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Proms

Yesterday I went to the Proms and it is always inspiring to hear anything by Ravel. Ravel for me really is the ‘god’ of Orchestration and it was such a delight to listen to the wonderful performance of Daphnis and Chloe. It’s not often that you hear such a large scale orchestral work with chorus, full brass section , percussion and two harps!

Bowthorpe Oak

I recently composed a new work for the Isle of Axholme Orchestra. The orchestra is based in North Lincolnshire-I wanted to write a piece that connected to that part of the country. I am very keen on supporting our woodlands and was reading an interesting article from the Woodland Trust on Bowthorpe Oak. Bowthorpe Oak is England’s largest Oak tree and is over a thousand years oak-it stands in a field in Bourne in Lincolnshire. Over thirty people have managed to stand inside the tree at one time, and it is featured in the Guinness book of records. I was very inspired to write a piece about this amazing tree, history and the life it sustains. Please come along if you are in Scunthorpe tomorrow-the concert is a celebration of female composers through the ages, and is conducted by Robert Steadman.

http://www.isleofaxholmeorchestra.co.uk/

 

 

 

This week I have been out and about at the Greenhorn film festival. I attended the ‘Short meets’ event on Monday-it was great to chat to lots of creative people about their work in films. I met many Composers, Directors and Scriptwriters-it was a very interesting evening. This was closely followed by the event ‘Music in Film Panel. There was a wonderful array of panellists which included: Connie Farr (ThinkSync Music), Rob Manning, Carly Paradis, Laura Rossi,Vasco Hexel (Royal College of Music) and Richard Paine (Faber Music). The evening was packed with great advice for up and coming composers/ film makers on many practical points. How to get work; how to talk to Directors; promoting yourself and other essential information on contracts and negotiating pay. I went away from the event feeling very inspired, and  I will certainly be attending this gem of a festival next year.

I have been very busy continuing to work on my  Nonet and Orchestral piece. Work is also in progress for the very large-scale Opera project I am working on in collaboration with librettist Tamara Stein. We are looking forward to meeting up at the beginning of December to combine some of our recent sketches.

On the subject of creativity and composing I stumbled across this interesting article by Jeremy Manier from the University of Chicago-‘Exploring the Sources of Musical Creativity’. It looks at the creative process from three different composers: http://www.uchicago.edu/features/exploring_the_sources_of_musical_creativity/

 

Recent News

The start of Autumn has been a very busy time for me. I have enjoyed attending Games Music connect for the second year running. I feel for composers it gives a very good overview of the music industry, and is packed full of helpful advice and opportunities to network with other composers. I have also embarked on a very exciting project working on an opera with Tamara Stein. I am very much looking forward to this new challenge and look forward to posting future updates.

Update

This year has already got off to a very exciting start-I have been asked to write a diverse range of works for a number of performers and I am really looking forward to the challenge. I will be posting regular updates on my work and future events.

I am also branching out into composing for media/film and tv- and have been attending a course at Goldsmiths college. I am very much enjoying meeting other composers in the industry. In the Autumn I also attended Games Music Connect- which if you are interested in composing for computer Games is a really unmissable event of the year. It was a great opportunity to listen to composers such as Martin O’Donnell and Paul Lipson talk about their work in the Industry.

 

Latest Developments

It has been a very busy last few months. In the Spring I completed a new work for Charley Brighton called ‘Spring Rhapsody’. This was premiered in a 50th Celebration concert in St Mary’s Church in Slough.

http://www.4barsrest.com/news/detail.asp?id=16905#.Ubcj0JxQATA

I have also been working on a new piece for a nonet called Ceffyl Dŵr (which means Water Horse in Welsh and is similar to a Kelpie in Scotland). I am also continuing to work on a collection of pieces for Trumpet and Piano-written for Trumpeter John Campbell called ‘Dwelling Places’.

My work for Piano ‘Mysterious Light’ will be performed by Graeme Thewlis in a lunchtime concert on 20th June at St Stephen’s church, Rochester Row in Westminster.

http://www.sswsj.org/

‘Mysterious Light’ will also feature performed by Graeme Thewlis at the 3 foot people festival in Chelmsford:

http://www.chelmsford.gov.uk/3foot

 

 

Latest News

Since Christmas I have been very busy working on several new pieces to be premiered in the coming months. These include: a new work for nonet; piece for Euphonium and Piano written for Charley Brighton, and a new work for piano inspired by a monologue written by pianist Graeme Thewlis.

 

 

Mysterious Light

I am really looking forward to the concert on Friday 19th October at 1pm, at Rosslyn Hill Chapel (3 Pilgrim’s Place, NW3 1NG). ‘Mysterious Light’ was written for solo piano for Graeme Thewlis will be premiered at the chapel by Graeme Thewlis. The concert will also include a performance of my piece ‘Kings Quoit’ written for Trumpet and Piano performed by John Campbell and Graeme Thewlis.

Other works in the concert programme include a selection of English folksongs and ballads including some very interesting songs by Vaughan Williams. The songs will be performed by Graeme Thewlis (Baritone). There will also be a selection of interesting pieces for the Trumpet and Piano including works by Joseph Turrin. Please pop along to the concert if you are in London it will be a very varied and interesting programme.

 

Concert Update

The concert at St John-at-Hampstead was very enjoyable. Many thanks to John Campbell and Graeme Thewlis for their lovely performance of ‘Kings Quoit’. The lunch time concert at the church was very well received and the programme was wonderfully contrasting with pieces such as the Harry James trumpet concerto indispersed with a series of  sea shanties and folk songs including ‘On the road to Mandalay’.

I am hoping to complete the remaining pieces in this collection for trumpet and piano by the end of the Autumn. In the meantime I am finishing a work for trumpet and brass band called ‘Y Blaidd Olaf’ (The Last Wolf). I have to say I am very much enjoying the challenge of writing for brass band – its a lot of fun writing percussion parts!

Welcome to my blog!

I am really excited about the lunchtime concert tomorrow (1st August) at St John at Hampstead. My new Trumpet piece ‘Kings quoit’ will be premiered by John Campbell and Graeme Thewlis. The work is part of a collection of pieces called ‘Dwelling Places’ which were inspired by places I frequented as a child. I lived for a good part of my childhood in Pembrokeshire in the small coastal village of Manorbier. ‘Kings Quoit’ is a collection of stones that make up a megalithic tomb that points inland across Manorbier bay. It is a very popular spot with tourists and has some breathtaking views from the Pembrokeshire coastal path.

The concert tomorrow contains a very interesting and contrasting programme. John Campbell will perform a selection of pieces including Legende by Enesco and the Harry James Concerto for Trumpet. Graeme Thewlis will be performing as both accompanist and Baritone. He will be performing a selection of songs including ‘The Road to Mandalay’ and ‘The Rovin’ Gambler’. So if you are free tomorrow at 1pm please pop along!