Irish Composition Summer School


Irish Composition Summer School 2012It’s been 2 weeks since I finished a week of composing and recording as part of the Irish Composition Summer School. In the mean time I’ve had some time to take stock of the course and wanted to give a summary of my experience. The goal of the course is to compose a piece of music during the duration and have it played and recorded by a professional musicians in the final two days. This gives you 8 days to write a piece of music that will be played by professionals, a pretty scary task. Before starting the course I’d done some composition for college assignments and a bit of song writing but nothing too major, this was to be my my first major leap into the world of composition.

I went to the course to work on an existing composition called Triple Point that I’d written for cello and solo electronics. I wanted to expand on this composition and adapt it for string quartet without electronics. I spent the week attending seminars, taking part in individual mentoring sessions and attending a composer discussion forum. Any time outside of this was spent furiously writing the music and formatting the score, so that it could be sight read. The whole week was exhausting but incredibly enjoyable and I learned a great deal from attending.

The final two days were given over entirely to rehearsing and recording. It was amazing to hear professional musicians play my music. It was sometimes difficult to draw back from the excitement of the performance to make sure that what was being played was what I had imagined, but I got there in the end. The string quartet were really great to work with and it was great for me when they asked for my input while they working through the piece. It was an incredible experience getting to work with such talented and open performers.

Irish Composition Summer School 2012

The whole week was an incredible experience, I had a composition played, got some great mentorship and gained a tremendous amount of confidence in my abilities as a composer. It was also a great chance to meet with some contemporary Irish composers and to meet with other student composers. A great aspect of the course was getting to meet with people at a similar stage to me and hear what they were doing in their music.

Thanks to John MacLachlan, Martin O’Leary, Nicola Lefanu, Helen Haughney, Ian Brabazon, Clarence Barlow, the Con Tempo string quartet and all of the other students on the course for a really memorable week.