The three composers will take inspiration from a set of scores from the 1960s and 1970s called Music for Young Players, found in the British Music Collection housed in Heritage Quay’s state-of-the-art archive centre in Huddersfield, and use them as a starting point for musical exploration and composition in two local primary schools.
Published by Universal Edition and intended for classroom use, these scores aimed to encourage experimental approaches and connections to the new music of the time. These were designed to be accessible to both children with, or without, previous music experience – something that continues to be an important feature of much participatory music today.
The composers will work with children to create a realisation of these scores and make original, collaboratively composed companion pieces during the autumn of 2017 which will be performed this year at the Festival.
The schools that we will be working with for the project are:
- Fieldhead Primary Academy in Birstall
- Howard Park Community School in Cleckheaton
- John Curwen Cooperative Primary Academy in Heckmondwike
- Oak CoE Primary School in Crosland Moor
- Reinwood Juniors in Marsh/Lindley
- St Thomas CoE School in Bradley
Duncan Chapman, composer and workshop leader, who will be mentoring the composers through the project, was inspired by the collection of scores to form a basis for a creative project. He said
“These scores from the 1960’s and 70’s encapsulate an approach to creative music in school that places the creation of new music at the heart of education practice. They were made by some of the most interesting composers of the time and demonstrate a desire to make composition accessible, innovative and inspiring, things that we are in danger of losing today.”
Meet the composers
Julian Brooks is a composer, coder, sound artist and performer. Initially playing bass in bands and working as a teenage session musician, through exposure to electronic dance music and rave culture, he spent a decade in Manchester within the ‘underground’ music community: as a recording artist, sound engineer, remixer, producer, programmer and label manager for a successful independent recording label.
A growing interest and desire for involvement in contemporary music led to academia, where he organised MMU’s Experimental Music and New Music Ensembles as a Sonic Arts undergraduate. He recently completed a composition PhD at Huddersfield where he was the sole digital performer in edges ensemble and a founder member of the laptop ensemble HELOpg, writing text score works becoming more widely performed. A proponent of Free Libre Open Source Software praxis, with all his material freely available online, he recently founded the Pure Data Patching Circle in Hebden Bridge.
Eleanor Cully is an artist based in Huddersfield. She composes pieces for instruments and ensembles, installations in spaces and galleries and performs her own work as a soloist. She has recently released a limited edition tape with artist Sarah Boulton, titled Bathroom Showroom, on her label Nun of None Fruit, 1st June 2017.
Tom Lawrence is a composer, educator and percussionist based in Yorkshire where he works as a peripatetic music teacher for the Hull Music Service. He is particularly interested in music education and helping young people to engage with contemporary music. He has composed extensively for young musicians as well as teaching composition in both primary and secondary schools and leading collaborative composition projects. He has also co-ordinated composition events for the Hull Music Service including delivering training for primary teachers.
Tom’s music has been performed by groups such as the Rout ensemble and the Kreutzer Quartet, as well as youth ensembles such as Hounslow Youth Orchestra and the City of Hull Youth Orchestra. In 2017, he was commissioned by the Hull Music Hub to compose a piece for 650 young musicians to be performed at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the National Schools Proms.