Music students score big on #DMUglobal trip

Translating art into music and performing it to a sold-out audience in a glass dome are just tasters of what students at De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) experienced on a recent #DMUglobal trip.

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Eleven students and graduates from two DMU programmes - Music, Technology and Innovation and Music, Technology and Performance – took up a week-long residency at Stockholm’s Royal College of Music (KMH), the oldest and most prestigious institution of its kind in Sweden.

DMU students worked with KMH composition students on realising a graphic score, Stress Call of the Stinging Nettle, by Swedish artist and composer, Christine Ödlund.

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The set-up, rehearsal and performance were broadcast live on national Swedish radio, including interviews with senior lecturer at DMU’s Leicester Media School, Dr John Richards, Christine Ödlund and members of the ensemble.

The process involved making bespoke electronic instruments, composing new material, and working and rehearsing with a range of technologies and acoustic instruments to create an hour-long piece.

Samuel Warren, a Music, Technology and Innovation graduate currently doing a research Masters at DMU, was one of the students on the trip.

The 24-year-old said: “We worked in groups to bring different parts of Christine’s graphic score to life. My group was also responsible for producing a drone which underlines the piece.

“We had a lot of fun conducting the field-recordings, which involved walking around the city and capturing its sounds.”

The piece was performed to a sold-out audience at the Dome of Visions, a spectacular glass-domed building inspired by the work of futurist and architect Buckminster Fuller.

The performance also explored the unique space by ensuring that loudspeakers and performance groupings were strategically set-up throughout the building, to immerse the audience in sound.

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Another student who went on the trip is Robert Chafer, currently in his first year of Music, Technology and Innovation.

The 43-year old said: “What was great about this experience was that despite our different skills and abilities, there was no hierarchy. Everyone involved made a powerful contribution.”

Harry Smith, an 18-year-old first year Music Technology and Innovation student on the trip said: “The trip gave me a better understanding of Swedish culture, a valuable insight into high-profile performances and works, and invaluable compositional and performance experience.”

The performance coincided with Christine Ödlund’s exhibition at Stockholm’s Museum and Foundation for Contemporary Art, one of Sweden’s most significant galleries for contemporary art.

Dr Richards, who directed the performance, said: “This is the second DMU visit to KMH and we’re delighted to be developing on-going links for future student exchange.

“It’s a great way of embedding ‘internationalisation’ within the music technology programs at DMU and encouraging our students to embrace and be inspired by music from other cultures.

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Posted on Friday 1st April 2016

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