My musical response to Robert Burns' Tam O'Shanter and Matthew Fitt's Kate O'Shanter's Tale. Musical miniatures representing moments within the story for Clarinet and Cello:
(i) Juist the ane
(ii) Ah've hud chips
(iii) A ceilidh wi the deevil
(iv) Cutty sarks run in yir mind
Sounds of the Engine House, 10 December 2016
Now Winter Nights Enlarge // 6’ // SATB chorus and piano
Commissioned by Rhidian Jones, the piece is constructed to match Thomas Campion’s interplay between two emotional states in his poem of the same title. A lively, playful romp and a somewhat melancholy reflectiveness take turns and eventually ask us to consider the value of the frivolous times we spend.
Cantallini Chamber Choir, 3 December 2016
Commissioned by Leeds Light Nights to immerse the Trinity Shopping Centre in sound and light, responding to the theme of The Elements. Live environmental data collected through the day was used to interpret a piece of music accompanied by a skyscape created with thousands of lights embedded within Trinity’s vast roof.
Leeds Light Nights, 6-7 October 2016
Lament // 6’ // string quartet and soundscape
Lament is based on a painting of the same title by Robin Philipson which is made up of irregular grid-like structures containing a distinct blue sky, flags and soldiers, a lonely cell, a window and bold bright, even garish, blocks of colour. The work was commissioned by Scottish Ensemble for their educational workshop series Listen Live which supports the Higher Music syllabus and was also devised by myself. A supporting webapp was also designed in collaboration with Bread Arts.
Scottish Ensemble, performed in schools workshops across Glasgow and now touring. March 2016 onwards
Commissioned to bring together a performance to include the five primary schools visited during Manchester Camerata’s ‘Science of Sound’ project. The piece features their songs and three sections which explore the three states sound travels through - gas, liquid, solid. The children have a role in each of these states, playing cutlery suspended on pipe cleaners and conducting soloists in the ensemble.
Manchester Camerata, The Gatehouse, Stafford. February 2016
Commissioned by House of Bedlam for their concert during the North West New Music Festival. The work explores the positive potential of noises that could interfere with my music making (email alerts, metronomes, alarms), interweaved with samples of an ancient sound which was originally used for communication - Gamelan - and a scratchy recording of Clara Smith’s Deep Blue Sea saxophone solo which marks a point of departure for the live saxophone.
Carl Raven, House of Bedlam, New Music North West, RNCM, Manchester. January 2016
Opera Bingo // 60’ // opera youth company and 7 piece band // opera
Charge your glasses, cards at the ready... it's Bingo Life! Bingo NEVER stops...
Eyes down and play… look at the world around you, the people you see on the streets, in the corner of a room, sitting alone at a table. Do you know their names? Who’s deceiving whom? And what are the secret desires of Miss Leeds Twinkletoes 1963? Based on Leeds city centre social observations, this brand new piece of music theatre invites the audience to take part in a highly irregular game of Bingo. Libretto by Andrew Loretto.
Howard Assembly Room, Leeds. July 2015
A Walk in Everton Park // 5’ // amateur and professional orchestras // orchestal
Written for the In Harmony Liverpool’s 6th Birthday concert and performed by West Everton Children’s Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool. July 2015
Commissioned by Brighter Sound and performed at the Central Library, Manchester as part of Echo Trace. The audience takes a journey to Harpurhey via written memories, photographs by Rebecca Lupton, film and recorded conversation. Memories and stories are brought to life by bespoke pieces of music.
Echo Trace, Central Library, Manchester. May 2015 onwards.
Commissioned by Late Music York, and performed in the Ebor Singers’ Come Sable Night concert during the festival. This work explores darkness as a metaphor for the atrocities of war and the sound world of an Arabic call to prayer. The text was written by Bruce Arthur.
Ebor Singers, Late Music Festival, York. October 2014
Commissioned by Sefton Council to engage community groups with the coastline and develop responses into a piece for professional and amateur musicians.
Gildas Quartet, David Curington and young people, The Atkinson, Southport, November 2014
Commissioned by Durham Brass Festival for Brass:Pitch as a collaborative work with electronic composer Caro C. Following initial drafting and devising stages we each composed a section of the work which explored the inner workings of brass instruments and together composed an Electro-Brass Fanfare as the final section of the piece.
Electro Brass ensemble, Gala Theatre, Durham Brass Festival. 12-13 July 2014
When the Lights Go Out // 16’ // fl (+picc) - cl (+bass) - string quartet
Written as part of the London Sinfonietta’s Blue Touch Paper scheme in collaboration with Bread Arts. The piece considers dreaming and the ritual of sleep through interactive musical and visual sketches which explore the smartphone’s role in an immersive performance of classical music.
London Sinfonietta, ICA, London. May 2014
Commissioned by The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester for a celebratory concert at the prestigious venue which launched the Sounds of the Engine House Ensemble. The piece explores architectural purpose and identity within a socio-cultural context via a conversation between The Tin Man and his reflection. The text was written by Bruce Arthur.
A Little Bite Concert Series, The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester. July 2013.
Commissioned by Phoenix Clarinet Quartet, I collaborated with the vocal sculptor Jason Singh, following an award from PRSF Women Make Music scheme to investigate the breath, resonance and articulators common to the voice and clarinets, fuelled by a shared language of Indian bols (rhythm mneumonics) and taal (rhythm patterns).
International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester. February 2013.
Anticipation of the Light* // 14' AND the Unspeakable** // 11' // orchestra
Commissioned by National Youth Orchestra of Scotland for performance by NYOS: Camerata. The works utilise and develop stories and musical ideas devised with the young people of Liniclate High School, Benbecula and Big Noise, Raploch respectively.
*Benbecula, Outer Hebrides. Sept 2012; ** Govanhill, Glasgow and Raploch, Stirling, Sept 2013
// 7 cast: 3 sop - 3 alt/mez- bar // 7 instrumentalists: fl d.picc - cl - hn - hp - perc (1) - vln - vcl //
Exploring themes from Cinderella and inspired by Edwin Morgan’s vivid and witty An Alphabet of Goddesses, Hera’s List juxtaposes the mythological constraints of goddesses with the freedom of mortals in an original new opera. The work was born at Lake District Summer Music 4x4 Composer Residency, premièred in Manchester and invited to tour to Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival 2012 in London, receiving critical acclaim. The text was written by Eve Harrison. Hera’s List is featured in the late Michael Hall’s forthcoming book British Music Theatre.
Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival, Riverside Studios, London. 2-3 August 2012.