Stuck In The Swansea Mud

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Yesterday I visited the National Waterfront Museum in Swansea to watch the first performance of the new Welsh tour of ‘Stuck In The Mud’. It was a great experience and well attended as part of the Dance Days festival. I have put two new clips on the Youtube page attached to this site. Click on the quick-link tab to Youtube above, on the right hand side, to watch.

Exhibition in Google Cultural Institute

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This week saw the launch of the fantastic exhibition of new UK composers in the Google Cultural Institute. Click on the photo above to be taken directly to the site to experience it for yourself.

Welsh tour of ‘Stuck In The Mud’ begins!…

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I am very much looking forward to seeing the first site’s performance of ‘SITM’ this weekend in Swansea. This journey began last year with GDance, Ballet Cymru, the fantastic choreographer Marc Brew and many others. I will post some pictures next week, and if you are free this weekend come along to the National Waterfront Museum, Swansea. Shows are FREE to attend, at 11.45am and 2.20pm this weekend, Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th July. Hope to see you there!

Visit to Umeå, European Capital of Culture 2014

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From the 16th of June to the 19th I was in Umeå, Sweden.  During 2014 Umeå is the European Capital of Culture. The European Choral Festival, which was held here, invited the SICC (South Iceland Chamber Choir) to perform.  The choir are pictured above performing ‘Islands (Ynysoedd)’ in the Opera House in Umeå.  This concert was recorded for the Swedish classical music station P2, and required a short break to accommodate moving the microphones to capture this unconventional piece.  The audience responded well to both the choir and their choice of programme.  The festival was very well organised and the staff were helpful and friendly.  Most of the choirs were being hosted in the same hotel, so after the concerts the spontaneous entertainment often included bar-side sing-alongs!  It was a pleasure to attend such a welcoming event.

‘Islands (Ynysoedd)’ in Salisbury

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Earlier this week I watched my piece ‘Islands (Ynysoedd)’ being performed in Salisbury Arts Festival. This was the very first time in the UK that the piece had been performed with the movement designed in the score. The choir performed so brilliantly that according to the review in the Telegraph, some audience members were moved to tears! If you click on the image above you can read the full article written in the Telegraph.

Cathedral Waters

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Here are a few images of the South Iceland Chamber Choir rehearsing in Salisbury Cathedral prior to Monday evening’s concert. This concert marked the very first time the movement score of ‘Islands (Ynysoedd)’ had been enacted in a UK venue.

Melting the ice…

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Last year’s performance of ‘Islands (Ynysoedd)’ by the SICC was very well received. The passing of Sir John Tavener, in the same week as the concert premiering this work, meant that all involved wished to pay their musical respects to him and his family. In this context, I felt that the movement part of this piece needed to be temporarily omitted. I journeyed back to Iceland last week to work with the choir on this element of the score. The top photo (credit: Brian FitzGibbon) shows the choir rehearsing in Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik. This is where the Icelandic premiere of the work was given in the Reykjavik Arts Festival on 24th May 2014. I will be posting a video of the choir during our preliminary rehearsals, and subsequent performances to my You Tube channel very soon.

Working with the Pinquins

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I have recently returned from Oslo, working with the Pinquins percussion trio. We spent our time working out instrumentation for my new piece ‘East of the Sun and West of the Moon’. The piece will be developed around a Norwegian folk tale of the same title. The Pinquins’ workshop was a treasure chest of percussive toys, including a really cool ‘Waldteufel’ and a set of tuned goblets (top, above). We also experimented with synchronising hits from coins being thrown onto a snare drum. This action will have metaphorical significance in the piece, so keep updated for how all these strands will be worked together! The Pinquins were fantastic company and I am very excited about the piece we will create together.

Norwegian Wood (and metal, and plastic, and balloons, and….)

pinquinsI am very excited to get the opportunity to travel to Norway to work with the percussion trio ‘The Pinquins’.  We will be working on a piece taking influence from the Norwegian folk tale ‘East of the Sun and West of the Moon’.  This exchange will be part of a wider set of connections facilitated through Curated Place.  I would like to try and incorporate some of the recordings I made in Iceland last year into the electronic sections of this piece.  I will also be working with the trio to incorporate some of their more experimental ensemble work.  If you click on the picture you can visit their website to check out their latest concert recordings.

Scores available through Composers Edition

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I am very pleased to announce that I am part of Sound And Music’s ‘New Voices’ scheme this year.  Part of this scheme is in partnership with Composers Edition, which is an online contemporary music publishing site.  My space on the site will retail scores.  Click on the picture to be taken directly to the site. 

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