Hello Music Patron(!) & May 2024 Recap

Welcome to my first monthly recap on the platform.

Two Mondays ago, I had the joy of attending the Music Patron launch in London. It was fantastic to meet so many fellow composers on the platform and to connect with passionate music lovers from across the industry. Such an inspiring Monday night!

For my first monthly recap, I want to give you a sneak peek into what you can expect from me as a Patron.

May has been a whirlwind –

  1. Preparing for my next performance

First up, I’ve finished revising the score for The Wind Cries Over the State of Her House which will be performed by Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble on 1st June at the Ulster Museum in Belfast.

The first page of the score for 'The wind cries over the state of her house'.

This piece is an abstract depiction of the wind’s grief over the state our planet. The sound world is inspired by the distinctly haunting, whistling sound of air passing through the metal ventilation structures on high-rise buildings, that I heard on a stormy night in Gdansk, Poland.

Composing this piece has been an interesting journey, as I created most of the initial material in 2022, giving me a lot of space to reflect. The biggest change has been restructuring the material into seven miniature movements, each with a distinct character. This will be my third piece with Hard Rain, and I’m really looking forward to hearing it come to life in rehearsals at the end of this month.

  1. Presenting at a Conference

Next up, I returned to Manchester to present at the Royal Northern College of Music’s Postgraduate Research Conference. I’m a PhD candidate there, with research focused on composing new music for dance that navigates themes of violence.

The two-day event was brilliant. Highlights from my peers included composer Cassie Layton’s presentation on Digital Decolonialism Within Ludomusicology; researcher-performer Rosie Middleton’s reflections on the collaborative opera ”PLASTIC BODIES,” conceived in response to classical singers’ accounts of abuse and discrimination; and composer-performer Cee Haines’s insights on music for instruments versus music for instrumentalists.

Amelia presenting at the RNCM PGR conference. She is wearing a bright blue dress and is gesturing to a large screen which shows an image of a ballet dancer.

I presented on the evolution of my two-act ballet White Doves (2023, Six Dance Collective, The MAC), sharing the creative process and delving into collaborative methods with the choreographer and other artists. While I find speaking about my work a vulnerable experience, I really enjoyed the Q&A session, taking questions for over 30 mins on topics from the differences between composing for dance versus writing for the concert hall to the nitty-gritty of the rehearsal and performance process. I can talk for days on the composer’s role in modern dance and we had quite the discussion!

  1. New Orchestral Writing

Following the conference, I jumped back into composing, as I am currently working on a new piece titled I Float Between for the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland. I have a workshop in Dublin with the principal players next week as part of the Contemporary Music Centre’s Composer Lab in association with RTÉ Lyric FM.

Workshops are often my favourite part of my process, as they provide a really special space to explore the tiniest details of my ideas with the players. I’ve prepared several mini sketches for this, and I am really looking forward to hearing the beginnings of the new piece come to life as we prepare for the premiere at the National Concert Hall in January 2025.


What to Expect from Me in the Coming Months

There’s rather a lot happening over the coming months – nothing new there!

I will be finishing my score for I Float Between by December, and I’ll be sharing lots of my sketches and the evolution of the work here in my posts. Additionally, I’m writing a second dance piece for Six Dance Collective for 2025, whilst continuing my research at the RNCM.

I’m really happy to have this little corner of the internet to share what I’m up to. If you’ve got this far and are not yet a patron, I’d love to hear from you and hope that you might consider joining me at this early stage of my journey.

Amelia xx

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