marking up parts

May 20, 2017 / 0 comments

The instrumental parts for my orchestra piece arrived in the post this week, having been sent back after Tectonics by the BBC Music Library. As I tell all my students, look at what the players write on your parts as it will tell you a lot about what they need to know. Mostly, in this…

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alternate between attention and ease

May 3, 2017 / 1 comment

We had a great rehearsal yesterday with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Ilan Volkov. It was a long trip (Parkinson 398 miles, Saunders 374 miles) and an early start, but great to get the piece sorted with the orchestra, who were lovely to work with and very patient. I was really pleased with how…

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all voices are heard

April 28, 2017 / 0 comments

Here’s a video of all voices are heard being played by Material and OUT-TAKE Ensemble in Bath at the Ludo2017 conference last week. We chose to do it with words and objects for the first time, and it’s a format that I really like. The words were chosen by random and grouped into arbitrary sets for…

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a piece for orchestra and Parkinson Saunders

February 12, 2017 / 0 comments

My new orchestra piece for Tectonics is done. It’s called alternate between attention and ease and will be performed by me and Tim Parkinson with Ilan Volkov and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in this year’s festival on 7 May. There will be speaking, sound effects, noises and lots of major and minor chords.

no videos

January 30, 2017 / 0 comments

All the Vimeo videos of my work are currently unavailable as we are just reworking our institutional subscription at Bath Spa. They should be back soon I hope.

do the best you can

January 8, 2017 / 0 comments

I’ve been thinking more about games over the past week as I’m working through Mary Flanagan’s Critical Play, and trying to finish my orchestra piece. The thing which draws me to games as a basis for music (apart from the fact they are fun) is the sense of purpose they present. The last couple of posts…

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end condition

December 30, 2016 / 0 comments

Since beginning to tag my pieces, I’ve been looking at which of them might qualify as games. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s very few: only three. Although I’ve been investigating games a lot over the past year, I’ve not really translated some of the core requirements for the pieces to fit any of the common definitions. I…

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series, groups, tags?

December 30, 2016 / 0 comments

I like to categorise and organise things. I like groups of related items, and looking at the features that they have in common and those that distinguish them. For me, this is a useful creative strategy. When applying it to pieces, it helps me think about what I’ve already done, and what a small change…

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finding word associations

December 22, 2016 / 0 comments

I’m trying to find a satisfying set of words and sounds to use as cues for my orchestra piece at the moment. Each cue needs to be the name of something that makes or describes a sound, and then I also need a sample for each sound. For the past month I’ve been thinking through…

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no mapping in Glissando

December 21, 2016 / 2 comments

Polish journal Glissando has just printed a translation of the short text no mapping that I wrote for MusikTexte this year. It’s part of an issue exploring conceptualism and appears alongside Jennifer Walshe’s text on New Discipline and Matthew Shlomowitz’s on automata from the original volume, as well as texts by Volker Straebel and Harry Lehmann.

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