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Top brass for former soldier
A FORMER frontline British soldier in Iraq has composed a new piece of music in response to his time spent serving in the army.
30-year-old Crewe resident, Adam Shilton, will premiere the work , titled Through the Pink Mist, as part of Manchester Metropolitan University Cheshire’s centenary celebrations.
The Crewe campus of the university is celebrating a hundred years of higher education in teh town with a weeklong series of special events.
Now a Masters student at the university, Adam’s composition for brass band will be played by the Co-op Funeralcare brass band on Monday, September 10.
Adam served in Basra in 2006 with the Cheshire Regiment - now part of the Mercian Regiment.
After returning to civilian life he came across the memoir of Eugene B Sledge, a US Marine who served during World War Two, and whose recollections form the basis of HBO’s television show The Pacific.
“His book was able to put into words what I had never been able to express about my experience,” said Adam. “I thought it would be an excellent composition tool to allow some of his phrases to provide the melody.”
Adam decided to write the piece for a brass band in part because of his own long involvement with the genre.
At age five, Adam began playing with the Lions Youth Brass Band, before moving on to play with the Roberts Bakery Brass Band at 13, and Foden’s Brass Band at 16.
“Musically, coming from a brass band background there are not many cinematic pieces of music scored for brass bands, they are all for strings and orchestra,” said Adam. “My belief is that a brass band can achieve the same emotional impact on the audience as an orchestra – so I wrote the piece to do that,” he said.
Determined to make the piece as accurate as possible, Adam spent two months tracking down Eugene’s family in Alabama. He managed to get in touch with his son, Henry, and the pair discussed the work over Skype before Adam workshopped the piece with the world famous Foden’s Band, originally formed in Sandbach.
“They were great to work with because they are of such a high standard. I was able to put things in front of them and they could just play them which meant I could get feedback very quickly,” he said.
Throughout the process, Adam also filmed himself working to create a mini documentary which will be played while the Co-op Funeralcare band are on stage, so the audience can hear the music live while watching how it was created.
Performance is between 7.30-9pm. See cheshire.mmu.ac.uk/centenary to book a ticket.