Music isn’t just a thing of the past, it wasn’t all composed hundreds of years ago. Composers are still writing music today. They are often inspired by the past, but they’re also experimenting with new musical genres, new styles and techniques, and new sounds. Technology has enabled this to some extent, but a lot of this new music goes back to the fundamentals; using music and movement, as well as our own bodies and voices to create the piece. Connect It is one example of this, written especially for Ten Pieces.
Anna Meredith is a young, Scottish composer, and writes all sorts of music, in many different genres. When Anna was asked to write this piece, she chose to use the canon structure as the foundation. A canon is where two or more instruments, voices or sounds play the same music, but starting at different times. This compositional technique has been around for more than 500 years but is still widely used in contemporary music.
This piece involves aural and visual elements and invites children to explore the sounds that their bodies are capable of making. In this piece, human beings are the instruments – a human orchestra has been created.
Listen to and watch the whole piece. What parts of the body are being used to create the sounds that you are hearing? Can you demonstrate these sounds?
In the films below, Anna Meredith demonstrates eight choreographed steps which use a combination of body percussion, dance moves and vocal percussion. These moves and sounds link together to form the fabric of Connect It. Anna and the children in the film perform the moves in mirror image. Copy exactly what you see on screen.
Watch the full tutorial (19 minutes) and use the pause button to allow time to rehearse each move. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0295j47