Oliver Searle: Microscopic Dances [download]


Computer typeset score (119pp) saved to PDF for immediate download.

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Oliver Searle: Microscopic Dances [download]

Computer typeset score (119pp) saved to PDF for immediate download.


In 2018, Microscopic Dances won in the Amateur or Young Performer category of the British Composer Awards.  The piece uses digital technologies to provide the opportunity for disabled and non – disabled young musicians to play together in an integrated ensemble. The judges said: “ There is nothing microscopic about the ambition and impact of this courageous work”.


Saxophone – Alto/Baritone Bassoon

Horn in F Trumpet in Bb

Percussion 1 – Toms (3), Triangle, Vibraphone, other untuned percussion Percussion 2 – Vibraphone, Marimba, other untuned percussion

Violin 1 Violin 2 Viola
‘Cello Double Bass

Digital Orchestra (10 players): Keyboards, iPads, Notion, Handsonic, Drumkit

Score in C
Duration: ca. 20 minutes

Commissioned by NYOS and Drake Music Scotland, for NYOS: Futures and the Digital Orchestra, with additional funding via an Athenaeum Award, from the Exchange at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

First performance: August 12th, 2017, at the Tom Fleming Centre, Melville College, Edinburgh

Music psychologists tell us regularly about the fantastically complex series of procedures that your brain goes through on its way to performing music.

We must interpret pitches, rhythms, dynamics and articulations from a page of music, itself a type of complex language, then begin to realise these through a number of miniscule muscle movements, making decisions about the attack and sustain of individual notes, before moving to the next one.

With or without sheet music, we are looking at others around us, perhaps focusing on a conductor/director, using our ears to decide when to join in with other musicians, altering our pitch by the smallest of microtonal increments and balancing our sound to produce a musical performance.

These tiny movements and processes (many of which are only barely noticeable, or often completely invisible to the human eye), seem to me to be a number of microscopic dances between our neural processes and motor skills.

There are six Micoscopic Dances presented here:

Jimp Jitterbug

Infinitesimal Tango

Peerie Passacaglia

Molecular Hornpipe

Minuscule Mosh

Skiddlie Jig

Oliver; 3rd July, 2017