LPO Soundworks Diaries: 7 April 2016 - Meet Michael

This week, young musicians have come together with young dancers from Rambert’s Quicksilver to create a collaborative piece, based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, which they will perform on Saturday 9 April at 6pm. On Wednesday, we caught up with LPO Young Composer Michael Cryne, who has been helping the young musicians this week, to tell us how he thinks rehearsals are going and what he hopes the musicians can take away from this year’s LPO Soundworks project.


Michael Cryne

M: My name is Michael Cryne and I’m one of the LPO Young Composers. I’m working with the LPO under the supervision of Composer in Residence, Magnus Lindberg.

7 April 5

What’s been going on today?

M: We’ve been creating a piece of work very much on the fly so there’s a very improvisatory feel to the whole thing - giving the young people enough space to be able to develop their own ideas with enough of a clear framework so that they don’t feel lost. This morning was largely spent working as musicians exclusively putting together material based around the idea of simple rhythmic patterns that then develop, which is quite an important compositional concept. We introduced it to them without explaining it – we’re getting them to do it in a very practical way, so we’ve incorporated, for example, their consideration of volume.

M: We’ve just done some orchestration work – it sounds like a grand thing but it’s not. It’s just what’s playing where, what comes in first, which elements do we put on top of each other etc. Hopefully the young people will be starting to think about those basic compositional questions.

7 April 2

How have you been coming up with the musical material?

M: Fraser provides a very careful framework for idea development – he’s a master of providing just enough information for you to develop clear ideas but enough freedom so you don’t feel penned in. It’s a perfect balance.

How important is Macbeth to the compositional development?

M: Rather than sticking to the story, because we’ve got a very limited time, they’ve taken ideas and themes from Macbeth. We’ve got thoughts around madness and disintegration, elements of greed and ambition and we’ve got the sensitive emotional side of Lady Macbeth– we’ve given ourselves ideas and themes that we want to play with rather than trying to tell the story.

7 April 10

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

M: The end result is very important, but what is most important in the long run and what we’re trying to instil in them is thinking about music in a creative way and some of the central compositional questions that composers ask, or musicians that are creating material: there’s a lot of improvisation going on in the room – composers aren’t the only people who create music. So I hope that they take away some of the ideas around what’s at stake when you’re creating music.

7 April 3

7 April 6


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 blog, or read our blog from day 3.

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