I am delighted to have been chosen as one of London Music Masters Composition Award holders for 2016-2017. Full details can be found here: http://www.londonmusicmasters.org/news-and-events/news-archive/london-music-masters-announces-new-award-holders/
Violinist Marc Bouchkov, composer Shiva Feshareki, cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and myself will be looking forward to working with LMM and their upcoming projects over the next academic year. I have already been in discussion with their team about commissions for the forthcoming year and want to wish everyone a big congratulations! I’ll post further information about the project as it develops.
I am delighted to announce that my song ‘Nothing and Everything’ will be performed in a new SATB arrangement by the European Queer Choir this year. They are travelling to Denver Festival in Colorado, USA to participate in GALA Choruses from the 2nd-6th July 2016. I have been talking with their Musical Director Aneesa Chaudry, who says she is looking forward to working with the choir on the piece. The event in July is expected to see over 6000 singers participate, so in preparation for this there is also a free preview concert on Sunday 24th April in the Blue Room, Spirit Level at the Southbank Centre in London (I’ve linked the Eventbrite page for this event here). My song was originally written for TTBB performance in Jordan Mckenzie’s ‘Shame Chorus‘ in October last year. I will post more information about the performances as they unfold.
I have just added a recording of the work to my soundcloud page, which is available here:
I am delighted to be able to return to Aberdeen this year for this year’s Spectra Light Festival. My orchestral piece ‘Digital Dust’ will be part of a new commission for Scottish Mapping specialists Double Take Projections. ‘Face of Innovation’ is a striking new projection artwork celebrating Aberdeen’s achievements in innovation and design. This animated work has been created specifically to be projected upon the historic Mitchell Hall within Marischal College quad. For more information about the festival and it’s many other exciting exhibitions go to http://spectraaberdeen.com
From the 10th to the 12th of December I am pleased that Enlighten Light Festival in Manchester will be showing the film I scored by Andrew Brooks. This will be the second year running that Curated Place has put on this festival and it is certainly growing in scope and ambition. For full details please see http://www.enlightenmanchester.co.uk for a list of exhibits and artists: it will certainly be a great attraction for city shoppers and festival audiences alike. There is also a link to a copy of the film on the ‘Soundtrack’ link of this website.
I am looking forward to the premiere of my new piece ‘Nothing and Everything’ as part of the ‘Shame Chrous’ this month. It will be great to hear the other composers’ pieces too. The brief was very unique. We were asked to read anonymous interview transcripts and write a piece based around the material brought up in the interviews. I have never written a piece in this way before, and I think that it will make for a very diverse and moving concert.
I have just finished working on a very worthwhile and interesting project. In partnership with GDance and Ballet Cymru, the fantastic choreographer Jürg Koch was asked to produce a DVD for dance teachers to use as a reference tool for teaching dance to people with movement restrictions. Usually music exists before it is used for choreography, however in this case I was asked to compose as the dancers learned and rehearsed their exercises. This meant that the process was immediate and energising. The dancers (Krystal Lowe, Robbie Moorcroft, Vicky Malin, Suzie Birchwood) were amazing and made me feel very unfit sitting down for most of the day! The DVD is in production now and I will put up more information about it when it is released.
So it’s fair to say that I was a little more than excited for the premiere of ‘Cinderella’ with Ballet Cymru on the 8th this month. I had been working hard to complete the score and finish the production on time. I had not really had chance to watch much of the dancing until the week before the production. I was absolutely stunned watching the final performances. Everything worked together brilliantly, and the critics agreed. Jemma Beggs in the Wales Art Review called the score ‘wonderful’. Mike Smith, writing in the Western Mail, gave the show a 5-star review and comments: ‘The dance is swept along by an instantly accessible atmospheric score, so catchy that it seems familiar as if it has been accompanying this ballet for decades rather than a fresh piece of writing’. I feel particularly proud of this comment, since it validates the hard work I put into creating a score that had to be traditional and innovative in the same respect. Similar praise is awarded to the choreographers and collaborative partners in this review: ‘This Cinders is the complete package. The dancing is full of character and style while Darius James and Amy Doughty’s choreography is packed with pulsating invention melded with traditional elegance and refinement’. And above all the dancers should feel amazingly proud of what they have achieved. Cinderella continues to tour next month. Check out http://welshballet.co.uk/whats-on/tour-dates for a complete list.
I have been very impressed this evening watching a run-through of ‘Cinderella’ with Ballet Cymru – wow guys, you were amazing! Darius James and Amy Doughty have done an excellent job of telling this magical and timeless story. I also watched as James Doyle-Roberts of Citrus Arts worked with the dancers on perfecting certain circus skills in the piece. The aerial work is looking especially impressive and fitting well with the overall narrative. Tickets for the opening performances are nearly sold out so be quick if you want to be at the Riverfront next week for the premiere!
It was great fun to see some of the advertising that is being conducted around Ballet Cymru’s new production of Cinderella. The first performances in the Riverfront Theatre will be on the 8th and 9th of May this year. I notice that there is already 12 more venues around the country booked after this initial production! I have been composing the music from the end of last year and think that it will be quite an experience watching it set to ballet. If you are thinking of joining us for the performances my advice is to act quickly: Saturday night’s performance has nearly sold out already. If you go to http://welshballet.co.uk/productions/cinderella/ there is a complete list of performances with links to the tickets.