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Case Study

Andreas Poupazis


BA (Hons) Music

Since graduating from his BA (Hons) Music degree, Andreas Poupazis has been composing non-stop and won this year’s entry of the Sunderland Symphony Orchestra (SSO) competition.The orchestra recently performed his composition ‘Wearmouth Stories’ at their annual promenade concert in Sunderland. Andreas also received a scholarship to work with Oscar-winning film producer Lord David Puttnam.

I chose to study music because, it’s something that I cannot describe with words…I was always drawn to it. The way music functions as a universal language, the feelings and stories it can narrate with its sounds has always invited me to express myself through it. It's a language I wanted to learn how to speak and master.

As a musician, external influences are an important part of my creative process of composing. When I initially decided to study music there wasn't anything or anyone in particular that influenced me in my decision, other than that natural instinct and thirst I had within me to play, research and listen to music at all times. It was a feeling that I couldn't explain or control, but one I am very grateful I didn't ignore.

This past year has been pretty exciting. In particular, I really enjoyed having the opportunity to work with other departments in combined projects; something that enabled me to experience a more real-life work life scenario. Also, the Music-Image-Text module taught by John Kefala-Kerr (Senior Lecturer in Music) was interesting and eye-opening as it explored the relationship between music and video, something very useful for a composer like me who enjoys composing for film, documentaries and adverts.

I was also able to be a part of the Puttnam Scholarship which I feel was an entire course in itself. Over a period of six months, being taught and guided by Lord Puttnam was very challenging and inspiring. During this period, I learnt a lot. I was exposed to experiences, people and techniques I could not imagine such as learning more about the processes of film-making, producing and even camera shots. Additionally, working within a specific timeframe enhanced my abilities to cope in a real-life, demanding project. This was an experience that I will always be grateful for, and the training and guidance that I acquired is something I will always treasure and carry with me in my professional life.

I was also lucky enough to be a part of ‘The Proms at the Point’, when I heard Sunderland Symphony Orchestra was hosting a competition for composers. When I entered my piece, I only had one thought in my mind: either I’ll win or better my knowledge of orchestral composition. When I found out that my piece won the competition, I felt great joy, honour and fulfilment that my hard work had paid off. Also, the vision of all the performers translating my music from paper into sound immediately filled me with anticipation for the actual live performance.

The orchestra is going to perform my composition at Proms at the Point. I am honoured that my piece will be performed by an orchestra. It is a first-time feeling for me and I am really excited about it. I believe the feelings will intensify during the live performance.

Despite all the fun and laughter, my strongest advice is that, whatever you choose to study, make sure that you are happy. If you discover that your subject does not make you feel this way, you should not be afraid to take a leap or change course. It’s better to regret something you did, rather than something you didn't do.”

Published 14 October 2019

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