Maddie Melville-Smith - In a Frantic Land

Workshop performance video

This piece is written in a variation on the octatonic scale, and explores less conventional harmony in order to convey the chaos suggested by the title - 'In a Frantic Land'. I composed it having been inspired by many of Stravinsky's modal pieces, and eager to investigate the idea that harmony only sounds diatonic as that it what our ears have become used to. Still, I hope that those listening will still find it relatable to, taking their minds to a state of chaotic anticipation!

Composer: Maddie Melville-Smith

Composer photo
Photo of Maddie Melville-Smith

My name Maddie Melville-Smith and I’m 15 years old. I absolutely love music and think that it holds so much joy and hope as well as empathy and compassion. When I was 7 started playing Alto Saxophone – often finding myself coming up with alternative melodies to those in the pieces which I was actually meant to be practising – and when I was 12 I then began composing more seriously, and since then I’ve found myself utterly obsessed with both writing my own music and also researching other composers. I live in Buckinghamshire in England and at school I really enjoy studying GCSE music and being involved in all the music clubs. I also play in a saxophone quartet, saxophone choir and wind band out of school. I am particularly inspired by Bach and Beethoven, my two favourite composers. In 2019 I was shortlisted for the BBC Proms Inspire Competition, and this year I was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Coronavirus Composition Challenge. Recently I have taken part in one of the Go Compose Projects run by the Commonwealth Resounds, and the Sound and Music Summer School (my piece from which has been chosen for Sound and Music’s annual album) – both of which were utterly brilliant. My dream is to be a professional composer when I’m older – how wonderful it would be to spend all day submerged in music!


Workshop video