Monthly Archive: September 2010

New directions

Posted on Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I'm pleased to announce an exciting new departure today - I've signed up with Bill Holab Music as publishing agent. Bill will handle all my score rentals and sales, and act as a representative for me in handling contracts and commissions. I'm thrilled to be a part of Bill's fairly exclusive roster of composers which includes composers like Mason Bates, Michael Torke, Richard Danielpour, Pierre Jalbert, Gabriel Kahane and until recently (when he was poached by Boosey's) Osvaldo Golijov. We'll gradually be preparing scores for publication and sale/rental on Bill's site over the coming months, but you can already contact him about any works you're interested in, including perusal copies.

The first newly edited edition of Gumboots Score and parts is now available through the website.

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Flute glissandi

Posted on Wednesday, September 8, 2010

After my researches into glissandi on flute with Alex Housego (which still needs a proper write-up) I came away feeling that there really needed to be some innovation in flute technology to allow all the quality we associate with a modern orchestral flute but with a far better ability to glissando somehow. Low and behold it may have already happened. I stumbled across Robert Dick and his amazing glissando headjoint (sounds like a bizarre comedy Western). The great thing is it's just a headjoint and fits on to a standard flute. From what I gather it's in the process of being produced in 2010 (see for more) - how great it would be if this became as standard piece of kit professional players carried around, like a trumpet mute or something. I'm certain it could be used to great effect in the first movement of my The Eye of Night piece.

Here's a video of Robert playing a virtuoso jazz solo on the flute. It's pretty wacky and perhaps not the best clip to demonstrated the serious beauty of the device. Better is the video on this page where Robert talks about the headjoint and gives some simpler examples of use.

Apart from the headjoint, what's also quite interesting in this video is the 'humming whilst playing' technique which you find a lot in jazz sax to give a heightened 'crazy' effect. Klezmer clarinettists also use it, but I've never seen it done by a flute player before. There's also some great overtone stuff going on at 1:05 which I don't even know what he's doing there.

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