Kaleidoscope – The Cumnock Tryst / Scottish Ensemble / Colin Currie / Drake Music Scotland

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Kaleidoscope concert at Cumnock Academy as part of the Cumnock Tryst 2017. With Sir James MacMillan, Matilda Brown, Colin Currie, Scottish Ensemble, Drake Music Scotland and participants from Barshare Primary, Greenmill Primary, Auchinleck Academy, Hillside School and Riverside Centre. Photo credit which must be used: Robin Mitchell.

Describe the project.

A collaborative project between The Cumnock Tryst, Drake Music Scotland, Scottish Ensemble and Colin Currie. The project was designed and led by Artistic Director of The Cumnock Tryst, James MacMillan, and Matilda Brown, Associate Composer, Drake Music Scotland and involved participants with additional needs from Hillside School, and Riverside Centre (adults) as well as school students from Greenmill Primary School, Barshare Primary School and Auchinleck Academy.

Over 10 weeks of workshops the participants were introduced to accessible music-making technology and explored improvisation and invention in music and performance. A combined ensemble performed at Cumnock Academy presenting a 4 movement ‘symphony’ with each group taking a movement based around colours and moods evoked by the musicians of the Scottish Ensemble. Accompanying the concert was a video presentation of the workshop process so audiences could see how the pieces were created and share the enthusiasm of the participants.

“The use of technology made it inclusive to everyone regardless of their abilities, individuals were able to express themselves.” Teacher – Hillside School


How did the project come about?

The Cumnock Tryst and Drake Music Scotland have worked together on two Tryst festivals previously so have been able to grow and develop the collaboration and its ambition. Relationships with Hillside School, Riverside Centre, Barshare Primary School, Greenmill Primary School and Auchinleck Academy are ongoing, maturing and blossoming. Scottish Ensemble and Colin Currie were Artists in Residence for The Cumnock Tryst in 2017 and were keen to get involved in this project as an integral part of the residency.


What made this project special?

The special quality of this project is the integration and embedded nature of music-making for ALL the participants – those with special additional needs, the skilled animateurs and composers as well as the internationally renowned musicians who were also involved. Teachers and carers have been fulsome in their comments about the benefits of taking part, especially for development of motor skills and confidence building and generally having a good time! Everybody involved is enriched by the process – including the audience.


What other projects do you have on the go at the moment?

Plans are underway for more work with Drake Music Scotland including a performance at the 2018 Tryst with their in-house Digital Orchestra.

A special ‘composition for dance’ project will be at the centre of the 2018 programme involving students from Doon Academy working with James MacMillan, Jennifer Martin and composition students form RCS over 10 weeks to create scores for new dance works to be performed with the dancers of the RCS Hub at Dumfries House.


Who are the up and coming Scottish Composer to keep an eye on?

The Cumnock Tryst is actively seeking out Scottish composers, particularly those with Ayrshire connections, to commission. To date Michael Murray, Jay Capperauld, Matilda Brown and Scott Lygate are amongst the emerging composers whose work we’ve showcased.


What would your ideal project be? The dream project…

On our horizon is a new collaboration with Drake Music Scotland working with pupils a Daldorch House School run by the National Autistic Society. The school is a flagship for the NAS and we’re holding conversations about a project for 2019 to explore the part music can play in creative expression and collaboration for the students for whom life presents many challenges but whose independence is nurtured. The dream element of the project is being able to design and devise a programme over an extended period and to run at individually tailored pace. Musicians and composers working in this setting can acquire specialist training, support and accreditation that will enable them to enhance their own portfolio of skills and knowledge for their own careers. A truly virtuous circle.

New Music Scotland is proudly powered by WordPress and BuddyPress. Just another WordPress Theme by Themekraft.