NAC in Scotland

Project leaders were composers Alasdair Nicolson and David Knotts, with performers from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra

The project took place in Scotland's Secret Bunker, Fife, over a period of one week in November 2000.

On day one, the participating young composers attended a "nuts and bolts" composition workshop with Alasdair Nicolson. They were invited to write new short works for three players from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, using "secrets" as a starting point.

All participants were given a Composition Kit, including:

Notes on Composing by Alasdair Nicolson

Musical Secrets by Alasdair Nicolson

Notes on the Instruments by the performers from the SCO

Preparation of scores and parts – guidelines from spnm

Over the next few days the composers worked on their pieces, with ongoing support from Alasdair, the players, and spnm Education Consultant David Knotts.

At the end of the week the works were performed and recorded by the players from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. All participants received a CD recording of their work.

Later that month selected works were performed at a public concert as part of the St Andrews Festival.

Extract from the Composition Kit:

"MUSICAL SECRETS - There are many ways of making one musical thing become another and disguise its existence… Remember that you can hide melodies by turning them upside down or back to front, by displacing some of the notes so that they are in a different octave, or by sharing the notes of a theme across several instruments so that the sound is different… With rhythms you can increase the value of each note to make the whole thing slower, or decrease the value of each note to make the whole thing shorter. You can also change the time signature of the music."
Alasdair Nicolson

NAC summary

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Alasdair Nicolson