As the final strand of our Share Sound project gets started in Suffolk, Senior Creative Producer, Stuart Bruce, discusses what makes this area unique and the progress so far, and Regional Producer - North Becky West shares what's coming next for the project...
Share Sound Suffolk
The final strand of our inaugural Share Sound project began in Suffolk towards the end of April. Involving the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE), it differs from the other Share Sound areas in that in Suffolk we are working entirely with young people with additional needs, at three schools in Ipswich. Another feature is the participants are working together in their school bubbles, instead of meeting as individuals on Zoom. This has presented the opportunity to work more collectively, with the young people making music and making decisions together, and with the professional team led by James Redwood and Joe Qiu contributing from their own bases.
Already we’ve seen how this kind of interaction has enabled musical material to be devised and rehearsed relatively quickly by each group, and during the workshops there have been some interesting discussions about trying different combinations of notes and chords, as well as what happens when the rehearsal of a musical section goes off the rails. The young people and their teachers were fascinated to hear the OAE musicians saying even professionals make mistakes, and that the personal enjoyment of making music whilst giving a special musical experience to an audience is what matters.
Musicians want the music they make to be perfect, but you need to be kind to yourself if things are not perfect, because often the best things are not perfect.
~ James Redwood, Share Sound Artistic Director
We are now a band, rather than individuals playing instruments.
~ Teacher, Stone Lodge Academy
The diversity of this Share Sound ensemble is reflected in the diversity of the artistic team, which includes a Blind musician (OAE Young Artist) who is an excellent role model for the young participants.
The main piece being created has the title "Calling Out To You" and uses a ground bass by Handel as the foundation for a rondo form piece in which sections of devised material and a signed song will sit. A live performance is being planned, to be hosted by one of the schools in July, with a recording of the new piece also programmed in the virtual finale.
The Virtual Finale
The creative phase of work across our Share Sound project is coming to a conclusion and participants have created a range of new music, arranged and orchestrated by the Artistic Director and Associate Music Leader team. As they move onto rehearsing and recording their individual performance contributions for their productions, our Digital Producer, Will Roberts, has been working with each participant group to develop a visual concept for their production and support the young people in developing their skills in recording using the technology they have at home.
One benefit of working online is that we could bring young people from across Share Sound areas together with James and Will to discuss producing the virtual finale. They discussed social media and platforms they used, digital content they had particularly liked, and the type of content they would like to see alongside their performances. We’re excited to see how the curation of the creative material comes together and look forward to celebrating the participants’ work in this most challenging of years at the Virtual Finale on 7 July. Look out for your invitation to join us, coming soon!