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Emerging Composers

Earlier this week, I finally managed to get the ball rolling on my composition for the Emerging Composers project which is happening in conjunction with the National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland and The National Piping Centre. I’ve little experience of composing, and nothing I’ve ever written has been to this scale. So, when I applied thinking, “hey, I could probably do that?”, I didn’t think I’d be picked…but here I am.

For some context and background, this is a new project which aims to get musicians and creatives writing music for pipe bands, who wouldn’t normally do so, with aim towards women and minority groups. I’m one of 5 musicians, all from various backgrounds and genres, who were picked to take part. This is very, very exciting, and very nerve-wracking. However, with a support network of talented mentors and peers behind us, I’m sure the result will be brilliant.

We had a kick-starter weekend at the end of August where we got to meet each other and the mentors, listen to some stories and begin to wrap our heads around writing music and scores for a pipe band. I’m one of these people that needs to be hyper-organised and have a timescale for everything, so when the stories and video clips were distributed to us at the start of October (these were what we were tasked with taking inspiration from, each musician picking one story to base their piece off of), I dived right in to picking which one I wanted to do – more on that at a later stage.

Then came the tricky part – starting to compose music! I quickly discovered which method I didn’t like to use which was sitting in my bedroom in my flat, surrounded by too many distractions and other people to speak to. This was bad, however, I still managed to write one tune in these circumstances. I arranged to have some time in an external space, and I trundled out to the Otago Street branch of The National Piping Centre earlier this week where I spent an hour and a half in a room with no distractions and managed to write 3 and a half minutes of music which I was reasonably happy with.

So this is a brief brain-dump of where I’m up to so far, and I will continue to blog my progress and any thoughts along the way, but I’m feeling very excited and can’t wait to see/hear what happens next!

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