Programme notes for tonight’s performance by pupils from Trinity School in Lewisham
And In The Darkness
New music inspired by Verdi’s Macbeth
Trinity School with Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
Wednesday 10 July 2013
5.30pm, Blackheath Halls
We have composed this new music in response to Verdi’s opera, Macbeth, after creative workshops with Joe Townsend and students from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
Firstly, considering some of the themes of witchcraft, murder, power, madness and corruption we set about developing some musical ideas as to how these might sound musically. Along with TL student Lucy, we tried to really get inside the heads of some of the characters and in particular, the paranoia and madness of Lady Macbeth. We experimented musically and rhythmically with the voices in her head to develop a performance piece involving vocal experimentation, ostinato patterns, patterns of words said or sung forwards and also backwards.
Our orchestra (led by Louis) perform several compositions including some pieces that have been adapted and borrowed from Verdi’s original score. In some cases we demonstrate the use of extended performance techniques when linking between the soundscapes, created using music technology. For example in the section between the witches’ landscape and the war scene we use unusual performance techniques to heighten the mysterious and eerie atmosphere in the world of witches and this leads into a forceful and rhythmic battlefield featuring a strong percussion section, steel pans, brass and electric guitar solos to reinforce the idea of war.
The solo song ‘In The Darkness’ features words that we developed in one of our very first creative sessions when we explored some of Shakespeare’s language, and particularly the character Lady Macbeth. This leads into a whole cast number with a more modern vibe.
The ‘Mad Nessy’ section was written by the Year 10 GCSE music students with music technology specialist Bravin. First of all they developed a track using music technology and then wrote rap lyrics based on Shakespeare’s 400 year old play. The female chorus against the male rap portrays the tension in the Macbeth’s relationship, the individual turmoil in each of their minds and the secrets they kept from one another- all themes the group were keen to explore and put their modern spin on. The piece culminates in a whole cast performance of the final chorus.
We hope you enjoy our performance.
Trinity School performers and composers
Joe Townsend – Project Leader
Louis Archer, Lucy Drever and Bravinsan Karunanithy – Student Assistants
Katie Windsor – Learning & Participation Projects Manager
With thanks to Gordon Baird at Trinity School and Rose Ballantyne at Blackheath Halls
And In The Darkness is a schools composition project as part of the Blackheath Halls Community Opera. It has been delivered by Trinity Laban’s Learning & Participation department with support from Arts Council England and The Samuel Gardner Memorial Trust.
Trinity Laban and Blackheath Halls offer an extensive programme of music and dance activities, of the highest quality, for members of the public. From one-off taster workshops to weekly classes, courses, creative arts projects and music/dance collaborations, our public programmes attract participants of all ages, whatever their background or ability. Activities include special programmes for participants with disabilities, older people, children and families as well as professional development and training opportunities for music and dance practitioners.
Weekly classes and holiday courses make use of our excellent facilities at Trinity Laban and Blackheath Halls while outreach programmes in partnership with schools, community groups and local authorities allow us to extend access across London and the South East.