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We found a couple links that were about Alexia’s Young Achiever of the Year 2010.
The Original Post can be found here.
The UK Linguistics Olympiad is a competition for students who are still at school, in which they have to solve very challenging linguistic data problems. There are several levels ranging from Foundation to Advanced. Last year, in Beijing, 28 countries from around the world participated and the UK achieved a Gold Medal for the first time with Ellie Werner.
Last year Alexia entered the competition for the first time, together with a small group of pupils from her school, Comberton Village College at Foundation and Intermediate level. This year, Alexia, who had achieved 97% in last year’s competition, decided to enter at Advanced Level which is typically entered by 17 to 18 year old students. She found out in March that she had achieved a Gold Certificate in round 1 competing against 1700 students mainly from the independent sector. This meant that she was selected for Round 2 which took place at Somerville College during the weekend of 20th March. Only 15 out of 1700 students who entered at Advanced Level made it to Round 2 and Alexia is one of the youngest contestants to make it to Round 2 and to achieve Gold at Advanced Level in Round 1. Following the results the Round 2 competition, only 4 out of the 15 round 1 contestants will make it to the International Olympiad of Linguistics which will take place in Bulgaria this summer.
The competition weekend started on Friday 20th March in Oxford with a welcome from the Head of the Linguistics Department at Somerville College, Oxford. The next day consisted of intense training with many linguistics questions and problems to tackle and advice on strategies. Unfortunately, Alexia did not have access to all of the materials in Braille but she did her best to make the most of the training by relying entirely on her memory. The next day, contestants were put to the test during a gruelling 3 hour paper in which they had to solve highly complex linguistic problems ranging from Maxakali, Malagasy, Hmong, Aymara and Vulgar Latin. For Alexia, the competition consisted of a 6 hour paper rather than 3 hours due to the fact that Braille takes much longer to read than print. Her paper was 30 double sided Braille pages whilst for her sighted peers, it was a 6 A4 double sided paper. There is still a long way to go to make this competition fully accessible to blind contestants but Alexia’s achievement in Round 1 was truly remarkable. Following on this year’s success, Alexia would like to start a Linguistics Club at Comberton Village College in which pupils would meet once a week and practice and tackle linguistics problems together with a view to getting more Comberton linguists entering next year’s Linguistics Olympiad.
A picture of Alexia at Somerville College, Oxford, on 20th March 2015 taking the second round of the UK Advanced Linguistics Olympiad paper.
A Wildlife Trusts for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire Campaign poster which features Alexia.
Click on the picture below for a larger version.
The website for the project can be found here, http://www.wildlifebcn.org/MyWildLife.
If you have been following this blog you will know that Alexia has been working on a few pieces of music. They have finally been performed and recorded and uploaded for your listening pleasure.
Alexia’s first choral piece, Timeless, was written last February for the Jessica Foxley Choral composition competition. It was premiered by The Chamber Girls Choir of Great St Mary’s University Church in Cambridge, where Alexia is a chorister, on Sunday 2nd November, at an All Souls Evensong Service. Alexia wrote the lyrics as well as the music.
Written in memory of Jessica Foxley 19th March 1988 – 25th July 2009. www.jessicafoxley.com
If you would like to see the score to “Timeless”, we posted it earlier and can be seen here, http://wp.me/p1pBMw-4I.
The Judge’s comments:
‘This is a bold and unusual setting of your poem. I particularly like
your strange and unexpected harmonic shifts. The use of notes of the
“black-note pentatonic” scale at bar 9 is inspired, and perfectly suits
the ‘dancing flames’. The refrain ‘And every time I
do…’ haunts the piece – you use it well structurally’.
Following that fantastic piece is one called Meditation.
Alexia Sloane won The 2014 Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation for the 14-and-under category with her translation from French of a poem by Jean Dominique. Here she talks about why she entered and how she chose the poem.
Update: Here are some pictures of Alexia at the awards ceremony.
By Alexia Sloane
I may be asked how the idea of meditation is connected to that of identity. Well, I have heard that some people believe that one can discover elements of one’s identity that perhaps, we may not have otherwise known through meditation. I found this idea fascinating and therefore decided to explore it in this piece.
The phrases may seem disconnected and irrelevant to one another in places, which is meant to represent thoughts as they pass in and out of the mind.
The four lines spoken by the percussionist are ones that I wrote myself as a sort of conclusion to the piece: a reflection of the feelings the person meditating has experienced and, on the last chord and the a niente, all those doubts about who he is disappearing into the ether with the music as he discovers himself.
Since I composed this piece completely apart from any instrument and notation software, it was very much like a stream of consciousness, which I hope has helped me reflect its message.
I hope Doctor Sextet won’t be as horrified at the sight of this piece as my amanuensis was when I informed her that it used all six of its instruments and lasted the maximum time we were allowed to write for!
Note: Hopefully I will be able to add a sound file of the composition soon.
”This piece stands out as the most earnest attempt in the competition at something original. I am impressed by the variety of the ‘disconnected and irrelevant’ ideas, some of which have a very clear, almost naive harmonic innocence, while others are complex and pit extreme dissonances against one another. The musical continuity which is arrived at from bar 49 (with the rising piano chords) is a sudden blossoming from the earlier disparate continuity’. Ewan Campbell, Judge of the 2014 Cambridge Young Composer of the Year Competition.