reflecting on the composers workshop
01 October 2015
Before attending the workshop I had never really experienced working with electrical instruments or working with musicians with a physical disability so I was very interested as to the outcome of the experience.
Having never used electrical instruments before or even having any knowledge of them I was really intrigued as to what they could do. After playing about with the Ableton Push, the Wave Motion and ThumbJam I immediately wanted to incorporate an electrical aspect into my writing as there is an incredible number of possibilities for musical creation that you can accomplish with electrical elements that is not possible with standard Western instruments. The ability to phase and loop tracks and also the electrical timbre of these assorted instruments can add a whole other realm to the classical sound world which I would have never wanted to explore without the ability to experiment in a safe creative environment such as this.
The most essential component of this workshop was the ability of working with a musician with a physical disability. To say that Jay is musical is an understatement, his understanding of musical phrasing is incredible and it prompts the question as to why people in the music sector do not provide more opportunities for disabled musicians to express their creativity and why the majority of composers restrict themselves by not writing for such ensembles. The workshop also highlighted the essential work of Drake Music and their continuing pursuit to enable disabled people to become musicians through the innovations of electrical instruments. The need for workshops like this and organisations like Drake Music is paramount in continuing and expanding the incredible musical world we live in to enable anybody to become a musician and to enable modern composers to embrace the unending possibilities of electrical instruments. I hope that this Sharing the Stage project does become an annual event and is allowed to grow into an amazing course to broaden the scope of classical music and inspire as many people as possible.