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Update June 2020.
My Eight Miniatures for Piano were broadcast on Ireland's Lyric FM's excellent' The Blue of the Night' programme on Thursday 11th June. The presenter Bernard Clarke gave a detailed and informative introduction to the Miniatures and this was preceded by my Delta Saxophe Quartet arrangement of Bowie's Speed of Life in what effectively became a mini feature on me. I am extremely grateful to all concerned in this and particularly Bernard Clarke.
Allo Allo!! The Grimsby Auditorium is 25 years old and, to celebrate, they asked a number of celebs who had performed there to send in filmed birthday greetings. Little films arrived from Debbie McGee, Frazer Hines, Lorraine Chase, Matthew Kelly and others. But my favourite one was from John D. Collins - aka Fairfax the British airman trapped in Nazi Germany in Allo Allo. In his film, he is in character and explains that he has escaped from France and got back to Blighty only to be imprisoned by Lockdown, and what a swizz it all is!! Excellent. In between all of this are photographs of the Auditorium being built etc and I was delighted that an excerpt of my Three Guitar Pieces was used to accompany these. Here is the film - https://www.facebook.com/GrimsbyAuditorium/videos/267462360995435/?__tn__=%2Cd%2CP-R&eid=ARCvrXGmZjMC_PvHShOejj4IjWi-SBH7yL08cnjSsbooVKLDMDrzkveIepsm1Cj3J4XvIp-DIDkfPwhl
Update April 2020
Well, a lot mentioned in my earlier updates has since been cancelled due to the virus. However, before the lockdown started, the Delta Saxophone Quartet gave an excellent first performance of Journey, my new piece for saxophone quartet with two electronic interludes at Late Music in York in March to a large and appreciative audience.
People are responding in creative and interesting ways to the lockdown. Pianist Duncan Honeybourne is doing a series of Contemporary Piano Soundbites. Each day he posts a video of himself giving the first performance of a piece specially written for his project. I was delighted to be asked to contribute. Here is the video of the premier of my piece. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlSKbpAEhyY
I have posted before about how well my Piano Miniature No. 2 has done online. Recently, I discovered that it is number 5 in the Naxos Grand Piano most spotify streamed tracks of all time. Here is the full playlist - https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6fm8v48RRl9yOll1sT6Y2w
Finally, earlier in the year I was in Cheltenham for the recording of the Ten New Debussys CD. It was played by James Willshire and recorded by Lynette Quek. At the moment, about a quarter of the editing work has been done. Hopefully more to report next month.
Update November 2019
Delighted to see that the Austrian equivalent of BBC Radio 3 recently devoted a half hour programme to the Piano Miniatures CD under the title 'Mondstrahlen, Idyllen und Schatten' and played my miniature number 5. Full details here though not sure if it is still possible to hear the programme itself - https://oe1.orf.at/programm/20191106/578623/Mondstrahlen-Idyllen-und-Schatten
I am working with David Lancaster and Hayley Jenkins on a project called 'One Hundred Second Songs'. We are inviting 40 composers to each contribute a song lasting about one minute and 40 seconds. Our first concert will be in April in the York Late Music Concert Series. The 2020 Late Music Series will also include a performance of my piece Becalmed, the premiere of my choral piece The Transfiguration and a new piece - tentatively entitled Journey - for the Delta Saxophone Quartet.
Update October 2019
The Hundred Years of British Piano Miniatures CD played by Duncan Honeybourne came out on the Naxos Grand Piano label a year ago. I have just received the worldwide online streaming figures report from Naxos. Thanks to their efforts at placing my Piano Miniature 2 with some of the larger Apple and Spotify playlists, that track has gone on to receive a staggering 2.1million listens worldwide. I am so grateful to all concerned who helped this happen.
I am delighted that my paper - 17 songs that wouldn't exist without Colin Wilson - has been accepted for presentation at the third international colin Wilson conference in 2020. Full details here - http://pauperspress.co.uk/conference.html
Finally, I am pleased to see that the Cleethorpes Festival of the Sky is up for no less than four national awards. It was a truly amazing Festival - the Guardian was quite right to identify it as one of the top 10 UK Festivals of 2019 - and I was delighted that my saxophone quartet was played twice in the Festival and the fact that local groups of young people got a chance to perform in the Festival. Let's hope the 2020 Cleethorpes Festival of the Sky is even better.
Update September 2019
Myself and artist Linda Ingham are doing a joint exhibition at the Collection In Lincoln which starts on 28th September and runs for six weeks. It includes the Far and Near Film - whoses soundtrack I provided - plus the videos for my songs 'Kinds of White' and 'Don't Touch'. Full details here - https://www.thecollectionmuseum.com/exhibitions-and-events/view/every-step-a-stride-over-something-not-said
The 'Don't Touch' video comprises stop motion charcoal drawings by Linda Ingham and was completed specially for the exhibition. Here is a link to the video itself - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2Uu2zkNUfQ
It was great to welcome the Delta Saxophone Quartet to Cleethorpes to be part of the amazing 'Festival of the Sky'. During a long day, the Deltas performed my Shades 3 three times - first in the Canon Peter Hall in Immingham school assembly where the young people seemed to really enjoy it, then in the VIP reception in the Discovery and finally to a large crowd at the bandstand in the Fire Garden.
Update July 2019
The BBC's Digital Planet has done a podcast with Kate Ledger, Lynette Quek and myself about how we created the live, performable versions of six of the pieces from the 1980 Harold Budd/Brian Eno album The Plateaux of Mirror. Kate and Lynette's live performance of them will be, as far as we can tell, the first ever. Here is the link to the programme. The feature on Plateaux starts at 20'30''.https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3csy66j
James Willshire gave an illustrated lecture/recital at York University about the 'Ten New Debussys' project. He discussed and played five of the pieces including my Cathedrale engloutie. It was an excellent lecture and I hope to post the audio recording of it shortly.
Thanks to my old friend Tom Armstrong, I was at Guildford University recently to give a talk to the students about some of the collaborative projects I have been involved in. A large and appreciative audience turned up and, enouragingly, asked intelligent and pertinent questions. A good day all around
Update May 2019
I am delighted to learn that the Delta Saxophone Quartet are giving two performances of my Shades 3 in Sicily on the 9th and 10th June. Full details at www.deltasax.com
I have curated two 'Aspects of Eno' concerts for the York Late Music Concert Series this year and, as a result, the BBC Music Magazine asked me to create an ambient/electronic/classical crossover playlist. Here it is - https://twitter.com/MusicMagazine/status/1133746090115776512?s=20
Finally, please check out the new video for my song Kinds of White which was made by artist Linda Ingham and filmed and edited by Sean Atkinson of Focus7. Here it is - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZiYmmYKvME
Update February 2019
Just received an email from Naxos saying that, in the last five months, my Piano Miniatures from the Duncan Honeybourne CD 'A Hundred Years of British Piano Miniatures' have chalked up over 412,000 streams on Spotify. Obviously, I couldn't be happier with this.
A quick reminder that the Delta Saxophone Quartet are doing my Shades 3 and some of my Bowie Berlin arrangements at Turner Sims in Southampton on Friday 1st March at 7.30. it will be a great gig. Do get there is you can.
Finally, back to the Piano Miniatures CD and a quick visit to the Naxos site shows it now has three reviews. Full details here - https://www.naxos.com/reviews/reviewslist.asp?catalogueid=GP789&languageid=EN
Update December 2018
The 2019 York Late Music Concert Series programme is now available. I have curated two ‘Aspects of Eno’ concerts for the series. The first will include arrangements for piano and electronics by Lynette Queq and myself of five of the pieces from the Harold Budd/Brian Eno album The Plateaux of Mirror. As far as I have been able to establish, nothing from this album has ever been performed live before so this is very exciting and a bit scary!
The rest of the season will include a CD launch/recital of the entire British Piano miniatures CD by Duncan Honeybourne. I will also be writing a new piece for violin and loops for Steve Bingham. Robert Rice and Elizabeth Muncha will be giving the first complete performance of my song cycle Peacock Pie. Please check out the full details of the season at www.latemusic.org
I had a lovely trip to Dublin last month thanks to Grainne Mulvey who invited me to talk to her students at the Dublin Institute of Technology. My talk seemed to be well received and I greatly enjoyed meeting her students.
Delphine is an excellent, short art house film by Annabel McCourt lasting about 18 minutes. My music is used throughout the film. I was delighted to see that the film recently got a screening at AMNUA, at the University of Nanjing in China.
A rather mixed review of the piano miniatures CD has appeared in the BBC Music Magazine. The reviewer feels its ‘a lovely idea’ and contains ‘some gems’ but wonders if enough of the pieces are ‘keepers’. Hmm!
Finally my thanks to the wonderful Juice Vocal Ensemble who included my White Went Round You in their excellent, sell out gig at the National Centre for Early Music in York a few weeks ago. It helped to bring a great year to a great end. Roll on 2019.
Update October 2018
The Piano Miniatures CD is now released and doing very well. Some of my miniatures are proving very popular on itunes while the opening track - Moonbeams by Leo Livens- topped the 'Spotify Picks' chart on the week of the release. Full story here - https://www.york.ac.uk/music/news-and-events/news/2018/york-piano-recording-tops-spotify-classical-chart/
Earlier this year, I curated a three concert day of 20th Century British Piano Music for the York Late Music Concert Series. I was also centrally involved in the opening concert of the 2018 Late Music Series which was given by the Delta Saxophone Quartet and included my arrangements of three of Bowie's Berlin instrumentals and a performance of my Shades 3. I am delighted that the September edition of Tempo has published a generous review of these concerts by Nick Williams. I don't have a link to this review as yet, but will share it when I get it.
Finally, I have done a blog for the York University 'Contemporary Music Research Centre about my choral piece 'Four Visiak Settings' which can be read here - https://www.cmrcyork.org/blog/2018/10/ho-what-a-beano-why-set-the-same-poem-twice/
Update September 2018
The Hundred Years of British Piano Miniatures CD which I led on with the late Peter Reynolds will be released world wide on the Naxos Grand Piano label on October 12th. It is played by the excellent Duncan Honeybourne and includes my Eight Piano Miniatures and is now available for pre-order on amazon. Here is a link to the minisite about the CD on the Naxos website - https://www.naxos.com/ECard/GrandPiano/GP789/#
My songs Chaffinches and Give the Questioning Wind plus my pieces Mosaic and Platinum are part of a soundtrack on continuous play in the Gallery Steel Rooms exhibition '. . . After Bird' The rest of the soundtrack is by William Rhys Meek. Gallery Steel Rooms is in Brigg and comprises lovely gallery space and an excellent cafe and shop. Well worth checking out.
Finally, delighted to report that we got excellent media coverage for the 'Ten New Debussys' project. BBC Radio 3's 'Tune In' did a feature on the concert and Errollyn Wallen mentioned it on BBC 2's 'Proms Extra' programme. Full details of all this can be found on the blog page of the Late Music website - www.latemusic.org
Update August 2018
On Saturday 1st September 2018 at the Unitarian Church, St Saviourgate, York, as part of the Late Music Concert Series, James Willshire will give a concert entitled 'Ten New Debussys'. This will comprise four pieces by Debussy himself plus ten new works, each of which starts with a minute of piano music by Debussy and then develops away from that into the composers own soundworld. I came up with this idea for Late Music as I felt it would be more interesting that asking composers to write a homage to Debussy. The composers who have written new pieces include Errollyn Wallen, Robin Holloway, Nicola LeFanu and myself. Please come along if you can. Full details at www.latemusic.org
James Willshire will be talking about the 'Ten New Debussys' concert on BBC Radio 3' 'In Tune' on Wednesday 29th August.
Delphine is a excellent and moving art house short film by Annabel McCourt. It lasts about 25 minutes and I contributed virtually all of the soundtrack. I am delighted to learn that the film will be getting a screening at AMNUA, The Art Museum of Nanjing University in China as part of their Projects III series. I have no further details at this stage but am very pleased the film is getting this deserved exposure.
Finally, the CD of British Piano Miniatures from 1915 - 2016 will be released on the Naxos Grand Piano label on October 12th and will be available for pre-order from amazon etc next month. I shall post more details and the artwork then
Update May 2018
My latest collaboration with artist Linda Ingham is an installation entltled Aground, 1000/33/1. My contribution is the middle movement of my String Quartet which is on continuous play as part of the installation. The installation is part of the A Case for Place exhibition currently at Gallery Steel Rooms in Brigg and continuing for the next month of so. Full details here - www.thesteelrooms.com/art-gallery
I have the following performances coming up in the next few weeks
The Dalta Saxophone quartet will be playing my Shades 3 at Alleyn's School, Dulwich, London on Tuesday 19th June.
Juice Vocal Ensemble will premiere a new work of mine in the Late Music Concert Series in York at the Unitarian Church on Saturday 7th July
A new mix of my Eight Vestiges will be included as part of the Pickering Frescos performance by David Lancaster at the Church of St Peter and St Paul in Pickering, North Yorkshire on Saturday 21st July at 7.30pm.
Finally, a mere 14 years after its publication, my very short book on David Bowie - just 55 pages - has earned a five star review on amazon. Well chuffed. Full details here - https://www.amazon.co.uk/David-Bowie-Sense-Art-Power/dp/0946650802/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=BJ40ZW7G55Y9AN3R9ABZ
Update March 2018
My music is featured in two exhibitions this month. The first - Under East Wind - is at The Ropewalk in Barton upon Humber and includes the Far and Near film on continuous play. The soundtrack for this film comprises two of my Piano Miniatures and my song Remember Me. Also, in a different artwork in the exhibition, my song Kinds of White is on continuous play. Full details of the exhibition are here -
The other exhibition is Bird after Bird at the Gallery Steel Rooms in Brigg and my Someone, Chaffinches and Piano Miniature 8 are part of the exhibition soundtrack that is on continuous play. Full details here - www.gallerysteelrooms.com
The Fairfax ensemble will be giving the first performance of my Five Dissimilar Songs on Saturday 7th April at the Unitarian Church, St Saviourgate, York at 1pm as part of the Late Music Concert Series. Full details here - www.latemusic.org
Reviews for the launch concert of the Delta Saxophone Quartet's Bowie Berlin and Beyond are starting to come in. Below are links to the local press review of the concert and the new jazz bird is the worm website's review of the CD
Update December 2017
The 2018 York Late Music concerts' brochure is now out. I have the following music being performed.
On Saturday 3rd March at 7.30, the Delta Saxophone Quartet perform my Shades 3 plus my arrangements for saxophone quartet of 3 of David Bowie's Berlin instrumentals - Speed of Life, Warzawa and Art Decade. This music is also on their forthcoming CD which will be launched at the concert itself.
On Saturday 7th April at 1pm, the Fairfax Ensemble will premiere my Five Dissimilar Songs and I will also be writing a new piece for the Juice vocal ensemble to be premiered by them on 7th July at 7.30pm.
I have also done some programming for Late Music including a three concert survey of twentieth century piano music. The indefatigable Ian Pace will play all three concerts on Saturday 5th May.
My other programming contribution is the commemoration of the centenary of Debussy's death. James Willshire will give a concert on Saturday 1st September at 7.30pm with no less than ten newly commissioned pieces, including ones from Robin Holloway, Errollyn Wallen, Nicola LeFanu and Ailis ni Riain. All pieces will start with the first minute of so of a selected Debussy solo piano piece and then the composers will audibly take their selected piece away from Debussy's soundworld and into their own. I am delighted at the excitement the various composers have expressed about this idea. I will be contributing a piece myself and, at the moment, I am thinking of using Debussy's The Engulfed Cathedral as my starting point.
Finally, and nothing to do with Late Music, a shout-out for one 'Ardour.' He has done an excellent remix of Matterplay the song I wrote with the Italian indie rock group Malenky Slovos. Ardour's remix can be heard here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDkO7id-uOw Enjoy!
Update March 2017
Three pieces of my music - my song Remember Me and two of my piano miniatures - have been used as the soundtrack for a film that will form part of an art installation called Neverends. The installation opens at the Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre on 1st April and runs until 18th June. Then it goes to galleries in Sheffield, Leeds and Barton-upon--Humber. The film with my music will be on continuous play throughout the installation. The other artists involved are Linda Ingham and Judy Tucker plus poet Harriet Tarlo. Our work will be shown alongside works on loan from the Arts Council Collection. All very exciting. Full details on www.farandnearproject.com
My new piano piece Becalmed will be given its first performance by Ian Pace at the Unitarian Church in York on Saturday 6th May at 7.30pm as part of the Late Music Concert Series. The concert will include new works by Howard Skempton and John White who, I am told, will both be there. I am an admirer of these composers so I hope Becalmed holds its own!! Full details at www.latemusic.org
Finally, thanks to the generosity of the Far and Near Project which gave me a heap of spare film footage from their Winter Solstice event, i have been able to make a new video for my An Old Song. It can be seen on the new 'music videos' page of this site.
Update January 2017
Happy New Year.
I have been commissioned to work with artist Linda Ingham on a project called Far and Near, which will be a multi-media art installation and will be on display in galleries in Leeds, Sheffield and Grimsby. More details to follow but a central part of it is collecting memories from members of the public of their departed/absent loved ones for display on a specially commissioned memorial bench in the exhibitions themselves. My role will be to provide music for the film part of the exhibition and I spent a day at the National Centre for Early Music in York last month recording some stuff for the project. For more information on the project - inncluding how to submit your own memories of departed/absent loved ones - please see www.farandnearproject.com
I have updated this website by adding two new videos - Platinum and Did I Dream You. Both were filmed and edited by Sean Martin and Platinum has some additional effects by Robin Garland. I have also updated the works list by adding the names of the pieces I wrote in 2016.
Well, one of my New Year's resolutions is to do monthly updates on this site from now on, so we will see!!
Update - August 2016
The Fairfax Ensemble will be starting a five date tour in October. The details are as follows
- Thursday 6th October at Ripon Cathedral at 1pm.
- Friday 21st October at Langwith College, University of York at 6.30pm.
- Wednesday 2nd November at Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery at 1pm
- Thursday 10th November at Bootham School York at 1pm
- Tuesday May 16th 2017 at Wakefield Cathedral at 1pm.
The Fairfax Ensemble are Josephine Peach (piano), Amanda Crawley (Soprano) and Edwina Smith (flute).
Admission to the Langwith College gig is £5, the others are free. Some of my songs will be featured in all five concerts and my new piece Two Survivor Songs for flute and soprano will be premiered at at the Langwith College gig and played again in the Bootham School gig. The texts for the Two Survivor Songs are by Kevin McCann and Eamer O'Keeffe. The tour is delivered in partnership with the Sounds Lyrical Project who secured funding from the RVW Trust to make the tour possible. Full details of all five concerts can be found on the Sounds lyrical website - www.soundslyricalproject.org.uk.
Update - June 2016
i have two confirmed performances coming up on August 6th at the Late Music Concert series, Unitarian church, St Saviourgate, York. They are my Eight Piano Miniatures in the lunchtime recital by Duncan Honeybourne at 1pm and my latest piece - commissioned by Late Music as a David Bowie tribute - entitled Bye Bye Spaceboy. That will be premiered in the evening concert by the Late Music Ensemble under James Whittle. Full details at www.latemusic.org
Malenky Slovos - the italian indie rock group - have just released their excellent first album - Mood Swings - and it includes Matterplay, the song I wrote in collaboration with them. For more information about the album, please visit their website - www.malenkyslovos.com - and the official video for the Matterplay track is on the film and video page of this site.
Finally, the Fairfax Ensemble will be doing a short Northern England tour in the autumn including a new work by me and a couple of existing songs. More details to follow.
Sorry, but no further updates on the CD's mentioned in the February update. Hope to have more on this soon
Update - February 2016
My new piece Forever will be premiered on Saturday 27th February at the Unitarian Church, St Saviourgate, York by christopher O'Gorman (tenor) with Mark Hutchinson (piano). Tickets are £3. The concert starts at 1pm and is part of the Late Music Concert Series. Full details at www.latemusic.org,
Sounds Lyrical - the composers and poets group that I am part of - did a 90 minute radio show on East Leeds FM Radio last week including several of my songs. It went extremely well. The full broadcast can be heard here - http://www.chapelfm.co.uk/listen-again/love-the-words-feb/
Finally, I have been doing quite a bit of recording recently - 18 songs and my piano miniatures - for a couple of forthcoming CD's. More details to follow.
Update - September 2015
Quite a bit happening and coming up. First three of my pieces - with excellent new videos by Sean Martin - are on continuous play as part of the Shifting Images exhibition at the Grimsby Fishing Heritage Centre from now till March 2016. They are Did I Dream You? (text by Carolyn Doyley), Mosaic and Platinum. I will add the videos to this site just as soon as I can.
My new choir piece - Two Tarlo Settings - will be given its first performance by the Ebor Singers on Saturday 3rd October at 7.30 pm at the Unitarian Church, St Saviourgate, York as part of the Late Music concert series. Full details - www.latemusic.org and also please check out their blog section as I am their composer of the month and have given them an interview about the new piece.
Finally, last year the Italian indie rock group Malenky Slovos used my electronic intrumental track Matterplay as the basis for a new song of their own, also called Matterplay. They had some issues when it came to mixing this track so they enlisted the help of professional producer, Mike Senior. Mike was so intrigued by the challenges this brought that he has written a six page article on how he did this mix and it is published in the September edition of the prestigious Sound on Sound magazine under the title Mix Rescue: Matterplay. It is a fascinating - if somewhat technical - read.
Update June 2015
Well, I suppose the first update is this website itself. Please explore, look, listen and enjoy!
My next project on the horizon is a contribution to Festival8. Festival8 is a boutique festival of the senses taking place in the magical setting of Cabourne Parva from Friday 17th - Sunday 19th July. My contribution will be a new mix of mine and David Lancaster's Double Vestiges piece which will be on continuous play in the woodland area throughout the Festival.
After that, I will be contributing music and video to the Shifting Subjects exhibition at the Fishing Heritage centre in Grimsby. Hopefully, I will have more about that in my end of July update.