A Selection of Works

      1. 1. Beautiful Lines - Movement for String Quartet

 

I have always been fascinated by the power of single lines and their proliferation into more complex structures. This fascination is often in, but has never been limited to, musical lines.

Beautiful Lines contemplates a single musical line, imposed on itself in a myriad of different forms and relations; the changes of the relationships as well as the prominent use of glissandi throughout renders an otherwise static line into dynamic, self-similar patterns across the ensemble and through the movement. At Bar 41, the glissandi halt, and a chorale, rendered by turning the glissandi figure into discreet pitches is heard. This too dissolves back into glissandi, eventually moving to the highest possible register of the ensemble, at the movement’s conclusion.

2. Ochres – for SATB Choir

This sketch, written quickly for the tenso workshops in September 2012,
is a work-in-progress of a few choral ideas.

The only complete word used in the piece is “korowa.” This word comes from L.E.Threkeld’s account of the now dead Awabakal Language of New South Wales, Australia, spoken in and near my hometown of Newcastle. It was a delightfully strange and surreal experience to find a dusty original copy of Threkeld’s account at the Bodleian Library, during my first year at Oxford – almost as strange and surreal as the book itself – and I spent a long time examining it. Though it is, in many ways, a profoundly inadequate and, by our standards, inappropriate treatment of a language, it has allowed for the revival of the language, and is a unique testament to its cultural, historical and geographical context. Like the best music, it ‘bears witness’ to its time and place.

“Korowa” a noun that meant both “the sea” and the motion of the sea (i.e.the waves).

 

      2. 3. Il Pleut

 

Il Pleut draws some of its material from the contours, structures and metaphysic concerns of Apollinaire’s poem Il Pleut, however, its primary impetus is the tension between the musical finite and infinite. Through decoration and the deliberate obscuring of some musical parameters, the players are encouraged to create ‘natural’ variation within sound and the ensemble. The result is a tactile, but intimate piece that blurs musical parameters to evoke the impression of visually colliding textures, some natural and some imposed, uniting the physic with the metaphysic.

In the third movement, the percussionists play wine glasses, felxatones, elephant bells and a cymbal as well as producing sound vocally. The notation allows for some temporal flexibility, and the players have a certain amount of autonomy with “in the moment” decisions, interplay, and development.