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Re:Beatled - Compositional & Performance Project around the Music of the Beatles

Posted: Fri, 10 Nov 2017 13:24

Welcome to this years' MEHEM collaboration. The aim of the day is to celebrate students work and explore how they have taken The Beatles as their inspiration. Students will have spent a great deal of time leading up to this day, understanding the source material and adapting it into something new and inspiring.

Why The Beatles?
The Beatles are the biggest selling band in history with over 800 million album sales worldwide. In the UK they have had more number one albums and singles than any other act. Formed in the 1960's their music has remained relevant through to the present day. Artists are still inspired by their work and are constantly reimagining their songs. By delving into the repertoire of The Beatles students will find a world of varied styles and influences. From rock to classical, The Beatles explored many genres.

The Beatles performed twice in Leicester and Northampton in 1963. The first time low on the bill but by November they had played in the Royal Variety Performance including the infamous 'rattle your jewellery' quote from Lennon and were very much top of the bill. The Beatles performed in Leicester at the De Montfort Hall and then at the Savoy Theatre (now The Deco) in Northampton and this will be the venue for our performance day giving the students the exciting opportunity to tread the very same boards as The Beatles.

Each Hub will have worked with various groups within their organisation leading to local performances or presentations. The Hubs will then select up to 3 groups to travel to The Deco Theatre, Northampton on Saturday, February 3rd for a celebration of The Beatles music.

Guest speaker and coach: Fiona Brice
Fiona is a former NMPAT student and now works in the music business. Brice writes orchestral arrangements for various artists and has toured and recorded with several major pop and rock acts, including Placebo, Kanye West, Sugababes, Boy George, Westlife, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Patrick Wolf and Simply Red. In addition, she performs solo and released her solo debut Postcards From in June 2016 through Bella Union.

Fiona then spent several years as a session violinist in London, appearing regularly on TV with numerous Top 40 Chart Acts including Kanye West, Will Young, Gorillaz, Westlife, Il Divo, Sugababes, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Boy George, Ian Brown and Ronan Keating (Live from Abbey Road, Popworld, Top of the Pops, Strictly Come Dancing, This Morning, Parkinson) whilst still writing and performing with lesser known artists. More recently, she has focussed on arranging and performing with more alternative-minded artists and singer/songwriters. Brice has a long-term connection with Bella Union Records and has written, toured and recorded with John Grant, Midlake, Roy Harper, Stephanie Dosen and several of their other artists. Whilst being involved with Placebo, she continues to work with other artists, notably Michael J. Sheehy and Patrick Wolf, and writes original orchestral music.

The Day:
10.00am - Arrival & Welcome
11.00am - Workshop 1 (I Saw Her Standing There)
12.30pm - Lunch - In the cafe area, some drinks and snacks will be available but please bring a packed lunch.
1.30pm - Workshop 2 (Come Together with special guest Fiona Brice)
3.00pm - Break
3.30pm - Stage sound checks, equipment checks
4.30pm - Performances
7.30pm - Finale and End of Event

Each HUB can bring up to 3 groups. The groups will perform their reimagined piece by The Beatles explaining why they chose the song, what they are trying to do with their version etc. The group is free to choose another item which is either linked in some way to The Beatles piece or is an original song inspired by the work they have been doing.

Each performance should be no more than 8 minutes in duration.

Performances will be filmed and recorded and will be available to participants after the event. This will be done electronically and it will be each organisations responsibility to seek the relevant permissions to record their students. Please inform us of any group that should not be filmed or recorded.

For the workshops musicians may have to play unamplified if they rely on amps. For the finale performance they will be playing through PA's set up on stage or along the front of the stage.

Please make sure all equipment is PAT tested and clearly labelled with the owners name.

Musicians should bring spare strings, reeds etc.

The Deco seats over 800 comfortably so there is plenty of room for family and friends to come along. The theatre is very near the town centre allowing parents the opportunity to go shopping or find a restaurant whilst rehearsals take place.

A bay for unloading equipment is situated to the side of the theatre and will allow groups to easily off load gear. Family members and supporters can park in the large multi-storey car park right next door to the theatre.

All teachers and helpers should do their best to stick to the agreed timings as we don't want to overrun. We appreciate that many have long journeys home and don't want to be held up.

There will be a full backline (including drum kit and quality cymbals) set up for rock bands to plug straight into. These will be supplied by Blackstar amplification and certainly give the necessary volume required to fill the hall. A sound engineer will be on hand to balance everything.

Please bring additional equipment you may need along with electric keyboards etc if required.

Please make sure you list all instruments performing.

Get inspired:
Obviously listening to The Beatles recorded output would be a good start. Maybe the No.1 Album if you are new to The Beatles will give you a good idea.

We have created a playlist of artists inspired to cover a Beatles song. These are here to give you an idea. Listen to the original first and then the cover. The link to the playlist is:


The massed performance pieces will be

Come Together (in the original key of D minor) and I Saw Her Standing There (from their 1963 setlist)

We would ask all performers to take the time to learn the following 2 songs in their original keys. Please simplify if need be. We will be working on the songs during the 2 workshops and directed by Fiona Brice.

To express an interest, please complete the form (pdf.) below

We look forward to welcoming you all to Northampton in February.

Tony Rifugiato
Project Liaison Officer

Tags: music, Leicester, culture, Group, Youth, Application, Singing, Band, song, Scheme, Beatles, Composition