We started work on 9 graphic scores today. Before our young composers put pen to paper we looked at at a beautiful long graphic score that Sonia had created on a roll of wallpaper. It was all about the Nettle plant and we began the session altogether and played through her piece.
The musical journey started very calmly with the gentle sounds of nature, bees buzzing, the rustling of leaves in the breeze and the melodic sun rising in the sky. Then, we experience a bit of trouble as we come into contact with the Nettle, a few gentle stings build towards an intense OWWWWWWWW!!!! But it is ok, and peace resumes. Nettles are an important source of food for insects and are visited by some beautiful butterflies. Ahhhhh...
The students then had time to create a group graphic score inspired by their plants habitat and characteristics, be it visual, textural or scientific.They use their voices and body percussion to make the sounds and also utilise the violin and cello. We saved trying out the scores with real percussion instruments until the end (to save our ears, cymbals are very popular.)
Here are some images of the composers at work.
We will have an informal concert in a few weeks where after a short rehearsal groups will have the opportunity to perform these scores to their peers. This concert will be just a small part of the journey rather then a destination. What we hope the students have gained over the 5 weeks is a wider knowledge about wild plants and to have enjoyed listening to live music and being part of discovering how the two fit together as part of our TRANSPLANTED project. We have felt that the students have been so enthusiastic about each workshop and so the whole experience has been wonderful.
We would like the acknowledge that this project is supported by the Glasgow Natural History Society and our partners in the project are EMS and Plantlife Scotland. Thanks to Carntyne Primary and teachers Judith Stone and Jessica Comb.