LSO Discovery

Creations: Inspiring New Music


LSO Create Overture
Florence Anna Maunders Khashab Mahtam
Percussion Supersonic Beat This!
Interval – 20 minutes
LSO Create Possible
LSO Create
Variation on 'O Fortuna'
Trio – Horn, Trumpet and Piano Sonata
Florence Anna Maunders Desert Places
LSO Create The Ghost Ship
LSO Create The Dragon's Journey
LSO Create Finale

LSO Create and Mark Withers
Percussion Supersonic and Fraser Trainer
LSO Musicians
Angie Newman BSL interpreter
Florence Anna Maunders composer
Ben Connors artist


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LSO Create and Mark Withers

LSO Create pieces

LSO Create has worked in small groupings to compose the chamber music that is included in today’s performance. The pieces draw on individual members’ own skills and creativity and are further inspired by ideas taken from Florence Anna Maunders’ works that the LSO musicians are performing in this concert. You will hear the influence of breath on musical phrasing, the power of starting with a single pulse and a single note and the infectious energy of a 10/8 dance rhythm.

In contrast, the Overture and Finale to the concert that are performed by the entire LSO Create group follow a very classical pattern. A grand beginning and a celebratory end as you would find in a Bach suite or a Mozart opera. They open the concert with a flourish and close it with joy.  

Programme note by Mark Withers

Florence Anna Maunders

Khashab Mahtam

⏰10 minutes

'You can't go against the grain of the universe and not expect to get splinters.'
C S Lewis

The title of this piece, Khashab Mahtam, is Arabic and can roughly be translated as splintered wood or broken wood. The three wooden instruments take an intentionally wooden rhythm and transform it in different ways. In this manner the music's propulsive forward momentum is continually interrupted with new material, new tonal centres, new rhythms and new patterns. Throughout all the interruptions the momentum of the music continually builds rather than falters, and despite the feelings of repetition and circular movement, the piece is actually in a state of constant development and the exploration of a set of musical ideas. 

This piece reflects my ongoing and abiding interest in the music of the Middle East and also my deep love of electronic dance music styles such as dub step & drum 'n' bass. The influence of these two widely differing musical streams are pretty clear to hear in Khashab Mahtam, with motifs, rhythms, scales and techniques drawn from both these sources.

Programme note by Florence Anna Maunders

Percussion Supersonic

Beat This!

⏰6 minutes

Beat This! is an energetic a piece for percussion ensemble that has been composed by its performers. It mixes influences from West African drumming and Indian classical music as well as the rhythmic inventions of the performers themselves. There are three sections: Fast, Slow, Fast. The first section presents interlocking patterns played over a 6 beat rhythm cycle. The second contrasting section uses sonorous bells and mini hang-drums to create a magical and peaceful atmosphere. The final section explores syncopated rhythm patterns played over a 4 beat rhythm cycle incorporating a complex Indian rhythm pattern (Korvai) which is set against the groove and played by the two wood and metal groups.

Programme note by Fraser Trainer

Florence Anna Maunders

Desert Places

⏰7 minutes

This piece was written for a recital the amazing flautist Carla Rees was planning to perform at the Royal Armouries, Leeds in May 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic got in the way, and instead it was recorded at home and premiered online as part of the Midlands New Music Symposium 2020. It explores two of my great compositional obsessions – jazz harmony and the traditional music of the Middle East – particularly Persian music.  

The two main types of musical material in this piece are the meditative aalap sections in unmeasured time, which form a series of 'musical breaths', which alternate with some more rhythmical (perhaps even slightly percussive) passages which develop the 10/8 rhythm of the janiman – probably the least common of the traditional Persian dance rhythms. In the slower sections much of the melodic material borrows from the closely related Arabic tradition, in particular the tuning of the maqam hijaz, but also explores the versatility of the Kingma bass flute in creating multi-phonics which match closely the idiosyncratic tuning of this scale. The more groove-based sections sound distinctly funky in places, with 9th-based harmonic patterns and semiquaver syncopations abounding. 

In the beginning the desert
was the ashes of a woman
inhabited by a storm.
Hidden secrets echoed,
and the silent poet
lay down on its grasses alone
or sat between its light
and shade, looking for something
that had disappeared
in its endless, rust-coloured mirrors.

At the beginning, the language of the desert
was grass blooming against the wall of wind,
tall palms swaying in the season of seeding
and cinders carried by air
to the blue welcome of warm sand.
She was our first fountain, our mother,
who held us, then gave us away
to the age of waiting cities.
from The Desert by Al-Munsif al-Wahaybi

Programme note by Florence Anna Maunders

About the Artists

LSO Create


The LSO Create Monday Club is a series of music workshops for disabled, non disabled and/or neurodiverse adults, who meet roughly once a month at LSO St Luke’s. The workshops are inspired by repertoire being performed by the LSO, and the group’s diverse life experiences. United by a love of music, participants compose, improvise and create music together, alongside LSO musicians and workshop leader Mark Withers.

Percussion Supersonic

Marlborough School
Woodside Academy
Beths Grammar School

Bexley Music is the lead organisation for the Bexley Music Education Hub and provides music education opportunities for thousands of children and young people as well as adult members of the community, in the London Borough of Bexley.

Percussion Supersonic, part of Bexley Music's ensemble provision, is an inclusive ensemble, which was originally formed pre-Covid, in partnership with LSO On Track, to offer performance opportunities for all.

This year, we have recently relaunched the ensemble, which celebrates the collaboration between three Bexley schools – Beths Grammar School, Marlborough School and Woodside Academy. This is their second public performance – the first was in March 2024, as part of the Bexley Festival of Music at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon – an accomplished and moving performance which enthused the hundreds of audience members present.

We are very proud of the ensemble and everything they have achieved together in such a short time. We plan to build on their successes and aim to continue the legacy of this group of young people, to ensure that Percussion Supersonic, becomes embedded into the regular ensemble offer of the Bexley Music Education Hub.

Bexley Music would like to thank Fraser Trainer, the director of the ensemble, LSO On Track for its continued support and the staff at the schools involved, for their commitment and enthusiasm for the project.

LSO Musicians

Francesca Lombardelli
Jake Brown
Julia O’Riordan
Stef Tepper
Tom Goodman
Noah Bailis (Orchestral Artistry student)
Georgie Spray (LSO Pathways musician)

Mark Withers

LSO Create Animateur

Mark performs and creates music working alongside musicians from all walks of life. He designs and leads creative outreach projects as well as training programmes for artists, working regularly with Accentus, La Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth, the Amsterdam String Quartet Biennale, Insula Orchestra and the Paris Conservatoire. Mark has helped to establish new programmes with groups including the Hallé Orchestra, the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and the Orquesta Nacional de España and currently directs ongoing programmes with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Festival d’Aix. As a performer, he has performed on modern and period instruments with groups such as Orchestre des Champs Elysées, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Orquestra de Cadaqués, where Mark was a member from 1988 to 2001.

Mark has a special interest in music and vulnerable communities. For over 25 years he has led the LSO’s programme for children in hospital schools and directed LSO Create. Mark is an advisor to the charity Jessie’s Fund, providing music for disabled and life-limited children throughout the UK.

Mark Withers wearing a white shirt.

Fraser Trainer

Percussion Supersonic Animateaur

Fraser Trainer started learning the trumpet and piano at the age of seven.  He played trumpet in his local youth orchestra and keyboards in a school rock band called Temporary Fault! At 16 he made the decision to focus on his music making after leaving school, but was still unsure of exactly what he wanted to do.  

Fraser undertook a music degree at Huddersfield University and postgraduate studies in composition at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. His first job was working in the education department of the London Sinfonietta. Since then Fraser has written music for many orchestras and ensembles around the world, including the BBC Proms, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the London Sinfonietta where he wrote a piece for the opening of Southwark Underground station. He also teaches at the Royal College of Music and runs creative music making projects with orchestras all over the world giving him the opportunity to make music with many different groups of people. He has been working with the London Symphony Orchestra and their Discovery programme for over 15 years and led the first ever Percussion Supersonic project in 2019 for Bexley music.  Fraser likes to watch cricket on his days off! 

Fraser Trainer pointing at the camera.

Angie Newman

BSL interpreter

Angie Newman has worked extensively across music and deaf education for many years. Her knowledge and expertise in these areas, combined with her skills as both a British Sign Language interpreter and a musician, enable her to make music more accessible to young deaf people and adults, bridging the worlds of deafness and music, something she feels passionate about.

She has worked for six successive years with the BBC interpreting family Proms, including CBeebies Proms. She works with a variety of leading orchestras in the UK, including the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra and many others, interpreting for their education and community programmes. Angie loves to relax by walking, cycling, playing the piano and violin, and practising yoga. 

BSL interpreter Angie Newman

Florence Anna Maunders


Newbury-based Florence Anna Maunders is a multi-international award-winning composer, performer, conductor & educator. She studied at the RNCM in Manchester, before taking a long break from writing music, instead focusing on teaching, performing and electronic music production. In 2018 she made a dramatic return to composition, completed a masters degree in Birmingham and is currently working on a PHD as a doctoral fellow at Cardiff. Since returning to writing music, she's enjoyed significant successes in the UK, the US, Europe and across the rest of the world, leading to a string of high profile awards & prizes including the Royal Philharmonic Prize.

Recent highlights include commissions, collaborations and performances with internationally renowned ensembles such as the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Third Coast Percussion, London Chamber Orchestra, Psappha, Black Pencil Ensemble, Rarescale, Strange Trace Opera, the Villiers Quartet, Calefax Reed Quintet, Fulham Brass Band, Wigmore Hall and Kyan Quartet as well as leading soloists and other opportunities. Florence also writes extensively for film and media, enjoying ongoing collaborations with directors on both sides of the Atlantic. Her music is wild, rhythmical and exciting, filled with energised, rough-edged juxtapositions' - 'a crescendo of outright queer orchestration' – and reveals a wide range of influences from electronic dance music, contemporary jazz, Middle Eastern traditional music, and the music of Stravinsky & Messiaen. She always aims to write music which makes the listener move – perhaps even to dance! She is currently working with London Chamber Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Orchestra as well as ensembles and festivals across the world.

A close up image of Florence Anna Maunders

Ben Connors


Ben Connors is an artist. His work explores themes of collaboration, identity, representation and communication. He makes drawings, murals, animations and comics.

Thank you

This event would not have been possible without a huge team of passionate individuals, refining details over many hours to make this evening’s event a success. Huge thanks to:

Celia Anderson event producer
Helen Lolljee pastoral care/project support
Sally Carpenter pastoral care/project support
Sophia Lyons Community Associate Projects Manager
Alice Manning Artist Development Projects Co-ordinator
Natasha Krichefski Community Senior Projects Manager
Anahi Ravagnani LSO On Track Projects Manager
Fern Wilson stage manager
Seif O’Reilly stage manager
Josh Whittaker tech lead
Grace Knowles lighting
Conor Stanfield sound
Meg Holch Marketing and Content Co-ordinator
Irina Hall Event Co-ordinator

And everyone else at LSO St Luke’s and the LSO who has been so supportive. Many thanks, as well to Drake Music for their advice and support.

Your Feedback

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Funding Credits

LSO Create is generously support by 29th May 1961 Charitable Trust, Anthony and Elizabeth Mellows Charitable Settlement, Rothenberg Charitable Foundation, Andor Charitable Trust and the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers. 

LSO Discovery’s Musical Inclusion work is generously supported by the Boshier-Hinton Foundation. 

Live captions are provided by Subtitle Planet 
Contact: 07979 375717