Educational / Community

“WOW! What a great evening with Andy at the helm at Monday’s rehearsal. I think there was a fair degree of mild trepedation throughout the orchestra at the prospect of improvising (comfort zone? you’re kidding!!) but it couldn’t have gone better.”

“As a dance teacher, I was struck by how similar Andy’s method of working is to that of the great founder of modern European dance, Rudolf Laban, with the same structured improvisation, the same wonderful openness of the creative spirit that has no hang-ups about things going ‘wrong’, just that everything’s a learning experience, to be honed for the performance.”

(comments from the  2011 project with the Essex Symphony Orchestra)

Much of Andrew’s recent compositional work has included the running of workshops in order to facilitate on-the-spot creative input from performers. This has particularly been the case in educational and community-based music-making settings, where a creative dialogue between composer and performers can create unique and richly meaningful new music.

Some recent examples include:

‘The Planets Revisited’ – Abingdon School

This piece was the culmination of a project with the Abingdon School Lower School Orchestra, all members of which were between 11 and 13 years old.  The piece was created over a series of short workshops, during which a variety of textural ideas were explored.  The project finished with a performance of the piece before parents of the performers, and was received enthusiastically by all involved.

‘Marconi Echoes’ – The Essex Symphony Orchestra

This piece was written as part of the PRSF ‘Adopt-a-Composer’ scheme, and involved a great deal of collaboration with the Essex Symphony Orchestra.  The material was initially inspired by interviews with orchestra members, and was then workshopped with the performers alongside recorded fragments of those same interviews. Hear both the piece and Andrew’s Radio 3 interview about the project below.

The Rutlish School Band

This band was the first ensemble to be formed at the Rutlish School in Wimbledon, and became a regularly meeting semi-improvisational group which composed and performed whole suites of music each term.  From the first project,  incidental music for the school production of ‘The Lord of the Flies’, to a piece marking the centenary of the First World War, and via outright funk-reggae jam sessions, this band explored new musical horizons with every meeting.