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Sound Out 2024 - Programme

Welcome to our Sound Out Schools Concert!  

Whether you are joining us at the Royal Festival Hall or online, we can't wait to share some new music with you! Our concert this year features pieces exploring the natural world, hear the melting glaciers in Matthew Burtner's Threnody, be spun around by Shruthi Rajasekar's exploration of magnetic moments and hear new pieces by young people who have taken part in our Composition Challenges and Sound Out Projects.  

Explore the programme below and if you haven't already taken on a Composition Challenge, why not try one with your class now? Anyone can be a composer! 

Dove Class score for Numbers and Patterns

Heathbrook Primary School arr. By Patrick Bailey

Numbers and Patterns 

Dove Class at Heathbrook Primary School wrote this piece last year during our Composition Challenge project. They started with a number line to create a melody (the tune) and Patrick used this number line to create rhythm and harmony (the accompaniment). The result is a quick, fun concert opener! 
We loved the piece so much, we decided to repeat it this year! 

Leo Geyer conducting

Leo Geyer (b. 1992)

White on Black

Leo is a composer, a bassoon player and a TV presenter! Leo has done something very clear and divided up our ensemble of six musicians into two groups of three. One of those groups plays music using only the 'white notes' (if you think of how a piano is laid out). The other group uses only 'black notes'. Leo also composes in a way he calls a 'spiral' which is where he introduces the melody by playing only the first note, then the first two notes, then the first three notes and so on - like each turn of a spiral revealing itself. 

Students from Walthamstow School using xylophones

Tiny composition challenge

In pairs, take one tuned percussion instrument each like a xylophone or glockenspiel. Agree to divide up the notes so that one person uses only 3 notes and the other person uses a different 3 notes i.e Person 1 could use A, C and F while person 2 uses D, E and G. 

See what sort of music you can compose - do you play separately? Or together? Or both??

Outi Tarkiainen - photo credit: Anu Jormalainen

Outi Tarkiainen (b. 1985)

Woodland Fanfare
UK Premiere

A fanfare is a short piece often used for important ceremonies. Outi Tarkiainen has written a short piece not for use in royal or state occasions but inspired by the countryside and in particular a peaceful glade in a forest - a place to rest and a place of tranquility. It is only for three of our instruments - the piano, the clarinet and the cello. 

peaceful forest glade

Tiny composition challenge

In groups, imagine you are in a peaceful glade in a forest. What sounds might you hear? Can you find instruments to imitate those sounds? Are the sounds slow or fast? Are they soft or loud? In what order do the sounds appear?

Capel Manor Primary School

Postcard Piece
World Premiere

Andy Akiho - photo credit: Da Ping Luo

Andy Akiho (b. 1979)

UK Premiere

Andy Akiho is American and Japanese and lives in New York. The music he composes is full of rhythmic energy and likes to explore unusual sounds. In his piece Hammers he uses a little toy piano, a glass (like the kind you would drink out of) and a violin played with a piece of wood or the wooden part of the violin player's bow. For this curious collection of noises, he composes little repeated patterns of notes that sparkle and dance.  

items that could be used for the composition. Cardboard box, drink bottle, elastic bands, pens, plastic cups and a biscuit tin

Tiny composition challenge

Can you find two objects that are not musical instruments but make interesting sounds? (don't use anything valuable or breakable!). Can you compose a short piece of dance music using those objects? 

Matthew Burtner on a glacier

Matthew Burtner (b. 1970)

Threnody (Sikuigvik)
UK Premiere

Matthew Burtner's piece, Threnody (Sikuigvik), uses the London Sinfonietta's instruments AND recorded sound - the recording is of the sound that ice makes inside a glacier when it is melting - you can hear it creaking and groaning. Matthew grew up in a small village in the arctic circle, near glaciers. The village is an Innuit village called Nuiqsut. In the springtime, the ice would melt a little - springtime was a time of joy. The Innuit word for ice melt is Sikuigvik - one of the words in the title of the piece. But now, the ice melts all year due to climate change and this sound now brings concern and a sense of loss. The sorrow of this loss gives the other word of the title - Threnody - which is a lament or a sad song. 

Melting Glacier

Tiny composition challenge

Make a short recording of your environment - it could be your playground, your park, your street. Play your recording and improvise sounds on instruments to go with it. Do you imitate the sounds you hear or do you make sounds that are quite different? 

Shruthi Rajasekar - photo credit: Reymash Photography

Shruthi Rajasekar (b. 1996)

Spin Excitations

Shruthi Rajasekar is an Indian-American singer and composer who is inspired by her dual background in Carnatic (South Indian Classical) and Western classical music traditions. Her music explores identity, community and joy. 

This piece was written as part of a special project that pairs composers with scientists. Shruthi spent time with Dr. Lucy Clark at the ISIS Neutron and Muon Laboratory where she studies the smallest, tiniest particles we can see (in a microscope) - molecules, atoms, protons and neutrons. 

The music is busy, explosive and teeming with energy - just like those tiny neutrons appear in the microscope. The music is trying to balance order and chaos - just like your teachers do in your classroom! 

Picture of an atom

Tiny composition challenge

Can you compose two different types of music - something very ordered like a simple, calm, series of notes or sounds and something quite chaotic and unordered. If the chaotic music was made by tiny little atoms - what dynamic (how loud) would your music be? 

Diiya, London Christian School

I Don't Freeze, Nor Do I Melt
World Premiere

Electra Perivolaris - photo credit: Hilara Bylaite

Electra Perivolaris (b. 1996) and young composers from Chace Community School (Enfield), Higham's Park School (Waltham Forest) and Duke's Aldridge Academy (Haringey)

Sound Out Suite 
World Premiere

Electra Perivolaris is a composer and pianist from Scotland. Her music explores her mixed British and Greek heritage and is often inspired by the natural world. 

In January 2024, Electra worked with young people from secondary schools in Enfield, Haringey and Waltham Forest to compose this brand-new piece for the concert today. The young people used haikus, graphic scores and a painting by Bridget Riley as starting points for their compositions, which Electra then arranged into three movements for the London Sinfonietta Musicians and Sound Out Young Ensemble to play. 

James B Wilson in front of orchestra. Photo credit: Evan Dawson Photography.

James B Wilson

Sweet Tooth
World Premiere

James B Wilson is based in Bedfordshire, England. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and enjoys writing music inspired by stories and ideas from other composers and art forms such as poetry and films. 

We asked James to write this piece specially for this concert - it features the Sound Out Young Ensemble, London Sinfonietta musicians and most importantly - YOU, the audience! It's all about different sweets and being on a sugar high, get your voices ready to sing with us! 

Emme, Grasmere Primary School

World Premiere

London Sinfonietta

The London Sinfonietta is one of the world's leading contemporary music ensembles. We perform music by living composers, commission new works and engage people of all ages in creating new music. 

The London Sinfonietta musicians performing in the Sound Out Schools Concert are: 
Daniel Shao  flute
Tim Lines  clarinet
Philippa Mo  violin
Tamaki Sugimoto  cello
Yshani Perinpanayagam  piano
David Hockings  percussion
Daniella Sicari  soprano 

Patrick Bailey  conductor and presenter

Composition Challenges invites young people, teachers and schools to create new music for the London Sinfonietta inspired by the works and musical ideas of living composers. Aimed at KS2/3 and free to take part.

The work of the London Sinfonietta is supported by Arts Council England and the John Ellerman Foundation. 
Sound Out 2024 is kindly supported by the Samuel Gardner Memorial Trust, 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust and the Thistle Trust. 
Composition Challenges is kindly supported by the Foyle Foundation.