Meet our Team! Interview with Jason Rowland – composer and workshop leader

Artist Name: Jason Rowland
Artist Role(s): Leader for Music Treehouse
Date first worked with HMDT Music: 11/10/16

What you remember most:
The performance that I really remember was based on a photograph of a “lit grapefruit segment” (The SP theme that term was fruit!). It had 13 segments which led us straight in a time signature of 13/8. Each of the 3 groups had created a movement for the piece and each one led into the next and had overlapping moments. The rhythms and melodies created were quite complex and a real challenge for the group. The excitement and sense of achievement for the group after the performance was incredible and gave the group a real boost forward.

Project impact:
We had a session recently where a participant started to play the piano, something that he hadn’t shown an interest in before. As happens in this session he led the piece and the group followed. It has to be just one of the best musical moments so far. A duet started between him and a tutor whilst the rest of us gave accompaniment. There was everything you would want from a piece of music, dynamics, space, musical control and awareness. The piece lasted for a good 15 minutes and we all agreed afterwards that the piece could easily fit into our CD collections!

What do you like most about Music Treehouse?:
Music Treehouse is a fantastic project as whilst we have structure to our sessions they are musically led by the group. Their role is to create music with their instruments or voice and then go through the more traditional processes of refinement and rehearsal. We allow the group to make musical decisions and have control of everything that they do in the sessions which is something that they are not always able to do in their everyday life.

What else are you working on at the moment?:
I’m currently working with The Philharmonia on a music technology project, an SEND project with Snape Maltings writing new songs in response to the Friday Afternoon Songs, LPO and Trinity Laban’s Animate Orchestra and All in sound, a singing project for dementia sufferers.

Any advice to young artists wanting to work in the arts or music?
Work hard, have fun and opportunities will come to you.