This summer the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra worked with a group of thirty brilliant young musicians from across North Lincolnshire to devise a brand new composition, which they then performed side-by-side with the full symphony orchestra the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms.
Having performed their piece to a packed audience at the iconic London concert hall and to many more listeners via a live BBC Radio 3 broadcast the young musicians couldn’t wait to bring their piece, The Faces of Brahma, to their home-town of Scunthorpe in North Lincolnshire for its regional premiere.
The students (all 11–19 years old) first met in June this year to form a new mixed instrument ensemble. They took part in four intensive days of music-making with RPO musicians and creative leader Paul Griffiths, drawing inspiration from Symphony by world-famous composer and sitar player Ravi Shankar. The group explored Shankar’s use of different harmonies, scales, rhythms and structures, experimenting with their own melodies and ideas in response. The resulting piece was a vivid response to Shankar’s fusion of Indian and Western sound-worlds. The group chose to name their piece after the Hindu god of creation, Brahma. In Hinduism, Brahma is said to have four faces, which inspired the group to compose their piece with four distinct sections, all very unique in character.
The RPO couldn’t think of a better way to launch the new 5-year residency at The Baths Hall, and were delighted to open the concert season on the 22nd November 2017 with a performance by the talented young musicians of The Faces of Brahma. Sadly, Paul Griffiths was not able to join us for this special occasion, however, the Orchestra was proud and excited to be joined by RPO creative leader, Raphael Clarkson who worked alongside conductor Mathieu Herzog to make the performance a stand-out success.
The RPO would like to thank our generous supporters and partners including Ongo Communities, North Lincolnshire Council, North Lincolnshire Music Education Hub, The Milson Trust and The Baths Hall for enabling this project to take place as part of the Orchestra’s Residency in Scunthorpe.