An update

It has been awhile… I always intend to keep more regular blog posts, but things get in the way – mostly it’s good things like getting caught up in the studio working on new music, so I can’t really complain.

Since last time there has been a bunch of stuff that I thought I would collate here into one handy place – lots of links to things to listen to and watch.

PhD stuff
So, this is all officially over and done with now (apart from walking across the stage to get that piece of paper) – but now, if you feel so inclined, you can read the thesis and listen to the music online… just click here:
http://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/handle/10289/9348

Composing
Recently I have been working on
– a piano trio
– a suite for flute and electronics
AQUIFER  a soundscape
Night Swimmer – a remix for a track by Chelsea Jade
Navigating Ice – for piano and electronics

And an interview with SOUNZ.
And an interview in Down In Edin Magazine.

Live Music
Premiere performance of ‘Points of Flight‘ for violin and electronics by Tessa Petersen.

Film Stuff
LAPWING – is cranking around the festival circuit.
Here is a little video of myself and Chris Lam Sam talking about the score for this project

Listen to the soundtrack here: https://jeremymayall.bandcamp.com/album/lapwing

MR BAKER
A short film I scored as part of the 48Hr Film Fest is available online:

Mr Baker (48 Hour Film) from Joe on Vimeo.

 

Back to work – there is some more research to be done on multisensory music (music and taste), as well as a new orchestral piece waiting to be composed.

Flare (and a doctoral footnote)

Last year I worked on an experimental dance film with Dan Inglis and Dujon Cullingford.
The piece is kind of an exploration of breakdancing in an unusual way. It is always a privilege to collaborate with other artists of such high calibre! The final product is now online for your viewing pleasure.

Check out ‘FLARE’ online now:

Flare from Dan Inglis on Vimeo.

 

FOOTNOTE:
On Tuesday I faced the final PhD hurdle – the oral defense. While it was quite ominous in the lead-up (having to defend the last 5 years of ones life is not the most enjoyable concept) – the actual event was quite pleasant! So, while it still seems quite surreal, I can apparently say I have my doctorate… (but really I still need to print the final versions, and walk across that stage looking like a wizard to collect the piece of paper.)

If you would like to, you can get a copy of the music composed for the thesis here:

 

Things have been happening

It has been a little while since I posted here – things have been busy!

Since the last update I have:

1. Hybrid Philosophies

This album is “Hybrid Philosophies” – a collection of music written as part of my doctoral studies.

You can get a copy from the link above. You can also find all my current releases by going to bandcamp.

 

2. Travel

As part of the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Step Higher Award I was lucky enough to head to the Himalayas to spend a couple of weeks following in the footsteps of Sir Edmund Hillary exploring a small part of his trek to Everest and the humanitarian work he was doing in the area. We visited a number of schools and a hospital that he helped build. It was quite an experience – very quiet and remarkably beautiful. The highest point we trekked to was Ama Dablam base camp at 4600m. Here are a few pictures.

IMG_2960 IMG_3296 IMG_3302 IMG_3316 IMG_3347 IMG_3376 IMG_3684 IMG_3556 IMG_3586 IMG_3599 IMG_3746 IMG_4084

 

The travel also included some time in London, Adelaide, Renmark and Hamilton catching up with friends and family.

 

3. Music for the Brain.

Before I left I was lucky enough to collaborate on a project with the Otago University Brain Health Research Centre. Working with neuroscientist Professor David Bilkey I composed a piece of music designed to spark responses in the brain that would be visable on an EEG brain scan. Then for the premiere performance at the Otago Museum there would be someone attached to one of these machines and the brain wave scans would be projected on to a screen as part of the presentation.

You can find out more about it in this clip from One News.

Or in this article from the Otago Daily Times.

image1 (1)

PhD done + ‘Late Song’ live recording

Monday 22nd September was the day I submitted my PhD. After 4 years and 205 days; many hours of music; multiple thousands of words – I am very pleased to have this thing done… or at least done until the examiners look at it.

Now that I have some extra time on my hands it means I can really get stuck in on a few new projects, and finishing of some older projects… like the live recording of the premiere performance of ‘Late Song’.

hillaryshow

Late Song: was commissioned by the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Programme – a cross-disciplinary multimedia piece to be performed by a range of Hillary Scholars.
The work is based on the poem ‘Late Song’ by Lauris Dorothy Edmond, and the performance was directed by Karen Barbour.
Featuring: Blaire White, Andrew Leathwick, Lauren Grout, Rachel Twyman, Nathaniel Smorti, Anne Mahon, Jonathon Eyres, Niamh Lovelock, Hannah Martin, Megan Harrop, Leah Parkinson, Samantha Rowe, Te Tira O Rangi Nikora, Kaharau Keogh, Hannah West, Cian Gardner.

Here is the mix from the live recording of the premiere performance:

And here is the background visuals (by Hannah West) from the performance synced with the live recording:

 

2013 Reflections

It is the beginning of 2014, a new calendar year and I am sitting next to my son while he plays ‘endless alphabet‘ on the iPad with concentrated skill and fury. I find myself thinking about everything that happened over the last year – it has been a pretty hectic 365 days!
Some of the things that stick out in the memory are:

Family

– started the year moving out to Cambridge
– Wolf turned 1
– Courts was the lead in Hairspray (even on the back of a bus!)
– 5 years together, 3 years married!
– finished the year moving everything into storage ready for our adventure to Dunedin!

My Music

– Performed at the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival
– Performances at Okta
– Winner of Multimedia section at 2013 Waikato Lilburn Trust Composition Competition for both Flow and Push for Miles
– Presented a concert of original music
 New Video (by Dan Inglis) for Sketches of an Intergalactic Earworm
– Continued composition, recording, research, writing and general ongoing work for the PhD
– Awarded the Mozart Fellow for 2014.

Films

Worked on score/sound for the following films:
Play Dead
Winter Storm
Invaders
Serve and Protect
Lapwing
Blonde
Autocraniotomous
Full Retard
You Only Die Forever
Shepherd
And just recently finished the recording/composition session for Penny Black. (complete with music for kids toys)

Work and Other Things

– Gigs with The Funky Monkeys
– Lighting and Sound at the Academy of Performing Arts
 Lecturing in music composition and music theory at the University of Waikato
– Post-grad supervision of music students at Wintec
Wedding Celebrant
– Youth mentoring and teaching
– DJ gigs & Band gigs
– Finalist in National Contemporary Art Awards
– Judge at Talent Quests
– Speak at Pechakucha

Music Production and Recording

– Working with Mr Roberelli
– Remix for Sound the Ocean
– Remix for Bangladesh
– Musical about buses
– Soundtrack editing for schools, equestrian shows, stage challenge etc.
– Music for theatre piece Instructions for Life
– Recording for Diaz Grimm
– Production for Chess Countess

Things have been pretty full on. Thanks to everyone I have had the pleasure of working with this year! The collaborations, conversations and creativity that I have experienced with you all are what makes it possible to continue to pursue a creative life. Thanks. I look forward to our continued work together.

Goals for 2014 are to make more time for rest and family, focus on health and wellbeing, and continue to be productive with making original music. Plus there are a bunch of new collaborations in the pipelines! Exciting times are ahead!

Nearly the end of November.

Again it has been awhile between posts. Life always gets hectic at this time of year… and it seems especially so when trying to finish a PhD, pack up the house into storage, and teach summer school among everything else. But oh well, by christmas time I will have time for a break.

In the meantime, here is a catch up on some of the things that have been going on:

– I have written 19,644 words for my PhD thesis. This is good news. And also slightly worrying news. I am supposed to write up to 30,000 words. And I still have to write the analysis of nine compositions and a conclusion. So I only have 10,356 words left… which only equals about 1035 words per remaining section. That is not a lot of words. Maybe I can have a few extra words. Or I need to do some serious culling.

‘Serve and Protect’: a short film by Chasing Time Productions has had its NZ premiere and was one of the audience favourites for Show Me Shorts.

The Scorelocks Collective have finished the score for LAPWING. And everything is booked in for the recording session for the PENNY BLACK score in December.

– The film ‘Blonde‘ that I will be scoring has just wrapped shooting in New York.

– A truly ambitious independent feature film that the Scorelocks will be scoring is in pre-production. You can help fund SHEPHERD here.

Joe Hitchcock has been awarded the funding to make a new short film next year – I am very much looking forward to scoring this!

Dan Inglis is busy working away on the editing for the video of ‘Sketches of an Intergalactic Earworm’ – Chamber music performance meets intergalactic psychedelic funk. Can’t wait to share this with you all!

– I spoke at the PechaKucha Hamilton event which was great fun! Go and check these events out if you get the chance.

– My pieces ‘Flow‘ and ‘Push for Miles’ were awarded first equal in the 2013 University of Waikato Lilburn Trust Composition Competition.

Well, that is all for now. Back to work. Back to packing the house into boxes. And getting already to finish this PhD and move into an exciting year as the Mozart Fellow at Otago Uni.

Talk soon.

Where things are at…

It has been a hectic past few weeks… and looks to be more of the same until October.

Things that have been going on recently:

  • You can now find all of the videos from my PhD Concert Showcase collected in one handy little vimeo channel. You can find those videos here.
  • Writing more words for my phd thesis… I think its at about 4500 words that I am actually happy with! Still a lot of writing to do.
  • A film (‘Serve and Protect‘) that I did sound design and composition for has just received word of its first international festival screening.
  • Wrote some score for a film (based in New York) that is about to start kickstarter fundraising – more info to come.
  • Have been discussing some possibilities for some international performances of my music… still more details to be sorted!
  • Finally, had the world premiere concert of my piece ‘Sketches of an Intergalactic Earworm‘ for Piano Trio and BOOMBOX at the University Okta Contemporary Music concert. Will be doing a full recording and video of this piece in early October. Here is a pic from the rehearsals – featuring the NZ Chamber Soloists (Lara Hall, Katherine Austin and James Tennant) and an upcycled suitcase boombox constructed by my father.

1185342_10151555109337127_947249019_n

 

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 Norse Suite (video)

This is the second to last piece from the concert videos, and there are two different versions of the piece available to be watched:

The Norse Suite – concert version & The Norse Suite – final version

The difference between the two videos is that after the premiere performance (concert version), I made some revisions to the piece… changing some sections, moving a couple of things around, cutting some stuff out, and linking the 3rd and 4th movements. And as I wanted to have video for all of my PhD pieces I had to ask Adam, Yotam, and Dan if they would mind recording the piece again so that I could have the new final version of the piece on file.

SO… if you only have time to watch one version, I would recommend the Final Version… but if you want to hear the difference, and see what it was like in the concert, then please watch the Concert version as well.

The Norse Suite – J.Mayall
for viola and cello

Viola: Adam Maha
Cello: Yotam Levy

This piece was originally intended for the combination of viola and electric guitar. Unfortunately writing contemporary classical music (with traditional notation) is difficult for electric guitar as many rock guitarists come from a background very different to that of score-reading classical musicians. The piece was then adapted for viola and cello – but it aims to retain a lot of that stylistic writing for guitar, and tries to re-create crunchy distortions and electronic delay effects using only the natural sound of the instruments.

Recorded at the Gallagher Concert Chamber at the University of Waikato

FINAL VERSION

The Norse Suite – Final Version from Jeremy Mayall on Vimeo.

CONCERT VERSION

The Norse Suite – concert version 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.