A look inside the composer’s studio

Opinion
Credit: The Guardian
Credit: The Guardian

I’ve written before about the composer Michael Berkeley, who is one of our many famous Sibelius users. The picture above is a photo of his composing studio. Although you’ll notice that there’s no computer running Sibelius in frame, Michael does say:

“I start with paper and pencil and enjoy the tactile feel of sketching, but actually process my music on a computer with the wonderful Sibelius system. I don’t use it to originate sound – that has to be in your head, much as other people might compose a letter in their mind’s eye – but it is terrific for checking the architecture (are there proportionately the right number of bars of fast music?) and for providing a score for my publishers from which they can extract parts for the individual players.”

It’s interesting to note that Michael Berkeley’s opinion is not a million miles away from Eric Whitacre’s, though Berkeley says that notation software can play a useful role in the composition process, something which Whitacre seems reluctant to concede.

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