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In these films, you'll be meeting children who've decided
to have a go at something they've never done before.
-And five composers,
each with their own unique style,
will be sharing their top tips with them and with you.
My name is Kid Carpet.
I've been making music and playing in bands since I was 11 years old.
Now, I'm on a musical mission to get kids like you
composing music for the very first time.
To help me do that, I'm going to need some backup.
Meet Katie, Anthony, Mena, Owen and Sarannah.
I know you're really excited about composing music today,
but before we get into that,
does anybody know what a composer actually does?
Is it someone that makes music?
-Like actually writes it and writes the tune?
A composer is someone who creates and writes music,
often for a performance.
-And does anybody play a musical instrument?
-No, I don't.
That's just what I'm looking for because in the next few hours,
I'm going to show you all that you can compose music.
Let's go. OK, so they know what a composer does.
Now they're going to meet one.
Pippa Murphy, has worked with artists and performers
all over the world and today, she's ours.
I've brought you here to the graffiti wall
to get a little bit of inspiration.
Sometimes it's really good to have a look at something to
get you started with your composition.
What I'd like you to do, is I'd like you to choose a colour from the wall.
Do you want to have a look around now?
So, you've all chosen your colours, yeah? OK.
What we're going to do is we're going to create a little pulse
to keep us going through this one.
Can you all use your two fingers here. Just a little clap.
And we're going to say our colours. Here we go.
-One, two, three, four, silver.
Right, so what I want you to do, is to take your colour
and change it into a rhythmic pattern.
-Here we are. Silver.
Green, green, lime, lime, green, green, lime.
Turquoise, turquoise, turquoise.
All these rhythmic patterns that you've composed,
we're going to put together.
Here we go. One, two, three, four.
THEY ALL SHOUT
Now what we're going to do, is we're going to drop the words
and keep the rhythmic pattern with our clapping.
OK? One, two, three, four.
Now we've got the basis for our composition,
the rhythmic patterns there,
how can we improve? What should we do next?
Maybe we could add different vocal sounds and noises.
Have you got any ideas of sounds you can come with?
HE MAKES BEAT NOISES
Brilliant. It is so exhausting. That's great.
Once he's caught his breath,
it's time for Anthony to add his sounds to the rhythm.
This is sounding great.
Now we've got our two layers of composition,
shall we add a third one?
-What do you think that should be? What could that be?
-It could be like singing a few phrases.
-Singing a few phrases.
-Absolutely. Has anyone got a phrase?
-I don't know if it will go.
-Ooh, ah, ooh.
-Brilliant, let's start again.
You just do it and we'll just copy whatever you do.
Try it a few times, because it's quite tricky to come up with it.
-Ooh, ooh, ooh.
-Ooh, ooh, ooh.
-La, la, la.
La, la, la.
-Ooh, ooh, ooh.
-Ooh, ooh, ooh.
What we're going to do now, is we're going to put our rhythm,
our percussion and melody together to create our composition.
I know the perfect place where it's going to sound amazing.
-So good, we're going to record it.
Record it? I can definitely help with that.
And there will be great acoustics in here.
One, two, three, four.
It was quite easy to decide what to put in.
It was just a bit harder deciding where to put it.
The thing I enjoyed about the composing,
is just you could say anything.
You could take anything that you saw and make it into a piece of music.
I'm really happy with the music we did because it sounded really nice
with everyone doing different things and doing what they were good at.
The sounds which were the most fun to make were the beatbox sounds.
The best bit about making the music
was putting it all together at the end and performing it.
One, two, three, four.
Musical compositions can be made in all sorts of different ways.
It's not always as you might imagine,
with guitars, bass, pianos and all that stuff.
I'm here to meet a load of kids and they're getting into
playing music just by banging on these old plastic barrels.
They're being led by Katie and Finlay, members of Trash,
a musical group that plays instruments made out of...trash.
Are you ready? And, one, two, three, four.
That sounded great, guys. Well done.
Where do all these drums come from?
Some are old water barrels which we've cleaned out
so they're now safe to use and now they're drums.
If I take some of these budding musicians on a bit of a raid
to go and find some materials
to make some musical instruments out of,
do you think you might be able to help compose a piece of music
-out of what they find?
-Absolutely. That's what we do.
OK, so what you're looking for is anything that might make
a really interesting sound
and remember you might have to put a couple of items together
to make the sound work more effectively. OK?
Helping me today are Sean and Elise, Dan and Rosie. Let's go in.
Rosie gets stuck in straightaway.
It doesn't take very long to find her first trash style instrument.
Most of the time, it's a matter of combining a couple of things
to make your instrument.
Other times, it's just pick up and blow.
They're finding some really useful sounding materials.
It's going to be interesting to see
if they actually can compose a piece of music from scratch.
As soon as we get back, our composers' first task
is to sort out their trash instruments...
..before they can start practising.
What have you got there, Sean? Whoa!
How are you making that sound
because you're not taking the cap right off?
You take it off a little bit
and slam it back down and it makes a good popping sound.
Can I help?
Let's see what you can do with that.
Look at this. They've been going just a few minutes
and already we've got a melody on a colander,
some rhythm in a balloon
and a box full of foam or something, I don't know.
But yes, they're making a funky piece of music.
It's Elise that's emerging as the leader of the trash band.
She's got some great ideas for how they could end their composition.
We could all cut off at different bits.
Dan cut off, Sean will cut off and then Rosie will cut off
and I'll cut off and then you'll get quieter.
-OK, do you think you're ready to show us and direct us with that?
-One, two, three, four.
You tell them, Elise.
I'm really pleased with the music we made today
and how they all went together.
I'm really impressed.
Now you've seen how it's done, why not give it a go?
You don't need to play a proper instrument
to make music out of scraps.
It's really easy to do.
Hi there, it's Keith Carpet here.
I've come to a school in Edinburgh where a seriously talented composer
is going to show us how to make music
from something called found sound.
What's all that about?
I'm a composer but I don't work with pianos or violins.
I just work with sounds that are all around me.
Meet composer, Jules Rawlinson. Jules finds sounds everywhere.
Sounds that he digitally records to make unique
and wonderful compositions.
That's a piece of music that I made using recorded found sounds.
It's now time for Jake and Sarah, Jordan, Nathan, Eilidh
and Sarah to get to work and start recording.
So, the first thing we have to do is check the sound.
Hold the microphone in. If you want to bounce the ball.
-Check this out, right?
-That sounds really cool.
They're bouncing a ball, recording the sound
and what's it going to be? I don't know.
A bass drum or some kind of percussion hit or something?
Cool sound, guys. Nice squeaky, rusty sound.
-Get a good level on there?
-Sound good on the headphones?
Now the team is using a hydrophone,
designed to safely record sounds in the water.
Sounds like it's fizzing and bubbling.
-Did that sound good?
-Falling stones and bench stamp. Recording.
So that's a bench stamp.
They've even got the headteacher.
So it looks like everyone's finished recording
their fantastic found sounds.
I wonder what they've got.
-Eilidh, did you have a favourite sound?
I did the headteacher coughing.
So the next thing we have to do,
is copy the sounds to the computer and then we can start.
Jules transfers the digital sound files from the recorders,
so they can begin editing the sounds and arranging music.
We should really start up a beat. Maybe use that ball bouncing.
That's a great suggestion.
What we'll do is we'll copy it across into our session.
-Is that the sound that you meant?
-That's a really good one.
What about the headteacher? The headteacher's cough.
We can do that.
-OK. That one?
-Let's copy that across then.
You can search for free audio recording software on the internet.
Make sure it's from a trusted source before you download it.
-Do you like that?
-We could use the spray to go along with the beat.
Let's see how it sounds.
-Yes, that's good, isn't it?
So, we'll start our beat playing and then we can choose
where we want to put it.
Maybe somebody can click their fingers
and we'll know where it should go in the beat.
Where do you think it should go?
Maybe put it in after the second beat.
That's a really good place to put it.
You could put one here too.
This is sounding really interesting. Let's take a look, come on.
It's sounding great, guys. Loving this.
What's making this diggida-biggida-biggida-boom
-kind of a sound?
The railings just out there? OK. What else is in there?
There's a boom bass drum thing going on.
-That was a bouncing ball.
-Bouncing the ball in the playground.
-The feet scuffing on the gravel.
-Scuffing their feet on the gravel.
-The headteacher coughing.
-That was good fun recording that.
Can we do something with the headteacher's cough?
Turn it into an instrument? Make it go...
-Can we do that?
Yeah. COUGHS AT DIFFERENT PITCHES
Yeah, that is completely it. I can't wait to hear this finished.
So what I'm doing is using the keyboard to play
the cough at different pitches.
I think we need another sound in there.
Something to work with the melody.
We could use the squeaky gate.
The squeaky gate might be a really good one. Yeah.
With some fish tank bubbles laid down, it's time to put melody
and rhythm together and what you get is a kicking dance track.
Anybody could do this if they wanted to,
but they'd need something that can record noise.
You can use something like a mobile phone
or if you have a digital camera that can record sound.
I'd like to try it in my home.
It is really fun to put all of those sounds together.
I love the final track, it's really cool.
I'm here on the banks of the Tyne with a famous composer
and also a bunch of kids who are about to compose
their own piece of music for the very first time.
John Kefala-Kerr's work involves collaborating
with all sorts of musicians and today is no exception.
He is keen to find out what Emily, Nathan, Rachel,
Maddy and Macy, Alex and Paul can come up with,
especially since none of them
have ever tried to compose a piece of music before.
And there's another challenge.
Guys, listen up. Listen up.
So we're working towards making a composition,
working towards some kind of shape.
What I haven't told you though is that by the end
of this afternoon, we will be playing the piece.
But first, it's down to the river to soak up some inspiration.
The waves on the water, when it's closer to the shore,
they're quite small and gentle but as you go further away,
-they get larger and more choppy.
-What about the object in front of us?
I think we should start with more of a simple melody, to start with.
And then like build it up to make it like an arch of the bridge.
That's quite a complex lattice-work of girders and metalwork.
Can you picture a musical... A way of doing that musically?
SHE PLAYS FRENCH HORN
It's got a really interesting shape to it. Tell us about it.
I was thinking about the smoothness of the river,
how relaxing and calm it is and shape it round that really.
I think Emily's little melody sounds more like the arch of the bridge
because it starts like quietly and then it gets louder
and then it sort of fades away.
I like the heavy sound and everything it represents,
the heavy metal of the bridge.
It sort of just came out really, but...
Maddy's come up with a simple melody she hopes will work really well.
Nathan is learning the chord structure.
-Then B, then F.
-B Flat Major.
He in turn works with Emily, the French horn player,
as they both layer in their sounds to complement the piano melody.
They're really just improvising with the melody
and playing about to see what works.
OK? What I want to do is let the room have the first word.
The children use a single sound, or a chord...
..to fill the silence of the room.
And then together, they use that to build a multilayered sound.
John, it seems to be working well cos the kids are picking up
different instruments, moving around and using different things.
Yeah, and I think that sort of slightly... It's not chaotic exactly.
It's got a mobile sense of creating stuff.
It means that you're not too fixated on one end result
cos it's actually too early to become fixated.
You need to try things out, move around a bit and see what happens.
I think also we should include the vibraphone
cos it's got a really nice sound
and we haven't really given it a chance to play out in this piece.
I think that's a great idea. Rachel is going to bring that out
and then we'll see where we end up from there.
Great call to add the vibraphone solo to the composition.
I think they've managed to create something really special.
OK, everyone. Time is up.
Are you ready to go for the final composition? One, two, three.
THEY BEGIN PLAYING
I've never really composed before.
The part that I enjoyed most about the whole composing process was
after having all the inspiration, finally turning it into a piece.
It was very helpful to see like how the river moved and the structure
of the bridge and how we could use that to compose the piece of music.
It had different instruments
and you don't know like whether the notes will clash or they'll fit.
So I'm really pleased because it sounds really good.
I've enjoyed most about when we went to the river, it's been really fun.
Being able to work with friends on like one big composition
has been really good fun.
We've got a really nice outcome. It's just amazing.
This is what we know today as a silent movie.
But back in 1914, when audiences first watched Charlie Chaplin
starring as the Tramp, they didn't watch in silence. That's because
musicians were employed in each and every cinema to play live music.
Their job was to watch the film
and make up music that complemented the action.
Mike Nolan keeps this tradition alive.
He's been improvising music for old silent movies for 20 years.
I'm here to pick his brains.
What top tips would you have for someone who wants to compose music
-for action for the first time?
The first thing I would want to do is really
get into the mood of the film and the mood of the character.
Are they in a really blind panic?
I would think about where are they. Are they on a boat?
I would also think about the speed of the action.
Are they running away from a train? TENSE MUSIC
Great tips. Thanks very much.
So we've seen how music used to be played in the cinemas
to accompany a film, but that was back then.
This is now.
I've made a film but it's not finished yet.
Like the old Charlie Chaplin movie, it needs music to bring it to life.
I'm about to meet up with composer Lauren Hayes, who I think can help.
She specialises in using electronic sounds,
which will be great for my futuristic setting.
Today, Lauren is working with Sam, Catherine, Liana and Essen.
They'll be using a games controller, a keyboard, a crackle box,
and a microphone to make digital sounds, using Lauren's computer.
Time to hand this job over to our composers.
Before they start working on my film,
they'll need to take a closer look at it to help them imagine
what sounds will be best to tell the story.
Let's think about the movement first.
-What's the robot doing just now?
Yeah, so he's walking towards the girl. We could do robot noises.
And then in the middle of the film, they had a kind of struggle.
Now we're going to have a look at it again
and think about the kind of emotions the characters
are feeling in the film, so if they're happy, sad, angry.
-Let's have a look and see. Right now, what does she look like?
-She looks really happy. And now she looks...
-Why do you think that is?
-The robot is coming towards her.
-And what do you think the girl is thinking.
-Maybe he fancies her?
-Like kind of, "Oh, he loves me."
-Now, what's happening?
-What kind of emotion is that?
Yeah, the girl looks really sad.
-The robot's got his flower, so he's feeling...?
-Over the moon.
So they've sorted out and agreed the emotions and actions of my film.
Now all they have to do is start composing.
PEACEFUL HAPPY MUSIC
This sounds like it could be the happy music for the beginning.
MECHANICAL ROBOT SOUNDS
He's got it. He's watching the film and bringing the action to life.
It's really working with the picture.
I want that flower.
HIGH PITCHED: Oh, I think he fancies me.
These are great sounds.
She's imagining what my characters would be thinking and saying.
The movement of the robot, brilliant.
I wondered what that box would sound like.
Great, so now we're going to all try it together.
This should be interesting.
This will be the first time our musicians have played together.
Let's go and...action.
PEACEFUL HAPPY MUSIC
This is looking and sounding really interesting now.
-Guys, is my film ready, complete with soundtrack?
OK, roll the film.
PEACEFUL HAPPY SOUNDS
CONTENTED ROBOT SOUNDS
-Fantastic, guys. Well done.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd