It has reached the last day of 2016 and, as is now customary, here is my year in review.
In summary I was commissioned by The Cottier Chamber Project and Echoes and Traces, recieved performances by Juice Vocal Ensemble, University of Glasgow Chapel Choir, Red Note Ensemble, Electric Clarinet, Cappella Nova, Davur Juul Magnussen trombone ensemble and Carla Rees. Was on a residency with Magnetic North, Anna Unbound was released, started The Night With… and had the support of Creative Scotland and Help Musicians UK. Feels a bit breathless!
2017 is already looking as full. Scottish Opera have commissioned Helene Grøn and I for a short opera as part of Opera Sparks, I’m writing for the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra as part of a scheme run by the Contemporary Music Centre, running five The Night With… concerts, writing a new piece for Emma Lloyd and Joanna Nicholson (which will be recorded thannks to support from the Bliss Trust) and creating new work with Marisa Zanotti.
Year in Numbers
April and May
After a lot of planning the first two The Night With… concerts happened in the Hug and Pint. The first with Red Note Ensemble performing music for brass trio and electronics (along with my for Matt Mattera) and the second in May with Electric Clarinet with music for clarinet/bass clarinet and electronics along with my Three Pieces for Bass Clarient and Electronics. Got really nice feedback for the concerts so more will be happening in 2017.
Anna Unbound was screened in Glasgow to a full cinema.
Always Ever Unknowable premiered as part of the Cottier Chamber Project by Juice Vocal Trio, Glasgow University Chapel Choir and Davur Juul Magnussen trombone ensemble. The text was writen by Helene Grøn and draws on the work of Lord Kelvin and my great uncle John Stewart Bell.
Took a bit of a break for the summer and went to visit friends in London, Paris and Cardiff. Then political darkness descended! Wont mention anything else about that but the fall out is starting to appear in my work.
I spent two weeks in Aberdeen as part of Magnetic North’s Rough Mix Residency. Spent the time developing ways to use a Kinect with dancers to control live electronics. It worked as a proof of concept but need to develop the idea into a solid piece. However while there I met Marisa Zanotti a filmmaker and chorographer. Straight after Rough Mix we created Wave Function – Part 1 and since then have been developing numerous ideas for the future.
August and September saw the premiere and touring of Nobilis Humilis by Cappella Nova as part of Echoes and traces over seven concerts around Scotland. Probably the biggest tour any of my music has had. Also Carla Rees rearranged it for flute choir and published it on Tetractys.
October I properly released Exhibition Music, the music from When Two Worlds Collide with Dominika Mayovich last year.
November was a busy month with three concerts in London, Edinburgh and Glasgow with Carla Rees performaing my new contrabass flute piece Dry Vista. Carla has also published the piece on Tetractys.
In what is fast becoming a tradition (well three years in a row) I take a brief look back at the year that was. 2015 was a rather busy year from a writing and organising point of view with the release of Dichroic Light, scoring Anna Unbound and Michael Palin’s Quest for Artemesia and an installation with Dominika Mayovich.
As a Christmas present I’ve decided to give you all a 25% discount on Dichroic Light. At the checkout on my Bandcamp use the code ‘christmas2015’ (if going for digital) or ‘cdchristmas2015’ (if buying the CD) here until New Years Day.
2015 in numbers
My String Quintet for two violins, two violas and cello was shortlisted for the Cottier Chamber Project composition competition. It was workshopped but didn’t win.
The release of my first album Dichroic Light which was supported by Creative Scotland and received a number of positive reviews including from the Scotsman, the Arts Desk and Musicweb International. Its on iTunes here.
I then toured with Emma Lloyd to promote the album and perform some amazing music (my Ulation and Solo for Viola D’amore and Electronics along with Gerard Grisey’s Prologue, Ed Bennett’s Ghosts and Linda Buckley’s Do You Remember the Planets? in Glasgow City Halls, Fruitmarket Gallery in Edinburgh, The National Concert Hall in Dublin, R-Space in Lisburn and Woodend Barn in Aberdeen.
Cast and crew screening of Anna Unbound in the Glasgow Film Theatre. The film hasn’t had its official premiere, at time of writing, but it has been selected for the International Film Festival, London in February 2016.
June also saw the opening of When Two Worlds Collide with Dominika Mayovich in R-Space Gallery. The installation involved six paintings each with motion sensitive sound design and accompanied by an instrumental sound track. It was a co-commission between R-Space and sound Festival and with some support from the Lisburn Arts Advisory Committee.
In July I received a commission to compose the music for Michael Palin’s Quest for Artemisia about baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi for broadcast on the 28th December on BBC 4
I received funding from Creative Scotland to work with Carla Rees at Rarescale Summer School on a new piece for contra-bass flute and electronics. The new piece will be premiered late 2016 with a small tour.
Emma Lloyd played my Solo for Viola D’amore as part of sound‘s promenade concert in the Aberdeen Maritime Museum. We also gave a research seminar presentation in Aberdeen University on our work together on the piece.
I wrote the music for a short film for the Irish Composers’ Collective Take Over project
The broadcast on BBC 4 of Michael Palin’s Quest for Artemesia, my first TV commission! http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06t3w73
What to look forward to in 2016
2016 is already looking to be busy with a commission for Cappella Nova for a new choral piece and another from Cottier’s Chamber Project for vocal trio (Juice), Glasgow Chapel Choir and trombone quartet. Theres a few others on the cards as well (a new piece for clarinet and electronics and a cello and piano duo) but nothing else confirmed, yet… Then theres touring the new contra-bass flute piece with Carla and going to screenings of Anna Unbound.