I'm so excited to be able to release my arrangement of Hildegard's O Orzchis Ecclesia and O Virga Mediatrix. It was produced for a film by Paul Vernon and sung by Josephine Stephenson:
I was delighted with the performance and reception of Us Alone at Occupy the Pianos. Zoe Martlew played wonderfully, and along with Ben Smith was enormously helpful in putting the piece together on a tight schedule that was disrupted by my cancelled flight. Massive thanks are also due to St John's, Smith Square and Rolf Hind.
You can listen to a somewhat confabulated (part live, part sampled) recording below. It won't be going up publicly on my Soundcloud, however, due to the horrible noise at 1'20":
This was primarily written on a tumultuous journey back from MATA, via Copenhagen, where I had some unexpected space in which to try and summarise my thoughts. It contains a little summary of my time at MATA followed by some thoughts on programming long pieces
I'm very excited to hear my piece, A Noise So Loud, in New York on Tuesday! I made a little video for MATA Festival about the piece, you can see it below. If you're able to come along, you can find details here.
I can now announce the details of an upcoming performance at MATA Festival in New York. My work A Noise So Loud will be performed by Ensemble Liminar at The Kitchen in Chelsea. I'm delighted to have Liminar playing my work. Their reputation for excellent performances of microtonal music tells me I'm in safe hands.
You can see the line up for the gig here and join the Facebook event here.
It's always exciting to be putting on another Filthy Lucre event, but this one has particularly sparked my imagination. We're doing a whole gig in invented languages, with music from Hildegard to the Talking Heads.
I've written three arrangements, two of chants by Hildegard and one of Warszawa by David Bowie and Brian Eno.
The Hildegard arrangements tap into something I've been thinking about a lot recently: a strange confluence of medieval drones and the steady harmonies of electronic music. In my big synth suite I'm working on, microtonal chants intersperse each movement.
I built on these to create my Hildegard arrangements, aiming to sound dusty and ancient yet thrillingly alive. Hildegard's words excited me with their strange, specific visions of the divine. Here's a little clip:
This Spring I will be working on a project with two superb, inventive musicians! I'll be writing a piece for Zoe Martlew (cello) and Ben Smith (Sound Icon), while playing the Sound Icon alongside them in Radulescu's Intimate Rituals and in an improvisation. This will all be part of Rolf Hind's wonderful 'Occupy The Pianos' festival.
Sound Icons are instruments created by the Romanian composer Horatiu Radulescu. Drawing upon Romanian Orthodoxy and Pythagorean mathematics, he upended grand pianos, stripped them of their mechanical components and retuned the strings to create a stark instrument with a unique sonority. The Icons are then bowed with rosined nylon to create a strange sonority rich in overtones.
I have some strange ideas for the piece – I look forward to sharing them with you!
I'm very excited to be able to announce that I will be featured at the 2018 MATA Festival in New York. They will be performing my piece for Keyboard Quartet, A Noise So Loud. It's an amazing festival that will give me the chance to meet interesting composers from around the world.
A Noise So Loud is a slab of microtonal melancholy that moves from the truly grim to the maybe not. Musically, it stems from my attempts to conjoin my interest in riffs with my desire for long, progressive structures. The harmonic language is tonal, but makes use of an even-tempered quarter-tone scale. As the piece progresses, the rigid tempo and locked-in riffs of the first movement make way for more fluid, impromptu movement.
I am currently looking for an opportunity to present the piece in the UK after April 2018.
I'm excited to be able to put out the first demo for a suite of pieces for synthesiser. This is the least microtonal movement, so was the fastest to record. Check it out!