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25 Jun 2019

About ‘Music for Friends’: Ben Lunn

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’Music for Friends’ was commissioned by DaDaFest and written specially for DaDaFest Ensemble. We will be performing it as part of DaDaFest Scratch at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on 11 July.  

The idea for the piece came from reflecting on Erik Satie, who after reading his ‘A Day in the Life’ I felt there were many characteristics that were quite autistic (like myself). During his life time he wrote pieces for a small circle and even wrote music just for the ambient effect. 

Because of this, I wanted to honour Satie as well as make something just for the DaDaFest Ensemble and I. The five movements of ‘Music for Friends’ each have their own character, either referring to the ensemble’s own skills and ideas, reflecting the past, or just trying to have fun.

‘Energico’ is a small introductory movement which sets the piece into a good groove. There are solos and fun rhythms – a piece has to start in an upbeat manner. 

‘A Day in the Life’ is a small movement dedicated to Satie which references his ‘A Day in the Life’. It is quieter and still, ultimately trying to be more like Satie himself. 

‘Passacaglia of Many Solos’ is the third movement. A passacaglia is an old form which has a pattern (often in the bass) circling over and over again. Because of this repeated harmony it gives a great platform for everyone to have a chance for a big solo. 

‘Game of Riffs’ and ‘Responses’ is more playful. We have a small rhythm section setting the groove, while I lead a game of call and responses. However the group should hopefully remember a rhythm they should not play back.

‘Bull in a china shop’ is a nice silly way to end. The classic instruments are bored of all this noise and trying to have a “sophisticated concert”. However, the rest of the ensemble are not in the mood for their snooty behaviour, so like a bull in a china shop try to cause as much chaos as they can. 

Working with DaDaFest Scratch has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Creating a piece for young people who are like me is a joy, mostly because they are so great to work with, but also because when growing up an opportunity like this was not available to me. 

I had to depend on abled/traditional music making which was positive, however it meant I was unable to relax comfortably in my disabled-ness. My hope is the group enjoy working with me half as much as I enjoy working with them. 

Music for Friends

Movements:

1 – Energico 3’

2 – A Day in the Life (Hello Satie) 2’

3 – Passacaglia of Many Solos 4’

4 – Game of Riffs and Responses 2’30’’

5 – Bull in a china shop 2’30’’ 

If you would like to join us for DaDaFest Scratch, tickets are just £5 and available on Liverpool Philharmonic website.

 


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