Meet the Team – Composition

With the start of a new academic year we are pleased to welcome new tutors to the College. In particular we have several new tutors teaching in the Music department. This week we will feature tutors from Early Music, Composition and Strings, gaining an insight into their backgrounds and what to expect from their courses. First we get to know our Composition tutors.

Edward Henderson and Paul Sarcich

Can you tell us a little about your background in music and what attracted you to Morley?

Edward Henderson: I am a composer and performer. I studied music at Cambridge and composition at Trinity Laban, now I run the performing group and concert series Bastard Assignments. I was attracted to Morley by its extremely good reputation for music and composition. I also took the composition techniques course while compiling a portfolio to apply for my masters and I found it a supportive atmosphere and a very useful and an enjoyable course.

Paul Sarcich: I have been a professional musician for over 40 years, as a performer, conductor, teacher, and composer/arranger. Having taught for 20 years at the College of the Arts in Melbourne, when I came to London I began teaching at Morley. I have taught a variety of courses over the past 16 years and have witnessed the difference that teaching can make to people’s lives. A number of my students have used my courses as stepping stones to places at university, or in professional practice, which is always gratifying to see.

Can you give us some insight into what we can look forward to from your courses this year?

EH: We’re going to cover a wide range of contemporary compositional techniques from 12 tone squares to objects to folk song arrangements referencing Britten, Cardew, Cage, Birtwistle, Saunders, Andriessen and many more!

PS: The Pathways to Composition course aims to fill the ‘composer’s toolbox’ with devices and techniques that can be adapted to the constructions of many kinds of music. It will examine music of various genres and periods in order to extract ideas about how composers have treated the various aspects of music, and provide us with ideas for our own writing.

The Composition Workshop is geared towards the analysis of student pieces, discussing what is happening in them, and how they may be developed and extended. In both courses, the aim is to extend the your compositional vocabulary and technical equipment well beyond what you have at the beginning of the course.

What advice would you give someone interested in joining one of your courses?

EH: Come with ideas but be prepared to go outside of your comfort zone and try something new!

PS: Come to the courses musically literate – be comfortable reading and notating music, have a solid background in the rudiments and theory of music, including basic harmony. Be prepared to bend your thinking about what music is and how it can be treated. Stay open-minded and never stop listening analytically to all sorts of music.

This week we will feature tutors from Early Music, Composition and Strings, gaining an insight into their backgrounds and what to expect from their courses. First we get to know our Composition tutors.


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