This month we’ve welcomed Joshua Dowling to the Sound and Music Education team via Creative Access. To kick off his internship, Joshua took part in a Minute of Listening exercise and shared his thoughts on the pieces.
As the new Education and Communications Intern at Sound and Music, I am excited to bring my background in composition and passion for music education to the role. I have a bachelor’s degree in music technology from Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and a master’s degree in Mixed Composition from the University of Birmingham. My composition, “Unfolding Spiral,” is due to be performed by the New York based 315 Ensemble in April 2023. Furthermore, as an oboist, I am passionate about performing contemporary music. My enthusiasm for music education has been cultivated by my involvement with the Young Composers Project at the conservatoire, and I am eager to bring this experience to support the Sound and Music team in the successful running of their 2023 Summer School. This position has already provided me with the chance to develop a wide range of professional skills, and I am looking forward to the journey ahead.
I chose Anna Meredith’s piece for bassoon and distortion pedal as I thought it was an interesting experiment to find out what new sounds you can achieve by combining an acoustic instrument with live electronics. The distortion pedal augmented the bassoons’ sonic possibilities introducing a textural roughness similar to that of an electric guitar. Likewise, the bassoonist climbs from low to high and wobbles on a repeated note creating the effect of an electronic guitar solo, an extravagant cadenza!
The second piece I chose was Dave Bedford’s Concerto for Recorder and Strings. From reading the minute of listening blurb I learnt that the word ‘concerto’ stems from the word ‘contrast’. My first overall impression was that the piece was very bright and chirpy. I like how the recorder player jumps around quickly while being supported by string pizzicatos. The piece conjured up for me the image of a bird fluttering about. At one point the recorder player hits a particularly high note before taking a breath which made me imagine the bird taking time to rest before darting off again.
We’re so excited to have Joshua on the Sound and Music team. Have 2 minutes to spare? Why not listen to the pieces Joshua mentions above and share your thoughts.