British Composer Award nomination for SCO/Drake Music Scotland commission

Composer Howard Moody has been shortlisted for a British Composer Award for his groundbreaking work, Moving Music, which was commissioned by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Drake Music Scotland.

Moody has been nominated in the Community or Educational Project category for Moving Music, which gave eight secondary school pupils with physical or visual impairment from Ashcraig School in Glasgow the chance to perform alongside orchestral musicians, by using the latest music technology.

The piece was written for Soundbeam technology – a movement sensor system connected to a computer, programmed with thousands of live instrument samples. It was adapted to react to the slightest movements and allowed those unable to use conventional instruments to take part in a live performance.

Howard Moody said he took inspiration both from the pupils themselves, and some of the feelings they experienced, as well as birdsong and the words of 13th century poet Rumi. It was divided into six distinct sections; Longing, Shy and Elusive, Vulnerable, Expressive, Unusual, Nocturnal.

Moving Music was performed at Platform in Easterhouse on 2 June 2008, and the children were joined by a choir from the school, as well as SCO musicians.

“We are delighted that Howard Moody’s expertise has been recognised in this nomination. It is the combination of his extraordinary skills that made this project such a success.” - SCO Education Director, Lucy Perry

Howard Moody said there was a real “joyfulness” in the sessions at Ashcraig. “My personal interest was to make the process of playing soundbeams feel the same as playing an acoustic instrument. There was a real sense of collaboration between all those who participated.”

The British Composer Awards will be held at the Law Society in London on Tuesday 1 December, and the ceremony will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Wednesday 2 December at 7pm.

Yours Truly, Chip Michael, was entered for the International Award. The International Award received its largest entry for the three years it has been contested. There were 19 nominations for works receiving their UK premiere in the qualifying period. The nominations in this category go to John Adams, Peter Helmut Lang and Magnus Lindberg. While I wasn't short listed, it's nice to be included in such illustrious company.

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