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Soundbox: a conversation between Laura Baxter and Jay Capperauld

6 Dec 2022

News Story

To mark the launch of Soundbox, our new development programme for music creators, Laura Baxter (SCO Creative Learning Director) sat down with SCO Associate Composer Jay Capperauld, who will be mentoring the participants, to discuss what it involves.

Laura: Jay, we are thrilled to have you on board as part of our new Soundbox programme. Tell me, what excites you most about Soundbox?

Jay: Firstly, I'd like to say that it is a real honour to be involved in Soundbox as a mentor and to get the chance to work with music creators in helping them realise their ideas. What excites me about this new programme is the potential to provide a meaningful learning experience for our participants and to be able to think about the programme as part of their long-term creative development. I always feel that to be creative is to be in it for the "long game", so it means a lot to me that we are able to create a welcoming, supportive and encouraging environment in which our participants can explore and experiment with a much longer-term goal in mind for their artistic practice. I'm also excited to see the variety of creative expressions from our participants as they develop their ideas throughout the course; as an educator and composition teacher, there is nothing more exciting and satisfying than seeing someone realise the ambitions they've had for their creative vision and being able to help them on that journey.

Laura: I wonder if you can recall a point in your career where you’ve been through a mentoring journey - what that involved and how you benefitted from it?

Jay: I have been involved in many courses and composition schemes throughout my early development as a composer, including regular contact time with my composition teacher Gordon McPherson when I studied for my Masters at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Out of all of those experiences, my main learning point was confidence and self-belief. It is very easy to get bogged down in developing theoretical or practical techniques in creativity - both of which have their place in the learning experience - but the most important aspect for me is about giving people the space and support to develop a lasting confidence and trust in their own individual craft.

A man in a blazer and shirt looks towards the camera. Behind the composer is a city backdrop.

Jay: The way in which I view the role of a mentor is to try to understand someone well enough to help them become the artist that they want to be, rather than asking them to fit into a specific mould; and I know from my own experiences of having been mentored in the past just how important it is to have a genuinely interested mentor who can provide the support system around you to allow your authentic voice to shine with confidence, especially in the context of long-term goals.

Laura: In addition to mentoring, what else can people expect from Soundbox? Share a little bit about what’s in store…

Jay: Soundbox is designed to be a multifaceted experience for our participants, and they can expect to be involved in lots of group activity, 121 sessions, time with musicians and workshop scenarios along with a chance to learn from each other in a supportive peer-to-peer setting. There will also be a degree of flexibility designed into the programme so that we can cater to the interests of our cohort members who can shape their desired experience - a real chance to explore and create their own journey. I’m also very thrilled that our own SCO musicians are going to be involved in the process in an in-depth way too – by giving advice, guidance and support throughout the programme. Music creators having access to the SCO musicians who will ultimately perform their music – and to gain feedback through the creative journey from these musicians – is a key part of the Soundbox experience.

Laura: I can’t wait to get started!

Jay: Likewise! I am very much looking forward to meeting our new Soundbox members and to making a start with them on this new creative journey.

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