Category: Blog

Perkusi for solo flute

Ideas Earlier this year, Colchester New Music called for miniature scores for solo flute. Being a complete contrast from the other works I was working on at the time (the requiem, clarinet sonata and a work for viols), I thought it would be both an interesting challenge, and form a nice contrast with everything else…
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Creative Pact reflections (a little later than planned!)

It’s been a while! September and October have been busy months full of lots of deadlines, teaching and excitement. Technically, it’s not been quite as long as it seems. For the whole of September, I didn’t update here but instead updated my Creative Pact blog. The aim of the Creative Pact project is to spend…
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Thoughtscape I: Excerpts

Categorisation of musicians and composers is something I’m not keen on. It’s one thing if someone decides they want to specialise in just one particular area of music, but normally musicians and composers enjoy performing and writing a variety of types of music. I enjoy listening, performing and writing a variety of musical styles. This…
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A new project

I don’t make a habit of blogging about the various projects I have on, mainly because I have a tendency to tackle several at the same time. I like to have the ability to switch onto another should I temporarily get stuck, or even just to give a piece a ‘break’ for a week if…
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The importance of listening

The National Curriculum refers to four areas of musicality that should be taught: performance, composition, appraisal and listening. These four are supposed to be taught in equal portions, as part of a balanced musical diet as it were. However, as we advance through our musical careers, it becomes all too easy to forget these things.…
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Cohesion

Earlier in the year I shared some thoughts on structure. Structures still worry me. They’re possibly one of the areas I spend the most time worrying about, although ironically they’re often one of the areas of my compositions that just seem to fall into place. We worry about how we’ll shape ideas, where we place…
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Like? Dislike?

Last week, in his Telegraph blog, Michael White discussed the music that bores us. This month’s BBC Music Magazine asks critics which classical works bore them into submission, and Michael White suggests there are some “surprising” answers. Why are there surprising answers? If someone doesn’t like Vivaldi’s Gloria (one of the cited examples), then someone…
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The short score- help or hindrance?

Apologies for the brief interlude in blogging – I’ve been moving house, acquiring kittens, alongside a hectic teaching schedule! There have been quite a few articles flying around that I want to comment on here, which I will do in the coming days. However, long before we started moving, I started writing an article about…
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Our attachment to old (sacred?) faithfuls

As artists, the world is our oyster. We can do anything, experiment with microtones, polytonality, multiphonics and manipulate sound to any extreme with electronics. The same can be said of structure – recent works of mine have experimented with semi-structured concepts and cycles, and there are countless forms of structure being implemented throughout the musical…
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The problem of artistic style

Any artists emerging in the world today have a bit of an issue to confront. In the past, there were so many taboo areas of art (be it visual, theatre or music), that they had boundaries to break, which is what they did. However, today’s artists aren’t presented with such boundaries. I think this can…
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