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Lloyd Coleman is a composer, conductor and clarinettist, who recently graduated from the Royal Academy of Music. He's been a member of the British Paraorchestra since it was formed in 2012, and is now writing a major new piece for them. You can follow his progress here on this video blog.

Towards Harmony: video highlights of the world premiere performance

5 September 2015

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I am delighted to present this final video blog recalling the events of Friday July 3, when the British Paraorchestra, Southbank Sinfonia and Charles Hazlewood performed the world premiere of Towards Harmomy in Bristol. I hope you will get a sense of that momentous occasion, through the selection of short interviews and conversations with players, and some clips from the piece itself. The video ends with the final section of the piece in full, and the subsequent response of the audience. ...

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Towards Harmony: 23 days to go

9 June 2015

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Today began with the 8.30 train from King's Cross to Peterborough, where I met with Kate Risdon, our brilliant flute player. I had promised her some pastries to go with our morning coffee on arrival - the Paraorchestra, like most bands, works best when fed with caffeine and cake... Kate has an extraordinarily beautiful bass flute solo half way through the piece, in partnership with our bassoonist Sonia. The bass flute is well over twice the size of its parent instrument, and the first time...

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Towards Harmony: 24 days to go

8 June 2015

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Book your tickets for Colston Hall on July 3 HERE So while the loud and proud celebrations at BBC Music Day have somewhat dominated things before the weekend, somewhere in the background I've kept up with my visits to various Paraorchestra members around the country. Firstly, there was Gemma Lunt, our extraordinary saxophone player, who I will be featuring in my last video blog later this month. She studied at the Trinity College of Music in Greenwich, where she now lives, and can make a...

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Towards Harmony: 25 days to go

7 June 2015

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Phew! What an intense (but hugely rewarding) few days since we last spoke. I've been in Bristol with four other members of the Paraorchestra for the BBC's inaugural Music Day on Friday. We joined up with hundreds of other performers from the city, including the brilliant OpenUp Music Orchestra, the Bristol Youth Choir and the City of Bristol Choir. The very lovely Victoria Oruwari from the Inner Vision Orchestra was also there, as were several local signing choirs, meaning it was a...

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Towards Harmony: 30 days to go

2 June 2015

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Book your tickets for the World Premiere of Towards Harmony on July 3 HERE My week of rehearsal madness continued apace today - I visited the wonderful Adrian Lee at his home in North London. I have introduced you to this magician of the guitar already on this blog, and I always enjoy visiting and rehearsing with him. Although I will freely admit that we are both guilty of becoming sidetracked with too many tea breaks and talking at length about our favourite music, instead of actually...

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Towards Harmony: 31 days to go

1 June 2015

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Book your tickets for July 3 HERE That's right - as announced in my last video blog - the world premiere performance of Towards Harmony will take place in Bristol's Colston Hall on Friday 3rd July as part of the Fast Fowards Music Festival.  I am only too aware that my presence on this blog has been somewhat sporadic over the past 12 months, so as the day draws nearer I aim to post as often as I can manage. This should bring you an insight into the rehearsal process we're going...

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Excitement at the final composition 'Towards Harmony' plus an introduction to Paraorchestra member Clarence Adoo

22 May 2015

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My composition Towards Harmony is now finished and ready to be premiered by the British Paraorchestra on 3 July in the Colston Hall, Bristol. Watch the video below to hear a sample of the final composition and to hear an interview with Clarence Adoo, founder member of the Paraorchestra and the Headspace Ensemble.  Clarence illustrates how the Headspace works and how he came to develop the instrument with Rolf Gelhaar using sound beam technology as the starting point....

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Video: Introducing Paraorchestra member Baluji Shrivastav

16 March 2015

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Watch the video below to hear how my piece (as yet untitled) is influenced by two musical ideas which originated in music of the Baroque era. I also provide demonstrable proof that composers don't always simply write down music that comes into our heads, aimlessly forming a piece as we go. Sometimes, it's possible to take a small idea and play with this using a variety of established compositional techniques.  Also in my video blog this week, Baluji Shrivastav - amongst the first...

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Video: Introducing Paraorchestra member Adrian Lee

16 February 2015

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It's time for our next musician to be put in the spotlight, and this week it is my very great pleasure to introduce you to Adrian Lee.  He is an indispensable member of the orchestra for which I'm writing - here you can read my thoughts on a fabulous gig he and fellow guitarist Tom Doughty did at Unlimitied last year. And as you'll hear in the video below, Adrian's introduction to music and subsequent work has been a truly kalaidescopic mix of styles and genres. He's...

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Why should the British Paraorchestra exist?

9 February 2015

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Charles Hazlewood, founder of the British Paraorchestra, has always been very clear about his reasons for setting up the group. When his youngest daughter was born with cerebral palsy, his eyes were opened to the world of disability, which (by his own admission) he had paid little attention to before. This led Charles to consider disability in the context of his work as a conductor. He realised he had encountered very few disabled, professional musicians – a handful, at most – in...

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The work of Attitude is Everything explained by Suzanne Bull MBE

23 January 2015

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The latest project in the spotlight for this series on accessibility to the arts and their associated venues is Attitude is Everything.  They are clearly one of the major players in the business of finding forward-thinking, dynamic solutions to the difficulties disabled people face every week at festivals, theatres and concert halls across the land.  Last year, I caught up with Suzanne Bull MBE - the founder of the organisation - to talk about their mission. I was astounded by how...

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Introducing Paraorchestra member Steph West

14 November 2014

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It's high time you lovely lot were introduced to some of the extraordinary musicians from the Paraorchestra.  To get us started, here's a video I produced earlier in the year, before the Sound of Disability project began. I interviewed Steph West for my online music show, Taking Notes. Steph is an extraordinary harpist, flautist and singer, with roots in folk music (although she is also able to play in many other styles, as is so often needed in the Paraorchestra!) In our...

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What does a composer do in a day? A brief guide to my creative process

5 November 2014

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In this month's update, I explain my daily routine of working as a composer. Of course, each and every artist will have their own preference with regards to how, where and when they work, but one thing that never seems to change is an audience's curiosity with the (sometimes mundane) details of how a piece of art is conceived.  I also bring you a world exclusive - by playing some of the first notes I have commited to paper for this new commission I'm working on for DAO. The...

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Lloyd talks to members of UCAN Productions about a new app for visually impaired people and tries out some ideas for his emerging composition

22 August 2014

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Welcome back! In the second installment of my video blog, I play some of my initial ideas for the Paraorchestra piece, and meet Mared Jarman and Megan John from UCAN Productions, who are developing an app to assist visually impaired people move around performing arts venues. Take a look, and let me know what you think in the comments section below. I'm intrigued to hear your thoughts on the app in particular. [Please click on this link for a further in-depth conversation with Mared and...

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Lloyd finds out further information about the UCAN GO app

22 August 2014

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In an extended version of the interview posted today, Mared Jarman and Megan John from UCAN Productions explain the concept of the app to Lloyd Coleman. [Please click on this link for Lloyd's August video blog, including an extraordinary explanation of his approach to developing musical ideas for a diverse orchestra] The app is designed for you to use on your phone to navigate public spaces. It will have a 'route' function to help you navigate from A to B and a 'lost'...

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Introduction to the Sound of Disability

3 July 2014

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Welcome all, to my brand new blog on Disability Arts Online. Over the next few months, I will be working on a very exciting new commission for the British Paraorchestra and a major UK symphony orchestra.  You can read Trish Wheatley's reflections on the Paraorchestra's first ever gig two years ago here, and watch a Channel 4 documentary about the orchestra here As well as charting the progress of the project, the video blogs will raise issues and debates...

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