Simon Tarrant Associate Musical Director

Simon Tarrant has 24 years of experience as a composer and performer in the worlds of music, theatre and, film; with concentrated work in the fields of disability and community arts. Education and Training: After gaining a degree in Creative Arts (Music) at Newcastle Polytechnic (now Northumbria University), Simon continued his training in music and theatre, graduating from a Dalcroze Eurhythmics course in London. The Dalcroze method consists of three elements: eurhythmics, solfège, and improvisation, which Simon uses in his work with disability and community groups.

Simon trained from a young age in both classical piano and trumpet, achieving Grade 8 with distinction in piano. Continuing to grow in the areas of music he also plays accordion, sousaphone and has studied the techniques of many percussion instruments such as congas and Egyptian riq; later developing his style by drawing upon improvised, African and, Latin music. Through working on the international theatre show Elephant, Simon had the privilege of training with Pedro Espi Sanchis, learning the mbira, flute and marimba, alongside the playing and making of xylophones.

Music,Theatre and, Film:

Simon is one of the founders of the band, Überloon who have performed at many venues and festivals over the year including: Latitude, Larmer Tree, and Glastonbury Festivals. Überloon have also performed and co-created music for national and international theatre shows such as: Elephant a collaboration between Dodgy Clutch and; Phileas P. Souper with Pady O'Connor's MeeMee Theatre.

Commissioned by Tin Arts, Simon has co-written and performed alongside folk musician Laura-Beth Salter the music for the physical theatre show, Catywompus, which premiered at the Stockton International Riverside Festival 2016. Alongside his theatre and performance work, and has also composed and produced music for film, working with companies such as: Meerkat films, Beacon Hill Arts, and Duffel films. Some of these films have aired on Channel Four, with others going on to receive awards for Best Music at film festivals. Projects: Simon has been involved in many large scale projects with community groups and professional arts companies such as: the opening of the Alnwick gardens and Sage, Gateshead; a Northern Sinfornia film project in collaboration with Nitin Sawhinny; and a commission by Folkworks to write an original score for Northern Sinfonia string quartet.

Simon has developed strong relationships with artists across the region in particular, with Pady O'Connor the Artistic Director of MeeMee Theatre; together they have ran several successful community projects with companies like Tin Arts and Talk Adopt and are currently writing a new theatre show and developing a programme of projects in collaboration with MeeMee Theatre.

Simon’s Work Philosophy:

“We shall not cease from exploration, And the end of all our exploring
 Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time” - T.S. Eliot

Aiming to create a safe, welcoming environment for young people and adults to experiment with music, Simon uses instruments and improvisation to make something in that is unique and special creates moments that bonds groups with that shared experience. Simon creates bases that enable journeys and moments in time, allowing people to express themselves and their uniqueness and to experience the joy in creation, collaboration and play. To be free and confident, to make mistakes, to create new sounds on instruments that they may never have seen or heard before, and experience what it is to collaborate with others.

Dalcroze Eurhythmics is a method that focusing on the fact that humans are inherently rhythmic and melodic beings - our hearts pulse, we walk in rhythm, and our speech naturally carries melody. Simon, through the use of games and activities harnesses these natural tendencies to remove inhibition and fear, while opening a pathway to expression using music and play.

"It is playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self." - Donald Winnicott

The work created by Simon is seen as a journey of discoveries, possibilities, great excitement and, enormous fun with the hope of forming a lifelong enthusiasm for creativity.