On the 27th March Plus-Minus Ensemble performed my piece Silent Doom Disco as part of their ‘Community of Objects’ programme in City University’s Tuesday concert series. The concert also included some interesting pieces by Oliver Thurley, Alice Jeffreys, Monika Dalach, Caitlin Rowley and Lawrence Dunn. It was great to see my work performed by such outstanding musicians, and as part of such an exciting programme of new works. I’m particularly grateful to Alice Purton, Mark Knoop and Serge Vuille for the effort they put in to performing my piece, which is rather physically strenuous!
I have two upcoming premieres of new works in November. Having not had any new works performed so far in 2017, due to focusing on finishing my PhD, I now have two taking place within a week of each other!
The first is a solo piece for electric guitar, which I will perform alongside Laurence Crane’s Bobby J in a concert at The Butcher’s Hook, Southampton, on Tuesday 14th November. I haven’t given it a title yet, but it uses techniques of scordatura and harmonics to create microtonal pitch structures, and also a digital delay effect to explore some interesting rhythmic ideas. This concert is part of the fantastic Playlist series, which I’m really delighted to be contributing to in my own small way.
The second is Silent Doom Disco, which will be performed by OUT-TAKE Ensemble in our concert at The Talking Heads (also in Southampton) on Monday 20th November. It’s probably the weirdest piece I’ve written so far, and involves performers ‘head banging’ in silence, coordinated by audio tracks which they listen to through earphones. The concert also features works by John Cage, Matthew Shlomowitz, Nomi Epstein, Alexander Glyde-Bates and Alex Garden, plus a guest appearance by Jamie Howell, who will perform a new work for electric guitar and looper pedal.
On 19 June 2017, OUT-TAKE ensemble played our second concert at the Talking Heads in Southampton. Alongside works by James Saunders, Louis D’Heudieres and Harry Matthews, the concert featured a reprise of mine and Máté Szigeti’s performance of ‘Construction in Metal’ at Bath Spa University in April, and ‘Nara’ – a new piece for hexaphonic electric guitar written for me by Oliver Sellwood. In Nara, each string of the guitar is routed to a separate amplifier, allowing the composer to apply different effects to each note in a chord (you can read more about this piece here).
A few weeks ago I went up to London to record a performance of Olly’s piece. I’ve just received a link to the video, and I’m really impressed with how well it turned out so thought I’d share it here (best listened to with headphones):
I’ve also finally got around to uploading the performance of Construction in Metal from Bath, which you can watch here:
I’m very much looking forward to attending the 2017 Ludomusicology (video game music studies) conference at Bath Spa University next week. I’ll be presenting a paper on my piece ‘Construction in Metal’, which I’ll then be performing with my colleague Máté Szigeti as part of a joint concert with OUT-TAKE Ensemble and composers from Bath Spa. In addition to ‘Construction’, we’ll be performing works by my OUT-TAKE colleague Harry Matthews, James Saunders, Louis D’Heudieres and Oogoo Maia, and Blake Troise (aka PROTODOME) will perform a compilation of chiptune compositions for the NES. I’m also looking forward to hearing a new piece by my PhD supervisor Benjamin Oliver and many stimulating papers over the course of the three days of the conference.
On 6 March, OUT-TAKE Ensemble, the new contemporary music ensemble I co-organise and play in made its debut in a concert at the Talking Heads in Southampton (we’re very grateful to them for hosting us). We performed music by Laurence Crane, Christian Wolff (whose piece OUT-TAKE inspired the name of our group) and Howard Skempton, and new pieces by Máté Szigeti, Camilla Aldridge and Christian Drew. We were absolutely delighted to have Laurence Crane come and coach us on his pieces ‘John White in Berlin’ and ‘Four Miniatures’ during the afternoon, and honoured to have such a distinguished guest at our inaugural concert.
The turnout on the night was absolutely fantastic-over 50 people-and it seemed like everyone had a good time. We’re excited to look ahead to future concerts. Our next performance will be a joint concert with composers from Bath Spa University at the 2017 Ludomusicology conference on 21 April, and we then hope to put on another concert in Southampton some time in the summer.
I very much enjoyed taking part in the University of Southampton’s ‘Loop Project’ concert at the Turner Sims Concert Hall on 5 February. I played electric guitar in the ensemble for Benjamin Oliver’s new version of his ‘Loop Concerto’, with soloists Ivo Neame, Jasper Høiby and John Scott. The concert also included works by Andrew Fisher, Gavin Bryars and W.A. Mozart.
You can listen to a recording of Ben’s concerto here.