Scilly’s Pupils To Play In Innovative Live Concert

Dr Jon Hargreaves

Dr Jon Hargreaves

Pupils from the Five Islands School will take part in an innovative live concert later this month, linking musicians and singers across four location in Scilly and Cornwall through new internet software.

Eight flautists – four pupils and four adults from Scilly – will join a brass section playing from Mullion School, a string orchestra and choir at Truro Cathedral and Dr Jon Hargreaves, who will conduct the entire orchestra from the University of Falmouth.

The audiences at each venue will enjoy a performance that will sound as if all the musicians are playing together in the same hall.

And Jon says the performers will view and hear each other on three monitors.

Although performers have collaborated using the internet previously, this system is more advanced than normal webcams or Skype.

Software has been written to deal with drop out and delay, so the musicians can hear the entire ensemble in real time. Jon says it’s taken a year to create the system.

There’ll be three specially commissioned pieces performed. Composer John Pickard has written one especially for Scilly in a nod to the superfast broadband, brought here by the undersea cable that makes this event possible.

It’s called ‘In Sea-Cold Lyonesse,’ from the first line of Walter de la Mare’s 1922 poem and recalls the sinking of the mythical land, thought to represent Scilly in Arthurian legend.

Jon says it’s a “lovely poetic idea” which finishes with the flutes calling to the brass on the mainland.

The ensemble had a run-through on Friday. Jon says the technology works well and he’s “absolutely elated” by how the pieces have come together.

And he believes Scilly’s youngsters will benefit from the experience of being part of a large-scale production.

The Scilly end of the concert will be at the school Performance Hall at 7.30pm on 12th July.