Matthew Jones at Cardiff’s St David’s Hall

Violinist Matthew Jones and pianist Annabel Thwaite will perform my piece for violin and piano (from 1995) So soft this morning, ours, at Cardiff’s St David’s Hall at a lunchtime concert on Tuesday 1 November at 1pm. The concert will launch next year’s Vale of Glamorgan Festival and also includes music by John Adams, Matthew Hindson and a premiere from Tom Green. More details here. Matthew has recorded the piece on M4.Welsh Contemporary WCCD001.

New Work for Borders Trio

gros-horloge-by-tboivin-3I’ve recently finished a new piece for Borders Trio – an adventurous young group of musicians made up of clarinet, violin and piano. The first performances are in Ledbury on Saturday 1 October at 8pm and Cardiff on Sunday 2 October at 2pm at St Teilo’s Church in Roath. The music is based on the chimes of the Great Clock in Rouen, France – an astronomic clock dating back to 1527. See the trio’s website for more details.

Reaching 2000

Programme notes are a constant part of my working life and scarcely a week goes by when I don’t produce at least one set. Recently my catalogue of them reached 2000 notes – take a look at what I’ve written about and, if you’re a concert promoter, looking for notes, then drop me a line.

Analysis for Eduqas

If you’re about to embark on A’levels or teach them, then you may want to take a look at the analysis of the set works that I’ve been working on for the last few months. Eduqas are encouraging their A’level students to get to grips with pieces of music written since 2000 with pieces by Thomas Ades and Sally Beamish and, for Welsh students, works by Lynne Plowman, Rhian Samuel and Andrew Wilson-Dickson. The analytical notes should be up on line in the next month or so. You can take a look at the syllabus here.

New Piano Piece for York Late Music

My new piano miniature Penllyn was included in a lunchtime concert by pianist Duncan Honeybourne. On Saturday 6 August at 1pm IMGP2379he presented Piano Postcards: a programme of miniatures spanning 1916 to 2016 at York’s Late Music concert series at St Saviourgate Unitarian Chapel near to the Shambles. I provided the latest piece from 2016, based on the early nineteenth century hymn tune by David Jenkin Morgan. The concert featured pieces recorded by Duncan as part of a CD project set up by composer David Power featuring a selection of piano works by British composers written over the last century, culminating in recent pieces by David and myself. More details here.

Composer Residency in Dyfed

This winter I will be Composer-in-Residence once again for Young Music Maker of Dyfed working with their Dyfed Young Composer scheme – a great scheme where young people are given a chance to compose for high quality performers. I will be spending October through to February working with young composers in thirteen different schools in Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Ceredigion in preparation for workshops and concerts of their work next April. This year the performers will be working with violinist Steve Bingham and percussionist Chris Brannick. It’ll also be the first time that the scheme introduces an element of music technology into the process as well. I’m also delighted that I’ll be working alongside young composers Steffan Ciccotti and Emily Wright who’ll be helping me out in the schools that are participating.

Cippyn screened at Cardiff Mini Film Festival

IMGP1572The film Cippyn, which I worked on as part of my Arts Council of Wales Creative Wales award last year, is to have its first showing at Cardiff’s Mini Film Festival on Sunday 26 June. It  is built around the small non-conformist chapel of Bryn Salem Chapel in Cyppin, Pembrokeshire, built in 1852. It now lies unused and derelict, about half a mile off the main road on the edge of a field. This short film of the chapel and its location was made by Aaron J Cooper, directed by Heledd Wyn Hardy and the music is played by double bassist Ashley John Long. Watch this space for more details of the time of showing. More information is on Cardiff Mini Film Festival’s website.

ISCM In South Korea

At EastTongYeongScenes_090916-14wer this year I will be flying to Tongyeong, South Korea, to represent Wales as a delegate at this year’s ISCM World Music Days. The International Society for Contemporary Music held their first annual World Music Days back in 1923 and each year presents music from over fifty different countries. Last year Wales became the latest country to join and will have its music represented at the days from 2018 onwards. I will be going out to attend the conference and the concerts at this year’s music days in the coastal city of Tongyeong on the southern tip of the Goseong Peninsula. You can find out more about the ISCM here and more details of this year’s festival here. Look out for more details of the visit on my blog from late March onwards.

Hoar Frost at Cardiff’s Norwegian Church

Guitarist Will Browne will be playing my piece for solo guitar Sometimes there is a hoar frost … at Cafrostrdiff’s Norwegian Church on Friday 26 February at 7.30pm. It is part of a concert given by the Icaris Duo with flautist Vicky Guise showcasing music by British composers. More details here.

Video of Cippyn now on YouTube

Last year I worked on a film collaboration with Aaron Cooper and Heledd Wyn Hardy from the Faculty of Creative Industries at ATRiuM at the University of South Wales. It is built around a deserted chapel near Cardigan in the village of Cippyn; it now sits in a remote spot, a quarter of a mile from the main road, hidden away on a solitary footpath leading towards the sea. For it I composed a soundtrack for solo double bass and an electronically generated soundscape made of manipulated natural sounds (wind, birdsong and so forth) captured at the church. The film has now been uploaded to You Tube. You can watch it here and read more about the process here.