I’m very excited about next week, where I’ll be delivering a solo concert and masterclass in Corfu. I’ve pasted my abstract below…
State Changes: composing with
contrasting sound materials
Over the past ten years, I have been developing a compositional method for work with contrasting sound materials. This started back in 2009 when I composed a large-form piece called Point of Departure; at this point, I realised that I could make a seamless transition from pitched sounds to noisy sounds, whilst simultaneously transitioning from discrete, delicate materials towards brutal saturation. This realisation fascinated me because, at least in part, it contrasted my previous approach to materials, in which contrasting materials were simply layered to highlight their dissimilarity. In this new approach, contrast is apparent at the start and end, but a seamless process (leading from one start to the other) preventing one from identifying any particular moment of change. It is, in my mind, state change by stealth. This talk introduces such an idea. It offers a range of examples, drawn from the last ten years of compositional activity, to demonstrate some of the different ways in which it has been employed. More importantly, it shows some of the specific techniques used to achieve these transitions, with some basic technical demonstrations.
On Sat evening, I performed a new piece – Hymn without Words – at Sound Junction. The piece is a present for my one-time tutor (then colleague and now friend) Dale Jonathan Perkins, and the title a play on his amazing suite of pieces Voice without Words. Sound Junction was again spectacular – with performances from Manuella Blackburn, David Berezan, James Andean, JTTP prize-winners, and many of my colleagues and students.
I’m delighted to announce that I applied for – and received – funding from the French Embassy to coordinate a workshop run by the Group de Recherches Musicales (GRM) in Paris. The GRM will be travelling to Sheffield at some point in June, to take a part in the workshop which, as currently planned, will include a series of talks, presentations, demonstrations and – hopefully – concerts.
I have just received the draft programme of the Royal Music Association and Music and Philosophy Study Group, who have a conference in London in July. I’m delighted to be delivering a paper at the event, on Thursday 11th July, with the following title: The Musical Work-Concept and the Problem of its Identity Crisis.
I’m really happy that my latest piece – Helix: circle of fifths – has been shortlisted for Sound Spaces 2019. It didn’t win the competition, but was picked from the shortlist for performance in their concert in Malmö.
This year, the ICMC is taking place in New York, alongside the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival. I’m not sure whether I shall be able to attend… but I’m very excited to have had my piece accepted!
Vishal Shah emailed me a few days ago from Dubai, to share photos of the latest issue of Harper’s Bazaar. To my surprise, our film EPOH (Vishal directed, I composed) is featured in one of the reviews; it has been on a month-long screening in Dubai. Here are the images: