As part of my phd work I writing, reading and refining a lot of text. But I also have been thinking about, and revisiting, my music.
As part of that process, I have been working on a reconstruction of my piece “The Foggy Field”. This is still a work in progress, but I thought I would share it out and see how it sits in the listening world. Sometimes you get too close to a work and it is important to give it some space, and then come back to it.
I have been busily working away on film scores, contemporary art, composition re-writes, audio mixes and new music… so busy that I have fallen behind with posting here!
But there is a bunch of new stuff (especially concert videos!!) that will be being released soon.
In the meantime, here is a mix from the live concert recording of a piece we performed as the encore.
It is called “A pulse worth fighting for”.
Featuring: Lauren Grout (flute), Adam Maha (viola), Yotam Levy (Cello), Mike Booth (Trumpet), Chris Lam Sam (Keys), Chris McBride (Guitar), Nick Tipping (Bass), Brad Thomson (Drums) and myself (synths).
At the end of this week I am putting on a concert of original music that I have written over the past couple of years as part of my PhD. I have been exploring the possibilities of cross-genre hybridity in new music composition!
The concert will take place on April 7th 2013 from 7:30pm in the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, University of Waikato. Entry is free.
This concert showcase on April 7th will feature all new compositions written during this period of research, featuring ‘The Norse Suite’ for viola and cello, ‘The foggy field’ for trumpet and turntables, ‘Push for Miles’ for electric bass and backing, and ‘They say a word is dead’ – a suite for chamber orchestra, among other pieces. Top-class musicians from across the North Island will be coming together in Hamilton for this concert (and live recording).
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:
I am currently in the process of finalising the video of my most recent composition for my PhD portfolio… it is sometimes a long process, but totally worth it to have a visual as well as aural record of my work.
My PhD portfolio is aiming to explore the possibilities cross-genre hybridity in new music composition. The research methodology is practice-based, where the compositions make up the bulk of the thesis. One of these pieces is called The Birth.
The Birth is a multimedia performance piece which combines a number of forces: a mixed ensemble of musicians (from both classical and popular traditions); video projection; dance; theatre; opera singers; circus performers; and pyrotechnics. Musically it brings together elements from the genres of 20th Century chamber opera, narrative film score, minimalism, rock and electronica and puts them together with the tradition of the narrator (from film and theatre) to help tell the story.