Online Composition Courses – Results

The Saint Petersburg Contemporary Music Centre held “Online Composition Courses” from May 21 to June 1, 2020. 138 individual lessons, 46 creative presentations by participants and 5 lectures by esteemed faculty: Joanna Bailie (United Kingdom), Oscar Bianchi (Switzerland), Raphaël Cendo (France), Yuri Kasparov (Russia), and Dmitri Kourliandski (Russia)- were held as part of the courses. 66 non-collegiates were also admitted to viewing the event, thus the total number of participants reached 112 musicians from 33 countries. This courses curated by composer Alexander Khubeev.

Online Composition Courses presented for the second time within the framework of the 7th St. Petersburg International New Music Festival taking place from July 3 to July 9, 2020 under the direction of composer Mehdi Hosseini. Due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, the main program of the festival is going to be presented as open online broadcasts on portal.

Composition Courses is a creative lab in which young authors from all over the world, as selected by the jury, are given the opportunity to work with famous guest performers and world-famous composers. Within seven days this year, the groups invited to the festival will perform works of the Composition Course participants at the festival.

It was pleasing that in addition to the educational process, new creative forms and experiments appeared during the courses, conditioned specifically by the online format, for example, a composition I’m Looking at a Screen by Tobias Fandel which represents a virtual interpretation of a famous music piece I’m Sitting in a Room by Alvin Lucier. The pre-recorded audio file, as processed by Tobias Fandel, is repeatedly reproduced through the numerous participants’ speakers and is recorded through the Zoom application microphone: the sounding is gradually refracted due to the natural reverberation of the halls housing the participants, and because of the distortions generated by the application.

  1. I’m Looking at a Screen Tobias Fandel Tobias Fandel's stream on SoundCloud 4:32

Another experiment, within the framework of the Composition Courses, was Dmitri Kourliandski’s ZoomScape video collage – a throughout-the-world view from students’ windows. Several months ago, that kind of picture was the only visual and phonic landscape available for viewing.

In follow-up of the Composition Courses, the works of the most distinctive participants will be publicized by publisher, and their compositions will be included in the programme of the next festival in 2021.