#CONNECT

21 September 2016

Dr Daniel Bickerton and Timothy Johnston in one of our studios
Dr Daniel Bickerton and Timothy Johnston in one of our studios (photo courtesy of Sarah Johnston)

Dr Daniel Bickerton will conduct the world premiere performance of his new work #CONNECT at the Royal Albert Hall in November.

The piece, written for a large ensemble featuring 600 young musicians (ages 11-21), will close the last night of the Music for Youth PROMS concert series on 16 November 2016.

Dr Bickerton, working in collaboration with music services in South Wales including Gwent and Caerphilly, was commissioned by Music for Youth to write the piece as their concert grand finale.  The performance line-up of approximately 400 vocalists and 200 instrumentalists will include a jazz ensemble, strings, percussion, SATB and junior voices, and will also feature dancers, beat-boxers and electro-acoustics.

Designed to celebrate technological evolution, #CONNECT is a work in four movements, each focussing on a different aspect of technology. The opening movement concerns social media, with text taken from social media posts, and the others focus on television, mobile phones, and how we connect as a world through the internet.

Timothy Johnston, a third-year BMus student, has been assisting with aspects of the production thanks to the Cardiff University Research Opportunities Programme (CUROP). Dr Bickerton successfully secured full CUROP funding for a paid summer placement, providing Timothy with a unique opportunity to work on a research project and enhance his academic and musical skills.

Timothy has been supporting Dr Bickerton with orchestration, producing the electro-acoustics, and mixing, and will also take part in the premiere performance.

In addition to the CUROP funding, Dr Bickerton’s project has secured funds of up to £20,000 from a wide range of sources, including Torfaen LEA, Caerphilly CBC and The Gwent High Sheriffs’ Community Fund.

Dr Bickerton, Director of Undergraduate Studies at the School of Music, said: “Although this is a fantastic opportunity for me to conduct my own work at the Royal Albert Hall, I’m delighted that with university funding I have been able to offer one of our exceptional undergraduates the opportunity to work alongside me with this exciting project. Tim has been a pleasure to work with, extremely professional and I’m very grateful to the CUROP scheme for contributing funds to this commission.”

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