24 July 2017
Dr. J Simon Van der Walt, a World Class Composer, Gave a Music Composition Workshop in UPH
A visit from Dr. J Simon Van der Walt, Head of MMus/MA, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on July 19, 2017
Performance by Alexandro, from the Music Composition Program of CoM UPH, and Team.

Conservatory of Music (CoM) UPH has gotten a rare opportunity with a world-class composer from Scotland, Dr. J Simon Van der Walt, on July 19, 2017. He was also present to give a workshop on music composition with the traditional and contemporary method.


Dr. J Simon Van der Walt who came from Glasgow, Scotland, is a multi-instrumentalist composer, a lecturer and also the Head of MMus/MA program at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He is also a member of a gamelan music group called ‘Naga Mas’ which is based in Glasgow; moreover, he also writes compositions for gamelan.


Aside from giving a workshop, his visit to UPH this time was also meant to fathom for collaboration opportunities between CoM UPH and the Royal Conservatory of Scotland.


During his workshop, the composer introduced a composition method called ‘livecoding’ which has to be done with particular software for composing called ‘SuperCollider’. At the end of the event, he also asked the student of CoM UPH to collaborate together with him, by following the melody of gamelan that he played, while the students could use their own instruments such as cello, piano, and violin. Through this workshop, he also emphasized that music is a powerful means of communication that is able to connect people.


At the end of the workshop, Dr. J. Simon was served with a composition made by one of CoM UPH students, Alexandro, from the Music Composition program, along with some other students of CoM UPH, called ‘Javanese’.


After seeing the performance, Dr. Van Der Walt admitted that he was amazed at the students’ performance and the composition of it. 

                                      Dr. Van der Walt 

“I’m very amazed looking the performance of these students, and I can see how the students here are able to play and compose music. I’m very grateful that I had the chance to see this. In the future, I really do hope that there will be more collaboration between UPH and us, from Scotland. This is very important for two countries from a very different place, to be able to collaborate together. Music is the best way to gather people with all their differences and with this, I hope that there will be a continuous collaboration between Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and UPH,” said Dr. Van der Walt.


Alexandro himself felt very proud and grateful for the opportunity to perform his composition in front of a renowned world-class composer. 

“Through this workshop, I was able to obtain a variety of references to music, especially Javanese music. Moreover, I could also directly hear Mr. Simon’s thoughts about my work. Through this, I become more interested in CoM UPH and the challenges it offers. Especially on how to create a good music for the people,” Alex explained. 
 Hopefully, the activities done in this workshop may expand student’s perspective. Antonius Priyanto, S.Ag., B.Cm., M.Mus., Dean of CoM UPH, also hopes that with this workshop, more opportunities may arise for collaboration between UPH and the Royal Conservatory of Scotland. (mt)
UPH Media Relations