Showing posts from July, 2015

La Mort Des Artistes

This work is the centre piece of a trilogy which is yet to be completed.  Written at a time when I was heavily influenced by the music of Pierre Boulez,  the titles of three compositions are reminiscent of 'Le Marteau sans Maitre'; the centre piece is a solo song based on the surrealist poem by Charles Baudelaire and it is framed by a prelude "Avant..." for solo clarinet and pre-recorded material and a postlude "Apres..." for mixed ensemble.  Unfortunately, "Avant  La Mort Des Artistes" has yet to be completed.  The technology and the opportunity in terms of orchestral resources are only now available to me. I believe that I will finish the piece soon.

Out of all of my music as a young composer, I would say this work is one of the most important. This is because it closely defines the method of working for the following years and it even influences the way that I work today. The poem is at the heart of the trilogy and also the music. In this compo…

Publicly funded arts bolster the UK economy

A newspaper report(Guardian) has revealed startling information about arts funding.  It says that
spending public money on the arts was crucial, “not just for the good of society, but to nurture some of the best talent for our creative industries”.  “There is nothing ‘nice to have’ about the arts and the creative industries, there is nothing tangential, nothing ‘soft’. They are central to our economy, our public life and our nation’s health.” - John Kampfner, the chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation It reveals a surprising figure; For every pound invested in arts and culture, an additional £1.06 is generated in the economy The reports also include some striking statistics. For example: • Arts and culture is worth £7.7bn in gross value added to the British economy – an increase of 35.8% between 2010 and 2013.
• More than one in 12 UK jobs are in the creative economy, with employment increasing 5% between 2013 and 2014, compared with a 2.1% jobs increase in the wider eco…

Does dissonant music strike the wrong chord in the brain?

I am writing this post to address the comments made in this article:
"Why dissonant music strikes the wrong chord in the brain."

The article reminds me of an investigation conducted by Plomp and Levelt on Tonal Consonance and the 'Critical Band Width Theory'. It explored the possibility that there is a natural human dislike of dissonance. Unfortunately, the experiment used 'sine' wave tones instead of real musical sounds which made the whole investigation 'void' in my eyes. Overtones experienced in 'real' music are rather different than those encountered in a science lab. The term "dissonant" presents another stumbling block as well. People from different cultures have a different concept about what is "dissonant" or what is "tonal". Confusingly, Plomp and Levelt use the same terms to indicate a completely different concept; in their case, it refers to a kind of tonal disturbance and not to the academic under…

Sketch for orchestra

Sketch for orchestra is a short extract of a recent composition called "Narcissistic".  The original work began a few years ago.  

It marks a significant change in the direction of my music.  Until recently, I have been writing chamber music (including a lot of solo instrumental pieces). Now, I have decided to mainly write for orchestra. This is a challenging decision because the economic situation at the moment means that it is incredibly difficult to get orchestral music performed. I already have two pieces of music that has yet to be performed, ("Transcience" and "La Cloche Felee") and they are nearly twenty years old. The thought of writing more music that is never played is an unwelcome one.
The transition hasn't been easy either. Writing chamber music means you have the freedom to compose anything you want but with orchestral music many factors need to be taken into account. Complexity has to be crafted in a very careful way; making sure that the …