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.
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!!
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…
This weekend I’m directing a weekend of performances and workshops exploring musical loops at Turner Sims in Southampton. First up is a a great (free) concert on Friday lunchtime featuring Liz Kenny and Ivo Neame and a workshop on Saturday morning.
The main event is on Sunday 5 February at 7pm features leading jazz musicians Ivo Neame, Jasper Høiby and Jon Scott performing alongside University of Southampton students in the HARTLEY Loop Orchestra. We will perform a major revision/adaption of my Loop Concerto, which was premiered by Ivo and Kent County Youth Orchestra in 2013. I’ve rescored the work for jazz trio and large ensemble and am super excited to see what the trio bring to the piece. Rehearsals have been going well and they arrive on Friday. Katie Harding from Turner Sims interviewed me about the piece for the Turner Sims blog here.
Also on the programme is the world premiere of Andrew Fisher’s Piano Concertino, Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D (after J C Bach) in which Mozart loops a J C Bach Sonata, and Gavin Bryars’ 1972 seminal work Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet.
Tickets are available from the Turner Sims Box Office:
Several weeks ago I conducted the Workers Union Ensemble for a recording of a new work by Matthew Kaner, Collide, at BBC Broadcasting House. Matt is currently ‘Composer in 3’, a residency with BBC Radio 3 and Sound and Music and is writing ten new pieces to be recorded for broadcast on the station in the next ten weeks. The Workers Union Ensemble have a long, and happy, association with Matt so we were delighted when he asked us to record the first of these ten commissions.
Collide was broadcast for the first time on the Radio 3 Breakfast this week and is being played at some point during the Breakfast show every day this week. It’s available on the iPlayer and includes a short interview too:
I had a great time working with the fantastic musicians from the London Sinfonietta Academy 2016 a couple of weeks ago. Due to illness I ended up conducting my new work for large ensemble Beasts Bounding Through Time. Here is the recording of the premiere:
Scores are arriving for the Workers Union Ensemble gig in collaboration with New Dots. We’ll soon be meeting in Southampton to rehearse new pieces by Monika Dalach, Nick Morrish Rarity, Camilo Mendez and our Composer-in-association Seán Clancy. The gig is at The Warehouse in London on 16 April. Early bird tickets are now available!
Earlier this month I had a great time taking part in the final stages of a mini-residency working at Rambert Dance Company.
The residency (thanks Rambert!) allowed me to try out an idea I had for a piece in which two dancers are paired with two pianists who perform on piano and synth. The new idea I wanted to explore was the idea that at the beginning of the piece the only people that can hear the synth playing are one of the dancers and the synth player. This allows the possibility for two clear visual choreographies to exist but the audience are not able to hear what is instigating the movements of one of the dancers. Later in the piece the synth material becomes audible and the listener is (hopefully) able to understand the choreography they have been seeing but not ‘hearing’. Well we tried this and I think the idea worked pretty well. I’m super grateful to choreographer Melanie Ingram, dancers Neus Gil Cortes and Chris Darmanin and musicians Yshani Perinpanayagam and Edward Pick for their patience and talent to bring it about! One of the great things about the project was the opportunity to show the work in an informal setting and receive feedback from an invited audience. This was a valuable process and one I’d be interested in exploring more in a contemporary music setting…
We made a video of the performance and I hope to edit it and upload it to Youtube fairly soon.