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Recent Music

The other night I sat down and worked out what my output has been this year (from Jan 1st) and I was shocked. I have written around 30 mins of music which works out about 20 secs per day. I was shocked how I have written so much but then I have finished Relations (a piece for stereo orchestra), Rain (for soprano and guitar), The Wavering George (Violin and Cello) a bass clarinet solo and Unresolved for solo piano. Then there is a percussion piece and a guitar and violin piece that I have started to write within the last week. I dont know how this has come about but I think a switch has flipped in my head from wanting to compose to being able to compose. Every piece (bar Resolved) has either had a workshop, a performance or a performance scheduled. The situation I’m in at the moment is amazing until I remember I still have essays to write.

Also in the last few months I have had very good press reviews. The first one for Imagined Notes by Michael Dervan of the Irish Times which you can read here and the second for Puddle Wonderful. First real reviews I’ve had and I’m very happy with both!

I feel a bit of info about the pieces is needed, I don’t normally do this unless asked but for some reason I’m compelled to. Imagined Notes was written for my final electro-acoustic composition last semester and is basically a reaction against what I see as noise music. What I mean by this is music with no overt pitch bass and simply uses real world sounds to create a piece. I know a door closing or a footstep does have a pitch but not in the same was as a trumpet. So the piece was written to lie somewhere in the middle of the noise music and real music. To do this I took recordings of a piano and an oboe and processed them via transposing stretching etc. The transpositions aimed to create a triadic harmony with the same kind of pull and push of tonality so chords were built up with 5ths, 3rds etc. Though terms such as chords should be used even more loosely in this piece than most because the transpositions where never meant to be precise but more to give the impression of tonal harmony which I think I succeeded in doing. Please do comment and discuss I’d be interested to hear feedback and if others think I did it as successfully as I think.

Relations is a piece for large orchestra with double of most things. This is to create a stereo effect for the audience. The piece is also based on one chord (G-B-E-F) this chord is intended to resonate the whole way through the piece of the piano mainly at the beginning and the end as this section is built on the harmonic series of each note. The music swings round the orchestra or bounces across from left to right. Unfortunately hearing this effect isn’t going to happen any time soon, I dont think I could pull together an orchestra needed for it, but maybe in the future.

I might talk about the percussion piece a little in a week or two after its completely finished but it is similar to Relations in the sense that it is based on one note rather than one chord and develops in a similar vane to The Space Within, which I conducted in the 3rd Queen’s Composers’ Concerts and a recording will be up soon.

I think this is the first blog post in a while that wasn’t for the reason of bitching, in fact it had no reason behind it I just felt compelled to write one. Please feel free to give me any comments or feedback about my music. Always interested to hear peoples opinions. You can also get some of my scores at Sibelius Music or Emerging Composers Library

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