I quite like doing an end of year roundup, as much to remind myself what I’ve done as to shout about it to other people (thanks for reading). 2019 has been a very crazy year that started off slowly but by the end of it felt like a steam train that couldn’t be stopped. It has been fun but also really tiring. The biggest highlights have been releasing my second album Entangled and running 25 concerts as The Night With… along with a lot of traveling and seeing new places.
2019 in Numbers
- 1 album released (Entangled)
- 1 single released
- 1 awards ceremony produced
- 1 première
- 3 talks
- 5 pieces written
- 14 performances
- 25 concerts organised
- 50 minutes of music written
- 4917 hours streamed
- over 45.7k listeners
The year started with sitting on a panel called Cross Border: Musicians Without Borders at the Association of British Orchestras 2019 conference in Belfast. I also attended my first Cross Party Group on Music meeting at the Scottish Parliment chaired by Tom Athur.
February and March
These months were mostly spent biting my nails waiting for funding to come in and planning for things later in the year.
Went to New York for the first time thanks to a travel grant from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Spent a glorious week walking around New York meeting people, going to concerts and galleries and having my Piece for Violin and Bass Clarinet and Three Pieces for Bass Clarinet and Electronics performed in New York Univeristy by Pauline Kim Harris and Marianne Gythfeldt.
I wasn’t back in Scotland for a week before I headed to ISCM World Music Days in Tallinn, again thanks for NI Arts Council. This was mainly to go and listen to new music from across the world and to network. Stayed in a lovely flat and managed to get some composing done as well.
In between Tallinn and Classical Next, I produced the Scottish Awards for New Music 2019 in Drygate attended by over 130 people.
On a non-music note, had a flying lesson in a Cessna! My parents bought me it for my birthday in 2018 but it took a while to arrange because of the weather.
I released Unda Malacia as a single.
Spoke at the Musicians’ Union conference in Brighton on changing streaming payments to a User Centric Model. The motion passed and is now Union policy. You can read my speech here.
This is where The Night With… kicks off with 11 concerts in two weeks part of the Made in Scotland showcase at the Edinburgh Fringe and the start of the main season. The concerts were by Turning the Elements, Duo van Vliet and Tom Poulson, Danielle Price and Timothy Cooper. All the nail biting in February and March paid off and The Night With…’s 2019 season gained support from Creative Scotland, PRS Foundation, NI Arts Council, Hugh Fraser Foundation, The Fenton Arts Trust and the RVW Trust to make it all happen.
The first single from Entangled was released, the third movement of my Quartet No. 4.
Première of Rama by Ensemble Offspring in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Belfast. This was the first time The Night With… went to Belfast. It received a 4 star review in the Herald and Offspring will be performing it in Australia in 2020.
The second single from Entangled was released. Quartet No. 6.
This was also the month Entangled was released. This is an album that started life in 2018 with a commission from the Institute of Physics for the NI Science Festival and was helped to fruition by Creative Scotland and Help Musicians. Its been hard work but I’m really pleased with it and the reviews it has been getting like ‘It is refreshing to encounter a composer making albums with new classical music in this way, for when used imaginatively the format still has much to give.’ from Arcana FM
Gave a talk to students at Livepool John Moores University Screen Department on music in film.
Was interviewed on Resonance FM about Entangled
Music Finland invited me to Helsinki to talk to composers on self-promotion as part of DefunEnsemble‘s 10th Birthday. The session had to be moved because my flight was cancelled. John Harris of Red Note was also invited for a different panel session but he suffered the same fate so we ended up doing a two handed session together on shared experiences that was really interesting and fun to do and I hope those who attended found it useful.
Was interviewed on BBC Classics Unwrapped with Duo van Vliet about The Night With… season, then ran the final three concerts with Ensemble 1604 premièring a new piece by Timothy Cooper and released the film for Entangled created by Marisa Zanotti.
As the final cherry of the year I was named on of The List’s Hot 100 of 2019!
There are already a few things planned in 2020. On the 10th January the Aurea Quartet première my Quartet No. 6 at a concert in the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, I’m giving an Exchange Talk on my work on the 13th Jan at RCS, in June I’ll be in New York again writing a new piece for Pauline Kim Harris and August I’ll be in Australia for the Australian première of Rama with Ensemble Offspring. Plans are well underway for The Night With… 2020 as well but we are at the nail biting stage for that as well. Cross your fingers and see you at a concert in 2020! And in tomorrow’s Scotsman they publish an interview with me as one of their Ones to Watch of 2020 🙂 .
Oh and do listen to Entangled 🙂