Bertha Park High School

Composers, Singers and Instrumentalists

Bertha Park Students Rehearsing at AK Bell Library Perth (Image by Jordan Irvine)

  • CLASS An after school group of pupils of S1 and S2 (ages 12-14)
  • SCHOOL Bertha Park, Perthshire, Scotland
  • HONOURS Presenting our music as part of “Echoes from Perthshire” at AK Bell Library on November 11th 2020
  • MINERVA SCIENTIFICA PROJECT “Echoes from Perthshire” September 2019 – November 2019

Scientific Connections

On the Minerva Scientifica project our pupils studied works by female composers and connected with working women scientists. This acted as stimuli for their compositions.

  • Having the one on one time with the scientists made it exciting.
  • I found speaking to the scientists inspiring, in particular, learning advanced concepts in science.
  • Working with scientists was a lot of fun.

Compositions


Title: Galaxies are made of stars
Scientist: Dr Anne Marie Weijmans
Composed by: Cara
Written in: Nov 2019
For: pre-recorded voices manipulated on Soundtrap
Sampled from: the group and my scientist
First Performed: Soutar Theatre, AK Bell Library, Perth, Scotland November 11th 2019 as part ofECHOES FROM PERTHSHIRE by ELECTRIC VOICE THEATRE

This piece has Anne-Marie’s voice and a track of us all singing a different note each, going all the way through the track. The idea of this music is to connect people to the stars and get them interested in Astronomy

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Title: Elliptical Galaxy
Scientist: Dr Anne Marie Weijmans
Composed by: Ellie
Written in: Nov 2019
For: pre-recorded voices and violin manipulated on Soundtrap
Sampled from: my violin, a slamming door, and the voices of the group and my scientist
First Performed: Soutar Theatre, AK Bell Library, Perth, Scotland November 11th 2019 as part of ECHOES FROM PERTHSHIRE by ELECTRIC VOICE THEATRE

Two spiral galaxies collide to form an elliptical galaxy.
You will hear the sounds of  each galaxy – with beats created from their names, then a collision and the combination of the two galaxies to make an elliptical one.

Cara, Anne-Marie, Rona and Ellie

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Title: Using Maths
Scientist: Dr Kristin Arnardottir 
Composed by: Natalia
Written in: Nov 2019
For: pre-recorded voices and double bass manipulated on Soundtrap
Sampled from: my double bass and the scientists
First Performed: Soutar Theatre, AK Bell Library, Perth, Scotland November 11th 2019 as part of ECHOES FROM PERTHSHIRE by ELECTRIC VOICE THEATRE

This music is about how Kristin uses maths to study light. The vocals are sampled from the scientists and the only other sound is from my own double bass.
The image shows a diagram under the microscope with photons reflecting in between. The bass represents the mirror, and the vocals are the photons.

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Title: Polariton, Photon
Scientist: Dr Kristin Arnardottir 
Composed by: Luke
Written in: Nov 2019
For: pre-recorded voices, clarinet and a gong, manipulated on Soundtrap
Sampled from: my clarinet, a small gong and my scientist
First Performed: Soutar Theatre, AK Bell Library, Perth, Scotland November 11th 2019 as part ofECHOES FROM PERTHSHIRE by ELECTRIC VOICE THEATRE

By using photons and polaritons I can create a fun and exciting piece for you to listen to.
You will hear my clarinet representing the polariton being created as this image shows, with a small gong and the voice of the scientist – Kristin

Natalia, Kristin and Luke

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Title: Plastic could save the World
Scientist: Dr Lethy Krishnan Jagadamma
Composed by: Nala
Written in: Nov 2019
For: pre-recorded voices, clarinet and a gong, manipulated on Soundtrap
Sampled from: a solar cell printer, my voice and my scientist’s voice
First Performed: Soutar Theatre, AK Bell Library, Perth, Scotland November 11th 2019 as part of ECHOES FROM PERTHSHIRE by ELECTRIC VOICE THEATRE

My music includes:-

  • Lethy’s voice saying the main words about solar cells
  • my voice echoing power
  • a beat to enhance the noise of the printer printing out the sheets of solar cells.

This pushed me just outside my comfort zone which helped me to focus and produce a composition I am happy with. The image shows the process of solar cells absorbing energy.

Nala and Lethy

Education

We all participate in school orchestra and choir. Most of us were the principal players of our particular instruments.

We also looked at works by female composers

Occupations

2 of us are interested about exploring science in the future.

  • The Minerva Scientifica Project helped inspire me to take science further

Musical Highlights

We enjoyed working with Frances and Herbie and particularly enjoyed the concert as we got to present our work to the public.

  • I learned a lot about riffs and how to adapt them in my composition by shifting the pitch.
  • I really enjoyed hearing my performance performed live in the theatre. 

A composer playing her work in performance

Did You Know?

We composed our music by first collecting ideas, words, images and sounds from the scientists, then making a plan on paper and then online using the music software (soundtrap https://www.soundtrap.com/edu/ )

  • I used the periodic table as stimulus for my composition
  • The workshops with Minerva Scientifica were funny and exciting.

Nala’s Composition Plan

  • I found the composition plan was a great way to plan compositions.

Natalia’s Project on Soundtrap

  • It was challenging learning the software and how recording works, however, this was a good challenge to have.

Frances helps a student prepare for the performance

An Inspiring Woman

Music: Caroline Shaw

Science: Marie Curie

  • It was great to experience a variety of different women in composing and science. 
Links