2010 has been a ridiculously busy year and it looks as if 2011 is going to continue in the same vein. As well as all the stuff I’ve managed to post about on my blog, there is all the other stuff I didn’t write about through sheer lack of time.
I finished a chamber orchestra piece for the National Youth orchestra of Scotland called Fénytörèk in November. This piece will have its premier at Peel Hall in Salford on the 20th February and will then have a second performance at The Arches Festival in Glasgow on the 21st February.
I’ve been working on an extended through-composed song called Voice, Cry, Call, based on a poem by Adam Strickson, for soprano and piano which will form part of a series of chamber concerts surrounding the Flightpaths performances.
Alongside Voice, Cry, Call, I am composing a new string quartet based on the same themes of the song. The idea is that I can develop the material for Flightpaths in the string quartet while I am waiting for the delivery of the libretto. At this time, the string quartet is called Bempton Cliffs and draws its inspiration from the East Riding area of Yorkshire. The final quartet will be more like a suite of much of the Flightpaths music than a string quartet in the Haydn/Mozart/Beethoven/Bartók tradition. I’ve pretty much completed one movement which is a development of music intended for one of the dance sequences in the opera.
Over Christmas, I returned to an old project of a piano piece composed from the same material as my flute trio. This is a much more distilled piece than the original and has a running time of just over three minutes (the flute trio was around eleven minutes). I think this piece is nearly finished and probably just needs a few tweaks. I’ll put it away for a couple of weeks now and then return to it with fresh ears for the final tidying up stage.
I’m working on a soundtrack for a great new drama for BBC Radio 4 called Cottonopolis, which will be broadcast in March 2011. The team working on this drama is pretty much the same team as Amazing Grace, although it’s a much darker and grimmer story.
Another really exciting project I’m working is …And Hell Followed With Them. This is a brand new devised theatre piece by Drunken Chorus which explores a range of dark themes, including murder, torture and sexual violence. I’m producing around 50 minutes of music/sound for this project and having a great time working with the group.