Showing posts from 2014

How many orchestras are dedicated to new music?

This is something that I have wanting to get off my chest for a long time. Frustrated by the lack of opportunities, I decided to work out how many amateur orchestras there were in the United Kingdom. After a long, hard search, I managed to calculate that there were over 700 full symphony (including extended string) orchestras in the country.  And then it got me many of those groups are dedicated to new music? Well, I searched through the descriptions of each group and I was astonished to discover the rich variety of orchestras that there were.  There were groups associated with banks, financial institutions, places of work, religion, police forces, gender and sexual orientation, age, nostalgia, historical, racial, geographical and even political affiliations but there was one glaring error, in my opinion, one inconceivable oversight...I could not find any orchestras specifically dedicated to an area that I would have have thought would be essential:

To my knowledge, the…

People who only love melody have no passion for music.

This is an interesting debate that I had with someone on the internet...

I hate melody. Whenever I hear a melody, I want to chop it up into little pieces and disembody it over huge leaps so that it is unrecognisably distorted. There is nothing worse than humming along to a 'little tune' completely oblivious of the depth of emotion contained in the rest of the music. Give me orchestration/instrumentation any day. A combination of careful tuning and an expert choice of instruments can convey a world of understanding that a bumbling tune would disguise as 'cheerful contentment.

Sounds like an incredibly reductive and primitive view of what can constitute a "melody". Not to diminish the value of expertly done orchestration, but both can co-exist, and the melody certainly doesn't have to be a "little tune", bumbling or cheerful. See: Ravel, Stravinsky.
I wouldn't regard that much of Ravel's or Stravinsky's music contains what I would call a melo…

La Mort Des Artistes

Post by Modern Orchestral Music.

This is the second piece in a group entitled "Etude de Couleur et Lumière" (Study in Colour and Light). Inspired by the French symbolist poet, Charles Baudelaire, it is an attempt to recreate a poem in musical form. Even the intonation of the poem - the exact rise and fall of the vowel sounds - is reflected in the music. In fact, every element of the poetry is represented musically. Also, this work signifies an important evolutionary step in my musical output; it unifies the two opposing elements of timbralism and colourism.

La Mort des Artistes.

Combien faut-il de fois secouer mes grelots
Et baiser ton front bas, morne caricature?
Pour piquer dans le but, de mystique nature,
Combien, ô mon carquois, perdre de javelots?

Nous userons notre âme en de subtils complots,
Et nous démolirons mainte lourde armature,
Avant de contempler la grande Créature
Dont l'infernal désir nous remplit de sanglots!

Il en est qui jamais n'ont connu leur Idole,
Et ces s…

This may interest some of you...

I published two videos of my piano music, "Les Codomas", to Youtube; one of them has a picture of Jazz musicians in black and white and other one has a picture of my original score. In just 48 hours, the video with the image of the my score has double the number of views than the other one which has been up for over a month.  Why is that?

Reflets Dans L'eau - Claude Debussy (arr. Thomas Goss)

TOOTSinfonia - an online orchestra.

Les Codomas (score)

This is my latest version with a score instead of images.

How 'English' are English Composers?

One of the most startling questions that is faced by the English people is exactly how "English" are our composers?

Purcell - Italian and French influences.

Handel - German born and bred; until he became naturalised English citizen.

Elgar -  Our most German of English composers. (Listen to his early music.)

Delius - Wrote in the impressionist, French style.

Vaughan-Williams - Murky French, impressionist style (e.g. London Symphony)

Britten - French influences.

Birtwistle - Continental 'avant garde'

Ferneyhough/Finnissy - International 'avant garde'

Oskar Adolf Hermann Schmitz once said that for a [musically] civilised country Britain was"Das Land ohne Musik".  He would have been better off saying it was "Das Land ohne Englisch Komponist"!

A lesson for all... "War Requiem" and "Symphony of Psalms"

When I was a child, a teacher told me that Stravinsky wrote a 'Symphony of Psalms' because he was jealous of Benjamin Britten's 'War Requiem'.  It wasn't until I became an adult that I found out the whole truth... Stravinsky did genuinely dislike Britten's "War Requiem'. He
mocked the “Battle of Britten” sentiment which surrounded the premiere of the composer’s most public and popular work I think he was not keen on a return to an emphasis 'on subjectivism'. He hated the sentimental aspect of the work.

"Kleenex at the ready… one goes from the critics to the music, knowing that if one should dare to disagree with ‘practically everyone’, one will be made to feel as if one had failed to stand up for ‘God Save the Queen’.”  He did write a 'Symphony of Psalms' in response to Britten's work but not out of jealousy but to show how the creative process could be both respectful but still retain a degree of 'objectivit…


What is Subjectivism?

The world as you experience it, through your own thoughts and feelings, is more important than anything else.


What is post-modernism?

It is a 'populist' movement in music which is opposed to modernism.


What is neo-tonality?

Alternative music written now that uses the principle of tonality.

Part One