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Through the Lens: Sound Out

On Wednesday 27 March, 2000 young people descended on the Royal Festival Hall at the Southbank Centre from schools across London for our annual school concert. They were taken on a whistle-stop tour of contemporary music, featuring compositions by their peers and had an absolute ball! 

Who's who?

Presenter and conductor Patrick Bailey guided our audience through an exploration of contemporary music and led six brilliant London Sinfonietta musicians, Daniel Shao (flute), Tim Lines (clarinet), Philippa Mo (violin), Tamaki Sugimoto (cello), Yshani Perinpanayagam (piano) and David Hockings (percussion). 

In the second portion of the concert Patrick and the musicians were joined on stage by soprano Daniella Sicari and our young ensemble made up of 30 young musicians from Haringey, Waltham Forest and Enfield. 

What did we play?

Our programme featured three world premieres from young composers, two fabulous commissions one by Electra Perivolaris who worked with young composers from Chace Community School (Enfield), Higham's Park School (Waltham Forest) and Duke's Aldridge Academy (Haringey) and the second by James B Wilson featuring the audience. The programme also feature three UK premieres and a beloved composition challenges from the 2023 Sound Out concert and countless mentions of cake and chocolate. 

View the full programme notes here

They loved singing and learning the song (Monster Cake). They also enjoyed learning about the composing process...the input from the children was really inspiring to my class. Teacher

World premieres from young composers

London Sinfonietta runs Composition Challenges in-school and online, encouraging and teaching young students to compose. Schools across the country submitted their own compositions for a chance for them to be performed by London Sinfonietta musicians, and we were proud to perform three of these compositions in our concert. 

Gloria's composition

First, we performed a piece by Gloria from Capel Manor Primary School who used a mix of colours, words and images to create her score.

Gloria said that she was inspired by "a range of unconnected dynamics from my imagination". She asked the musicians to take not of the words and the patterns on her graphic score when they were playing the piece. To the left is a picture of Gloria's score. 

Diyya's graphic score

The second world premiere by a young composer was from Diiya's from London Christian School. Her composition I Don't Freeze, Nor Do I Melt was created using colours and words to express the techniques and pitched she wished the musicians to play with. 

Diiya's piece also featured soprano Daniella Sicari who sang the words on Diiya's score. 
To the right is a picture of Diiya's score. 

Emme's graphic score

Our final world premiere was from Emme, who attends Grasmere Primary School in the Lake District. The inspiration for the piece came from the highs and lows that every person experiences every day of the year. 

Emme has written the word "pop" throughout her score, so musicians from the young ensemble had the opportunity to use balloons to create this effect while playing the score. 

Emme's score can be seen on the left. 

Three UK premieres

Outi Tarkiainen's Woodland Fanfare

Woodland Fanfare received its UK premiere in this concert. In this piece Outi used the bass notes of the piano and cello to establish rhythmic patterns that represented the large and sturdy trees that had grown in the woodlands near her home. 

Andy Akiho's Hammers

Hammers gave London Sinfonietta violinist Phillippa Mo to show off some unique ways to play and create music using her violin, while London Sinfonietta percussionist David Hockings was able to introduce the young students to a new kind of piano, a toy piano. 

Matthew Burtner's Threnody (Sikuigvik) 

The final UK premiere wasThrenody (Sikuigvik). This piece showed the students how pre-recorded sound and the live music could combine to create a powerful piece that combined the sounds of nature with the sounds of the instruments. 

Two new commissions

1 new piece by Electra Perivolaris inspired by young composers

The Sound Out Young Ensemble

Electra Perivolaris worked with young composers from Chace Community School (Enfield), Higham's Park School (Waltham Forest) and Duke's Aldridge Academy (Haringey) to create the Sound Out Suite. The young people used haikus, graphic scores and a painting by Bridget Riley as starting points for their composition, which Electra then arranged into three movements for the London Sinfonietta Musicians and Sound Out Young Ensemble to play. 

1 new audience participation piece by James B Wilson

We asked James to write a piece specifically for our Sound Out concert. It is all about the different sweets and being on a sugar high, it allowed all 2,000 audience members to create music and be involved in the concert. 

I really enjoyed it - it is such an exciting thing to see children involved in anything at all but when it is music and NEW music!! Amazing! Philippa Mo - London Sinfonietta violinist

Published: 2 Apr 2024