NECOM’s annual HSC Composition Workshop

NECOM’s annual HSC Composition Workshop was held on 6 March with students travelling from all over the region to attend and work with the brilliant composer Luke Byrne. The day started with a session Open Your Ears providing a quick tour of some of the wild and weird music of the 20th Century. Students were hit with samples of George Crumb, Berio, Ligeti and Varese, Miles Davis and John Coltrane and experimental rock music. A core objective of this session was expanding students’ descriptive vocabularyof what they can hear. After morning tea (scones by Heather Pavel) the next session Breaking Up is Hard to Do, but Starting a Composition is Worse gave students practical strategies of what comes first – pitches, an idea about colour, rhythm, lyrics etc using model pieces as stimulus. The afternoon session (it was difficult dragging the teachers away from the delicious lunch prepared by Heather!) was focussed on identifying compositional techniques and implementing them in their own pieces.