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City "In C"

Wednesday, 07 July 2021

At the end of May, the Music Department put on a concert for the first time this year. Musicians played for an hour straight, playing through Terry Riley’s “in C” with no audience; the musicians entered the Great Hall in separate year group bubbles, and spread out across the whole of the Great Hall creating a space never seen before. The light show, staff band and organ added extra effects to this experimental performance.

“In C” is not the typical piece of music you hear played by an orchestra. It has no tempo or dynamic markings, no specific instrumentation or even set length. It consists of 53 different “cells” or short musical phrases to be played in order from start to finish. Each performer is encouraged to play each cell as often as they like, with freedom to choose the number of repetitions and how they feel it should be played in terms of dynamics, register and articulation. Without conductor the players are still expected to join up in unison from time to time, before breaking away again into canons and imitation.

For many performers, this concert will have been the first time they have stepped on stage since December, and we thank Mr Quesnel and all of the members of the Music Department for putting on a fantastic performance after almost half a year of no ensemble playing.

You can watch the performance in full here. Enjoy!

For many performers, this concert will have been the first time they have stepped on stage since December.
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