The 2020 Summer School was quite different from previous week-long residential experiences. It was completely online, partly, of course, because circumstances didn’t allow us to gather physically to create music, but also because it gave us the opportunity to involve a much wider and more diverse set of tutors and to reach out to musicians and audiences around the world.
The focus of the Summer School was an intense weekend of workshops, interviews and performances. Some of the activities continued with evening sessions during the week and the following Saturday our finale was a series of presentations of the achievements of the week.
People could do as little as listening to a single performance or build themselves a challenging programme of activities though the week.
Many of the activities were free and we had a registration fee of £5 for the options that can only take limited numbers. However, we do encourage those who can to make an additional donation, all of which will go to the course tutors during a difficult time for professional musicians.
All but two of the participative options used Zoom and many only required a standard set up. Some options, where sound quality was important worked better with modified your Zoom settings (more detailed advice is available here). Some performances were streamed for which the audience required nothing other than a standard browser.
The finale was broadcast live as a Zoom webinar on Saturday 1 August and is available to watch again.
The performance included 29 works written specifically for the Summer School – all world premieres! The works were from the following courses:
- One minute wonders: Darragh Morgan
- Coronasolfege: Héloïse Werner
- Composing for tuba: Etudes: Jack Adler-McKean
- Musical collaboration in lockdown: Yshani Perinpanayagam
- Imagined Soundworlds: Janet Oates (Silent interlude)
- Postcards in lockdown: Rolf Hind
- Household improvisation for lockdown: Janet Oates
- The Voice Party Radio Show: Lore Lixenberg
Click here to make an additional donation to support the Summer School tutors.
19:00-20:00 Friday 24 July
A chance to hear more about the Summer School and meet some of the tutors. On Zoom. Anyone who has booked any session below will receive an invite with the Zoom link, but you can register to attend this free session if you are still undecided. But remember, places are limited on some courses so it is best to book early.
Music art is art music: Creating and interpreting graphic scores
14:00 – 14:50 Sat 25 July: Anton Lukoszevieze
Music for cohabiters: Bespoke new works for households
No online sessions: Matthew Shlomowitz
One minute wonders: Composing short works for violin
Individual sessions by arrangement: Darragh Morgan
Individual composition sessions: One-to-one online consultation lesson
Individual sessions by arrangement: Matthew Kaner
Keeping well through mindfulness: Mindfulness and yoga as essentials to musical practice
09:00-09:50 25 July, 09:00-09:50 Sun 26 July & 09:00-09:50 Sat 1 August: Rolf Hind & Eliza McCarthy
Piano coaching workshops: An airing for the music you have been playing in lockdown
10:00-10:50 Sun 26 July & 14:00-14:50 Sun 26 July: Rolf Hind
Sharing life with a cello: Embracing the cello as a musician and creator
10:00-10:50 Sat 25 July: Anton Lukoszevieze
Singing masterclass: One-to-one coaching in a masterclass setting
11:00-12:20 Sat 25 July & 11:00-12:20 Sun 26 July: Gweneth Rand
Apartment House studies: Playing unique and beautiful works for players of all abilities
11:00-11:50 Sun 26 July: Anton Lukoszevieze
Positive approaches to performance: Motivational confidence building for performance
14:00-14:50 Sat 25 July & 14:00-14:50 Sun 26 July: Nadine Benjamin
In conversation with Frances Marie Uitti: An interview with one of the legends of contemporary music
19:00-19:50 Sat 25 July: Tom Service
Secret Psalm: A recorded concert of solo works for violin
20:00-20:50 Sat 25 July: Darragh Morgan
Household improvisation: Introducing graphic scores and improvisation
15:00-17:20 Sun 26 July: Janet Oates
In conversation with Elaine Mitchener: The publisher of The Wire talks to a genre crossing virtuoso
10:00-19:50 Sun 26 July Tony Herrington
Postcards in lockdown: Exploring the piano with miniatures for Rolf Hind
10:00-10:50 Sat 25 July and 18:00-19:00 Tue 28 July: Rolf Hind
Imagined Soundworlds: Creating pieces evoking sound through text, art and graphics
10:00-11:50 Sat 25 July, Sun 26 July and 19:00-20:00 Wed 29 July: Janet Oates
Composing for tuba: Etudes to match the tuba’s remarkable versatility
11:00-11:50 Sat 25 July & 18:00-1900 Wed 29 July: Jack Adler-McKean
Musical collaboration: Creating great ensemble music during lockdown
11:00-11:50 Sat 25 July & 19:00-20:00 Wed 29 July: Yshani Perinpanayagam
The Voice Party Radio Show: Exploring alternative vocalisations for an audio visual radio station
15:00-17:20 Sat 25 July, 15:00-17:20 Sun 26 July & 18-00-19:00 Tue 28 July: Loré Lixenberg
The CoMA Listening Club: A musical book club – and more!
18:00-18:40 Sat 25 July & 19:00-19:40 Thu 30 July: Tom Service
Coronasolfege: Creating music with your face and hands
10:00-10:50 Sun 26 July & Wednesday 29 July: Héloïse Werner
Lecture-recital: what is beautiful? Experience the variety of violin music and techniques
20:00-20:50 Sun 26 July and 18:00-19:00 Thu 30 July: Aisha Orazbayeva
Sounding out inside your head: A daily exploration for children of their auditory imagination
10:00-10:50 Wed 29 July & 10:00-10:50 Fri 31 July: Janet Oates
The Summer School will conclude on Saturday 1 August with a series of concerts and presentations of compositions and performances created during the week. They will be free and anyone can join the audience. Full details will be posted here as the week progresses.
Mindfulness and yoga as essentials to musical practice
In these times of uncertainty and stress, meditation and yoga can help us become more centred and calm. Rolf and Eliza have developed innovative courses at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama exploring mindfulness for musicians and ways of relating differently with stress, self-criticism and performance anxiety. The sessions will offer different approaches to cultivating focus, re-connecting with the body and bringing more awareness to the present moment. Participants are encouraged to offer their own reflections and experience. There will be silence!
One-off sessions using Zoom 09:00-09:50 on Saturday 25 July, Sunday 26 July and Saturday 1 August. Registration £5. Open to all.
An airing for the music you have been playing in lockdown
Tutor: Rolf Hind
Rolf is offering coaching to pianists playing a piece of contemporary music. For those of you who have not ventured much into contemporary music, useful collections are the Spectrum books, published by ABRSM and ‘Variations for Judith’. These volumes are for about grade 5 and above standard – if you need more options, get in touch before Summer School starts! Three people can attend each hour-long session so there will be a small group listening in each lesson.
One-off sessions using Zoom at 10:00 and 14:00 Sunday 26th July. Registration £5. Open to all.
Embracing the cello as a musician and creator
Tutor: Anton Lukoszevieze
Anton talks about how he approaches the cello as an instrument, sound maker and partner in crime in the context of the performance of experimental and improvised music. Not just by focusing on ‘extended techniques’, but as much by embracing the cello as part of his life, as the core of his general sensibility as a musician and creator.
One-off session using Zoom 10:00-10:50 Saturday 25 July. Registration £5. Open to all.
One-to-one coaching in a masterclass setting
Tutor: Gweneth Rand
Half hour one-to-one coaching session presented as a masterclass, working on pieces entirely of pieces of your choice, anything from (for example) folk songs to iconic works such as Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire. Particpants can present their piece with a recorded or (even better) a live accompanist or, equally acceptable, simply with vocal line and no accompaniment. Register as a participant or audience. Those who gain a place will need to submit a copy of their chosen work at least one week in advance of the masterclass.
One-off sessions 11:00-12:20 Saturday 25 July and 11:00-12:20 Sunday 26 July. Using Zoom. Registration £5 as participant or free for audience. Open to all over 16.
Playing unique and beautiful works for players of all abilities
Tutor: Anton Lukoszevieze
Explore some of Anton’s favourite compositions performed by Apartment House over the past 25 years, compositions that enable people of any ability to be able to play together by composers such as Christian Wolff, Joseph Kudirka, Jennifer Walshe, Luiz Henrique Yudo, Julius Eastman and Louise Bourgeois. Each work is unique, invigorating, innately beautiful and fun!
One-off session using Zoom 11:00-11:50 Sunday 26 July. Registration required £5. Open to all.
Motivational confidence building for performance
Tutor: Nadine Benjamin
Nadine, a singer, a Certified NLP Mind Coach and a Certified High Performance Coach, offers motivational confidence building methods for singers and instrumentalists to apply to their practice. Two such sessions have been scheduled for the weekend. When registering for this course please send an example of a key problem you have with performance to firstname.lastname@example.org
One-off sessions using Zoom 14:00-14:50 Saturday 25 July and 14:00-14:50 Sunday 26 July. Registration £5. Open to all.
An interview with one of the legends of contemporary music
Interviewer: Tom Service, Chair of CoMA
Frances Marie Uitti has worked closely with Scelsi, Kurtag, Harvey, Nono and many more, and is also a composer, thinker and inventor. This is a rare chance, open to all, to hear about all aspects of her work, the composers she has known and to hear her demonstrate some of her work. Time allowed for Q&A.
One-off session 19:00-19:50 Saturday 25 July. Using Zoom. Free, but registration required. Open to all.
Listen here to some of her playing
A recorded concert of solo works for violin
Violin: Darragh Morgan
- Tansy Davies Loure
- James Weeks First Steps
- Errolyn Wallen For Airi
- Silvina Milstein The Unending Rose II
- James Saunders 511 Possible Mosaics
- Oliver Knussen Secret Psalm
- Amir Tafreshipour Pendar
This recital is supported with funds from Hinrichsen Foundation and RVW Trust.
One-off performance, premiered on YouTube at 20:00 Saturday 25 May. Open to all.
Tutor: Janet Oates
Introducing graphic scores and improvisation
Learn about representing music and sound in ways other than musical notation; explore basic improvisation and sound-making and participate in a collaborative graphic-score improvisation at the end. The session is open to all adults and supervised children aged 9 and up, with a maximum of 12 participants. We will video the group performing its collaboratively created graphic-score piece, to be shown on Saturday 1st August as part of programme of Summer School presentations.
One-off session 15:00-17:20 Sunday 26 July. Using Zoom. Registration £5.
The publisher of The Wire talks to a genre crossing virtuoso
Interviewer: Tony Herrington
Tony Herrington publisher and co-proprietor of The Wire magazine in conversation with vocal artist Elaine Mitchener about her work. Described as “a genre-crossing virtuoso” (Financial Times), Elaine Mitchener is an original and innovative vocal and movement artist who creates and performs across various genres including experimental music theatre/dance, performance art, concerts, recordings and sound installations. The discussion will centre on the important role of movement in Mitchener’s work and how this has developed.
www.elainemitchener.com . This exploration is for composers and performers on how movement can become integrated into their own practice and is open to all to listen in and ask questions
One-off session at 19:00-19:50 Sunday 26 July. Using Zoom. Free but registration required. Open to all.
Exploring the piano with miniatures for Rolf Hind
Tutor: Rolf Hind
Add your composition to Rolf’s collection of 70 pieces written during and as a response to lockdown, for him to play, record and present as part of the Summer School concerts programme on Saturday 1 August. Rolf is aiming to increase the number of pieces to the number of days of lockdown! This course will suit composers, pianists or musicians who do not consider themselves ‘composers’ who are interested in exploring the piano through writing miniatures. Midweek discussion of works being created will follow the group introductory session, the finalised pieces being submitted on Friday for the Saturday presentation by Rolf.
Introductory session 10:00-10:50 on Saturday 25th July with follow up workshop 18:00-19:00 on Tuesday 28th July. Using Zoom. Registration £5. Open to all.
Creating pieces evoking sound through text, art and graphics
Tutor: Janet Oates
Composers, writers and creative minds! Explore your auditory imagination and create pieces evoking sound through text, art and graphics. Is what we hear in our head just memories of sounds, or can we create new sounds and music? How would we represent this on paper, and communicate our imagined soundworlds to others? This course is open to any number of adults for three sessions. Works created during the week will go on to a dedicated page on the Closet Music website.
Two linked introductory sessions 10:00-11:50 on Saturday 25 July and 10:00-11:50 Sunday 26 July with follow up workshop at 19:00-20:00 on Wednesday 29 July. Using Zoom. Registration £5. Open to all.
Composing works to match the tuba’s remarkable versatility
Tutor: Jack Adler-McKean
A workshop for composers interested in writing short works (without electronics, maximum two minutes) for solo bass tuba in F (with an option for fully microtonal valves) will be presumed as the standard instrument to be written for; others may be available on request but cannot be guaranteed. No techniques or preparations which damage instruments will be accepted. A live demonstration of the instrument (via Zoom) including Q and A’s in the opening weekend will be followed by a Wednesday evening session to workshop composers’ sketches submitted by email earlier that day, with finalised pieces to submitted by 10:00 on Friday 31 July. Pieces in a performable state will then form a short concert as part of a programme of presentations on Saturday 1st August. Composers must be present during the demonstration of their piece on the Saturday 1 August.
Any other composers or performers are invited to attend the sessions as audience,
Introductory session at 11:00-11:50 on Saturday 25 July with follow up workshop at 18:00-19:00 Wednesday 29 July. Using Zoom. Registration for participants £5. Audience free, but registration required. Open to all.
Creating great ensemble music during lockdown
Tutor: Yshani Perinpanayagam
This course will explore the world of creating ensemble music online, looking at the artistic challenges, the technical know-how, and the wonderful virtues to be found within these methods. Yshani will create a new piece tailored to a maximum of eight participants, to be rehearsed and recorded at home and sent to her by 17:00 Friday 31 July for inclusion as part of the Summer School presentations on Saturday 1 August. Participants will need Zoom, headphones and two devices to enable a simultaneous click track and recording. See Yshani’s Hedgehog created using the same approach here.
Introductory session at 11:00-11:50 Saturday 25th July with follow up workshop at 19:00-20:00 Wednesday 29 July. Using Zoom plus recording device. Registration £5. Open to all
Exploring alternative vocalisations for an audio visual radio station
Tutor: Loré Lixenberg
Have fun with extended voice music theatre! In a course devised specifically with Zoom in mind, you are invited to explore a kaleidoscopic world of alternative vocalisations and operatic interactions. In two sessions you will be guided through some basic approaches to extended voice and encouraged to explore its theatrical possibilities. A mid-week follow up session in the format of an audio visual radio station is included in the course, in preparation for the launch of The Voice Party Radio Show on Saturday 1st August as one of the Summer School presentations on that day, a platform for discussing in extended vocals such key issues of the day as ‘should I or should I not deadhead the daffodils and tulips?’
Two linked sessions, 15:00-17:20 Saturday 25 July and 15:00-17:20 Sunday 26 July with lead to a follow up session at 18.00-19:00 Tuesday 28 July in preparation for inclusion in the CoMA Summer School presentations on Saturday 1 August. Registration £5. Open to all.
A musical book club – and more!
Tutor: Tom Service, Chair of CoMA
Saturday introductory session: Listening has never been so creative or so much in question: how do we hear each other in these socially distanced but digitally, Zoomily-enhanced times? The Listening Club is a chance to rethink our role as listeners, to reclaim our responsibility in the chain of musical communication, and to share experiences as we explore ideas and repertoire in a time in which our listening lives matter more than ever. This introductory session sets out the territory, and asks us to question what’s really happening when we’re doing that simplest but richest of things – listening, to music, and to each other. Time allowed for Q&A
Thursday session: What is new music?
Over to you: and the shock of the new. What is “new music”? Aside from the chronologically contemporary, no-one has ever really come up with a real definition. The quality of “the new” can be confronting or consoling, it can be a marker or a work’s value, or its transitory ephemerality. Tom will share a couple of examples of pieces of “new music” with you, one composed in 2018, the other in 1826, and in this session we will talk about what’s the newest piece you’ve heard, and why. Is it a work of genre-blending interzonality created a few months ago, or a piece of medieval plainchant you listened to for the first time? Is there ever such a thing as “new music”, or are there no such things as “new” sounds, only different ways of combining what’s already out there? Questions to be answered in the Listening Club!
The first session is at 18:00-18:40 Saturday 25 July is free, but registration is required. The optional follow up session at 1900-19:40 Thursday 30 July requires £5 registration in advance. Using Zoom. Open to all.
Creating music with your face and hands
Tutor: Héloïse Werner
Coronasolfege is a new and fun way to make music and create rhythm-based compositions only using your face and hands. What do you need? Your face, your hands, and your brain, pen and paper to start with, and you must have Zoom, smart phone video recording or equivalent, and WhatsApp. You will create your own piece, up to 60 seconds long, which could involve everyone in your household. The introduction is open to all, but the midweek one-to-one sessions to discuss videos-in-progress are limited to 16 people.
Introductory session 10:00-10:50 Sunday 26 July with short one to one follow-up sessions between 10:00 and 13:00 on Wednesday 29 July, by arrangement with Héloïse. Using Zoom. Registration £5 to include follow up session. Free as audience on Sunday, but requires registration. Open to all.
Experience an extraordinary variety of violin music and techniques
Violin: Aisha Orazbayeva
Different approaches to violin sound, what is beautiful? A lecture-recital in which Aisha will play a number of works, ranging from those by Telemann and Bach to her own prepared violin pieces, with all sorts of interesting violin pieces in between. Gain insights into Aisha’s approach to experimentation. The Thursday session is for string players who wish to try out some of the techniques introduced by Aisha.
Lecture-recital 20:00-20:50 Sunday 26 July over Zoom is free but registration is required. Registration for the session 18:00-19:00 Thursday 30 July (also on Zoom) is £5 and includes registration for the Lecture-recital. Open to all
A daily exploration for children of their auditory imagination
Tutor: Janet Oates
Imagine you had super-power hearing! Can you imagine the sound of a bee on a flower in India? What noise might a shining yellow circle make? Can you sing harmonies with yourself inside your head? Let’s explore sound and music – all inside our heads! These sessions, exploring the auditory imagination offer unusual, fun activities for the school holidays. Participants will need some paper and pens/pencils. Optional follow-up activities will be recommended.
For children aged 7 to 12 (with an accompanying parent in the same room). Free but registration required by parent/carer. 0:00-10:50 Wednesday 29 July and 10:00-10:50 Friday 31 July
Creating and Interpreting graphic scores
Tutor Anton Lukoszevieze
Many of Anton’s visual works relate to musical notation, and some have been performed as scores. Participants will create and submit their own musical scores in advance of the course, incorporating the abstract, the concrete and the everyday into drawings, prints, texts or graphic designs. Whilst some of the works may be performed during the weekend session, the focus will be on discussing the aesthetics and interpretation of such works. Examples of Anton’s graphic scores can be found here.
One-off session 14:00-14:50 Saturday 25 July. Using Zoom. Deadline for £5 registration and submission of score 17:00 Wednesday 22 July. Open to all.
Bespoke new works for households
Tutor Matthew Shlomowitz
Matthew Shlomowitz is offering to write pieces suited to the instruments and abilities of any given household, stressing that it is absolutely fine to involve people who have never performed music before. Thus a piece for grade 4 cellist, grade 1 trumpet and a beginner on pots and pans is a welcome assignment! If you are interested, please list the names of musicians who will perform the piece, detailing what instrument they play and at what level. Feel free to add other relevant information and musical skills, for example a sax player who also likes to sing, a trombonist who likes to improvise. Also feel free to provide a sense of your musical interests (such as styles of music you particularly like). If you ask for your composition early enough you will have the option to record and submit their piece for inclusion in CoMA Summer School presentations on Saturday 1 August
No online sessions. Registration deadline (with details of your musical household) 17:00 Friday 31July, £5 per household. Open to all.
Composing short works for violin
Tutor: Darragh Morgan
A chance to compose one minute works for solo violin and have your piece workshopped in a one to one session with Darragh Morgan. Your finalised work will be recorded and presented on Saturday 1st August as part of a programme of CoMA Summer School presentations
Workshop session using Facetime by arrangement with Darragh. Deadline for £5 registration and submission of score 17:00 Wednesday 22 July. Open to all.
One-to-one online consultation lesson
Tutor: Matthew Kaner
Participants can sign up for a 20 minute session for feedback on one of their current or recent compositions. Pieces may be works in progress, or previously completed, but should be no longer than 8 minutes in length. The works should be for a small number of players, and artistically uncompromising yet technically within the capacity of amateur musicians. Works in CoMA’s Open Score format, for four flexibly scored players are encouraged, but other combinations will be accepted (for 8 players maximum).
Zoom based sessions by arrangement with Matthew. Registration required £5. Open to all.