On Tuesday 11th March we held our first Distil Scratch Day. It was suggested by composer Brian Irvine at our last Distil Residential that we should get together ahead of the Distil Showcase (Friday 9th May, Stirling Tolbooth) and chat to Mr McFall’s Chamber about the writing possibilities for string quintet.
11 of us met in North Edinburgh Arts on Tuesday morning exited to learn what we would learn! Robert McFall had thought it all out. McFall’s started by playing one of the first string quartets written and they talked about how in many ways string quartets were for the enjoyment of the performers and not so much the audience. They showed us how all the musicians get their own lines and how the tune weaves its way across the quartet.
They covered many different techniques including comments that we should always write as difficult a bass part as possible for Rick Standley! We heard lots of beautiful music delivered with great sympathy and skill.
Thanks Mr McFall’s Chamber! I’m looking forward to the 2015 Scratch Day already!
Some feedback from the participants:
It’s very tempting to try and incorporate every one of the techniques discussed! [I’ll resist] I will consider adding a doublebass part, which up till now I had not included. I will also be returning to the score and adding far more detailed performing instructions…
I feel more confident about notating my piece now. A lot of points have been brought to my attention which I hadn’t thought about before. I also have new ideas for bits of music in the composition just from talking about different ways of notating things.
Now have load of writing ideas to put into my piece and a better understanding of the quintet’s instruments and how to write it down
There are techniques I will use in my next piece of composition, but I also feel more relaxed about experimenting and breaking away from my usual techniques.
Hopefully I’ll have more confidence to write some lovely music
I plan to write more for string quartet/quintet, go back over the pieces previously composed in light of new info/experience and follow up some of the listening/score suggestions made by the players.
The day was very helpful. I didn’t have too much of an idea of what I was writing for before this day but now I’m feeling more confident and up for giving it a go!
Really really enjoyed it. Lovely relaxed atmosphere, but really informative and Inspiring- please do more 🙂
Thank you very much for organising it!
Thank you for organising the day. It was really good.
Keep doing it! Fabulous resource for musicians