Sea Woman – the blog!
A musical performance devised and created with young people from
What is it all about?
A unique collaboration between
The Festival is joining forces with Hampshire County Council's Music Service to stage three performances of Sea Woman, a musical re-telling of a Scottish folk tale using dialogue, dance, song, music technology, orchestral instruments and a gamelan.
The project is particularly unusual in that it involves students from Westgate, Kings', Henry Beaufort, Perins Schools and Peter Symonds College devising, creating and composing individual elements of the production. Work began in March and a weekly evening rehearsal schedule is now under way.
Sea Woman is not a performance by primary school children aimed at parents and grandparents. Rather, it's a large scale, vibrant piece of musical youth theatre which is investing in the talent of the next generation by drawing on students' expertise, encouraging them to push the boundaries of their creative experience and giving them a high profile platform at a premier event in
The historic setting of the Great Hall will be transformed by tiered seating to create an intimate performance space for the three re-tellings of Sea Woman on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 July.
We (Winchester Youth Orchestra) have had experience of such projects before with performances of Benjamin Britten's Noyes Fludde and David Bedford's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. But never before have orchestra members had the opportunity to contribute so much to a project. All of the music used in Sea Woman is completely new and as a direct result of workshops and ideas put forward by orchestra members during rehearsals. We also have electronic music created by Kings School GCSE students by way of sound manipulation and will also join pupils from
We are thankful to the following organisations for their financial help with this project and welcome anyone else who might like to contribute financially to it!
Hampshire County Council's Music Service
Arts Council – Lottery Fund
The Leche Trust
Project leaders and staff:
Not everyone is included on this list. There are many others helping with costumes, choreography, dancing and making the set—thank you to all those who are giving up their time to make this possible!
· Martin Read: composer and animateur
· Allison Amin: costume designer.
· Carl Clausen: project co-ordinator
Where can you purchase tickets from?
Tickets £10 and £6 (young people under 18 years)
Cathedral Box Office: Tel 01962 857276
You can contribute to this blog by sending your material to
Carl - firstname.lastname@example.org
Please feel free to leave comments on the posts !
Sunday, 18 July 2010
Thursday, 8 July 2010
Saturday 10 July:
· Rehearsal at the Great Hall 12 to 4 pmperformance at 7 pm.
Sunday 11 July:
· Performances at 3 and 7 pm (arrival times to be confirmedroughly 30 minutes before for musicians, a little longer of you have to get into a costume!)
Dress code for Orchestra and Chorus for performances:
Please can you wear smart / casual black clothing, no t-shirts or logos. Black jeans are ok as long as they are new (not faded or ripped). Long or mid-length skirts, no minis please.
Ladies you can wear jewellery, think sea....pearls, mother of pearl, silvery, fishy, shells.
Gentlemen if you want to wear a tie, white or silver grey. Primark have great ones for £2.
Very few tickets left for Saturday evening (some released yesterday)
There still some tickets left for Sunday but hurry!
There still some tickets left for Sunday but hurry!
Sunday, 4 July 2010
Friday, 2 July 2010
Whilst creating the music for Sea Woman was not in itself going to be a problem, how all the different musics gamelan, orchestra, ska band, chorus, solo flute and ambient electronic music, all fitted together to sound as a whole was the real challenge.
The Balinese gamelan only uses the pitches G, A, B & D. It was therefore important that these pitches were integral to the whole piece a kind of building block. So we began an exploration through improvisation, of modes.
The notes G, A, B, C#, D, E, F# & G form the Lydian mode which is heard when the orchestra first play at the start of the piece, and is considered to be the brightest mode. By flattening different notes of the scale we arrive at different modes - G, A, B, C, D, E, F# & G is the Ionian mode; G, A, B, C, D, E, F & G the Mixolydian etc. until we reach quite a dark modes for example the Aeolian; G, A, Bb, C, D, Eb, F & G but, which still retains three notes from our original Lydian mode.
Thursday, 1 July 2010
We have been in rehearsal since March. The piece has been developed through performance workshops which have focused on movement, physical character, voice and chorus. The cast consists of about 20 performers, drawn from Westgate, King's and Peter Symonds, who have worked very much as an ensemble in rehearsal. The performers have made a major contribution to the choreography through rehearsal and we continue to develop the piece using this approach. Most of the story takes place on a beach which we will re-create in The Great Hall. Natural elements in the story will be represented physically, such as the sun, moon, seagulls and sea people. The seagulls are a particularly significant physical group as they remain on stage throughout the piece, moving the story forward and foreshadowing the action. The hauntingly beautiful story of Seawoman, which has been retold by many writers including Kevin Crossley Holland and Shirley Hughes, has been reworked by us, especially for this performance, using choral speech, dialogue and song to relate it. We are now at the point where we are stitching together all of the elements of the story - orchestral music, technology generated music, song, chorus, gamelan orchestra, movement and physical character. It is an immense task but hugely exciting as we begin to see the shape of the final performance emerge.
Lorraine Cheshire - Performance Director