LPO Soundworks Diaries: 7 April 2016 - Meet Fraser

On Saturday 9 April at 6pm, young musicians from LPO Soundworks ensemble will perform alongside young dancers from Rambert’s Quicksilver, in a collaborative piece created in just 4 days. With their performance just two days away, we caught up the workshop’s musical leader Fraser Trainer to find out how the music is coming together and how the young musicians are working together with the young dancers.


Fraser Trainer

F: I’m Fraser and I’m a composer, and I’m responsible for leading the music group on this project.

7 Apri 4

What have the musicians been doing today?

F: This is day 2 so we’ve just had a morning session where we’ve been working on two chunks of material from our piece which is loosely based around some of the themes that come up in Macbeth. We’ve been working on the idea of the madness and disintegration of Lady Macbeth and trying to find the music that works for the dance. The other music we were working on this morning was the witches’ ritual dance. We had had a little look at the dance yesterday so we were working on finding the music for that.

7 April 7

How are you developing the musical material?

F: We’re led by 5 or 6 ideas that we’ve drawn from the Macbeth tale and then we’ve both found ways to interpret that either musically or dance. We’ve had to make things separately so that involves us both finding a way of working with the thematic material and adapting it so that makes sense together.

F: The worst thing to attempt is just to be told to be creative and make something. The possibilities are endless and we’re on a tight time limit. So there’s usually a brief of what we need from the music or what the emotional or atmospheric qualities of the music need to be, or a rhythmic brief in terms of what it needs to do practically for the dancers. We’ve been dividing into three groups so there’s more of a chance to collaborate, and for the students to come up with ideas. We edit it and fine tune it until we’re happy with what we’ve created.

7 April 1

What are the main challenges for the musicians?

F: It’s a chance to get away from notation. If you’re a classical musician and you’re learning your instrument you get focussed around musical notation and that means that everything is done for you. Whereas what we’re involved in here is making something from scratch. If you’re making it from scratch, you have to understand the music internally and you have a stronger connection with the music - I think that’s one of the great opportunities in this project. So there then is the challenge of remembering stuff!

7 April 9

What do you hope the musicians can take away from the project?

F: I want them to really enjoy it and have fun making stuff and to get something from working with people from a different discipline. I think what's really clear from the dancers is how disciplined they are and how they work well together. As musicians all working quite a lot on our own, we don’t necessarily have that so I think that’s something they can learn.

7 April 8


Don’t miss our LPO Soundworks performance with Rambert’s young dancers from Quicksilver at 6.00pm on Saturday 9 April at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall.

Read our previous day's blog, or read our other blog from day 2.

Soundworks is generously supported by the D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust.