The Score to Sound project aims to implement and evaluate an approach for engaging the public in 20th- and 21st-century British music, and is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Cultural Engagement Fund.
In partnership with Sound and Music (the UK’s charity for new music) the CMRC facilitated three Discovery Days and concerts – concentrating on music chosen from the British Music Collection:
- York – National Centre for Early Music
- Leeds – Leeds College of Music, Recital Room
- London – Cecil Sharp House
Tim Howell and Martin Scheuregger delivered this project, with Martin designing and hosting the Discovery Days, and bringing with him contemporary music ensemble Dark Inventions, which he co-directs. Sound and Music contributed a framework in which the project’s events were evaluated. The result of the project were threefold:
- Discovery Days and concerts provided an opportunity for audiences in three cities to explore this music;
- a web resource and recordings allow a worldwide audience to access similar content and provide a framework within which similar projects can be delivered;
- project evaluation with audience feedback support other organisations to plan such events, ensuring the highest level of ongoing knowledge transfer.
Three Discovery Days were held. This provided an opportunity for Martin – in collaboration with Dark Inventions – to present a series of interlinked activities that aimed to introduce the audience to 20th- and 21st-century British music.
The audience was given the opportunity to see how the ensemble tackled the repertoire in an open rehearsal that started each day. A talk, illustrated with live examples from the ensemble, followed, giving an insight into how the works are constructed and how this might influence how they are heard. A roundtable discussion with several of the featured composers allowed the audience to see how the creators of this music themselves understood it, before the discussion was opened out with a question and answer session.
Taken together, these elements equipped the audience with the knowledge and context to approach these works in a new light, opening up what can be seen as difficult music. More broadly, participants had the opportunity to develop ways of approaching music that enables them to discover new music and broaden their tastes.
In the evening, Dark Inventions presented a programme of British music tied together by the theme of melody, including all works explored during the day. These concerts acted to uncover some lesser-known music, with a juxtaposition of different styles that saw works informing and contrasting with one another.
Professor Howell specialises in the analysis of new music, especially from Finland.
Martin Scheuregger is a musicologist and composer