Monthly Archive: January 2010

Carnegie Interview

Posted on Sunday, January 24, 2010

Next week I'm off to the US again for some performances of Gumboots with Ensemble ACJW. In preparation for the performances, which include one at Carnegie's Weill Hall on the 9th Feb, Carnegie Hall have reposted on their Sound Insights blog an interview I did with them about the piece and some of the thought-processes that helped create it.

Carnegie Interview

Tickets for the concert

Carnegie's Jeremy Geffen has also posted a nice interview discussing both Gumboots and the other pieces on the program:

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Tears and Laughter

Posted on Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tears and laughter seem to be a common mixture in British culture, from Shakespeare, right through to the films of Richard Curtis. The mixture is something I've noticed time and again in my own work (though American born, I am culturally entirely British) without ever consciously placing it there. When I came to making a selection of pieces to arrange by John Dowland for Metropolis Ensemble's concert this February, I became aware that Dowland needed to be added to that list of laughing and crying Brits - he is of course famous for his melancholy songs (of which I have included two beautiful examples in my arrangements) but when not in mournful mode his music is light and witty. Even the titles conjur comical images: 'My Lady Hundson's Puffe' and 'Mrs Winters' Jump'. What it is about us British that delights in this mixture of tragedy and laughter I am not sure, but it certainly goes back a long way.

My arrangements: Tears, Puffes, Jumps and Galliards

Details of the Metropolis Ensemble's concert here

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Writing for recorder

Posted on Monday, January 18, 2010

I've been wanting to write more for recorder for some time. I included some recorders in Push! but they were played by non-recorder players and were more of an added splash of colour than a genuine exploration of the instrument. But I've long felt they deserve a greater role in chamber music and I've heard some amazing players in my time. The latest such player is Daphna Mor, whom I met on my last trip to NYC, when she made a blistering cameo appearance at a concert some friends were playing in Brooklyn.

So when Metropolis Ensemble asked me if I would arrange some music for string quartet their forthcoming chamber concert this April, I asked if they would allow me to include a part for Daphna.

I'm setting a mixture of Dowland pieces, and I'm really enjoying exploring more of the colours available from the instrument(s). Hopefully this will be not only an exciting project but also lead to more original work for recorders in the future.

Details of the Metropolis Ensemble concert here, which includes premieres by Anna Clyne and Timo Andres.

For an example of some astonishing recorder playing, check out this video of Giovanni Antonini with Il Giardino Armonico playing a Vivaldi recorder concerto.

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