Speaking Clearly



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 variety."

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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Event listings for this month

Joanna MacGregor