Category: Blog

Bells in the Rain

I’m in the middle of writing a post on my latest orchestral piece, Building Blocks, but I thought I’d quickly post a link to my contribution to the Art Song Project – Bells in the Rain. I was inspired to write the piece when I came across (and subsequently fell in love with) the poem…
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To excerpt, or not to excerpt?

In the modern musical world, there are so many different elements music creators have to juggle in every element of their work. Once the final piece has been sculpted, however, another question arises: How do you share it? After the last series of blog posts I uploaded, containing excerpts from Scenes from a Train, I…
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Scenes from a Train – Larghetto cantabile

The final movement from Scenes from a Train features a cantabile melody alongside snippets from the other two movements. This movement was the one that spontaneously popped into my head whilst looking out of the train window, and begged to be written. The movement begins with the melody on clarinet, at full pelt, and a…
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Scenes from a Train: Andante

In some pieces, this second movement would be termed a rondo. In this work, however, it’s definitely more of an episodic movement. There is an A section, reflecting the gentle movement of the train and the houses flashing past, which develops and becomes more complex as the scenes change outside. In between, there are short…
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Reinvention: Scenes from a Train: Andantino con moto

Revisiting old work is something every professional does at various points in their career. In this case, I was asked to reinvent the clarinet sonata – completed for my Creative Pact last September – for clarinet and string quartet (see the previous link for full details about how it came into being). In this series…
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Juggling

All musicians know how to juggle. When we begin our musical journeys, usually by learning an instrument, we juggle practice, scales and lessons with the rest of our lives.  Juggling is evident at a new level when you become a student, and then a full time professional – be it in music or otherwise. Personally,…
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Letting go: Let your music ‘be’

Do you have a favourite piece, or pieces, of music? Most people tend to. What about a favourite recording of said piece? It will most likely feature a specific group or ensemble, a particular arrangement, or your favourite conductor. One example of mine is In The Hall of the Mountain King from Peer Gynt, by…
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In depth Requiem – Libera me

At the moment I’m working on a range of projects simultaneously, and not all are ones I can share with the wider world. This is one of the reasons for the frustrating lack of posts. The Requiem is comprised of seven movements, only three of which are based on traditional requiem texts. This is obviously…
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Moving on: Hello 2012!

As the new year draws in, I have a habit of reviewing the one that’s just gone by – compositionally, at least – and drawing up my wish list for the year ahead. Here goes: Composing This year, I’ve paid particular attention to experimenting with my compositional voice and exploring new ideas, yet always aiming…
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A ‘new’ take on the ‘old’

Whilst doing my undergraduate degree, I took a module where I had to write a ‘contemporary’ piece that drew on a ‘contemporary’ compositional style, such as minimalism or serialism. In the end I chose both – a duet for two instruments (though only one performer!), with each using a different style. Although I’d dabbled with…
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