Scratch Electric Kernow (SEK) is a Cornwall wide electric guitar project for young musicians.

The first project (SEK1) took place between October 2018 and February 2019. With hubs in St Austell, Saltash, Falmouth, Camborne and on the Isles of Scilly each hub hosted free workshops where young musicians were able to work with professionals to create new original music, work on specially commissioned pieces, improve skills, link with other groups and perform as part of an electric guitar orchestra at live showcase events on stage in front of audiences.

In the next SEK project, SEK2 commencing Sept 2019, we want to include more start-up groups. We want to hear from you if you think your community might benefit from a new ‘Scratch Electric’ group whether it be in your local school, college, youth centre, community or village hall. We also want to enlarge our roster of tutors and will be offering CPD training. For further info about the SEK approach to creative work with electric guitar ensembles, please take a look at our FAQs page and complete the ‘expression of interest’ form by 1 July deadline.

SEK2 will be in 2 phases:
  • Phase 1 Sept-Oct 2019 – 2-week programme of one-off taster workshops + CPD training. We want to contact experienced guitar teachers and music leaders to work with us in setting up 10 one-off workshops in 10 new locations across Cornwall. Artistic Director, Adrian Lee will lead the workshop sessions with a member of the SEK team or a locally-based guitar tutor. CPD training will be available to support guitar teachers / music leaders who would like to develop their skills in this creative use of electric guitar in group work. Our aim is to find out if there will be sufficient grassroots interest to support further development.
  • Phase 2, Jan-Mar 2020 – Extended 6-week programme of SEK workshops culminating in showcase concerts. Our aim is to support the development of at least 3 new orchestra groups emerging through Phase 1 plus ensembles established in the previous SEK project (SEK1, 2018-19).

If you’re an experienced guitar teacher or music leader you might like to think about working with us to set up a ‘Scratch Electric’ group in your local area and connect with other electric guitar orchestra groups in Cornwall through the SEK network. Please get in touch using our ‘expression of interest’ form by 1 July deadline or email for further info.

The project is aimed at 10-25 year old musicians who can play electric guitar or bass – intermediate to advanced – not appropriate for beginners. For full details go to SEK2

What is Scratch Electric?

Scratch Electric brings together young, aspiring guitarists of any age to play in an orchestra of massed electric guitars.  In workshops and showcase performances led by composer and guitarist Adrian Lee, the guitarists learn key ensemble skills, workshop and perform contemporary concert music and in doing so, engage in exploring the electric guitar’s huge range of expressive and sonic qualities.

Scratch Electric aims to form regional electric guitar orchestras targeted to players, age range 10 – 25 of intermediate to advanced ability. Familiarity with standard staff notation is not a requirement but some knowledge of guitar tab notation is useful to gain maximum benefit.

In Scratch Electric workshop programmes, guitarists learn and play new music by Adrian Lee, Adrian Utley (Portishead) plus minimalist classics by Philip Glass, Terry Riley and Steve Reich.  The guitarists also get to contribute creatively through their own original pieces and arrangements, celebrating new music and the vibrant sound world of the electric guitar en masse.

How did Scratch Electric start?

Scratch Electric is the brainchild of Adrian Lee who is passionate about exploring what the electric guitar can do with its huge sonic and expressive range.

The first Scratch Electric pilot showcase concert took place at Nottingham Contemporary, Spring 2015.  It was presented by electric guitar quartet the Ludi Quartet led by Adrian Lee, and featured special guest Adrian Utley (Portishead) plus an orchestra of young, aspiring electric guitarists.

The guitarists were recruited through a programme of workshops, hosted and supported by City Arts Nottingham, Derby College and I’m Not From London, an independent music promoter / label based in Nottingham.  Several of the participants were musicians in Nottingham’s top and emerging indie-alternative bands.  The young musicians contributed creatively to the programme which consisted of minimalist classics and a new work for electric guitar orchestra by Adrian Lee.

Scratch Electric Kernow 2 –  Phase 1 will take place between September/October 2019 and Phase 2 runs from January  till late spring 2020.

Project lead

Composer and guitarist Adrian Lee’s output comprises over 60 scores for theatre, TV, radio, film, dance and music theatre. He has worked extensively with theatre companies including the Royal National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company and Young Vic Theatre. TV scores include music for documentaries broadcast by BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.  His compositions have pioneered the integration of world music performance traditions and styles in mainstream media productions and his scores demonstrate a broad spectrum of compositional approach, from devised works, the use of improvisation through to fully-notated compositions.

How can I get involved?

If you are interested in taking part in a future programme contact us via email: musicotopia@me.com

If you are a music leader at a school, college or a community club and wish to find out how your group can participate in future programmes, please contact: musicotopia@me.com


Phil Webb, Project Manager SEK & Cornwall Music Network, Tel: 01209 312503 / 07865 072744 E: info@cornwallmusic.co.uk or  Adrian Lee E: musicotopia@me.com

© Scratch Electric 2019