17th February 2006 at 00:00
Compose a piece based on the relationship between land and water. Choose instruments that make a "solid" sound and contrasting ones that make "flowing" sounds - eg drumsxylophones or temple blockskeyboards. Discuss the techniques used, and work in small groups creating aural images: water moving through banks, the peat shrinking, the collapse of embankments and arrival of floods. Put it all together to make a Fenland suite.

Choose an episode from Fenland history - Boudicca's battle with the Romans, the loss of King John's jewels, a 19th-century skating race. Make a storyboard, dividing the narrative into distinctive episodes. Get the class to devise a melodic theme for the piece, about eight notes long. Challenge different groups to compose film music for each episode, incorporating variations to express excitement, anger, sorrow, fear, exultation, etc.

Make a soundscape that explores the elements of texture and timbre within music, using paintings by artists like Peter de Wint and John Crome as a stimulus. Components might include: big skies with slow clouds, flat fields of wind-blown wheat, church bells heard from a distance, sails against the setting sun. Make the transitions sometimes gradual and subtle and sometimes sudden and brusque.

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