AYO Blog

AYO National Music Camp 2012: Blog 7
By Naomi Johnson

A group of young musicians sit around a picnic table on a sunny day.
Some campers take advantage of the warm weather.
A double bassist and a composer stand on stage while workshopping a piece of music.
Composer Bec Smith and bass tutor Max McBride discuss her new work.
A young woman smiles at the camera while standing over a table covered in pieces of paper.
Natasha Conrau reviews plans for the Words About Music week two radio feature.
A group of young musicians pictured during an orchestral rehearsal.
Students and tutors get their fingers round the new works.
A man smiles at the camera while sitting on a chair, a tuba on the ground next to him.
Tutor Tim Buzbee waiting for the tuba solo to come along.

Day 10

There seemed to be some new students wandering round Camp today, or at least ones that we hadn’t seen in a while. It turned out they were the composers, who have been writing away in the computer labs for 12 hours a day over the past week and a half. And the reason for this sudden emergence? The works they have been frantically assembling had their first rehearsals, in preparation for performances on Friday. Tutor and mentor Iain Grandage once again took up his baton to conduct the four pieces, directing two ensembles comprising students and tutors.  

Rebecca Smith’s two movements titled Impulsion and Opiate, David Lang’s …and in the morning, Turbulance by Lisa Cheney and Jared Yapp’s Cyclic were each between five and ten minutes long, and written for large chamber ensemble. Special credit must be given to Rebecca, who also work-shopped her orchestral piece Soporifia with the Alexander Orchestra earlier in the morning!

And how do the composers feel now that the first rehearsal is over? ‘Stress and joy in equal measures’ according to Iain. ‘It is incredibly important to actually bring these pieces to life and hear what they sound like outside the realm of Sibelius [the computer program].’ Of course, there is still a lot more work to do, with everyone scampering back to the computer labs for revision and reworking in the evening. For now though, the composers are grateful to the musicians for all their work, especially for getting their fingers round the difficult technical aspects of the parts.