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Royal College of Music: Turangalila

posted 17 Jun 2013, 01:09 by Web Admin
Submitted by admin.rpa on Fri, 06/07/2013 - 10:39

On Tuesday 14 May 2013 a group of musicians from the Royal College of Music came in to work with some students from Year 7 and 8 who play instruments. From the Royal College of Music we had Rachel who was the director of the piece and who helped us to develop ideas associated with Oliver Messian’s pieceTurangalila, to make our own interpretation of his work. Accompanying Rachel, the rest of the team included Steph on the clarinet, Sarah on cello, Gareth on bass trombone and Ruardih on percussion. The part of the piece that we were composing was based on his theme of joy.

The movement was split into two sections. The way that we composed Joy 1 was through splitting up into designated groups led by one member of the Royal College of Music team. In groups we thought about short phrases relating our favourite things and hobbies which then created their own rhythms. Examples of these are: I like baking and listening to musicwriting stories, dancing, cake, I go swimming in the local pool and my friends are really cool. We then put them into order and put them to a melody. We really enjoyed this workshop. It was a new way of thinking about how to make a melody and for some of us we had never really composed before until now. It was inspiring to meet the professional musicians too.


On Thursday 23 May we headed in the morning to The Royal College of Music in South Kensington. We then met the other school, West London Free School, and began to combine our pieces. They had created a section all about the emotion love to complement our joy. Together Rachel led us in creating a third movement called Statue that involved all instrumentalists and started and concluded the piece. After much deliberation, the structure was decided upon. It was a palindrome which Oliver Messian was particularly fond of. The final structure was Statue, Joy 1, Love, Joy 2, Statue.

Royal Festival Hall

We then took the tube across London, walked over the Millennium Bridge and arrived at The Royal Festival Hall. We were then shown to our professional dressing room. It made us feel like celebrities. There were lights around the mirrors, a shower and lockers with water and towels. The room was pretty big. We then rehearsed on the main stage at the Royal Festival Hall on our own without any audience. It was huge and could have been intimidating. It can fit 2000 people! We were nervous when we found out that the director of the Royal College of Music was coming to watch us.

Six o'clock arrived - it was time to perform. We were called for and lined up, entering from stage right. At first it was hard to get used to the bright light and it was seeing our parents in the audience. The performance went well and the audience wanted an encore. We gave them what they wanted.

Royal Festival Hall

After the performance we had free tickets to the Royal college of Music Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Turangalila. There were strong and powerful sections that we recognised from our own piece. There were some very rare instruments and the orchestra had 110 instrumentalists. The performers were very enthusiastic and involved. We had a great time.

By Zara, Charli, Eve and Mary


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