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Karen and the Composers

Karen and the Composers


[Marimba music playing] Music can be used to tell stories. But
where does the music come from? And how do the musicians know what to play? Well, I’ve come to the Sydney Conservatorium of Music to find out more. Let’s go! I’m here with Associate Professor, Paul Stanhope A world-renowned composer.
Hi Paul Hi Now, what is a composer? A composer is someone who makes up music and you can make that up in lots of different ways. Right, okay! Is that music in your head? Yeah, that’s an interesting idea isn’t it?
But yes the music starts in my head. Sometimes I play it a bit on the piano first so that I can hear it back and then I put it into music notes like this. Music notes? Yeah. Well I just see like dots and lines and squiggles but what do they mean? So it’s like a bit of a code isn’t it or another language and musicians learn from when
they’re very little how to read these music notes. They are little like squiggles which tell the players what to play on their instruments and then they practice those notes
and they make music from it. So all these notes make up music.
Why did you want to become a composer? I’ve always been fascinated by music by
performing music by singing music by playing music and from a young age I
wanted to write my own music. It felt like a really good way to express
your feelings inside of you and it’s also really fun to work with musicians
who can play your music. So, what inspires you to make the music? Inspiration can come from a lot of places. It can come from a picture could come from a story it could come from a feeling which is inside of you and you want to try and express that
through music. Wow lots of different ways to be inspired and tell the story. What techniques to use in music to tell the story? So some of the things we can do in
music is to create a theme that represents a character So in our Sea show there’s a melody which
represents character of David, the little boy. And that theme or that melody goes all the
way through the piece. And you can have different melodies to represent
different characters. Right, that’s an interesting way of telling a story so
you’re saying that the character has their own music? That’s right yeah. Wow so now we have the music is there anything else we can do to create the mood to tell the story? I think I might know someone to help us, let me introduce you to Dr. Daniel. Oh let’s find Dr. Daniel [Marimba music playing] Hey Daniel! Hi Karen! Lovely to see you. Good to see you too. I’m here with Dr. Daniel Blinkhorn who is a multi-international award-winning composer and sound artist. What does your job involve? These days it involves recording lots
and lots of sounds from the world around us Wow what kind of sounds do you like
to record? Typically going into places where there aren’t too many sounds that people make Wow So environmental sounds really. So what is environmental sound? Well that varies from location to location But to give an example a few
years back I was up recording the sounds of icebergs melting in the North Pole. Wow there is a sound to that? There is a sound to that it’s a remarkable
sound. I have a special microphone and that allows me to be able to lower that
into the water and all of a sudden it just opens up into this really amazing
strange you know soundscape it’s incredible [Sound of icebergs melting] What inspires you to like you
know create these film scores and soundscapes? I think for me it’s a very personal thing I realized that there is so much noise in the world that we’re just not hearing the kinds of natural sounds that are out there. And so I wanted to be able to really focus on those and to be able to tell a story with those and be able to make other people aware of the beauty of the sounds that are around us sounds we get in nature What kind of techniques do you use to you know get that sound capture that sound
I have a whole variety of different kinds of microphones which typically
allow me to be able to record these sounds in a kind of special way. So I
have some that you can place underwater others that you can place on the surface
of something and they’ll pick up all of these kinds of wonderful sounds. In fact if I was to put one on the ceiling of this room here you’re going to hear all kinds of amazing sounds that we can’t actually hear as we’re talking. Oh wow. Why is sound a music so special to you? Well it’s pretty magical stuff I mean there
are sounds that can tell stories It can be very dramatic it can be sometimes
sad sometimes it’s very happy. I mean it’s it’s like I say it’s a pretty
magical kind of experience. well I have some friends outside I think would love
to learn more about what you do. So would you like to meet them? I absolutely would
that would be fantastic. They’d love that
[Giggles] [Marimba music playing] These are my friends. Hey guys say hi to
Paul and Daniel. Hi Paul and Daniel. Hi
Hello These guys want to learn more about music. Great, you’ve come to the
right place. Let’s get some instruments out. Yeah! Let’s do it! Okay everybody today we’re going to create some music. We need a theme for our music
piece. What are we going to do? I know we’re in a cafe so why don’t we use the cafe? Great idea let’s make our piece called in the cafe! Let’s make some words up for the cafe. Hmm you can think of a word for the cafe? Yep? Egg. Egg! What a great thing I love eggs. Shall we write E-G-G Okay, let’s pick up our mallets and
we’re going to play E-G-G [Children playing xylophones]
E-G-G E-G-G Where are we again? Cafe We’re in a cafe do you think we
could spell that word out? Cafe. What are the letters? C-A-F-E [Children playing xylophones]
C-A-F-E C-A-F-E Very good! We need to go and get some
cafe sounds. I think I need some help from Dr. Daniel Shall we go with Dr.
Daniel? Yes, let’s do that! [Children chattering excitedly] You ready? [Milk steamer whirs] [Microwave button beeping] [Microwave buzzing] [Microwave beeping] [Children chattering] Ready? 2, 3 – go! [Children playing xylophones]
CAFE CAFE [Glasses clinking]
Would you like some coffee? Good! [Glasses clinking]
Would you like some tea? Now cafe noises! Just go “Raaaaaa” [Children playing xylophones and tapping glasses] And we’ll finish with some cafe sounds. [Audio recording from cafe playing] And that was “In the Cafe” Congratulations boys and girls! [Clapping] Why not take this exercise to the park or the zoo? Or try emotions like fear or excitement to make a soundscape! We hope you enjoy exploring this exercise at home or in the classroom.
Say goodbye everyone. Bye! [Marimba music playing]

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