Alasdair Nicolson


SOUND INVENTOR PROJECTS is a new company established by the music education practitioners who created the award-winning SOUND INVENTORS. As well as our tried and tested composition projects, SOUND INVENTOR PROJECTS is now working with new ideas for delivering composition and creative approaches to music education from improvisation to fully notated, scored composition. Alongside hands-on workshops and projects led by expert, experienced practitioners, SOUND INVENTOR PROJECTS offers a wide range of printed material ranging from books on composition and project management to complimentary worksheets. Artistic, educational and project management consultancy is also available as well as access to a large database of specialist teams and individuals - leading UK composers and performers in their own right.

The directors of SOUND INVENTOR PROJECTS have worked for most of the UK's orchestras, ensembles, opera companies and festivals including ENO, SCO, SNO, St Magnus, Aldeburgh, Barbican, CLS, Opera North, LSO, Philharmonia, spnm, Highland Festival, Paragon Ensemble, Spitalfields Festival, Britten Pears School, Goldberg Ensemble, Kokoro, RNCM, Leeds College of Music, The Scottish Office, Theatre Workshop, TAG Theatre, Citizens Theatre, National Youth Orchestra and Youth Music. Other clients include public authorities in the UK and across mainland Europe as well as voluntary and community groups and the private sector.



Sound Inventors was an award-winning programme of composition projects for young people aged between 12 and 18. Led and inspired by leading UK composers and musicians, it enabled young people to create and notate music in a variety of styles. Participants experienced composition from blank page through to recording and performance by professional musicians.

The educational and artisitc processes of Sound Inventors were created by Alasdair Nicolson based on twenty years working as a professional composer and leading hundreds of projects for orchestras, festivals, opera companies and educational establishments. He was Creative Director of the project from the initial conception. Alongside the overall artistic planning of the programme, Alasdair has written two books on compostion called The Composition Kit 1 and The Compostion Kit 2. These books are an extensive resource for anyone starting, or continuing, their compositional career and include ideas from starting points for a piece of music through to reference guides to all aspects of instruments, notation and technical knowledge.

Composers involved in Sound Inventors projects come from very different backgrounds. They share the belief that the ability to write down music of any style in all manner of ways relies upon having the same starting point. To quote Sound Inventors Creative Director Alasdair Nicolson, 'we have taken composing back to its lowest common denominator and provided young people with the starting point over and above which sits all notion of genre and style.'

Key to the process has been an attempt to pass on skills in this kind of work to less experienced composers and to teaching staff. Workshops have been run concurrently with young people's projects to share the work of the project and to enlighten those who have a fear of delivering composition in the classroom.

However diverse the outcomes, the projects have upheld the development of notational skills as an essential tool for creative freedom. The notation of creative work gives a legacy beyond the programme as it opens the possibility of exchanging work between composers and instrumentalists. Sound Inventors has and will continue to establish a growing network of composers and musicians long into the future.

Sound Inventors Projects is a new company offering projects and services within the area of composition and music education work.


Royal Philharmonic Society's prestigious award for Education in 2003.