Andrea Rushton

In 2004 she reached a point where, as she describes it, she hit a creative and directional brick wall and decided to undertake a period of study. She says that her MA “… opened doors that she didn’t know existed …” and is fulsome in her praise of her tutors Bob Gilmore and David Prior whom she describes as “inspirational”.

Andrea is working once again as a freelance musician directing, composing and arranging music for a variety of ensembles and choirs and teaching singing at the Dartington Campus, whilst writing new material for her next recording project.

In writing her MA dissertation she became very interested in the work of the contemporary French electro-accoustic composer, Francis Dhomont, and the Estonian choral composer Veljo Tormis, whose massive catalogue of works is largely based on ancient Estonian folk song and who is viewed and known by all in his own country as their greatest living composer (though, amazingly, unknown elsewhere). Their work, she found, was rich in archetypal imagery and symbolism which, viewed from a Jungian perspective, was at the heart of her research. She has since continued her exploration of musics from all over the world.

Andrea has recently composed and produced a piece of music and written an article (published December 2008) for “Stimulus Respond”, an arts magazine concerned specifically with Literature, Art, Music and Fashion. The magazine had canvassed for art pieces on the theme of SKIN giving possible angles to work from; Andrea’s proposal was based around the suggested “porous border/sensory surface” idea and she describes how she approached the project:

“I was interested in focusing intensely on the incredible exchange of sensations that occur when two people touch. Text and sounds are drawn from notions of the biological structure of ‘skin’ merging with a surreal sensuous micro world.

The sounds heard throughout are either generated from ‘voice’ or from skin touching skin: the subtle swirling, flanging effects of changing frequencies as hands are drawn over skin is an often ‘overlooked’ sound world that I have used as the basis of this piece.”

The accompanying article describes the creative process both from the technical and imaginative aspects of the work. Both the music and article are published in the Skin issue of Stimulus Respond due out in December, the magazine can be found in Dartington campus Library or viewed on line (see below).

Andrea is currently considering the idea of writing a higher education course designed specifically for singers.

The MA Contemporary Music is no longer running.