Author Archives: Ben

‘Mr. Turquoise Synth’ selected for MISE-EN MUSIC FESTIVAL 2018 in New York

I’m delighted that Mr. Turquoise Synth for piano and 1-bit synthesiser has been selected as one of 26 pieces to feature at the MISE-EN MUSIC FESTIVAL 2018 in New York. I loved going to the festival back in 2014 and am interested to hear how Mr Turquoise (designed by Blake Troise aka PROTODOME) gets on duetting with someone else than the dedicatee Yshani Perinpanayagam. More details to follow!

‘The Virus Within: Hearing HIV’ Premiere

Loved working with my friends Workers Union Ensemble and Dr Chad Swanson (King’s College London) on my newest piece The Virus Within: Hearing HIV. We premiered the piece on Thursday to a great crowd at Guy’s Chapel, King’s College London. Unfortunately the Southampton performance on 10 March has had to be cancelled but we will play at the University of Southampton Science and Engineering Day 2019 instead!

We asked the audience in London for five word reviews. Here are some of my favourites (!):

  • “Novel, exciting and inventive, complex piece”
  • “Head on crash with virus”
  • “Interesting but slightly anxiety inducing!”
  • “Brilliant translation: science to music. Thank you! One of the best pieces of scientific performance art I’ve ever seen/heard. Incredibly intellectually rewarding. Wonderful!”
  • “Top science/music mash-up”
  • “A structurally chaotic masterpiece!”

Recordings and video to come soon and, hopefully, more performances!

‘B.m.B’ for New Music Players

I’ve just finished a new piece B.m.B for small ensemble and electronics, which will be performed by Ed Hughes’ New Music Players on 8 February 2018 at the Attenborough Centre as part of a their Tallis Festival.

The piece is my creative response to Brexit and the world of the great 16th century English composer Thomas Tallis!

It will be performed alongside works by Ed Hughes, Rowland Sutherland, and Sussex composers Lee Westwood, Eleanor Clapp, Jason Hazael and Hugh Chambers, and an AI generated composition based on machine readings of Tallis’s musical output.

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