Last weekend I recorded my new experimental vocal piece ‘Beacons’ with Côr Aduniad. I am in the process of getting the video ready to share with you all. The idea for the piece came from the Brecon Beacons, which reportedly gained their name as they became used to signal against invading troops which were spotted from afar. I would like to thank Tŷ Cerdd for commissioning me to undertake work on this project, and also to Côr Aduniad for being patient with my sometimes strange requests! The function of the piece was also to experiment with using four portable speakers to perform with. I wanted to experiment with sound and space in this piece, and relate it to the overall thematic composition. I have learned a lot from my work with the choir and this piece, and it has allowed me to start building a new vocabulary which I intend to use to devise more pieces of this nature. Keep posted for links to the video!
When the weather is not so summery it feels slightly less weird to have been working on a few Christmas commissions for the London Gay Men’s Chorus. I don’t think I am supposed to spoil the surprise of the arrangements I have been asked to create, you’ll have to book tickets to the concert later in the year. I’ll update this sight when I have more information.
On Wednesday night this week I was lucky to be able to make it to the CoMA concert in Bristol. Chris Holley (pictured above) led the ensemble in the beautiful and acoustically generous Victoria rooms in Bristol. They gave very convincing performances over a range of different compositional styles and approaches. Hannah Kendall, Ailís Ní Ríain, and Zöe Martlew also had performances of their pieces written for CoMA which were all very impressive. It was good to hear contributions from Masters composition students from University of Bristol, each of whom had to grapple with the challenges of writing for open-score ensembles.
The SWGMC are performing a piece, ‘Nothing and Everything’, I wrote as part of the ‘Shame Chorus’ a couple of years ago. I went to their rehearsal last week and they are sounding great so make sure you book your tickets soon!
The last performance of this piece was in Birmingham last year, and I am looking forward to this performance by Bristol CoMA. The programme looks great and I am keen to hear Hannah’s and Zoë’s work too! Their concert is on Wednesday evening at 7.30pm in the Victoria Rooms, Bristol, hope to see you there.
Very excited to be able to announce that myself and Côr Aduniad have been selected for one of these CoDI Buddies partnerships. The piece will be quite experimental in nature and I am looking forward to working on it with MD Wayne Beecham and the choir. It will definitely be a new way of performing for the choir and I am very interested in what we find out along the way! Congratulations to all the other successful partnerships too!
This year has been a busy one with the performances of Cinderella, the last of which was at the start of this month. Also, special congratulations to Darius James, director of Ballet Cymru, on his recently announced OBE! Lovely to have been able to work with you this year. It was also very exciting to be asked to judge one of the categories for the British Composer Awards 2018. I hope that 2019 brings health and happiness to you all!
Here’s a link to a recording of my piece for trombone and piano (played by the fantastic Peter Moore and Richard Uttley respectively), just click on the image above . I’ve also put a link to the recording on this page so you can listen without the video if you’d prefer. Hope you enjoy listening to it!
Last evening I was able to attend the postponed CoMA concert from March this year (remember that unseasonal snow!?). The People’s Orchestra, conducted by Dan Watson, were in great form, and they played my piece ‘Hummingbird’ excellently. It was lovely to meet their members and to get to chat about the importance of music-making for everyone. It was also lovely to talk with fellow composers Ailís Ní Ríain and Nigel Osborne, who both had excellent performances too. I believe that a recording was made so I will post it when it becomes available.
The South Iceland Chamber Choir has commissioned me as part of their upcoming concert series ‘Miniature Moments’. The brief was to write a piece for between 5 and 90 seconds, which is much harder than it sounds! On October 6th the choir will board a bus that takes it to different historical locations in its home region. Six short pieces will be performed at each location with the choir facing each cardinal point. I will update you when I have more information but I hope they enjoy performing my piece, and it will probably be the only one in Welsh I guess!