I’ve just come back from a big summer break with the family, had an awesome time (pic of a lovely Italian vineyard below!). Just before I went away I finished my 3-year stint as Head of Music at the University of Southampton, handing over to my colleague Prof. Tom Irvine. It’s been quite a ride managing things through the pandemic and with other challenges. Really glad I did it but also pleased to return to having more space for creative projects. Lots on the way so watch this space!
COVID-19 lockdown has been a hectic and strange time for all of us. I’ve not been massively creative, with a lot of my gigs and activities being cancelled, and a busy time working at the University of Southampton.
However, the fantastic pianist Duncan Honeybourne (and my colleague at Southampton) approached me to see if I’d like to write a short piece for his Contemporary Piano Soundbites series. From the Sublime to the Ridiculous is what came out…
Excited that Duncan is recording a bunch of these pieces for a CD later this year.
Video now online of the premiere of my Changing Up + for solo percussionist and large ensemble from the recent SHIFTS project at Turner Sims. Joley Cragg totally nailed the percussion as did the HARTLEY Loop Orchestra, which features students and staff from the University of Southampton Music Department.
I’m putting the finishing touches on a new piece for solo harpsichord for Jane Chapman. Premiere date to be confirmed but likely in late 2019 or early 2020. Watch this space!
It was great to perform The Virus Within: Hearing HIV with Workers Union Ensemble and Chad Swanson at Turner Sims as part of the University of Southampton Science and Engineering Day 2019.
Some lovely feedback from the audience including:
” A fascinating window in composition”
” Amazing innovation. Meaningful. Science in musical language”
“Intellectual synethesia ending with hope”
My colleague Jeanice Brooks got some fantastic photos too…
Back in 2015 I wrote a piece with the amazing poet Luke Wright for the London Sinfonietta, which we performed at Queen Elizabeth Hall. It was a great experience and I’m delighted that our collaboration will continue as we develop a new piece for, and with, Riot Ensemble over the coming year or so. The first stage of development is 2 days together in mid-September to try out some ideas and get things moving. This will happen at my stomping ground at the University of Southampton and is possible thanks to Riot Ensemble’s Arts Council funding and some support from the University. Big thanks to Aaron Holloway-Nahum for believing in the project and being so supportive.
Exciting to see what happens!
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:
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…
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.