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South Downs Songbook

Project Overview

Through contemporary songs and compositions, we're celebrating the South Downs as a place that inspires world leading music-making, writing, painting and photography




  • 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

  • working 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

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

  • online composer interviews and how tos (coming soon)

  • an expanding online songbook

Meet the Project Team

Interviews with our four professional composers will be uploaded in May 2022

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

Commission and Getting Started (coming soon)

to include: 

  • How to use this website

  • Stimuli materials (films, artwork, poems, sound samples)

  • Getting Started (to include: choosing your medium, selecting a stimuli etc.)

Developing your composition and getting unstuck! (coming soon)

Interviews by our composers arranged by topic: 

Choosing a specific stimulus for your piece

Getting started

How music technology is used

Particular music techniques and ideas

Developing your composition

Finishing a composition

Sign up here to reserve your pack. 

Downloadable Sound Samples for students to use in their compositions. 

Recorded live in the South Downs National Park. 

Sound Samples created and curated by film/games composer Peter Michael Davison. 

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

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