A Computer Animation Arts team from UCA Rochester has created a cinematic animation exploring the world of the orchestra. Bringing to life The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, composed by Benjamin Britten, the film aims to inspire the next generation of orchestral musicians, and launched earlier this month over two events in Amiens, France. The two shows amassed an audience of around 1000 children and their teachers, and the music was performed live by the Orchestre De Picardie.
The production, The Kingdom of Sound, follows the character Red as he guides the audience through the different sound districts of the orchestra – from violin to percussion to harps and more. The animation was written and directed by UCA’s BA (Hons) Computer Animation Arts course leader Phil Gomm, and involved the support of Computer Animation Arts lecturers, technical tutors, alumni, recent graduates and current students.
Phil said: “Creating The Kingdom of Sound involved the work and support of so many people, from academic and technical staff, to our alumni and current students. The script really had to tell a story that can draw children in to discovering what the world of the orchestra is like and how each kingdom plays together to create the overall sound. The animation also had to be absolutely synced to the music, so timing was incredibly important when developing it.
“By making the world of sound a visual experience, particularly for young children, and through dismantling the orchestra into different families of sound, we hope to ignite a passion for music in children right from the very early years. One of my favourite things about The Kingdom of Sound is that it is so honest and without ambiguity, enabling young children to go on a journey with Red.”
The animation by the UCA team forms part of the overall ONE is More project - co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union. ONE is More is a collaboration between eight partners across Europe, with UCA being the only non-orchestra in the group.
The Kingdom of Sound is set to be distributed to schools on DVD as an educational tool and will tour Europe throughout 2018. The process of making the animation and its subsequent impact is being documented by staff and students from UCA’s Television Production course.