Archive

Spellspheres: 1

I thought I would use this blog as an introduction to Spellspheres; a large series of small works I started writing in early 2019. In future blog posts, I will discuss specific works in detail, but for now I am going to discuss the overall series and what I am hoping to achieve. 

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Visual music

Music is, of course, a sonic art form but it need not deal only with sound. Music is kinetic; certain pieces might feel different to play or sing when compared to others (as a pianist, I have always preferred playing a B Major scale to a C Major scale, for example, because of how the […]

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In Conversation with: Joanna Ward

International Women’s Day 2019. Friday, 8 March. Joanna Ward is a composer, performer, and curator. She has written a short opera, ‘hunger’, which was written and premiered at ENO Lilian Baylis House, and later taken to the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

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Piano rolls and black MIDI

In August 2018 I visited Amsterdam on holiday; it was a wonderful trip, full of the usual touristy activities. On the final day we visited the Pianola Museum; slightly out-of-the-way, cheaper than every other attraction, and almost entirely devoid of visitors when we arrived, it turned out to be the highlight of the trip.

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The Trumpet Fists of Saint Nicholas – Part 2

In essence, The Trumpet Fists of Saint Nicholas depicts festivals, rituals, piety, mockery and violence via a chronological exploration of the Christmas season.

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Ensemble in focus – Northern Contemporary Collective

This is the third in a series of blogs where I introduce OCA composers (or, indeed, anybody else who might be interested) to UK-based ensembles, particularly those that are new, exciting, and focus on performing recently composed music.

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The Trumpet Fists of Saint Nicholas – Part 1

Recently I have become interested in composing works that present multiple superimposed narratives; music that is about more than just one thing. That is, by combining and juxtaposing stories I can create pieces that operate in structurally unusual ways.

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In conversation with: Martin Evans

It has given me the confidence to believe in my work and my ability as a composer, justifying the efforts I made in the writing, developing and refining this score. Also, as mentioned above, it fulfilled my dream of hearing one of my compositions performed live, by other musicians.

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Ensemble in focus – Platform 4

Hearing one’s music is a very important part of learning how to compose. It can be difficult for fledgling composers to secure performances, but it is worth exploring whether there are any local ensembles willing to look at your music.

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How to interpret graphic scores

I have just finished my five-date solo piano tour, ONE, which featured me as the performer, Debbie Sharp as a video installation artist, and Jacob Thompson-Bell as producer. It was a lot of fun, if a bit exhausting, and it was great to see some OCA students in the audience at two of the gigs.

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