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South Downs Songbook

Project Overview

By commissioning contemporary songs and compositions we are celebrating the South Downs as a place that inspires world leading writing, painting and photography

 

What we did: 

 

  • live tour of newly commissioned songs and compositions by leading UK composers and student composers 20-30 June 2022 

  • live composition workshops and performances Feb-June 2022

  • FREE digital resources pack including downloadable sound samples, photos, poems, paintings & prints, all inspired by the South Downs

ORDER FREE DIGITAL RESOURCES PACK HERE

Site photographs copyright Sam Moore

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Navigating this website

Whether you are a composer, teacher, student or just interested in music, we think you will find the resources and information here interesting. You will probably start by listening to the pieces but there are a number of ways to work through the website, depending on your role and interest:

 

Teachers, students composing in school/college and individuals composing at home - download the resource pack as this includes teacher notes, a composer brief, a PowerPoint covering various parts of the process and ‘how to’ guides on choosing your stimuli and getting started composing, structuring and developing your ideas, and a considerable number of samples that you may use in your Digital Audio Workstation (there’s also a guide to using samples). If there is one composition you like more than the rest, watch the interview with that composer first but all the composers talk about how they got started, overcame problems etc. and there are also transcriptions and summaries of the interviews. The composition brief is flexible enough to work as a composing component for the main exam boards and music qualifications but might also be adapted for use with younger students in class.

 

Listeners – Why not start by listening to one of the four compositions and then watch the full interview with its composer. You might then explore some of the South Downs inspired photos, artwork and poetry and listen to the samples recorded on location on the Downs in the free digital resource pack

How we did it: 

Meet the Project Team

 

 
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Composer interviews

 

Duncan Mackrill interviewed the four professional composers

commissioned by the South Downs Songbook. 

He asked them all the same questions: 

  1. Composer backgrounds, influences and setting the scene for their piece

  2. Getting started and choosing a stimulus

  3. Particular music techniques and ideas (including how technology is used)

  4. Structure in the compositions

  5. a) Developing b) Finishing c) Getting unstuck! 

Watch the videos below or use these links to watch in Youtube with live hyperlinks to each topic: 

Evelyn FicarraEd HughesRowland SutherlandShirley J Thompson 

 
Ed Hughes - South Downs Songbook - Composer Interview
37:11
Ed Hughes

Ed Hughes - South Downs Songbook - Composer Interview

00:00 Ed Hughes composer interview for South Downs Songbook 00:30 Composer background, influences and setting the scene for 'Sky Rhythms' 12:17 Getting started and choosing a stimulus 24:30 Particular music techniques and ideas (including how technology is used) 17:02 Structure in compositions 19:45 Developing the composition 32:33 Finishing the composition 13:14 Getting 'unstuck' Part of resources created by the Orchestra of Sound and Light's South Downs Songbook project Further information: https://www.orchsoundlight.org/southdownssongbook By commissioning contemporary songs and compositions Orchestra of Sound and Light are celebrating the South Downs as a place that inspires world leading writing, painting and photography What we did: live tour of newly commissioned songs and compositions by leading UK composers and student composers 20-30 June 2022 live composition workshops and performances Feb-June 2022 FREE digital resources pack including downloadable sound samples, photos, poems, paintings & prints, all inspired by the South Downs workshops in schools and colleges across East Sussex and Brighton & Hove four new five-minute songs for the Orchestra of Sound and Light by four established UK composers inspired by the South Downs: Evelyn Ficarra, Ed Hughes, Rowland Sutherland, Shirley J Thompson online composer interviews and how tos (coming soon) live performances of new works by GCSE and A level music students an expanding online songbook Site photographs by Sam Moore http://sussexdronefilming.co.uk/ Project producer: Liz Webb for Liz Webb Management https://www.lizwebb.org.uk/ Education consultant: Duncan Mackrill Our Partners and Funders Project funding from Arts Council England Partner Schools and Colleges: BHASVIC, Brighton East Sussex Academy of Music, Lewes Hastings Academy, Hastings Partner Organisations: South Downs National Park Authority
Evelyn Ficarra - South Downs Songbook - Composer Interview
46:13
Ed Hughes

Evelyn Ficarra - South Downs Songbook - Composer Interview

00:00 Evelyn Ficarra South Downs Songbook Composer Interview 00:19 Composer backgrounds, influences and setting the scene for their piece 11:55 Getting started and choosing a stimulus 18:31 Getting started and choosing a stimulus 23:39 Particular music techniques and ideas (including how technology is used) 16:22 Structure in the compositions 37:26 Developing 33:48 finishing the composition 15:09 getting ‘unstuck’ Part of resources created by the Orchestra of Sound and Light's South Downs Songbook project Further information: https://www.orchsoundlight.org/southdownssongbook By commissioning contemporary songs and compositions Orchestra of Sound and Light are celebrating the South Downs as a place that inspires world leading writing, painting and photography What we did: live tour of newly commissioned songs and compositions by leading UK composers and student composers 20-30 June 2022 live composition workshops and performances Feb-June 2022 FREE digital resources pack including downloadable sound samples, photos, poems, paintings & prints, all inspired by the South Downs ORDER FREE DIGITAL RESOURCES PACK HERE workshops in schools and colleges across East Sussex and Brighton & Hove four new five-minute songs for the Orchestra of Sound and Light by four established UK composers inspired by the South Downs: Evelyn Ficarra, Ed Hughes, Rowland Sutherland, Shirley J Thompson online composer interviews and how tos (coming soon) live performances of new works by GCSE and A level music students an expanding online songbook Site photographs by Sam Moore http://sussexdronefilming.co.uk/ Project producer: Liz Webb for Liz Webb Management https://www.lizwebb.org.uk/ Education consultant: Duncan Mackrill Our Partners and Funders: Project funding from Arts Council England Partner Schools and Colleges: BHASVIC, Brighton East Sussex Academy of Music, Lewes Hastings Academy, Hastings Partner Organisations: South Downs National Park Authority
Rowland Sutherland - South Downs Songbook - Composer Interview
46:33
Ed Hughes

Rowland Sutherland - South Downs Songbook - Composer Interview

00:00 Rowland Sutherland South Downs Songbook Composer Interview 00:13 Composer backgrounds, influences and setting the scene for their piece 11:58 Getting started and choosing a stimulus 20:33 Particular music techniques and ideas (including how technology is used) 16:26 Structure in the compositions 30:07 Developing 35:29 finishing the composition 38:35 getting ‘unstuck’ Part of resources created by the Orchestra of Sound and Light's South Downs Songbook project Further information: https://www.orchsoundlight.org/southdownssongbook By commissioning contemporary songs and compositions Orchestra of Sound and Light are celebrating the South Downs as a place that inspires world leading writing, painting and photography What we did: live tour of newly commissioned songs and compositions by leading UK composers and student composers 20-30 June 2022 live composition workshops and performances Feb-June 2022 FREE digital resources pack including downloadable sound samples, photos, poems, paintings & prints, all inspired by the South Downs workshops in schools and colleges across East Sussex and Brighton & Hove four new five-minute songs for the Orchestra of Sound and Light by four established UK composers inspired by the South Downs: Evelyn Ficarra, Ed Hughes, Rowland Sutherland, Shirley J Thompson online composer interviews and how tos (coming soon) live performances of new works by GCSE and A level music students an expanding online songbook Site photographs by Sam Moore http://sussexdronefilming.co.uk/ Project producer: Liz Webb for Liz Webb Management https://www.lizwebb.org.uk/ Education consultant: Duncan Mackrill Our Partners and Funders Project funding from Arts Council England Partner Schools and Colleges: BHASVIC, Brighton East Sussex Academy of Music, Lewes Hastings Academy, Hastings Partner Organisations: South Downs National Park Authority
Shirley Thompson OBE - South Downs Songbook - Composer Interview
34:33
Ed Hughes

Shirley Thompson OBE - South Downs Songbook - Composer Interview

00:00 Shirley Thompson South Downs Songbook Composer Interview 00:19 Composer backgrounds, influences and setting the scene for their piece 03:37 Getting started and choosing a stimulus 16:25 Particular music techniques and ideas (including how technology is used) 14:06 Structure in the compositions 26:05 Developing 31:04 finishing the composition 07:23 getting ‘unstuck’ Part of resources created by the Orchestra of Sound and Light's South Downs Songbook project Further information: https://www.orchsoundlight.org/southdownssongbook By commissioning contemporary songs and compositions Orchestra of Sound and Light are celebrating the South Downs as a place that inspires world leading writing, painting and photography What we did: live tour of newly commissioned songs and compositions by leading UK composers and student composers 20-30 June 2022 live composition workshops and performances Feb-June 2022 FREE digital resources pack including downloadable sound samples, photos, poems, paintings & prints, all inspired by the South Downs workshops in schools and colleges across East Sussex and Brighton & Hove four new five-minute songs for the Orchestra of Sound and Light by four established UK composers inspired by the South Downs: Evelyn Ficarra, Ed Hughes, Rowland Sutherland, Shirley J Thompson online composer interviews and how tos (coming soon) live performances of new works by GCSE and A level music students an expanding online songbook Site photographs by Sam Moore http://sussexdronefilming.co.uk/ Project producer: Liz Webb for Liz Webb Management https://www.lizwebb.org.uk/ Education consultant: Duncan Mackrill Our Partners and Funders Project funding from Arts Council England Partner Schools and Colleges: BHASVIC, Brighton East Sussex Academy of Music, Lewes Hastings Academy, Hastings Partner Organisations: South Downs National Park Authority
 

Meet the Musicians and their instruments: 
5-minute how-to guides