c. 2.5 minutes
Premiere: 12 August 2016
Doncaster College Theatre (CoMA Summer School)
Lone Wolf was composed as the opening movement of a suite of short piano pieces for children. The set are all character pieces based on the book Malu's Wolf by Ruth Craig which I was reading whilst attending the Contemporary Music for All Summer School 2016.
sonata for clarinet and percussion
c. 16 minutes
Premiere: 7 July 2016
George Sleightholme (clarinet) & George Barton (percussion)
Club Inégales (London)
Scored for clarinet and wooden percussion, this piece explores concepts of control and autonomy: 'whichever way it goes you see, you've got to decide' - Dario Fo, Accidental Death of an Anarchist.
Oh Dio! was composed as part of the Academy Inégales mentoring scheme and is dedicated to George and George who brought it to life. You can watch the premiere performance here..
trombone and sampler
c. 3 minutes
Premiere: 12 December 2015
Martin Humphries (trombone) & Andy Leung (electronics)
Club Inégales (London) - 'A Field Guide to Getting Lost'
Composed in response to Rebecca Solnit's A Field Guide To Getting Lost and as part of the Academy Inégales mentoring scheme. The work was created in collaboration with electronic musician Andy Leung.
'In dreams, nothing is lost. Childhood homes, the dead, lost toys all appear with a vividness your waking mind could not achieve' – p 182.
micro-concerto for hybrid drum kit
c. 5 minutes
Workshop performance: June 2015
Lasso of Love was composed in May 2015 for a workshop performance by Norwegian percussionist Håkon Stene. It is the third piece from 'Of Love and Other Musings', an on-going cycle of amplified concertos.
micro concerto for electric cello
c. 6 minutes
Premiere performance: 11 June 2015
Cardiff University Concert Hall
Samuel Warner (electric cello), Martin Humphries (electronics)
For this commission I was given two pieces of information: the final gesture of the work, and the title Secateurs of Love. Usually when composing I begin with a stimulus from a different art form which leads me towards a title, however, in this instance I needed to work in reverse and derive stimulus from it.
I divided the word ‘secateurs’ into two parts which formed differing musical sections within the work: ‘sec’ (or secco, meaning dry) and ‘eur’ (which easily transformed into feurig meaning fiery). With a little research I found that the unused central letters (ATF) are commonly used in medical research as an abbreviation of the Anatomical Transfer Function – loosely speaking the way the ear responds to sound in different spaces.
Secateurs of Love is the second piece from ‘Of Love and Other Musings’, an on-going cycle of amplified concertos.
for solo harp
Premiere: 28 May 2015
National Museum of Wales
'Fragile' contemporary ceramics exhibition
Gwenllian Llyr (harp)
Cast is a loop of discarded material.
for solo cornet and piano
c. 4.5 minutes
To be premiered by Benjamin Atkinson at the final recital of his undergraduate degree at Cardiff University.
Composed as an air varié (a traditional format for brass band cornet solos), To Quote A Friend was commissioned by Benjamin Atkinson for the final recital of his undergraduate degree at Cardiff University. The 'air' upon which this set of variations is based is a quotation lifted from the musical compositions of the commissioner. I was introduced to Benjamin and his music through Steve, and the motif that consumes this piece can be heard across Benjamin's own musical output. Examples include Hwiangerdd Dewi (flugel horn: bar 25, beat 3), Sheeps For Sale (clarinet: bar 29, beat 2.5), and The Red Cockade (chorus soprano: act IV, bar 12, beat 4) - my composition grew from this starting point.
concerto for solo tuba
c. 1 minute
This work for solo tuba offers a duality of emotions: confusion and fear of impending danger. Whilst the work is not strictly programmatic, the title suggests the confusion one might feel when lost in an ornate garden hedge maze, as well as the fear of impending danger one might feel if there were also a tiger nearby.
Put A Tiger In Your Ornate Garden Hedge Maze was composed in 2014 for Kenyon Wilson as part of the Vox Novus initiative 'Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame'.
for solo piano
c. 4 minutes
This piano etude is devised to be playable by pianists of lower abilities. The image of the prepared piano is of great virtuosity and difficulty and this piece seeks to bring the beautiful timbres it can produce to an audience of more amateur pianists.
Etude No. 1 is written as a study and so it is very much driven by technique. It is divided into five sections. The first explores the percussive sounds available to a piano with closed key lid. A pencil eraser is used to hold down a D and thus it becomes the prominent resonance in this opening.
Once the lid has opened, similar rhythms are explored, leading to the presentation of the two chords from which all the material of the piece is derived. These chords become clusters as the col pugno takes over, are respelt and subjected to tremolo, and are later turned horizontal to form melodic cells.
Inside the piano lid the stacked seconds are reimagined. In this playground several contrasting sonorities are explored, before the piece becomes slower and stiller and finally grinds to a halt. Etude No. 1 ends as it began with a closed keyboard lid, accompanied by the densest, richest chord of the piece.
concerto for amplified French horn and sound technician
c. 14 minutes
Premiere: 1 May 2012
Cardiff University Chamber Concert Series 2011/12
Performed by the Cardiff University Contemporary Music Group
Horn: Jonathan Farey, Electronics Emyr Honeybun
I - The Chasm
II - Fixation and Waltz
III - Destroyer of Men
Bucket of Love is ultimately a piece about the human condition. In much the same way Dante must overcome the nine circles of hell, here our horn soloist must endure the three distinct punishments of The Bucket. We begin with the horn player thrusting the mute into their horn, thus penetrating into the foreign, desolate soundworld of The Chasm. The music here conveys the baron wasteland that is The Bucket, with its wide-open spaces left in ruin by the countless wanderers who have met their doom within it.
Next we are shown the playful, teasing nature of The Bucket as it lures the unsuspecting, horn-playing prey towards its trap. It flirts with the soloist, forcing their melody to become a distorted Waltz from which the only escape is to look straight into the heart the predator. The Bucket's four-note motif becomes engraved on the mind and melodies of our horn-playing hero and try as they might, they cannot shake off the Fixation which has taken hold.
With all sense of reason and logic eradicated by the grotesque will of this Destroyer of Men, our protagonist is left to suffer the same fate of all who dare to enter the spiteful realm of The Bucket of Love.