Journeys - ACT III

Adopt a Composer 2015, Alison Willis

On Sunday 31st January I visited CYCO (Chiltern Youth Chamber Orchestra) for the first read through of Journeys. 

​ACT III, the third movement of the new piece we are creating about the Refugee Crisis through Making Music's "Adopt a Composer" scheme. We were also delighted to have our mentor, Colin Riley, with us for the afternoon.

The overall shape of the piece, based on feedback from the players is three movements, or Acts. Act I is based on the idea of leaving, Act III arrival....equal parts hope and despair. The whole piece is very much inspired by Warsan Shire's poem "Home", shared by a CYCO member as part of Benedict Cumberbatch's speech given at the end of each performance of "Hamlet" to raise awareness of and money for victims of the Refugee Crisis.

This rehearsal was a chance for the orchestra to read through the score and then give me feedback as the composer. I was also very keen to gather ideas for what musical content should be in ACT II. The overwhelming feeling is that it should represent the actual journey by sea and this makes perfect sense.

After the initial read through of ACT III we workshopped some ideas, particularly to do with balancing the solo lines against the tutti by using mutes and some interesting work with glissando harmonics.

So we now have final versions of ACT I and ACT III and a very clear brief for ACT II....coming soon!

Thanks to CYCO, David Murphy for conducting, Katie, Rachael and Ben for directing the sections and Alison and Nicky for all their help.