December 4th 2016

Today HSO had a wonderful workshop day with the hugely talented Adriano Adewale. Adriano spent two sessions that really gave all those who attended a keen insight not only into the compositional process, but also into each other. It is so difficult sometimes when playing in an Orchestra to get to know much about your fellow musicians, because you are normally busy playing your instrument, today was different. With Adriano encouraging us to talk to each other on how and why we first got interested in playing a musical instrument.

This was followed by an extended session where he broke down the rhythm of the Samba into its constituent parts, assigning different aspects of the rhythm to a group of us to clap out, not as easy as it sounds. This was then combined into an ensemble clapping session to bring all of the rhythms together. This was further embellished by doing a similar exercise using our own instruments in a way that was pretty much akin to 'on the fly' composing, with each ensemble choosing how they wanted to play the notes of the rhythm, thus producing different interpretations between ensembles. Both challenging and huge fun it gave a real insight into composing and interpretation.

The final exercise involved printed music, much more in our comfort zone, of a Brazilian folk tune arranged into 3 parts. The comfort was to be short lived, as we were split into 3 groups and encouraged to decide which part to play, how to interpret that part, whether to play all of it, or to change parts half way through, in short, this was arranging on the fly. Again, it was challenging and even more fun. Each of the 3 groups then came back into rehearsal to play their interpretation for the rest of us. This ended what was a very unique session for all of us that had left us all feeling like we had just made a new and valuable friend, and also added to our collective musical knowledge.