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  • Writer's pictureJoe Martin

Peter Reynolds Composers Studio 2022

This September I was thrilled to be one of the featured composers on the Peter Reynolds Composers Studio (PRCS) at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival in Cardiff, Wales. As a part of the festival, each of the six composers wrote a string quartet and a percussion quartet, for the Carducci Quartet and Sandbox Percussion, respectively. The entire festival was incredibly inspiring, and it was great to work alongside some extremely talented musicians over the week and a half the festival ran for.

Run by the Vale of Glamorgan Festival, the PRCS is an intensive week-long residency for six emerging composers. As well as attending each event run by the festival, each composer received mentoring from the Artistic Director, John Metcalf, as well as course director Rob Fokkens and Cardiff University composition lecturer Pedro Faria Gomes. This year, we also had industry talks from composers Sarah Lianne Lewis and Helen Woods, and Classical Relationship Manager Dan Lewis from PRS for Music.

The first workshop to take place was with the award-winning Carducci Quartet, in which I had the pleasure to take part in a workshop for my piece for string quartet, Magnetic Resonance. The inspiration for this piece came from the myriad sounds produced by an MRI machine, and given the versatility of the string quartet as an ensemble, I thought that it would be perfect to capture the breadth of sound created.

Later on in the week was the workshop with Sandbox Percussion. This took place the day following their incredible performance of Andy Akiho's Seven Pillars at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, an evening of virtuosic playing filled with energy. I felt that the members of Sandbox really grasped what I was aiming to achieve with my percussion quartet, Tsunami, and I was thrilled with the final performance.

Overall, the festival was a fantastic experience, made all the more enjoyable by sharing it with the other young composers - it was a pleasure to get to know everybody, and I would highly recommend the PRCS to anyone interested!

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