2014 Aspen Music Festival

June 16, 2014 10:00 amtoAugust 17, 2014 5:00 pm

aspen1I’m very pleased to have been offered (and to have accepted!) a full scholarship to attend and study at the 2014 Aspen Summer Music Festival.  I’ll be writing a new orchestral piece (after my work with the BBCSO this past year) and a new chamber work for the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble.  Faculty at the festival include Steven Stucky, George Tsontakis and Christopher Theofanidis.  It’s looking to be a very excited (and very beautiful) summer!


Aspen Music Festival tent

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Opus 2014: Shortlist

December 6, 2013
10:30 amto4:30 pm
January 11, 2014toJanuary 12, 2014

It’s a pleasure to announce that I’ve been shortlisted for the Britten Sinfonia’s OPUS2014 competition.  I am currently composing a wind quintet (my second of 2013!), which will be workshopped with the Britten Sinfonia – under the watchful eye of Huw Watkins – in January.  From that point, one of the composers will be selected to complete their piece for a series of concerts with the Sinfonia in Autumn 2014.

Obviously I’m just beginning the work, but I’ve already landed on the title of my new piece: The Dialect of Lunatic Hurricanes.  This is taken from the first poem in the most recent issue of Modern Poetry Translation Magazine, which focuses on Polish poetry.   In her opening editorial, Sasha Dugdale makes a powerful case – in the line of Seamus Heaney’s The Impact of Translation - that we have a constant need for voices that are ‘credible, desolating and resuscitative.’  That the roads taken by the leading lights of the generations ahead of us are not the only options.

I have been approaching this work as very close family friends deal with an extremely difficult situation involving one of their young children.  As I’ve rolled the music over and around in my head, these words – “credible, desolating and resuscitative” – have been resonating with me as the responsibility of artists when we are responding to suffering in the world.  Without ever being indulgent, we must be serious about representing and responding to the world as it actually is.

It’s hard to know how much of our own situation we read into art, but for me, all of these ideas were seemingly wrapped up into the very first poem in the magazine.  That poem, Dialect of Hurricanes – translated by André Naffis-Sahely from Frankétienne‘s original French opens:

Every day, I use the dialect of lunatic hurricanes.
I speak the folly of colliding winds.
Ever evening, I use the patois of furious rains.
I speak the fury f flooding waters.
Every night, I speak to the Caribbean islands in the tongue of
hysterical storms. I speak the hysteria of the roaring sea.
Dialect of hurricanes. Patois of rains. Language of storms. Flow
of the spiralling life….

 

 

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LSO: Friday Afternoon’s

November 22, 2013
6:00 pmto7:30 pm

I’ve written two arrangements of Benjamin Britten’s Friday Afternoonsa set of twelve songs he wrote for school children in 1935.  These arrangements (of ‘I mun be married on Sunday’ and ‘Jazz Man’) will be performed by London Symphony Orchestra players on their (nearly sold out!) Friday Afternoons concert on Friday 22nd November.

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Every Riven Thing: 2nd Performance

December 5, 2013
7:30 pmto10:30 pm

My song setting of Christian Wiman’s poem Every Riven Thing - written as part of the 2013 Aldeburgh English Song Project - will receive it’s 2nd performance at Club Inegales on Thursday 5th December.  Presented by The Riot Ensemble, the song will be performed by tenor Oliver Brignall and pianist Charis Cheung.

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Gruppen and The Londonist

October 6, 2013
6:00 pmto9:00 pm

It was my pleasure to host a number of bloggers – on behalf of The Londonist – at the London Sinfonietta and Royal Academy of Music’s performance of Gruppen on Sunday 6th October.  They’ve now had a chance to reflect on the experience and have written a number of interesting responses to the evening which you can see over at The Londonist (Three Orchestras Playing at Once: Gruppen – the Verdict).

The Londonist will also be sending bloggers to my upcoming premiere with the BBC Symphony Orchestra in November, and I do hope some of these people will return to hear the London Sinfonietta perform In Vain in December!

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Copland House Residency Award

September 3, 2014 9:00 amtoOctober 8, 2014 9:00 am

I’m hugely excited to announce that I’ve been awarded one of the 2013-14 Copland House Residency Awards.  I’m honoured to be included alongside a number of other fantastic composers I know, including Nicholas Omiccioli and Christopher Theofanidis.

Copland House has issued a press release detailing all of the composers chosen.  The announcement of the awards also appeared on New Music Box, Broadway World, and ASCAP’s website.

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BBCSO premieres The Deeper Breath to Follow

November 14, 2013
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

During the past year, I’ve been in residency with the BBC Symphony Orchestra through Sound and Music’s Embedded Scheme.  The resulting piece - The Deeper Breath to Follow - a 12 minute work for full orchestra, will be premiered by the BBCSO on 14th November at Maida Vale Studios.  The concert is now fully booked, but will also be subsequently broadcast on BBC Radio Three.

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Expressions of Sea Level: Club Inegales

October 17, 2013
7:00 pmto9:00 pm

The Dr. K Sextet will give their second performance of Expressions of Sea Level at Club Inegales.

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ANIMA: Le Campane che Svaniscono

September 19, 2013
7:30 pmto9:30 pm

I’ve prepared a shorter version of Le Campane che Svaniscono for the Anima Collective’s first concert at The Forge.  The animation for this piece is being done by the fantastic 12foot6.  Can’t wait to see and hear it!

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Writing the Future

December 8, 2013
4:00 pmto7:00 pm

SINFCD12012I’m delighted to announced that I’ve been commissioned for the London Sinfonietta’s 2013 ‘New Music Show‘ as part of their Writing the Future Scheme.  I’ll be writing a piece for solo trombone, and will document some of that collaborative process here.  The premiere will be on 8th December at the culmination of the South Bank Centre’s The Rest is Noise Festival.

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