Into the Nocturnal Sunshine

For the past couple of years I have been asked to perform at the Waikato University Blues Awards. These awards recognition students who have excelled in either sports or creative and performing arts to national and international levels. It is an honour to be selected to receive one of these awards – and to perform as part of this ceremony (they typically only have 3 performances) is also quite nice.

After my performance last year I had thought if I was asked to perform again I wouldn’t know how to follow it… but I was asked to perform again this year, so had to put together something to follow a performance with videos, dancer, special fx makeup and pyrotechnics!

The piece I came up with is called Into the nocturnal sunshine. As I started to compose the music, I was also thinking about the dramatic shape and how to effectively stage the piece. Working with Brad Thomson at the Academy of Performing Arts was great – huge support and with his team, came up with ways to make the vision in my head a reality.

This is a piece that I am very proud of – it was fun to write, to rehearse and to perform.

Here are some other notes about the piece and the performance:


Title: Into the Nocturnal Sunshine
Composer: J M Mayall

This piece is written as part of the composers PhD portfolio researching the possibilities of cross-genre hybridity in musical composition. From a start point in contemporary art music (using harmonic fields) developing through jazz influenced harmonies, with minimalist repetitive instrumental textures and culminating in a climax and breakdown inspired by electronic dance music and epic film scoring techniques.
This piece paints a picture of beauty in tension and attempts to capture a moment of electricity in nature.

Lauren Grout – Flute
Adam Maha – Viola
Santiago Canon Valencia – Cello
Brad Thomson – Drums
Jeremy Mayall – Electronics and backing track

Aimee Newton – Silks

Lighting – Dion Rutherford
Live Sound Mix – Kyle Evelyn
Audio Recording – Lora Thompson

Audio Mastering and post-production – Jeremy Mayall

All video work – Ben Woollen

(footage from Live ‘world premiere performance’ and dress rehearsal)