News and Reviews
News: Viva Composer Hits the Streets
6 Oct 2010
Sinfonia Viva's resident composer Anna Meredith will be hitting the streets of Derby throughout the night on Wednesday (October 6) to gain inspiration for a pioneering new piece of music due to be performed next year.
Anna Meredith is working with the Derby-based Orchestra as part of the Composer in the House programme run by the Royal Philharmonic Society and the PRS For Music Foundation which aims to re-establish composers at the heart of orchestral life. Her latest project with Viva, supported by the Britten Pears Foundation, is to compose a new piece which will premiere as part of the International Concert Season at the Assembly Rooms in February 2011. This concert will also be part of the Association of British Orchestras' national conference, which the Orchestra is hosting.
The concept behind the new piece is a 'Night Journey around Derby' and Anna, along with her sister, animator Eleanor Meredith, will be exploring the city between 6pm and 6am on Wednesday night and the early hours of Thursday morning to record the sights and sounds of the city. She will use this to compose an electronic backing for the new piece of music which will be performed alongside Sinfonia Viva – illustrated by animation created by Eleanor from her experiences after dark in the city centre.
The recordings will also be used as inspiration by more than 100 young people from Walter Evans Primary School and Woodlands Community School in Allestree as well as music students from Derby College who will compose their own music in a series of workshops in the New Year.
They will then perform their work alongside professional musicians from Viva at a public concert in the Assembly Rooms in March which will be the climax of the Orchestra's annual spring education residency, supported by Rolls-Royce plc, Derby City Council and Derby City Partnership's 'Be Inspiring' fund.
Anna Meredith is a composer of acoustic and electronic music as well as a performer, curator and animateur. As a concert composer she has also written for Ensemble Modern, the London Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonietta, BBC Philharmonic and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. She was Resident Composer of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra from 2004-2007. She came to public attention in 2008 when her piece Froms was televised as part of the Last Night of the Proms, and was commissioned again for the 2009 Proms. She has also been involved in BBC2s Classical Goldie, when she coached Musician/DJ Goldie in composition, harmony and orchestration for a piece he wrote for the Proms.
Anna has been working closely with Sinfonia Viva's artistic team, including Principal Conductor André de Ridder, to gain an insight into the processes and decision-making behind music programming and to develop imaginative ways to engage audiences of all ages in the enjoyment of new music and the creative process.
She said: "I am really looking forward to seeing what happens in Derby city centre once the shops are shut and darkness falls. Eleanor and I will start off at the train station and then, basically, walk the streets making audio and visual recordings of what we see and hear. We are keeping everything crossed that it won't be too wet and cold but this is definitely a new experience for me and we are particularly looking for the 'unusual' – whatever that may be!"
Viva Education Manager Marianne Barraclough added: "Anna is a highly creative and talented composer and we are particularly delighted that her flagship project with Viva is so rooted in the city. I am sure that this theme of a night journey around Derby will fire the young people's imaginations to compose some really unique and ground-breaking music. And it will be the catalyst for an outstanding performance that will shed new light on Derby and create something that local people can really identify with as they experience a totally unique piece of music at the public performances next February and March."
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