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Sharps or flats?

A couple of days ago, I was transcribing some piano parts for a client. After submitting the final files, I was told that the client always thought of a certain piece as a ‘flat’ piece, and could I write it as such? (I’d written it in an equivalent sharp key)Interestingly, as soon as I received…
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The pentatonic scale: Universal?

As many of you will know, I have a fascination about the musical brain. During my Master degree, I embarked on research about composition and auralisation (mental music) – research I am hoping to continue in the near future. The video below is of Bobby McFerrin at the World Science Festival 2009, demonstrating the pentatonic…
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Work for Javanese gamelan and string quartet

One of my aims this year is to share far more of my music. I will be using this blog in conjunction with Soundcloud to present a few snippets of music I’m working on, or that have been lurking in dark corners of my hard drive for far too long. One of the pieces I…
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Creative presentation

I’ve always been one for presenting my work in unique yet professional ways. I have just completed a work for chamber orchestra, entitled ‘Circles’. Below is the first draft of the programme notes. Hoping to post a few snippets of the piece soon, along with some bits and pieces I’ve stumbled across from last year,…
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Words of inspiration

I often find myself inspired by the words of others. Quite often I find that these inspirational phrases just pop up when looking for something entirely different – as if there to help mentally refocus and refresh you. During my undergraduate days, I used to spend a lot of time in the library, researching something…
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2011.. here we go.

2011 is upon us. New year is traditionally a time for new years resolutions, which are normally broken before the first month’s up. Whilst I was drawing up a list of goals for the year ahead, but I realised that, musically at least, they could all be summed up very simply. I want to be…
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Fighting the cuts: will music education survive?

The tagline of this article on Charlotte Higgins’ culture blog on the Guardian’s website is depressing, to say the least: ‘Looming cuts to university arts and humanities departments destroy the consensus that the arts have inherent value’. The consequences are already beginning to show. Few musicians I have worked, played and studied with are continuing…
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Girl Guiding UK

Just a quick post to point my lovely readers in the direction of a project I recently took part in, which has just been uploaded to the internet. Creative Orchestra commissioned several composers to write a soundtrack to a video for Girl Guiding UK . It’s a powerful video, and an important cause. I’ve just…
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Please work for us – but we’re not going to pay you!

Now, don’t get me wrong. The concept of working for free can be an interesting one. It can help build up your skills, your show reel and help develop your career. I’m not here to rant about the idea in general – in certain situations it makes sense, and can benefit both composers and film…
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The future for classical concerts?

This week, Peter Culshaw of the Telegraph discussed the use of images in classical concerts – in relation to one concert in particular, ‘The Planets – An HD Odyssey’ performed by the Houston Symphony. Its seven sections are accompanied by stunning high definition pictures of the corresponding planets, in all their glory. Is this the…
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