NYOS LAB is an adventurous new creative project designed to explore improvised and co-created approaches to ensemble music making. Combining sound palettes and techniques that draw on classical, jazz, folk tradition, and music from around the globe, NYOS LAB provides space for aspiring young musicians to explore their musical abilities and creative voice all under the artistic direction of double-bass player and composer Emma Smith.

A playful and fun opportunity to collaborate and learn in the company of forward-thinking peers, NYOS LAB will incorporate multiple approaches to music making whilst also developing your knowledge of diverse genres, nurturing a range of skills, and offering a deeper understanding of your instruments and what they can do. 

Making music is like going for a walk. In classical music, you know where you're going and you know how you're going to get there, but each time - depending on the weather for example, or time of year - you can see something new. Jazz improvising, or more accurately extemporising, is when you know where you're going, but you don't know exactly the route you're going to take to get there. Free improvising is when you don't know where you're going, you are just simply going wherever the mood takes you.” 

Emma Smith, NYOS LAB Lead Artist

Our first NYOS LAB will consist of a weekend of workshops at George Watson’s College in Edinburgh over October break led by Emma and a team of musicians from across the musical spectrum, that will explore improvisation, co-create new music with your peers, and develop new musical understanding. You will work in groups of various sizes and cover a variety of approaches including arranging given melodies, creating structured pieces collaboratively, and free improvising.

NYOS LAB is for enthusiastic young people aged 14-18-years who are interested in getting creative in the world of improvisation, ready to go wherever their artistic minds take them. We ask that participants have a full understanding of their instrument and are able to play them to their full extent. 

The fee for NYOS LAB is £140 which is subsidised by over two thirds in order to keep costs to players as low as possible. However, no student who successfully applies for any NYOS project or ensemble will miss out due to financial circumstances, and NYOS offer a range of bursaries to support with course fees, as well as assistance with travel and accommodation costs required to participate. See below for full information.