On July 13th the East of England Orchestra
and the Lincolnshire Youth Orchestra will
give the premiere of Colin Riley's new orchestral
work Where The Running Water Goes under the baton of conductor
Nicholas Kok. The performance will take place in the Meres Lesiure Centre,
Grantham and form the culmination of the most recent of the EoEo's ground-breaking
residences. During the last few years the orchestra's education and outreach
work has become progressively more adventurous placing a bold emphasis
on contemporary music and community involvement.
Colin is no stranger to writing for orchestras or to education work. Between
1994-5 he was Composer-in-Residence with the English String Orchestra
and between 1995-8 Associate Composer with the Bournemouth Orchestras.
His orchestral work has become better known through these links, producing
a total of nine works for the orchestras. Over the last couple of years
the EoEO has been building up a strong relationship with Colin and this
new piece will be the third to be performed by them.
"When writing with the youth orchestra in mind, at no point did I
want to write down to the young players, particularly as they are already
used to performing many of the standard orchestral repertoire. The players
of tomorrows orchestras are presently coming up through the ranks of youth
orchestras like this all over the UK and I feel it is vital that they
come to enjoy the challenge of the music of today in all its wonderful
Where The Running Water Goes is certainly no ordinary piece,
not least because of it's unusual scoring for narrator, chamber ensemble
and symphony orchestra. "I am certainly hoping to interest other
ensembles and orchestras in further performances as it's fundamentally
very accessible. It's the sort of piece that can be read on many levels
with the added interest of a spoken text"
With regard to composing for amateurs Colin's views are straightforward;
"I think that it is important for a composer to make his work speak
clearly regardless of who it is written for. This means finding a clarity
of notation and always providing a player with the greatest help in how
to play the music. Amateur music-making is of course a huge area, including
anything from youth orchestras and bands to choral societies, folk clubs,
steel bands and school groups. I certainly don't think that amateur means
'music for all comers' or music which compromises a composers musical
voice. It should continue to set challenges all along the way for players
and audience alike"
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