Innovative student composition based on Todmorden Wind Turbines

The Choir performing Christmas 2015

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 09:35:00 GMT

At the University of Huddersfield Choir Concert on 15 December in St Paul’s Hall one of the pieces being performed is a new work by Music student Jo Kennedy inspired by the  moorland windfarms around Todmorden, where she lives. The innovative piece, called ‘Caught in the Arms”, uses sounds and lyrics to evoke the local landscape. Jo has written compositions during her degree and a number of songs outside her studies, but this is the first time she has written a piece for a choir.

Jo was commissioned by Choir Director Dr Lisa Colton, to write a piece of music for the concert over the summer between her first and second year as a music student. Jo said “I would like to thank Lisa for giving me the opportunity to write this piece. It’s been an invaluable learning experience to compose a choral piece and then hear how it sounds for real.”

Jo explains  “I’m interested in creating soundscapes, and in using the human voice not only for delivery of lyrics, but also in more unconventional ways,  as an instrument that can make many different types of sounds.  In this piece my idea was to recreate the sound of turbine blades slowly turning in the wind.”

Dr Colton said “The piece offers the choir a unique challenge: to imitate the sounds of wind turbine blades. Apart from the imaginative sound, this technique also proved an excellent way for our singers to concentrate on their breath control. Some of the most effective moments of the five-minute work involve the choir singing Jo's evocative, original lyrics, inspired by the local countryside. The effect is a musical meditation on the connection between our rural and technological environments, a 21st century lovesong to the natural world and to humanity's attempts to channel its energy".

Bmus (Hons) Student Jo Kennedy

All are welcome to hear Jo’s piece, and a mix of other songs, performed in the free choir concert, Thursday 15 Dec at 6.00pm in St Paul’s Hall. The concert is being held in part to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. A full programme can be found here

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