Adopt a Music Creator blog: A real collaboration

Edgar Divver reflects on his work with the Bedfordshire Woodwind Academy Flute Ensemble for Adopt a Music Creator 2022.

Looking back on the project now, post-premiere and after I've had some time to process everything, I honestly can’t believe how much the group and I achieved with this piece. The expectations I had at the beginning were entirely blown out of the water, and I could never have imagined what a fantastic collaboration it would turn into, or what a fantastic group I would be paired with. 

Brushstrokes is far more than a piece that I wrote and the group performed - it was a real collaboration, and the premiere in November at the Milton Keynes Gallery was a fantastic culmination of that. At the beginning of the project a year ago, myself and the group discussed what we wanted to get out of it, and all of us were passionate about creating a family-friendly and accessible piece that would show off the range and diversity of the instruments, with the aim of hopefully inspiring kids to pick one up.

'One of the things I’m most proud of is that we achieved exactly what we set out to do with the premiere.'

One of the things I’m most proud of is that we achieved exactly what we set out to do with the premiere. Members of the group had gone into local schools with an artist from the gallery to create art based on the piece, and these were displayed in the premiere room for the audience to see. Many local families came along and we had a really strong turnout. To make it more accessible, I spoke about the piece before the performance, with the ensemble playing small excerpts to illustrate my points. All these factors, as well as the enthusiasm of the group to showcase their instruments to children after the concert, made it a resounding success.

The hard part is accepting that this project is over. That is made slightly easier by knowing that the group are committed to further performances, and hopefully the more this piece gets played, the more people will be made aware of all the different instruments. My overriding feeling now, having had time to reflect, is of a real belief in the power of collaboration - everything works better together!

Check out the Bedfordshire Woodwind Academy Flute Ensemble's website and follow them on Facebook / Twitter

Check out Edgar Divver's website and follow him on Twitter / Soundcloud

The Adopt a Music Creator project matches vocal and instrumental leisure-time music groups with some of the UK’s most promising music creators to collaborate on creating a new piece of music. The project leads to a premiere performance and possible broadcast. If you’re a music group or music creator and you’d like to take part, find out more.