29/10/14: I have a new ensemble piece called “After A Nonexistent Painting” which is being performed in the evening alongside Jonathan Harvey’s “Bhakti” as part of an RNCM festival In Memoriam Harvey. It’s the first in a series of pieces (which is ongoing) which will focus on the extra-musical connotations of musical material by omitting larger formal contrasts and presenting material as tablets. The title for this first piece is apt: the experience should be analogous to looking at a painting, unaware of the passing of time.
27/11/14: My Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival debut! Both ACM Ensemble and Sounds of the Engine House together are replacing the London Sinfonietta (who had to pull out) in performing music by composers promoted as part of the “Next Wave” initiative by Sound and Music. We’ll be doing the stint from 2.30-6pm in the Phipps Hall.
Perhaps it has something to do with being a performing composer where gigs seem to be like buses: none for quite a while, then a lot all at once! I was hoping to write a post before the following happened, but better documented than neglected I suppose:
3/10/14: My Project Re-Rite collaboration with Hannah & Amy Buckley was shown again at Bish Bash Bosh in the foyer as part of a wonderful evening of contemporary dance. Actually, it was one of the most exciting setups for an evening that I have seen recently, and I think there’s a lot that could have been learned by those in the music world from it. Below is a clip from the film, courtesy of Amy Buckley:
9/10/14: An RNCM Brand New Day featuring my new orchestral piece “One Cliché After Another” conducted by Piero Lombardi, which has already gained notoriety! I’ll hopefully upload bits of this soon.
10/10/14: I took part in the first of ACM Ensemble’s Living Room Gigs. These are essentially closed workshops with ACM players (plus Michael and Vitalija of course!), and each of the players take it in turn to organise an evening at their house where ideas are tested etc. It seems a bit like the invention of the iPad: people know that it will be very useful, but precisely how remains open. I certainly have plans to test out some “Sketch” pieces when it comes round to being in my living room…
15/10/14: Was used throughout the night in the second Classical Evolution gig in Night & Day Café, with an impromptu rendition of the Albinoni Oboe Concerto in D minor alongside my more standard calling as a new music oboist with a set featuring my flute and oboe duet “Hybrid Sounds” (which was given its first outing with flautist Maria Chybowska) and “Inhibited Tendencies” for solo oboe.
Next (after I get some more coffee!), what will happen…
I’m currently sitting at home after a well earned break (although my immune system also seems to be taking a break…I’ve cultivated a heavy cold!) and have time to upload a few nice photos from the education workshop the Eblanas and I gave at Minehead Middle School a few weeks ago as a part of our tour of the South-West. It was certainly the best behaved middle school I’ve ever been in!
Apart from an RNCM PGR Forum where I’m giving a taster of a new oboe piece I’ve written, oboe playing now takes a bit of a break. Composition-wise, on 1st May I have a Spotlight Concert at college at 7pm in the Carole Nash Recital Room where I’m presenting a new work for flute trio (flute, ‘cello and piano) written for the Narremes Ensemble alongside Haydn’s Trio in D Major Hob. XV:16, before the next RNCM Brand New Day, where my new Flute Concerto for Maria Chybowska is getting played.
I’ve had quite a busy last two months and it seems set to continue, at least for a little while. Clearly I’ve been too busy to update this website! So time to recap on what I’ve been up to:
My tour with Sounds of the Engine House, featuring concerts in Manchester, Huddersfield, Sheffield and Liverpool came to an end last night with a concert in the Capstone Theatre at Liverpool Hope University. I’ve played Birtwistle’s Pulse Sampler five times in total (I wonder if any other oboist in the world has done this!) and I think the last rendition was possibly the best. It’s been good to give repeat concerts of contemporary repertoire – something which seems to be quite rare, especially when most of the music has been written by “emerging” composers rather than established big names.
These concerts have been alongside more chamber music gigs with the Eblana String Trio in Leeds, Evesham, Carlisle (a review of which is here) and Bury.
Coming up, I’m going on a mini-tour of Somerset at the end of this month with the Eblanas with concerts in Honiton, Minehead, Pempwell and Walton Hall. Then I get a breather!
I seem to have left this to the last minute! So, three concerts to plug:
Tomorrow (8/1/14) at 1pm in Leeds I’m playing Mozart and Britten Oboe Quartets (details of which can be found here), then I’m doing the same pieces in Evesham on Thursday (details here). On Thursday 16th, I’m playing with the Eblanas again in Carlisle, this time with the addition of the solo Britten Metamorphoses.
Quite a spread of locations this time! Hope you can make one of them.
Over the last couple months or so, I’ve been collaborating with filmmakers Hannah and Amy Buckley (two sisters also known as negotiation of space) on a project which uses sections of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring as material, in celebration of the piece’s centenary.
The result, which is a film with musical accompaniment, will be shown at 6pm in the RNCM Studio Theatre on Friday alongside three other collaborations between composers Tom Rose, Tom Stewart and Laurie Tompkins and visual artists from Video Jam. It’s being organised superbly by Ruta Skudraite from Art Vanguard (you can find a mini-interview with me on their website) and the evening should be great fun. It’s my first venture into collaboration, and I think I might have caught the bug!
Together with the Eblana String Trio (once again!) I’m playing giving another rendition of the Britten and Mozart Oboe Quartets as well as the Britten Six Metamorphoses after Ovid. The concert is at 7.30pm in the Heywood Civic Centre and the rest of the programme (from the trio) will include some Schubert, Beethoven and Finzi.
This coming week, I’ll have a lot to do in the above festival – it kicks off with a première of a new ensemble piece by me for the RNCM New Ensemble under Mark Heron called “Unexpected Processes” in the 7.30pm concert on Monday in the Martin Harris Centre at Manchester University, then on Thursday I’ll be playing with ACM Ensemble at 5.15pm in the Carole Nash Recital Room at RNCM followed by lip destruction (whatever’s left of it!) in the 10pm concert on the same day with Sounds of the Engine House in the RNCM Studio Theatre.
I’ll be playing more the following day on the RNCM Concourses from 12.45pm with a solo piece from Katie Chatburn and an ensemble piece from Gillian Menichino. Then I’ll be propping up the bar!
Here is a link to the festival leaflet with all the other new music goodies. Should be a really exciting festival with a brilliant representation of new music in the North West with composers and ensembles spanning generations.