Julien Lonchamp

I got off to a bad start. I’m not gonna lie: I was late. I won’t try to find any excuse: when you manage to get lost between Marchmont and Morningside in Edinburgh, and you haven’t scribbled the right address on your piece of paper, there’s pretty much no chance of making a good first impression. I was nonetheless lucky enough to finally meet smiling musicians who didn’t mind my very personal organisation skills.

Hidden in the depths of Midlothian, Heriot Toun Studio is a lovely studio, sort of an extension of home where you could see yourself engaging in some creative activities. And that’s exactly what we were here for today, with my piece Fall of a window cleaner on the menu. The technical setup that Alex and Martin put together was ideal, with a lot of options regarding electronic processing and MIDI controlling options.

I spent most of the morning with the ensemble, playing through the different sections of the piece and giving me invaluable feedback about the score. That’s what I like best: hearing a piece being played by actual non MIDI instruments, i.e. musicians. And excellent musicians they are, giving me a lot of tips and advice on how to write best these intricate parts. Meeting musicians, dissecting the score, trying out different options…this is really an invaluable experience.

Then I spent some time with Martin, who showed me a lot of options regarding MIDI control and sound processing, helping me settling down for a suitable setup that would serve the purpose of the piece. Being relatively unexperienced with electronics, this was a great eye opener and I wouldn’t be surprised if some sound processing mingles its way into my next piece…

At this moment, out of the blue, Jo appeared with an amazing lentil soup and strawberries that would make my local veg shop keeper blush! [Ed. (Jo): I'm afraid I can't take the credit for either of these - they were mung beans, and Rick was the supplier!]

Then back to the music, with the recording of the piece in full and in sections, which went quite smoothly I found. After a few tricky false starts with the electronics, I found a suitable way to complement and enrich the instrumental sounds I think. Martin made some judicious comments regarding the score, which we implemented. Then it was back to Martin and Alex for some editing and mixing and in a blink of an eye we were back in Edinburgh. I even found my way back to Marchmont with no problem…

Thanks everyone for this great opportunity and a very enjoyable day!

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