The Foggy Field (video)

The next installment from the concert videos is here.

Writing a piece like this is always fun, because being partly improvised – you know that there will be some stuff that will happen as expected, and then there will be somethings that happen in the moment that really stop you in your tracks. Working with a performer like Mike Booth, you know that those kind of magic moments are bound to appear. In fact, in this video you can catch my reaction to one of those moments with a run that happens at around 4.17.

The Foggy Field – by J. Mayall
for trumpet, flugal horn, turntables and backing track

Trumpet and Flugal Horn: Mike Booth
Turntables and Backing track: Jeremy Mayall

‘The Foggy Field’ takes its inspiration (and vocal sample) from an interview with composer Philip Glass talking about his compositional process. It is a process of uncovering and fine-tuning images through a thick fog. Musically this piece explores the combination of minimalism, modal jazz, dance music, electronica, and soundscape. Listen closely to hear the sounds of NZ birds emerging from an electronic fog.

The Foggy Field from Jeremy Mayall on Vimeo.

Push for Miles (video)

Now, continuing on with concert videos…

For my PhD composition portfolio, I have had the honour and privilege of writing for a range of specific (and extremely talented) musicians. This means I have been able to work with each person throughout the creation of the piece, writing something that works with their playing style – in order to truly get the most out of the realisation of the piece. It is so great to write music with specific performers in mind – AND it is so exciting when you finally get to hear them playing the piece for the first time!

This piece ‘Push for Miles’ was written for bassist Nick Tipping. I first worked with Nick when he agreed to perform the solo part for my Electric Bass Concerto when it was read by the NZSO as part of the SOUNZ orchestral readings. Then last year we were talking online about our respective PhDs and he agreed to come up to Hamilton to perform in a concert of some of my new music – and so as part of that concert, I decided to write this piece for him to play.

Push for Miles by J.Mayall
for electric bass and backing track

Electric Bass: Nick Tipping
Backing Track: Jeremy Mayall

This piece is essentially an ode to Miles Davis – particularly to the work he did in creating new fusions of musical styles and convincing performers to go with him into this uncharted territory. The vocal samples come from an interview with bassist/composer Marcus Miller talking about working with Miles Davis on some fusion projects. The piece takes inspiration from minimalism (particularly the work of Steve Reich), the sample cut-up works of Jacob TV, various styles of jazz, and contemporary extended melodic writing.

Push for Miles from Jeremy Mayall on Vimeo.