37 Otago Street at sound Festival
22nd October 2021
Red Note Ensemble, conducted by William Cole, will tonight perform my new work, '37 Otago Street' at sound festival, Aberdeen (https://www.rednoteensemble.com/event/red-note-at-soundfestival-2021/)
The sextet – for Alto Flute, Bass Clarinet, Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass – takes its inspiration from a 'ghost sign' located in the West End of Glasgow. In the programme notes to the composition, I write:
Cracked and fissured, reds, whites and earth-like colours dispersed across the frame. Letters, even complete words, hand-painted in the 1920s, just discernible: now faded – still fading – into apparitions. The ‘ghost sign’ at 37 Otago Street became a familiar sight on my daily lockdown walk through Glasgow. Revisiting this image with routine, almost ritual, I became fascinated by its complexity and changeability: its disparate elements enhanced, recoloured, embroidered by the light, affected by the time of day and year. When captured on camera, zoomed in and examined – a method famously employed on the streets of Chicago by ‘abstract expressionist photographer’ Aaron Siskind in the 1950s – the sign betrays an intricate and heavily textured inner world. Inspired by my daily encounters with the street mural, 37 Otago Street offers several perspectives on what becomes a familiar, even nostalgic, timbral palette. Glimpses of ghostly lettering and flecks of crimson-hued paint emerge in the fragile ensemble textures and concrete sonorities of the auxiliary instruments. Shifting from foreground to background, fractured musical images are interwoven and drawn into focus as we pass them by.
28th May 2020
I'm currently sketching ideas for a new work for organ and electronics, in collaboration with Andrew Forbes (Director of Music at St Mungo's Cathedral, Glasgow).
Andrew and I will be getting to work – sampling the mighty Willis / Harrison & Harrison instrument, and collaborating on initial materials – as soon as social distancing allows!
Dhātu wins Scottish Award for New Music
14th April 2020
I'm thrilled to say that Dhātu (my large-scale spatial work, commissioned by Glasgow Experimental Music Series and Glasgow Cathedral Festival) was today announced winner of the Electroacoustic / Sound Artwork category at the annual Scottish Awards for New Music.
A video excerpt of the work – performed beautifully last September by Joe Richards, Jonathan Chapman (Percussion) and Harim Oh, Alexandra Dinwiddie and Filipa Portela (Voice) can be found here:
Plastica featured on BBC Radio 3 New Music Show
21st March 2020
Plastica – commissioned and premiered by Explore Ensemble – was tonight featured on BBC Radio 3's New Music Show, alongside works by Rebecca Saunders, Andrew Paine and Javier A. Garavaglia.
The recording was captured live during performance at City University Concert Series, on 25th February 2019.