I’m just back from a wonderful trip to Modulus Festival in Vancouver. Hosted by the Music On Main and put together by David Pay, it was a festival full of exciting new music.
Thank you so much to everybody who made it down to Filthy Lucre’s Fundraiser on Saturday! We had a great time, and appreciate enormously all the support offered. I was glad to have the chance to perform with Lucy Cox of Sansara Choir and to give the first performances of two tracks from my EP.
Lucy and I will be performing those again as part of a concert with Sansara at Romsey Abbey this Saturday, do come along if you’re based nearby. This is the beginning of a longer collaboration with Sansara on some very interesting work for choir and electronics – I can't wait to let you all know about the next steps!
At Filthy Lucre's Fundraiser on 13th October (invites still available), I'll be performing arrangements of chants by Hildegard for voices and electronics with Lucy Cox. This is both a development of the work I did with Paul Vernon and Filthy Lucre (which will also be shown at the event) and the beginning of a very exciting new project with Sansara (of which more anon).
In my arrangement of Alma Redemptoris Mater I stuck to simple rules, using just one technique: granular delay. Yet the effects can be quite remarkable, particularly when performed over an extended period. I don't want to spoil the novelty of a new work, so here is a short snippet of some of the techniques, using Josephine Stevenson's vocals from my collaboration with Paul Vernon:
I left university with the absolute intention to become a composer, but only a vague meaning of what that meant. I knew I was taking on a hard task with poor financial prospects, but my understanding of this was hazy, based on parental warnings and the half-understood examples of my smattering of older friends. I hoped that as I spent more time in the arts, things would clarify.
Yet the mystery of artists’ finances only grew with experience. I am very privileged; my parents pay my rent, ease my cash-flow, and help with much more besides. Yet I regularly come across people whose existence seems completely out of reach: the musician with thousands of pounds of electronic equipment; the artist who seemed to be 50% late-night debauchery, 50% inspired art, 0% day job. My mystification, to my shame, also extended in the other direction. With all my privilege, I feel like I’m working at full capacity. How do those without such resources manage
I’m really excited to hear the recording of my piece A Noise So Loud from MATA Festival 2018, which has just been put out on their Soundcloud.
I should be frank that there are some infelicities in the performance – while Liminar did a great job with the (very tricky) microtones, some of the rhythmic aspects of the piece don’t come through. That leaves me with a puzzle.
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
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