheme with a Reality Weekend in February. This included meeting James MacMillan (this year’s Guest Composition Director while Colin Matthews is on sabbatical) and Camilla Panufnik (Project Champion), as well as meeting LSO players to explore their instruments. The composers also had practical sessions on presentation and communication skills.

The composers are now in the process of writing their pieces and will be meeting in June to catch up on progress. They are attending LSO rehearsals and concerts as well as regular tutorials with James MacMillan.

The new pieces will be rehearsed in a public workshop on Friday 7 January 2011. In addition to the six composers writing a three-minute piece, Vlad Maistorovici, a participant on the 2009 scheme, is working on a 10 minute commission for the LSO which will be rehearsed and performed at an LSO concert at the Barbican.

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