The Octagon


© James Berry

During his fellowship with Open Academy James was involved in a collaboration between the Royal Academy of Music and Spitalfields Music. Working alongside Jessie Maryon-Davies, James composed music for children from 3 schools in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and a String Quartet from the Royal Academy of Music.

The final piece was premiered in The Octagon at Queen Mary, University of London, a space which also acted as stimulus for the creative process. Drawing upon music from Brahms’ Double Concerto – premiered the same year as the Octagon was opened to the public – and poetry by William Wordsworth – a statue of whom looms over the space – the piece explores the library as a cultural and historical site, asking what young people might make of it today.



View Score.