2020 was a challenging year for all of us. For Orchestra ONE (O1), it meant that we were unable to hold our usual projects in the Easter and Summer holidays. However, in the October half term our fantastic participants and inspiring tutors came together for our first ever virtual O1 course. It was fantastic to see so many familiar faces again after nearly a year apart, and even better to welcome new participants to the O1 family.
Orchestra ONE – Project 25: “The Food That We Share”
“Food is a bridge carrying a precious load; it fills in the gaps but can also form cracks”
Working virtually was a new experience for everyone, but the project proved a huge success. It was great to have our familiar tutors return to the project – Danny Moulton, Kate Harwood, Alex Ribchester, Simon Clarke, Nadine Nagen, Joe Browne and Luke Crook were also joined by Alice Phelps, an O1 ‘newbie’ who led the guitar section and proved a fantastic asset to the O1 tutor team. Led by our Musical Director, Jason Rowland, our tutor team worked with our young musicians via Zoom to create a brand new composition on the topic of “Food”.
Each morning, everyone came together to discuss ideas and review what had been composed so far, before expanding on individual sectional ideas within breakout rooms. Using guide tracks recorded by our tutors, the young musicians would then record their own audio which was then shared with Jason. Working as both MD and sound engineer, Jason was then able to put each piece of audio together to create the final track (with some special production dust added along the way).
“Food only defines status when you feel the need to show it. Food is always there when you know that you can grow it.”
The piece was divided into three main sections. The first used the idea of a protein structure to explore different musical strands and how these could be intertwined together. Tutors and young people shared their thoughts on their favourite foods, as well as those they just can’t stomach! Our music tech participants also worked with Luke Crook to manipulate this audio and create new sounds.
This section then led into a beat poem, written by our participants with support from KM tutor, Danny Moulton. It was incredible to see our young people delve into political discussions about food and the impact it has on society, all of which can be heard through their words and vocal delivery.
The final section had more of a popular song feel, with lyrics that reflect the joy and feeling of togetherness that food can bring and simply beautiful melodic lines – many of which were stuck in our heads from weeks to come!
Despite the challenges of working in an unfamiliar way, all of our young musicians were phenomenal throughout the week and worked tirelessly to create this brilliant new piece. A particular mention must go to our solo percussionist and first-time O1 member, Elvis, who provided all of the percussion audio for the track. All our young people also produced photos and artwork to accompany the audio, all of which was put together by our Communications Coordinator and ‘graphics whizz extraordinaire’, Grace Irvine.
“There’s a fine line between necessity and luxury, but what defines good food?”
You can listen to the final track and watch the accompanying video below – a brilliant example of how music can still be made remotely in these difficult times. A huge thank you to all of our superb young musicians, our MD and tutors for their hard work all week, and to all of the participants’ parents and families for supporting our young people in the project.