Back in 2013, YouTube channel incipitsify kindly offered to upload a couple of my scores along with premiere recordings.
I haven’t put other scores online yet, so enjoy these for now, and I’ll get back to work…
My collaboration with the fantastic Gracefool Collective and Raphael Attar, That’s Yer Lot!, received its third performance in March at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, as part of the Transform 14 festival. Below is a trailer that has kindly been made for the Gracefools from that performance.
We also have a film of the first performance, which took place in May 2013 in a warehouse by Leeds Hackspace, courtesy of Champion Up North. Although the quality of the footage is mixed, it gives a good sense of the piece and the interactive/hyperactive audience… Enjoy!
The University of York Music Department now has a YouTube channel. As well as videos on the life of the department, you can watch performances of new works by York students. Here is their ‘Composition at York’ playlist, including this performance of Leo Birtwhistle’s ‘The Grand Tradition Breaks Down But Slowly’ which I conducted this autumn.
You can follow York Music Department on Facebook and on Twitter @Music_at_York.
Back in June 2012 I took part in a music-theatre improvisation with two other York postgraduates. Mezzo-soprano Anna Papagiannaki-Divani and I each selected a couplet from poems by either half of a famous literary husband and wife… We had one rehearsal prior to this filmed performance.
Thanks to pianist and fellow composer Li Cheong for editing and uploading this film.
Improvisation (for voice, cello and piano)
Anna Papagiannaki-Divani – Voice
James Whittle – Cello
Li Cheong – Piano
YoCoCo (York Composers Collective) Summer Concert
Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York
14th June 2012
Equilibrium jazz trio had their debut in the final recital of drummer Kier Hall on 31st May 2013, Rymer Auditorium, University of York. Here are a couple of the tunes!
Bembé, a West African rhythm in 12/8, was devised in rehearsals by exploring additive and subtractive rhythmic cells around which each player can solo.
Jigsaw starts with a look at the completed picture. The players then have to assemble the pieces quickly. Once the puzzle is completed, the pieces get drastically disfigured and contorted…
Jonathan Brigg – piano
Kier Hall – drums
James Whittle – cello
‘Bembe’ and ‘Jigsaw’ composed by Kier Hall.
REMAINS of ELMET
concerto for viola-vocalist, voices and instruments (2013)
in six parts
based on the poetry collection by Ted Hughes
a music-theatre collaboration with Victoria Bernath
commissioned as recipients of the Terry Holmes Composer/Performer Award 2012/13
for the York Spring Festival of New Music 2013
I – Moors
II – Remains of Elmet [from 10’28”]
III – A Tree [16’17”]
IV – Telegraph Wires [20’52”]
V – Light Falls Through Itself [22’09”]
VI – The Word that Space Breathes [23’33”]
Premiered by Victoria Bernath
The 24 choir
University of York Chamber Orchestra
Conductor: Jonathan Brigg
Rehearsal conductors: James Whittle and Jonathan Brigg
Video edited by Christopher Leedham
A review of the concert by Steve Crowther can be read on the York Press website.
York Spring Festival of New Music 2013
8th May 2013
Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York
Text from ‘Remains of Elmet’ and ‘Elmet’ used with kind permission by The Ted Hughes Estate, with thanks to Faber & Faber Ltd.
The upturned face of this land
The mad singing in the hills
The prophetic mouth of the rain.
Ted Hughes’s Remains of Elmet, ‘A Pennine Sequence’ (1979), is a poetry collection inspired by photographs by Fay Godwin of the West Yorkshire landscape of his childhood. Together, the poems and photographs address themes of decay and regeneration: social, physical, and psychological. Setting five poems from the collection, this work gives a theatrical twist to the traditional concerto form. Unconducted, a resonance chamber of wordless voices and a staged block of instrumentalists challenge the dual nature of the mercurial soloist: a viola-vocalist who traces a fragile path through the work’s cyclical development.
The light, opening younger, fresher wings
Holds this land up again like an offering
Heavy with the dream of a people.
I am pleased to say that I have been asked to write music for a short animation film being made by Josh Wedlake. Josh has recently completed a PgDip in Character Animation, and will start an MA in Animation at the Royal College of Art this September. A collaborative session yesterday got some good takes recorded of my score (partly below!) and I look forward to recording it in full soon. Josh’s blog details more on the film’s composition, but some sneak previews can be seen here…
Written for the Chimera Undergraduate Commission 2011, [CAGED] was premiered on Friday 24th June 2011 at the Music Department of the University of York, in the Chimera Ensemble’s summer concert.
A crowd of unsuspecting audience members were forced to gather outside for the finale of the first half Promenade around the music department.
Experience the piece here…