Page last updated at 14:54 GMT, Friday, 26 March 2010

Music written for prams at Bangor University

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Watch percussionists Ben Thompson and Jack Corlett demonstrate the full range of the prams

Imagine a baby's buggy, without the child inside, strapped with all manner of noise-making equipment.

Add a specially composed score sheet, rope in two willing university percussion students and your have - Music for Prams.

The work is the latest piece unveiled as part of the Bangor New Music Festival which each year aims to include an unusual element.

In the past they have dunked harps in the Menai Strait, and set them alight.

Dr Guto Pryderi Puw, from Bangor University's School of Music composed the latest piece.

Although it has the potential to be silly, it is also complex, and as a piece of music it does work
Ben Thompson, percussionist

He said the idea came because the festival has done work with schools and colleges in the past, but never with very young children.

"This isn't meant to be serious at all, but like in films such as Toy Story, it can be enjoyed on two levels, by children, and grown-ups," he said.

Dr Puw admits when he first got the idea he eyed different pram designs with a view to the best sounds, but decided in the end to stick to what he knew - using his daughter's pram.

Percussionists Ben Thompson and Jack Corlett are tasked with making sense of the score.

"It's a fun piece, but also very well constructed," said Mr Thompson.

Jack Corlett and Ben Thompson play Music for Prams
Jack Corlett and Ben Thompson play Music for Prams

"Although it has the potential to be silly, it is also complex, and as a piece of music it does work," he added.

For the BBC demo the prams were wheeled into the 'quad' at Bangor University, and the acoustic bouncing off the stone-walls definitely added to the effect.

At first glance the musicians seemed to be 'playing' just the add-ons (plastic pipes of varying lengths, a small xylophone and various squeaky things), but as the piece develops the whole pram is used.

Then the brake, frame and even the squeaky suspension sounds are all put to use.

Music for Prams can be heard as part of a concert on Friday evening, 26 March, at 21:30 GMT at the Pritchard-Jones Hall, Bangor University.



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