Small Ensemble Works

2016

New Shoes

mixed ensemble

2016

Duration

c. 3 minutes

Performances

Premiere: 17 August 2016
CoMA Composers' Ensemble (workshop)
CoMA Summer School 2016

Program Note

I went out to but some new shoes and came home with a new synth...

Tags

2015

Moz Pit

saxophone quartet and saxophone chorus

2015

Duration

c. 7.5 minutes

Performances

Premiere: 20 November 2015
University of Southampton woodwind students
Turner Sims Concert Hall (Southampton) - Mozart Remixed Festival

2nd performance: 21 November 2015
University of Southampton woodwind students
St. Michael's Church (Southampton) - Mozart Remixed Festival

Program Note

I - House
Interlude I
II - Thrash
Interlude II
III - Dub

Moz Pit is my response to the finale of Act I of Don Giovanni in which Mozart intersperses the action with three distinct dances. Using melodic material borrowed from the Mozart original I have reimagined this finale through the use of 21st-Century dance forms, namely house, the moshing which so often accompanies metal music, and dubstep. These movements are separated by two interludes scored for an additional saxophone chorus, the intention being that a group of amateur players may perform alongside an experienced quartet and contribute equally to the performance.

Moz Pit was composed in September 2015 for a performance at the University of Southampton as part of their ‘Mozart Remixed’ festival.

Russell 3000

for flute, clarinet, violin, violoncello and piano

2015

Duration

c. 6 minutes

Performances

Premiere: 5 May 2015
Cellule 133 (Brussels, Belgium)
Ensemble Fractales

UK Premiere: 11 May 2015
Turner Sims (Southampton)
Ensemble Fractales

Program Note

This work collides perceptions of 'high' and 'low' art through two linked stimuli. The title refers to an American stock market index of the same name with the ticker symbol ^RUA. The music reflects the peaks and troughs of this industry, especially in light of recent financial climates. The second and more prominent source is a viral internet phenomenon which shares the same three-letter shorthand.

2014

Temperamental Navigator

for improvising quartet

2014

Duration

variable

Performances

Premiere: 2nd December 2014
The Octagon: Cardiff University
Performed by the Oblique3 Chamber Players

Program Note

Not What Was Intended

for soprano saxophone, trombone and piano

2014

Duration

c. 3 minutes

Performances

Premiere: 15 November 2014
'Birtwistle at 80'
New Hall, Cardiff
Performed by Cardiff University Contemporary Music Group Triumph Ensemble

Program Note

Gustav Holst died in 1934.
Harrison Birtwistle was born in 1934.
Time is linear.
Time is cyclic.

Tags

Bunny Pit

for soprano saxophone, electric guitar, piano and drum kit

2014

Duration

c. 6.5 minutes

Performances

Premiere: 8 July 2014
Cheltenham Music Festival (2014)
The Sanders Room, Cheltenham Ladies College
Performed by the Pop-Up Quartet

Program Note

With love, anything is possible...

Framed Misfortunes

for string quartet

2014

Duration

c. 16 minutes

Performances

Currently unperformed.

Workshop performance: April 2014
Carducci Quartet

Program Note

I - Banana Scientists
II - Scorpy the Forest Friend
III - Suicide Train
IV - Puppy Wish

Inspired by the comic strips of Nicholas Gurewitch and the Perry Bible Fellowship, this string quartet presents four unfolding narratives linked by a reversal of fortune in the final frame. Discussing the contemporary relevance of this comic, Diablo Cody reflects:

'Enjoying this comic is never a passive experience. Breathtaking art aside, the observations on human behaviour are as provocative (and challenging) as they are hilarious. Those smiling round-headed dudes who serve as protagonists in many PBF strips seem scarily familiar - aren't we all just blank, tragic dumbasses who wish we had a puppy?'

Framed Misfortunes was composed in 2014 for a workshop performance by the Carducci Quartet.

Tags

Not For Free

for cello quartet

2014

Duration

c. 3.5 minutes

Performances

Currently unperformed.

Workshop performance: January 2014
The Boathouse Cello Choir (Florida, USA)

Program Note

Coming soon.

Tags

2013

Your Powers Are Weak

for flute, clarinet and piano

2013

Duration

c. 1 minutes

Performances

Premiere: 4 December 2013
Cardiff University 'Britten 100' Celebration
Performed by the Cardon Ensemble

Program Note

When asked for a one-minute variation on the Purcell theme that inspired The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, with the specific instruction to challenge the idea of a variation, I decided to vary the brief itself. Rather than a response to Britten directly, this short trio takes its stimulus from his successor as Britain's leading composer: Thomas Adés. National pride surrounds Britten's music, so I decided to base my work upon the more cynical patriotism of Adés' America: A Prophecy, alongside the pomp and circumstance of the originally intended stimulus.

Your Powers Are Weak was composed as part of Cardiff University's 'Britten 100' celebrations.

Tags

Not Now Birty

for occasional wind quintet

2013

Duration

c. 8 minutes

Performances

Premiere: 20 March 2013
An Evening with Oblique3 and Friends
New Hall, Corbett Road
Performed by Le Quintette Pappilon

Workshop performance: December 2012
Performed by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Wind Quintet

Program Note

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'.

Tags

Page 12