Young people these days...

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Friday 15 July 2011
Amy Cooper

... are amazing. Seriously. Today the Gallery was the scene of an inspiring and evocative performance by 21 students from Matipo Primary School and cellist Katherine Uren of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra.

Every year the APO and the Gallery collaborate with schools, helping them engage with artworks and create music in response. This year the students used Heart Book: Butterfly by Philippa Blair as their inspiration. They visited the Gallery to discuss the artwork with our education team and had workshops back in their classroom with Katherine to compose their piece.

Here they are introducing their performance:

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A crowd gathered to hear the piece - we counted about 50 people in the audience!

I won't attempt to describe the piece because I'm hoping to show a video of the performance once it's been edited, but the students thought carefully about the themes in the artwork and worked hard to bring them out in three distinct sections of the composition: freedom, scribbles and captivity.

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A very small audience member was transfixed by the performance: 

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The students received hearty applause before wowing us with their carefully thought-out answers in a short Q&A session. We then moved into another section of the Gallery to hear another piece of music inspired by art: young composer Callum Blackmore's piece 'D.S.I.R Man' which he wrote in response to Warren Viscoe's sculpture of the same name (seen below right). 

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I was really impressed with the way Callum spoke before his piece was played for us - he made sure the Matipo students could understand his thought process when composing the piece and the narrative behind its structure. 

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You can read more about Callum's piece here and more about Matipo Primary School and Katherine Uren's collaboration here.

Stay tuned for a video of the performance - it'll knock your socks off!