this is an ambient piece that is part of a ceramic sculpture installation that has been presented in galleries a in Sweden and the USA, and will tour around the UK in 2017. It was created from the sounds of the struck pieces in the exhibition, and structured from a modified Bell-ringing series.
Duet: Violin and Piano, no.II
This piece was inspired in part by a CD by Louis Sclavis of re-workings of Neapolitan songs. In my case, the starting material was not from Napoli, but half-remembered fragments of the sort of party music I can recall hearing while I drifted off to sleep as my parents partied with their friends in the 50’s and 60’s : various records Rat Pack denizens ( Dino, Frank, Sammy and so on), Mariachi bands + the whole Herb Albert craze, Mambo madness, George Shearing, and Bossa Novas à la Stan Getz. None of this is revealed in any explicit way, but rather buried in the textures to only occasionally emerge in to the forefront for just two or three brief notes; almost the way that it tends to reveal itself when I’m working, when two or three pitches will suddenly unfold in my mind to suggest a half-forgotten song.
This piece is a sequence of three distinct sections, and as well as the ones included here, it will be extended in the future with as many again. The was no overarching plan for this, but it began rather as a linked series as distinct textures, modes and moods which were placed together in each section with the object being to create an organic bridge within each section between the parts, in the way that Birtwistle suggests of “…taking a line for a walk…” but the difference being here not only did I start each section with an opening gesture and proceed, but there was also a definitive ending I wanted the piece to grow towards. To build towards this, I borrowed features freely from the gestures at both ends (and, as well as that, other sections) to hopefully fashion a coherent progression through the piece.
All the Chords: Tom Hall
This is a piece I’ve played with the composer Tom Hall on several occasions now; I love this thing even though it’s a bit of a roast for me.
Mifune’s Violin Piece
Like it says on the tin, my friend, the most excellent violinist MIfune Tsuji, asked me to write a short solo piece for her. This is part of a series of solo pieces for strings, with a viola piece also standing ready to be recorded that was written for a friend in Gothenburg. These will inevitably expand, or at least accrete, as time goes on.
This one started off life as an accompaniment to a poem by the poet Malcolm Guite of the same name. I’ve recently started re-working some of these settings to stand-alone pieces;part composed, part improvised. This one is from a solo recording of the pianist Dave Gordon I’ve been helping produce, and more than two thirds of it should be credited to him as his own thoughts of the piece.