Atlantic Music Festival- Dances in Time and Vertical Space- quintet version (2018) world premiere

Amazing performance today at the Atlantic Music Festival of my piece Dances in Time and Vertical Space. You can watch the full performance here (solo violin: Nicholas Hatt): For Chinese users: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzc5ODg0Mjk4OA==.html   I took some videos of the dress rehearsal yesterday: For Chinese users: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzcxMDcwNjIzMg==.html   For Chinese users: http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzcxMDcwNjI0NA==.html          …Continue Reading “Atlantic Music Festival- Dances in Time and Vertical Space- quintet version (2018) world premiere”

Mise-En Festival 2018 Music Marathon- World Premiere of “Crystal Images II”

It was an amazing 4 days at the 2018 Mise-En Festival.  I met many imaginative, free-thinking, intelligent, witty and talented composers, all of us composing very different and distinctive art music.  Moon Young Ha and Jordann Davis and the whole Ensemble Mise-En have worked extremely hard, especially on the last day’s 4-hour long Music Marathon. …Continue Reading “Mise-En Festival 2018 Music Marathon- World Premiere of “Crystal Images II””

I finished my PhD at the University of Southampton in 2011, and passed the viva with minimal corrections in early 2012.  It has been sitting on my computer (and in the Hartley Library at S’ton) all that time, and I thought I ought to put it up here, as it contains a lot of ideas…Continue Reading “PhD Portfolio and Commentary (2012)- download link”

Mise-En Festival 2018 Visiting Composer- Premiere of “Crystal Images II: Beijing Hutongs, Spring ’18”

The Mise-En Festival 2018 website is up now: https://festival.mise-en.org/2018/index.html This contemporary music festival, run by an amazing team led by the energetic Korean composer Moon Young HA, is held annually at Mise-En Place, Bushwick, New York.  Mise-En chose my proposal for a new work, along with twenty four other composers’ proposals and scores (out of…Continue Reading “Mise-En Festival 2018 Visiting Composer- Premiere of “Crystal Images II: Beijing Hutongs, Spring ’18””

International Composition Prize: Second Place in the 2018 Witold Szalonek Composition Prize

I received some pleasant news at the start of June, that my piece for wind quartet, Mysterious Future, won second prize in the Witold Szalonek International Composition Competition.  The final, featuring 16 composers, took place on 5th June 2018 in Kwidzyn, Poland, with the pieces performed by Phasma Music.  Mysterious Future is due to be recorded on Naxos Records,…Continue Reading “International Composition Prize: Second Place in the 2018 Witold Szalonek Composition Prize”

“Fantasia” for accordion and violin, world premiere at Central Conservatory of Music 6th June 2018

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzcwNDg4OTM2MA==.html I met the precocious and astonishing Tian Jianan in 2012, and in 2013 wrote this little piece for her, Fantasia, which I’m very happy can finally receive its premiere in her Master’s Final Recital at the Central Conservatory of Music on Sunday 6th June 2018.  Below is some information about Tian Jia Nan for Chinese…Continue Reading ““Fantasia” for accordion and violin, world premiere at Central Conservatory of Music 6th June 2018”

Novella (Chapter One) for cello and piano- forthcoming project taster!

In November/December 2017 I was honoured to visit Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music, and rehearse my piece for cello and piano, Novella (Chapter One) with Fang Yijia and Li Xinyuan.  They premiered the work on the 1st December, in what was one of the most enjoyable and awe-inspiring concerts I’ve ever seen (check out the…Continue Reading “Novella (Chapter One) for cello and piano- forthcoming project taster!”

Birds in Flight (2012) for two violins (Kreutzer quartet at Goldsmith’s, 1st Feb ‘18)

Listen to Colin Still’s excellent recording of Peter and Mihailo’s gorgeous performance (click on the link to hear two other performances of this piece):     http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzQwMzEwNzQ0MA==.html?spm=a2hzp.8253869.0.0

Pied Beauty (2017) children’s choir and string orchestra

This piece was commissioned by French-Chinese composer Qigang Chen, whose Gong Geng college runs a Summer camp for rural children to study music with superb teachers and perform with wonderful players.  The college is situated in the remote Zhejiang countryside–so remote, that one can only access it by boat. I have been lucky and privileged…Continue Reading “Pied Beauty (2017) children’s choir and string orchestra”

Mosaic (2017) for 13 instruments

This is, to my mind, one of the most important educational contributions I’ve made at the Tianjin Conservatory of Music: coaching and rehearsing this piece was a transformative learning experience for the thirteen students that premiered the piece.  I personally invested 60 or more hours in rehearsing Mosaic, from one-to-one coaching, to sectionals and full rehearsals. …Continue Reading “Mosaic (2017) for 13 instruments”

The Poise Between Notes and Noise (2008) for flexible ensemble

This piece for flexible ensemble has had many performances over the years.  I’ve posted two videos of performances below, and a bandcamp link where you can hear the audio of what I think was the world premiere, by CoMA South.     http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzE2NDA0NDU2NA==.html?spm=a2hzp.8253869.0.0       http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzE2NDA0MzQ3Mg==.html?spm=a2hzp.8253869.0.0            

Kreutzer Quartet in Tianjin: Tullochgorm (2016) for String Quartet

In October 2016 I organised a mini-festival, inviting the Kreutzer Quartet to come and perform, teach, lecture and workshop students works.  It was a wonderful week, and garnered enthusiastic feedback from the Tianjin students.   http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzE2NDA0ODE4NA==.html?spm=a2hzp.8253869.0.0   While they were in Tianjin, I was lucky enough to have a new piece, Tullochgorm, premiered in their second concert.  This…Continue Reading “Kreutzer Quartet in Tianjin: Tullochgorm (2016) for String Quartet”

This piece, commissioned by the Druskomanija Festival in Lithuania, presents a collage of rarefied sound images.  The “images” are static textures in constant flux, combinations of looping, contrasting material in different instruments.  Each “image” was paired with fixed shots of natural phenomena, such as wind, waves or clouds moving across the sky (reflected in the…Continue Reading “Crystal Images (Cardigan Bay, Summer 2015)- for 9 instruments and video projection”

I wrote this piece for 13 performers (all Chinese instruments, including 2 percussionists playing Chinese percussion) for the TJCM 2015 May Music Festival.  It was premiered by the Fan Yin Chinese instrument ensemble.  The suona player plays from three different positions, at first from behind the audience, then in the middle of the audience, and…Continue Reading “Iceflow IV (2014) for Chinese instrument ensemble (13 players)”

Dances in Time and Vertical Space (2015) for solo violin and six instruments

AANMI premiered Dances in Time and Vertical Space in the concert hall of the Central Conservatory of Music on 25th May 2015, as part of the Beijing Modern Music Festival.   This piece is a kind of baroque dance suite, with the different dances superimposed upon each other in different mensurations and, as the piece progresses,…Continue Reading “Dances in Time and Vertical Space (2015) for solo violin and six instruments”

Vincenz und Greta (2012-14) for 8 accordions

For Eight Accordions, spatially arranged around the audience. I wrote this piece between Jan 2012 and March 2014, in honour of my friend Nicolai Leski’s two children, Vincenz and Greta. The players are ranged around the audience in 8 evenly distributed positions, the aim being that opposing performers can “transmit” the sound from one side…Continue Reading “Vincenz und Greta (2012-14) for 8 accordions”

Brief Journey (2007) for soprano, alto, erhu (or violin) and piano

This vocal work sets the poetry of Li Po (Li Bai) in Chinese.  The world premiere performance from my “Music for Voices” composer portrait concert in Southampton in 2012,  was sung by English performers, and I did my best to coach them in the mandarin pronunciation (although of course Li Po’s own pronunciation is nothing…Continue Reading “Brief Journey (2007) for soprano, alto, erhu (or violin) and piano”

Setting of P.B. Shelley’s poem of the same name.  During the first of my two years in Beijing (2012-3), I did not have many opportunities to make music.  I was in the wilderness somewhat with my Chinese language learning.  This was a welcome opportunity to perform my own music, although it was admittedly  terrifying playing…Continue Reading “Mutability (2013) for solo soprano and piano”

A Spark Lights the Void Within (2009) for soprano and string orchestra (or piano and double bass)

This song cycle was written for, and premiered by soprano Ruth Hopkins.   A Spark Lights the Void Within was written in memory of Lydia Press.  I wrote the texts of the three recitatives in the wake of Lydia’s passing away, and later chose the Cavafy and Shelley poems to accompany my own.  Southampton University Strings premiered…Continue Reading “A Spark Lights the Void Within (2009) for soprano and string orchestra (or piano and double bass)”

Bird Songs (2007-9) song cycle for mezzo-soprano and piano

Bird Songs (2007-9) “Fifty-Nine Swans” (Yeats) “Black Rook in Rainy Weather” (Plath) “The Hierarchies of Sound” (Evans) I’ve uploaded 3 performances of my song cycle for mezzo and piano, “Bird Songs”. Each time working on this song cycle from scratch with a different singer was extraordinarily fun, and a tremendous challenge and learning experience.  I…Continue Reading “Bird Songs (2007-9) song cycle for mezzo-soprano and piano”

Two Pieces for Violin and Piano (2008/10)

  http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzE2NDE1ODcwMA==.html?spm=a2hzp.8253869.0.0   Program Note i. Chanson ii. Epitaphium The “Two Pieces for Violin and Piano” are actually two sections that together form one complete piece.  In the first, the piano plays a systematically accelerating and decelerating sequence of rhythms, presenting a sequence of pitches based around the interval of a minor sixth; the violin…Continue Reading “Two Pieces for Violin and Piano (2008/10)”

Druskininkanonas (2011) for double reed quintet

I wrote this piece for the Lithuanian Oboe Quartet, with an offstage bassoon appearing late in the piece! It was premiered on the 20th May 2012 in Holy Trinity Church, Auletikos, Lithuania, as part of the Druskomanija international contemporary music fesitval.  There is a version for four oboes and bassoon; this alternative version (and the…Continue Reading “Druskininkanonas (2011) for double reed quintet”

Premiere performance of the version for piano quartet:     http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XMzE2NDAzOTczMg==.html?spm=a2hzp.8253869.0.0     A later, distinctive interpretation from the U.S.A.: International Composers’ Collective, U.S.A. branch, Cleveland, Ohio 2011 《开明的演说》(2007/2009)- 国际作曲家协会美国分部      

  This recording is Julian Jacobsen’s intensely expressive and exacting performance from 2007 (Turner Sims Concert Hall). This was the first piece I completed during my Masters study with Michael Finnissy; it was on the basis of this piece that I was chosen for the SPNM Shortlist (2006-9). The final form of the piece was…Continue Reading “Selected “early” works”