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Monday 21 November 2016
Alexia Sloane wins Cambridge Young Composer of the Year
RCMJD composer and recorder player Alexia Sloane continues to receive acclaim for her music. Having recently gained a place as a composer with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain – the first blind composer to be appointed – Alexia has also been awarded the title Cambridge Young Composer of the Year 2016/17 – the first female composer to receive the honour in its 10-year history.
Alexia describes her method of composing as strongly imaginative, completed away from instruments. ‘As a synaesthetic musician, I also think about the colours I wish to hear in the music and, much like a visual artist, how these are blended to convey the meaning of the piece. I write the pitches down in Braille music notation and then dictate them to an amanuensis, who transcribes them.’ The inspiration for her music ranges from philosophy and religion to environmental and synaesthesic themes.
Alexia’s prize-winning piece, Passiflora sets RG Gregory’s poem Southampton Water. She chose to dedicate the work to the victims of the Orlando shootings on 12 June and to the LGBTQIA community.
Cambridge Young Composer of the Year judge Ewan Campbell described Passiflora as ‘an ambitious piece that makes excellent use of the available instrumentation, with some very interesting harmonies and unusual melodic scales. The piece attains its timeless, dreamlike feel with a loose sense of rhythm and flexible approach to meter.’
The prize includes the Young Composer of the Year cup, £50 and an invitation to compose a piece for performance at next year's event.
Alexia has recently launched a new website about her work as a composer, performer, poet and linguist, which also includes information about synaesthesia and human echolocation.