Martin Humphries

Martin Humphries is a Cardiff- based composer and conductor who specialises in music for community ensembles and amateur musicians. He is currently working towards a PhD in composition at the University of Southampton and conducts numerous ensembles including Oblique3: Contemporary Music Group and the Cardiff University Wind Orchestra.

Compositions

On this page you can listen to performances of Martin's compositions and view examples from his scores. His portfolio includes music composed for solo instrumentalists, duos, small ensembles, large ensembles, as well as vocal and choral works.

News

An incredibly busy eighteen-months

Thursday, 15 March, 2018

Well this past year and a half has been an absolute whirlwind! Because of all my various engagements I have been lapse on keeping the website updated. In the coming weeks I will be uploading details of the various musical events I have been involved with as a conductor, composer, performer, and ...





event organiser. In the meantime, here are some of the highlights: I was honoured to be asked to conduct the East/West Orchestra in their inaugural performance for broadcast on Chinese national television; I composed a large scale work ('Tilikum') for the London Medical Orchestra as part of ...





the Adopt a Composer Scheme, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3; I created a new score titled 'Kukolnost' for the London Consorts of Winds which was performed alongside original choreography twice in the past six months, as well as part of a professional recording session; I was fortunate ...





enough to be selected for the 2017 Porthleven Prize which saw me embed in the town for a number of weeks and create new works which responded to the people and place. The finished pieces were displayed in the Lighthouse Gallery (Cornwall), and Sion Hill (Bath); I have been engaged planning the ...





Cardiff leg of the Contemporary Music for All Festival of Contemporary Music; Since taking over Ocean Brass in the summer of 2016 I have led the group at various concerts including fundraisers for MS Society and Abbie's Heroes, and contests including the West of England Regional Brass Band ...





Championships, Wessex Contest, and Wychavon Festival of Brass; I conducted the final concert of the Cardiff University Wind Orchestra, featuring the premiere of Matthew Hall's 30-minute symphony for Wind Orchestra; And on top of all that I have been completing a PGCE this academic year, ...





alongside the final stages of my PhD in Music. It has been a very busy time and I look forward to sharing all the details on here in the near future.

Adopt a Composer

Saturday, 10 September, 2016

I can finally reveal that I have been selected to take part in the prestigious Adopt a Composer scheme. The programme is run by organisations 'Making Music' and 'Sound and Music' and the final performance will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3. I have been paired with the London Medical Orchestra from ...





London and will be mentored by composer Fraser Trainer. Over the next year we will be working together to create an exciting, innovative, and rewarding piece of music for the participants. I can't wait to get cracking and am thrilled to have been selected for this scheme.

Featured Work

Not Now Birty

for occasional wind quintet

2013

This piece for 'occasional wind quintet' is an affectionate tribute to the great composer Sir Harrison Birtwistle. Humour has always played an ...








important role in my music and I became fascinated by the way Birtwistle's blunt and uncompromising way of expressing himself often creates comic ...








scenarios (to me at least) when juxtaposed against the formality and refinement of the 'classical' music scene. The Steve Reich edition of a series ...








of interviews produced by Boosey and Hawkes begins with the quote 'I think my decision to become a composer really happened at the age of fourteen ...








when I heard for the first time The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky, and shortly thereafter the fifth Brandenberg Concerto by Johann ...








Sebastian Bach'. In stark contrast, the Birtwistle edition of the same series opens with the composer giving us a tour of his garden and a series of ...








fantastic quotes such as: 'do you want to see my tomatoes?... I've grown them from seed. Magic!', and 'this wall here, I built that. It's not bad is ...








it'. It is almost a minute and a half into this three-minute feature before Birtwistle even mentions his music. In Not Now Birty I have made ...








a caricature of some of these traits. The quartet of flute, oboe, horn and bassoon move as a unit and progress in a reasonably logical manner, ...








however, the clarinet (the instrument Birtwistle played in his youth) constantly antagonises the equilibrium and leads the others astray in terms of ...








harmony, rhythm, structure, and timbre, always favouring harsher and more enigmatic soundworlds. Some would argue there is a time and place to hear ...








Birtwistle talk about his gardening techniques, and likewise, for a clarinet to scream over the top of an ensemble. Others would simply respond 'not ...








now Birty'.

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