All Works

2015

Lasso of Love

micro-concerto for hybrid drum kit

2015

Duration

c. 5 minutes

Performances

Workshop performance: June 2015
Håkon Stene

Program Note

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.

Secateurs of Love

micro concerto for electric cello

2015

Duration

c. 6 minutes

Performances

Premiere performance: 11 June 2015
Cardiff University Concert Hall
Samuel Warner (electric cello), Martin Humphries (electronics)

Program Note

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.

Cast

for solo harp

2015

Duration

variable

Performances

Premiere: 28 May 2015
National Museum of Wales
'Fragile' contemporary ceramics exhibition
Gwenllian Llyr (harp)

Program Note

Cast is a loop of discarded material.

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.

The Sound Waves Symphony

for community participants

2015

Duration

c. 25 minutes

Performances

Premiere: 8 March 2015
Turner Sims (Southampton)
Students from Wildern School and volunteers from the Hedge End Community

Program Note

Coming Soon

Tags

Workers Onion

for any combination of non-wind instruments

2015

Duration

c. 7 minutes

Performances

Premiere: 2 February 2015
Cardiff University Concert Hall
Performed by the Cardiff University Contemporary Music Group

Program Note

This work for any combination of non-wind instruments responds to Louis Andriessen's Workers Union (1975). Andriessen's firm political leanings and their manifestations within his music were the most pertinent of influences on my piece. Whilst composing I discovered that my new local constituency (Cardiff North) was one of the most closely contested seats at the last general election and is likely to remain so in 2015. In light (and spite) of all this, Workers Onion is a piece about rate of change.

To Quote A Friend

for solo cornet and piano

2015

Duration

c. 4.5 minutes

Performances

To be premiered by Benjamin Atkinson at the final recital of his undergraduate degree at Cardiff University.

Program Note

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.

Tags

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

The Land of Lost Content

for SATB choir

2014

Duration

c. 3.5 miniutes

Performances

Premiere: 8 November 2014
'Was it a Lovely War?' - WWI Commemoration Concert
St John's United Reformed Church, Stourbridge
Performed by Gig Caritas

Program Note

The Land of Lost Content makes use of an A.E. Housman text taken from No. 40 of his famous cycle of poems, A Shrophire Lad (1896). Written before World War I, the words of Housman's poem are certainly prescient, and serve as both reflective and foreshadowing in this year of remembrance amidst such international insecurity. The text also holds strong personal reverence, as its quotation in Dennis Potter's Blue Remembered Hills (1979) made a lasting imprint on my perception of war during my childhood.

This setting was commissioned by Keith Horsfall and Gig Caritas through funds generously donated by Waitrose. The work will receive its first performance by the commissioning ensemble in St John's United Reformed Church, Stourbridge on 8th November 2014 as part of a concert commemorating the outbreak of World War I.

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