Year 9 rounded off this half term’s work on experimental music with a trip to the Mumford Theatre to see Fractofusus, an all female quartet specialising in new music. Their performance included improvisation, extended vocal sounds and crystal bowl playing (!) as well as slightly more standard instruments – keyboard, trombone, fiddle and sax. Their unconventional approach to music and performance was summed up best when they each produced a supermarket till receipt and proceeded to ‘perform’ it. You can watch a clip of this:
Divergent rehearsal strategies came into play with Year 7 as they worked on two rhythm pieces inspired by the names of cities and mountains in Africa. The girls rehearsed live, in situ, with one of them taking on the role of director. You can see them in action below:
The boys, on the other hand, decided to record themselves playing each rhythm into GarageBand as a separate track with the aim of putting all the tracks together to make the piece. Here they are in full swing:
As the French name suggests, musique concrete is all about using real, everyday sounds as the basis for creating music. It began in the mid 20thC with the development of electronic recording techniques, tape reels and synthesizers. Fast forward some six decades and Year 9 are using I-pads to record sound samples, manipulate them and turn them into their own musique concrete compositions. You can listen to two examples of their work – one uses a range of everyday sounds from around the school and the other focuses on sampled speech.