One of the capital’s most wonderful buildings
Gail Macleod - Jenni Parkinson - Hannah Dunster - Rachael Perrin
Soundcastle is a pioneering arts collective which creates original music by engaging first and
foremost with the people and the place with which they are working.
Their mission is to:
¦Explore exciting and inspiring approaches to music making
¦Promote music as an individual and collective voice
¦Make links within and between communities
The four founding directors of Soundcastle all trained classically before making the decision to
pursue more diverse and experimental directions in their musicianship. They each independently
embarked on careers encompassing education and outreach work in music. Their musical journeys
led them all to meet on the Masters course in Leadership at the Guildhall School of Music and
Drama. This course develops skills for leading and facilitating the creation of music in any setting,
and involves close associations with other art forms. Through this they began to work closely
together, sharing and pursuing their ideas in an approach that encourages experimentation and
risk-taking, and blurs the boundaries between art forms. Over two years spent studying,
improvising, composing, leading community projects and travelling together they have built up
substantial levels of mutual understanding, loyalty and trust. Their unique sets of experiences
combined with their common passions, interests and values make them a strong and exciting team.
As musicians (percussion, flute, clarinet, recorder) they each have a personal range of experiences,
influences and creative ideas. Soundcastle is the unique combination of their artistic identities: as a
team they invent, design, plan, lead and perform in their eclectic and original projects. The primary
focus of these is to create and perform music. However their approach also encompasses a cross arts
element as they promote creativity and expression in any format. They will often work in
collaboration with professional artists such as visual artists, filmmakers or dancers, and
participants will have the opportunity to contribute within other artistic contexts.
In 2011, Soundcastle was immersed in the acoustic architecture of St. George’s Church, Bloomsbury,
creating performances for the Squadron Festival in June and the Bloomsbury Festival in October. In
this site specific project they explored compositional processes to bring their working environment
to life as an instrumentalist, as well as how to enable the public to encounter music beyond
traditional performance venues. The audiences (which included passing members of the public on
the street) discovered the auditory and architectural intricacies of this stunning building both inside
and out as it was illuminated by a distinctive musical journey. Hannah Dunster and Gail Macleod
worked with a host of musicians on site to create a unique experience which highlighted the
transient beauty of these sonic surroundings.
See the video of Acoustic Architecture
at St George’s Bloomsbury here
Emily Bloom - Oonagh Lee - Gail Macleod - Kathryn Corrigan - Roselyn Maynard
Consortium5 formed in 2005 when its founding members were students at the Royal Academy of
Music. They have since established themselves as one of the foremost recorder consorts of their
generation, and an ensemble of unique appeal to a wide range of audiences. Founded out of a
shared love of consort music and recorders, Consortium have performed in Europe and the UK at
major festivals and concert series.
In 2010 they recorded their debut album on the Nonclassical Label, voted among the top ten best
classical albums of the year by Chicago Time Out. Working with composers has formed a central
part of Consortium5's activity over the past four years, and this album features works commissioned
especially for and by the group. A recent review from the influential blog Sequenza21 concludes that
the album ‘suggests a new frontier for chamber ensembles’.
Winners of numerous prizes and awards, Consortium5 made their Purcell Room debut in 2009 as
part of the Park Lane Group Young Artists Series. In 2007-2009 they were Joan Greenfield Junior
Fellows at Trinity College of Music and in 2006 they were awarded the Deutsche Bank Pyramid
Award for performance, a prize that allowed them to invest in a set of 10 matching consort
Equally committed to performance on the concert platform and in the community, Consortium5
spent several years resident on the Live Music Now scheme, and have performed numerous concerts
for London based music services, reaching over 7000 children, many of whom had never attended a
professional music concert before.
Since forming, Consortium5 have combined historically informed and contemporary performance
to great effect in both concerts and educational work. Consortium5 enjoy working closely with
composers throughout the composition process and it has been their great delight to discover the
fascination these instruments hold for composers and the richness and variety with which their
language speaks through the consort. Consortium5 are particularly interested in the bridges that
these compositions build; new consorts from the archaic consort form, new works for ancient
instruments, a contemporary dimension to the recorder that concentrates without compromise on
both its simplicity and its myriad complexities.
To see a performance of Consortium5 at The Wilding Festival in June 2013, click here.
To see their new promotional video that features St George’s Bloomsbury, click here.