In the second workshop, we explored how memory influences composition. Using three Mladi excerpts, we asked the children to imagine what they thought might be happening in the music.
Janacek draws heavily on the influence of memory in Mladi. In the first movement, he plays games and sings songs in the playground, in the second, he waves goodbye to his mother before starting a new school and, in the third, he sees an army band of flutes and drums in the distance.
The class then chose their own memories and thought about the emotions they might associate with that memory. Using the idea of ‘speech-melody’ from the first workshop, incorporating actions and body percussion, the class presented their compositions to each other.
The aim of our third workshop was to create a whole-class composition based on the main theme of the first movement of Mladi. The composition would use the techniques that the classes had learnt from Janacek so far.
Our composition took a verse-chorus structure where, for each verse, a small group composed ‘speech-melody’ around their favourite playground theme. Some chose the fast pace game of football, where others chose the mysterious game of hide-and-seek, reflecting these characteristics in their compositions.