Thursday, 04 December, 2014
This week saw the premiere performances of two of my pieces. The first Temperamental Navigator (for four improvising performers) was featured in Cardiff's longest running chamber concert series, hosted by Cardiff University. The work was performed in the Octagon (Cardiff University School of Music) as part of a pre-concert event showcasing music by PhD candidates at the university, before the full concert explored works by living Welsh composers. The work was performed by the Oblique3 Chamber Players and I directed the performance.
The second piece of mine premiered this week was Worlds Apart, for two pianos. It was performed in a version with half the duet digitised and the recording played into the concert space, with the other line performed live by pianist Matthew Poad. The performance formed part of 'Piano Pieces' an evening exploring different approaches to piano writing across the last century, culminating with a performance of Philip Corner's Piano Activities (pictured above). The music was accompanied by an exhibition of artwork inspired by the new compositions, which drew on the same programme note and used the first and last pages of the score as a canvas. The event was curated by composer Daniel Wyn-Jones (www.daniel-wyn.co.uk) and was hosted by Cardiff art gallery The Abacus (http://theabacusrooms.wordpress.com).
Following a hugely enjoyable exhibition opening, Oblique3 (the contemporary music group I direct) continued into the early hours performing for the event's after party. Flanking a substantial and quite ridiculous free improvisation we performed Bring the Noise by Daniel Wyn-Jones, and closed our set with the Welsh premiere and second ever performance of Ralph Steadman's Blot Symphony (the premiere having been performed by Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash). It was a privilege to direct the ensemble on this night!
Earlier in the same week I presented a conference paper at a Post-Graduate Study Day hosted by the Cardiff University School of Music. The paper I presented was titled 'Composing in the community: Experiments towards an authentic voice' and reflected on the early stages of my PhD research, particularly focussing on the ways recent trends in British brass band composition has influenced my music.
All in all, a very busy and exciting week!