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Scratch Electric Kernow

Scratch Electric Kernow (SEK) is a Cornwall wide electric guitar project with hubs in St Austell, Saltash, Falmouth, Camborne and on the Isles of Scilly. It takes place between October–November 2018. Each hub will host free workshops where young musicians will be 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.

The project is aimed at 10-25 year old musicians who can play electric guitar or bass – intermediate to advanced – not suitable for beginners. There will be five workshop sessions followed by a rehearsal and performance at one of the showcase events. Music inspired by Jimi Hendrix will be performed as well as specially created pieces by Adrian Utley (Portishead) and London composer Adrian Lee. Disabled and older musicians can take part too.

This is an exciting opportunity to work within a group with support from professional musicians. The programme starts in October and runs through until late November 2018. You do not need to read music to take part. There will also be female only groups at Falmouth and St Austell. You can sign up to join a group and  find out further information here soon or visit the Scratch Electric facebook page. Watch this space!

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 14 – 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 will take place from September 2016 running till late spring 2017.

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:

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: