‘Then we fall’ and other announcements

I am currently working on the editing and mixing of a new album recorded/composed/improvised in real time in the Albany Street Studios by myself, Chris Lam Sam, Nick Granville, Rob Burns, and Robbie Craigie. The session was engineered by Mike Holland.

While working through those tracks I found this tune recorded at sound check while we waited for Nick to arrive down from Wellington. So while you wait for the new album, here is a groovy little taster.

 

Also recently released is a remix I did for a band called Cheshire Grimm. You can check that track out here:

 

And finally, it is my pleasure to announce that my piece “Frosted Air Suite” for flute and electronics was awarded the Philip Neill Memorial Prize for Composition for 2015. I am looking forward to hearing the piece premiered later this year!

 

Silent Image

As part of a project Mike Holland was running with his studio production third year class at Otago University, he asked me if I would like to get something recorded in the studio.
So I wrote this piece, ‘Silent Image‘ – a kind of minimalism meets funk groove thing… lots of tuned percussion, synths and keyboards, plus bass, drums, and horns.

It was a fun day in the Otago University Albany Street Studio!

Rob Burns: Bass

Maddy Parkins-Craig: Drums and tuned percussion

Jeremy Mayall: all the other sounds

Now you can hear that track here:

-still-

As a bit of creative fun I decided to create a piece using some taonga puoro recordings I had made with Alistair Fraser. I listened through the recordings, and then started to create a piano piece that would allow Alistairs musical gestures to flow naturally and create a sense of balance between the taonga puoro and the ‘western’ musical parts.

The picture is from the trek in the Himalayas – a path leading down to Namche Bazaar. It seemed appropriate for the feel of the piece.

You can listen to that track here:

Recent projects

Times have been busy leading up to Christmas, but here is a quick update with some of the more recent things I have been doing.

DV Bryant Trust 90th Celebration Film

DV Bryant 90th Celebration Film: December 2014 from nimbus media on Vimeo.

 

Lost Inside

A track from an unused film score for a thriller film about becoming unexpected trapped.

 

In that Infinite Moment

Created with Nick Tipping on bass this piece is a a real-time, unplanned moment of musical communication.
I appreciate that this is a long track, and as such it may prove daunting to commit to listening through – especially as time spent online is often searching for the quick reward. But, this track, and the musical journey it contains, is something that I believe it is worth listening to.  So, if you feel so inclined, sit back, close your eyes, and listen. Perhaps this moment with communicate something to you.
Thanks for your time.

Concerts, Albums and Scores

The end of last week got kind of manic with a range of projects reaching finishing points.

– sending scores, parts, backing tracks and other performance details for the performers of a new multimedia chamber work “Flutter”.

– submitting full score and parts for a new orchestral piece “convoluted” for the NZSO SOUNZ Recordings in February next year (alas I won’t get to hear it live because I will be in Nepal)

– A fun concert at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Audience relaxed on beanbags, a great big reverberant space, acoustic piano drenched in electronics – All good things. Here are a few pics from the concert.

The setup for the concert.

The Grand Foyer space (top floor) in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery

 

PLUS! on the weekend we also released the Scorelocks Collective Album “A Collection of Cues – Vol.1”. It is available on bandcamp now!

Live in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery

I will be performing a live concert of ambient music for piano and electronics at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery on Saturday 25th October.

poster

 

Along with the live performance there will be a number of sonic art installations I have created for you to become immersed in.

Entry by donation to the Himalayan Trust – as part of my fundraising for the Step Higher Award.

Here is a pic of my practice setup for this concert:

image

The Long White Cloud (video)

This is the final video from the concert recordings.

At the concert this piece was performed under the title “They say a word is dead”. But after some discussions, and a long timing thinking about possibilities… the piece was re-worked, re-arranged and had some new parts written to make the piece better suited to support my PhD. Thus this new version took on a new focus and a new meaning – hence the new title.

The Long White Cloud – by Jeremy Mayall
for chamber ensemble

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
Jeremy Mayall – synths and electronics

and I was fortunate enough to be able to use the sounds and masterful playing of Richard Nunns on Taonga Puoro.

The Long White Cloud is my interpretation of NZ and it’s landscape and soundscape. This piece is a journey through the many sounds and worlds that this small land encompasses.

The piece is in 7 sections: 4 larger movements and 3 interludes.
Movement 1: At dawn with the Korimako
Interlude: The Tui’s call
Movement 2: Sea Chase
Interlude: A flightless night
Movement 3: Along the river Waikato
Interlude: Onomatopoeic Owls
Movement 4: Kokako, the bringer of water

This piece was written for a unique ensemble combining orchestral instruments with those from the worlds of rock, jazz and electronica. This suite combines a large number of genre inspirations, and exists in a world between traditional notation, guided improvisation, and studio construction. Unlike other pieces where the orchestral instruments provide a textural accompaniment (much like an expensive synthesizer) to existing ‘popular’ songs, this piece aims to give all the instruments equal placement in the overall composition. Through amplification and sound mixing the intricate textures from the flute, viola and cello should be able to exist comfortably with drums and distorted guitar.

The Long White Cloud from Jeremy Mayall on Vimeo.

Lighting: Aaron Chesham
Live Sound: Ben Mannell
Post-production audio mix: Jeremy Mayall

Camera Ops: Dan Inglis, Joe Hitchcock, Ben Woollen, Scott Granville, Ashton Ledger
Video Edit: Dan Inglis

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.

Not a one way street (video)

Here is part two of my finished PhD Concert footage…
The video for today is the piece that opened the concert.

Not a one way street by J.Mayall
For viola, cello, synth and backing track.

This piece ‘Not a one way street’ is about cyclic but slightly alter journeys that occur through our hectic everyday life. Compositionally, this piece aims to explore the long established tradition of the piano quartet, and fusing those quartet traditions with jazz, minimalism and electronica. It then alters this tradition by removing the piano from the live performance context and then using a pre-recorded and effect-manipulated piano track. Also by replacing the standard violin for monophonic synth (moog little phatty) the characteristic sound of the quartet is knocked around with an even wider pitch range available – particularly in the lower registers. The composition is based around small motivic fragments that are worked and reworked throughout the piece – with a very altered, stumbling sense of rhythm in parts.

Viola: Adam Maha
Cello: Yotam Levy
Synth + Backing Track: Jeremy Mayall

Video by Dan Inglis

Not a One Way Street from Jeremy Mayall on Vimeo.