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University lecturer outlines music for life

Dr Rod Paton's new book, 'Lifemusic: Connecting People to Time', seeks to explain how we might renew our relationship with music, the healing properties of music, and a theory of improvisation; the main access point into creative music making.

Rod directed a two-year HEFCE funded project based on the theory that improvisation is the main access point into creative music making.

He said: “I wrote the book in order to set out in detail a new aesthetics of music based on the natural ability of people from all walks of life to create their own musical experiences and thus connect with time. The book presents this philosophy of renewal alongside a practical guide on how to do it.

“I hope that the book will be of use to professional musicians, music therapists, community musicians and academics, but most of all I would like it to be read by other professionals who might see how introducing music making into their own working lives could enhance and enrich their work.”

University lecturer celebrates release of new album

A new album by Head of Keyboard and internationally renowned concert pianist, Jonathan Plowright, sees him become the first artist to record an album of works written in homage to one of Poland's most fascinating figures, Ignacy Jan Paderewski.

The album, entitled ‘Homage to Paderewski', is Jonathan's ninth with Hyperion Records and sees him providing a virtuosic exploration of compositions inspired by the Polish pianist, composer, politician, humanitarian, and one of the most famous entertainers of the early twentieth century.

Jonathan's interest in Paderewski was ignited by his grandfather, who once walked fifteen miles from his Yorkshire home to see Paderewski in concert. A previous recording of a rare collection of pieces by Paderewski earned Jonathan an invitation from the Paderewski Memoriam Foundation to give the closing recital of the Polish Parliament's 2001 ‘Year of Paderewski' celebrations in Warsaw.

Jonathan's last recording, ‘Hommage à Chopin', was one of Hyperion's top-ten sellers in 2010, reaching number 20 in the classical chart, and met widespread critical acclaim.

‘Homage to Paderewski' is out now on Hyperion Records and is available from the Hyperion website.

Music from out of this world

One of Gustav Holst’s most famous works was brought to life by the University of Chichester Symphony Orchestra in a concert that saw them perform at Chichester Cathedral for the very first time.

The Orchestra’s rendition of The Planets formed the centre piece of the concert, which also featured the premiere UK performance of a new viola concerto by Thomas Schmidt Kowalski, performed by internationally acclaimed soloist Emilian Dascal, for whom the piece was written. The concert was in aid of the Princess of Wales Regimental Charity.

The Planets is one of the most recognisable British works; the music of ‘Mars’ has inspired a multitude of film composers, whilst the intensity of the instruments in ‘Jupiter’, which include the bass oboe, bass flute, contra bassoon, celeste and organ, have ensured its status as a popular anthem, synonymous with worldwide sporting events.    

The University’s Head of Orchestral Studies, Crispin Ward, said: “The standard of music making at the University has risen to such a high level in just a few years that students came here from across the world to be a part of these very special performances. This was a very exciting evening in aid of a very worthy charity.”

University lecturer scores award-winning film

A senior music lecturer at the University of Chichester has scored a documentary film which has been recognised in an international awards ceremony in Hollywood, California, USA last year.

Dr Stephen Baysted scored 'Life Lines' in June last year; which won the Best Foreign Documentary award at the Action/Cut Short Film Awards in Los Angeles, where it was also shortlisted in the Documentary Short category, and will now be screened at various festivals throughout the autumn.

'Life Lines' is a powerful film about organ donation, made in conjunction with the NHSBT (Blood and Transplant), and Stephen relished the opportunity to contribute to such an important cause. Stephen got involved with the film after a meeting with BBC journalist Barbara Myers at a lecture he gave last year.

“Having the opportunity to score a film with a vitally important message is a rare privilege and a serious responsibility,” he said, “with a documentary like this, one is required to be subtle, restrained and present the real life tragedy of the character and their situation in a dignified manner.”

In addition to scoring 'Life Lines', Stephen was also busy working on other projects over summer last year, including a German TV film called 'Der Mann mit dem Fagott' ('The Man with the Bassoon'), for which Stephen was a score programmer, and a game entitled 'Beam', for which he composed the score and directed the audio.

Performing without Fear: Exploring techniques to cope with musical performance anxiety

A performance anxiety course for musicians at the University of Chichester was is running for the fourth year, following its successful debut in 2010.
The three day course, run by the Music Department, offers musicians the chance to conquer their fears of performing. The course, which attracted participants from as far as Gloucester, Bournemouth and London, ran twice during the summer period at the University’s Bishop Otter Campus in Chichester.

Performance anxiety in music is a subject that is often ignored, but it affects many musicians at various stages of their career. The course was been developed as a result of course tutor Nick Reynolds’ experience of teaching and research into the subject.
The course explores introductory approaches for developing individual strategies to regain the enjoyment of performing music. .
Attendees can expect to explore the ‘whys’ of getting nervous before playing, surveying different approaches to learning and playing music that may help beat the nerves, and take part in a practical explorations of techniques.