Author Archives: Ben

Live video of ‘Piano Trio (with whistles)’

On 27 November Aisha Orazbayeva (violin), Alice Purton (‘cello) and Mark Knoop (piano) performed my Piano Trio (with whistles), which I wrote in 2014 as part of their concert at the University of Southampton Music Department professional concert series. I’m pleased to have uploaded to Youtube a video of their fantastic performance:

‘Mr Turquoise Synth’ at the National Videogame Arcade

Yshani Perinpanayagam will play my Mr. Turquoise Synth (2017) in Nottingham on 19 January alongside pieces by Blake Troise and Cheryl Frances-Hoad at her performance and talk at a new festival, ALL YOUR BASS, set up by the National Videogame Arcade.

British Composer Award Nomination

I’m delighted to have been nominated for Loop Concerto for jazz trio and large ensemble in the Contemporary Jazz Composition category of the British Composer Awards 2017.

Obviously honoured and super grateful to the people that made the piece work: the amazing trio involved in the premiere Ivo Neame (piano), Jasper Høiby (double bass) and Jon Scott (drums); the University of Southampton students and staff who played in the HARTLEY Loop Orchestra; Turner Sims for staging it; and the Music Department at Southampton for funding ‘The Loop Project’ in 2017!

The awards ceremony is 6 December at the British Museum…

‘The Virus Within: Hearing HIV’ Premiere – 15 Feb 2018

I’m just putting the finishing touches on the first two movements (of three) of my 30-minute new piece for Workers Union Ensemble, The Virus Within: Hearing HIV. Workers (with two new lovely babies!) are coming for a November weekend in Southampton to rehearse the piece and do some recording for the electronics that will be involved in the piece. Then I have a few months to sort out the electronics stuff and write the short final movement for the premiere on 15 February at the Chapel of Thomas Guy, King’s College London (KCL).

I’m excited about this piece. It’s been great to collaborate closely with KCL virologist Chad Swanson in developing the music and I can’t wait to see it all come together.

‘Piano Trio (with whistles)’ performance in November

I’m delighted that Aisha Orazbayeva (violin), Alice Purton (‘cello) and Mark Knoop (piano) will perform a slightly revised version of my Piano Trio (with whistles) at Turner Sims, Southampton, on 27 November as part of the University of Southampton Music Department Professional Lunchtime Concert Series. Deal Festival commissioned this work in 2015 and the main change I’ve made is deleting the second movement! The trio will also be performing Klarenz Barlow’s 1981 and Walter Zimmerman’s Ephemer.

Aisha Orazbayeva

Liz Kenny performs ‘Extending from the inside’ in Canada

Elizabeth Kenny (theorbo/lute player extraordinaire) played my ‘Extending from the inside’ in Victoria, Canada, this week. It was part of a concert presented as part of the Lute Society of America West Workshop 2017, staged by the Ancient Music Society of Victoria and the Lute Society of America. Liz was a member of the teaching faculty of the workshop.

Liz and I are exploring a potential collaboration with some other exciting musicians for 2018 so watch this space on that!

‘Capturing the Contemporary Conductor’

I’ve just finished a new piece called Captured: Three Mo-Cap Experiments for conductor and small ensemble as part of the BA/Leverhulme funded project, ‘Capturing the Contemporary Conductor’, which I’m working on with Richard Polfreman and other colleagues at the University of Southampton. The idea is to record the piece with seven musicians and three conductors (me, Geoffrey Paterson and Holly Mathieson) in 27th September in the motion-capture laboratory at the University. We will then put all the recordings and data up online for us and other researchers to explore. More to follow!!

‘Hearing HIV’ collaboration with Chad Swanson

I’m really delighted that the Medical Research Council have funded the development and London performance of ‘Hearing HIV’, which is a collaboration with King’s College London virologist Chad Swanson and Workers Union Ensemble. The idea of the project is to develop a new three-movement ensemble composition that musically depicts biological processes involved in HIV replication and how innovative ‘Shock and Kill’ treatments might provide a cure for HIV. Hearing HIV will enable audiences to develop an understanding of the HIV life cycle, cutting-edge therapies for HIV and innovative contemporary music structures. The premiere, in London, will be in February 2018 – watch this space for details!

‘HIV Translation’ illustration by David Goodsell, 2015 (click to go to original upload, reproduced under CC license)

‘Loop Concerto’ Video

In February the incredible Ivo Neame (piano), Jasper Høiby (bass) and Jon Scott (drums) came to play a new version of my ‘Loop Concerto’ with the HARTLEY Loop Orchestra at Turner Sims. It was brilliant to work with the trio and University of Southampton students putting the project together and big thanks must go to the Music Department at the University and Turner Sims for backing it. A video has been made and is now up on youtube. One issue is that there is very little footage of Ivo as the camera footage corrupted…