Christmas Update

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As Christmas approaches I felt it was appropriate to update you on my progress and activities this term.

Last weekend we concluded our contemporary dance project with two performances at the London Contemporary Dance School. Although it went through many revisions and rethinks over the 6 weeks that we worked on the project I ended up composing a score for a solo harp to accompany the two female dancers which my choreographer, Joseph Toonga, was working with. After the more raucous and energetic works of the first half (many of the other works used amplification or electronics, and had larger corps of dancers) we opened the second half with a very quiet and intimate piece which the audience seemed to appreciate. I could feel the audience listening perhaps more intently than they had for the louder pieces (apart from the gentleman in front of me, who had his mobile phone out), and the dancers felt that they could explore the relationship with the harp in a particularly intimate way. A video recording was made, although I won’t receive it until the new year, but an audio recording was made in the last rehearsal, and can be found on my soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/romanbenedict/giving-space.
As well as the projects that are part of the course (we are now under way with the ‘voiceworks’ project, where we are collaborating with postgraduate singers and poets to create new works for voice) I am using this opportunity to take on a few additional projects. I am working on an additional song project, writing a new song for a master’s singer and pianist to perform, and am planning on setting a poem by Poe for them to perform. I have also started working with the Guildhall School’s drama department on their production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, for which I will be writing music for the famous songs, and composing incidental cues for the scenes and transitions of the production. This is very exciting, although rehearsals start on the 2nd of January, which means I will be very busy these holidays. I am also preparing submissions for several competitions, so I am facing a pleasingly busy month ahead.
I am looking forward to seeing family and friends again this Christmas  as the family is coming to London and we will be celebrating Christmas with old family friends, which will be a welcome time of calm after the hectic first term.

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