Pro Corda Recomposed

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It was a real pleasure to teach composition on the Senior Course at Pro Corda in August; all the students had a genuine love for chamber music and enjoyed every minute of their time in the beautiful surroundings of Leiston Abbey, Suffolk. I wanted to devise a composition project that would allow the students to build on the ensemble skills they would be exploring during their coaching sessions and ultimately prepare music that could be performed before the course was out. Max Richter’s ‘recomposing’ of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons inspired me to take a similar approach at Pro Corda; using only material from the students’ chamber music parts, I led composition workshops with small groups of students to develop new works that made use of material of their choosing. The finished result worked well. Familiar material was placed in new contexts, and all of them gained a fresh insight into the music they were learning in their other sessions. The final performance came in the middle of the performance of the other chamber music; the audience and students could hear ideas derived from the pre-existing works and everything became somewhat more familiar. An enjoyable experience for all. Some of the work can be heard on my Sound Cloud page here https://soundcloud.com/steven-berryman/sets/pro-corda-recomposed-august 

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