The first day of the 2019/20 CoDI Text programme began with a ‘show and tell’ session, where each of the participating composers brought a piece of music and text that has inspired them. These interesting works ranged from traditional text setting in Adams’ Dr Atomic and Britten’s War Requiem, to Joshua Schmidt’s little-known but intriguing musical Adding Machine, and experimental works A-Ronne and Newspaper Reading Machine, by Berio and John White respectively. My own contribution was Gary Carpenter’s Listening Project Symphony, in which he musically accompanies field recordings of BBC interviews with members of the public.
The project’s ensemble-in-residence gave a wonderful performance and demonstration of their voices and instruments, and provided an excellent opportunity to discuss preliminary ideas. The programme’s mentors, Joseph Davies and Kaite O'Reilly, gave workshops on their expertise, and it was fascinating to learn about examples of their past works.
The variety of ideas and approaches from both our expert mentors and the attendant composers was inspiring, especially evident over discussions of our ideas for how we would work with Kaite’s texts. I found Kaite’s open and enthusiastic attitude towards collaboration and the creative evolution of a project particularly exciting. I look forward to the next session and seeing everyone’s responses to their chosen texts.