Plus-Minus is committed to education work and proud of the relationships we have developed with both the music departments and the composers we have met there. Musicians are increasingly exploring across genres, are multi-disciplined, inspired by the physicality of performance, using the ever developing world of technology to expand their sound worlds and experimenting with different methods of notation. Students looking to become a part of this exciting world need a broad range of experiences and skills in order to maximise their creative potential. Plus-Minus brings its knowledge, broad set of skills and fearlessness into providing a platform for composers and performers to develop their ideas in a supportive and nurturing environment.
I’m confident in saying that all the students feel valued, whatever work they make.
The players [of Plus Minus] manage to get the difficult balance between being critical, pragmatic, and friendly absolutely right. It is a real working environment, and gives student composers a comprehensive insight into the way rehearsals function in the real world. In particular the flexibility they have is astonishing, whether it is working on a klezmer piece or a score involving opening bespoke cardboard boxes, and in all cases present the same professional and supportive approach to the composers. This is such a valuable trait, as the style agnostic nature of the work we see requires this lack of subjective judgement. I’m confident in saying that all the students feel valued, whatever work they make. The group also come to the student workshops fully prepared. They always know the pieces, sometimes better than the composers, and workshops are not rehearsals where the pieces are learned: the starting point is the student response to their piece in a performance-ready state. It goes without saying that they are extraordinary musicians, and at the heart of the experience this total commitment to working at such a high level is inspirational to the composers.
— Prof. James Saunders, Bath Spa University
The ’lock-down’ of Spring 2020 presented new challenges, which also provided exciting new creative opportunities and ways of working. Plus Minus engaged in projects online with Bath Spa University, Surrey University, Guildhall School of Music and Reid School of Music, Edinburgh University. Each was different in its own way and we are really impressed with the positive and creative approach each composer took. Although working in such a way can never replace live interactions between both performers and the audience, we hope that this is a very respectable substitute. Perhaps there are new subtleties to appreciate and new ways of communicating we will all have to get used to for the meantime?