Through Cumbrian Hills

I applied for this project at the end of my first year at the Conservatoire. I was contacted over the summer break asking if I was willing to compose a piece for the Orchestra of the Swan’s concert in October. The Orchestra of the Swan are the Conservatoire’s orchestra in residence for 2019/2020 and include student pieces in their public concerts.

The main source of inspiration for this project came from a recent holiday to Cumbria. I spent this holiday driving through beautiful countryside and hills and going on walks around the local area. Nature has always been a strong influence on my music writing and during this holiday I became very eager to capture the beauty of the landscapes in this piece.

I started by listening to traditional folk themes from the area that we stayed in. This gave me the inspiration to write the solo horn line that is the main feature of the piece. I created a simple melody that drove the main structure of the piece. I used a variation of it in the different parts throughout the piece, yet the main focus remained the first entry of the horns.

Once this initial theme was established I was able to create the rest of the piece to replicate the journeys that I went on through the countryside. I decided to have the strings playing a repeated falling motif as a key part of the accompaniment, which is then given to the woodwind after the climax of the piece. I wanted this motif to represent rolling hills and to reflect the movement of the piece.

I had to prepare the score and parts for the orchestra and post a bound copy of the full score to the conductor, Rebecca Miller, by the end of August.

On the day of the concert I was interviewed by the marketing manager from Orchestra of the Swan. The BCU Media Production team recorded and videoed the concert and also interviewed my friends and family.

I also participated in a pre-concert talk hosted by Christopher Morley. I was interviewed on stage about the piece and my musical influences.

After the concert a very positive review was published by Christopher Morley. Click here to read it …

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