So after our fantastic Frontiers Festival there was but a small respite in work before another group of performances of my music in the UK and Ireland as well as a current trip to Stockholm (where I am now writing this blog post) and a future trip to Izmir.
This period of work began with a brilliant and delicate performance of Five Minutes of Music on the Subject of Noszferatu performed by Noszferatu as part of Wednesdays at the Forge Series in London. It was the first time (but hopefully not the last) that I have worked with Noszferatu and it was an absolute pleasure to hear them play my piece with such conviction, pinpoint accuracy and sensitivity. As ever it was also great to be featured alongside my colleagues at Birmingham Conservatoire Ed Bennett, Joe Cutler, Howard Skempton and Michael Wolters.
From London, I travelled to Dublin to work with the ever-fantastic Crash Ensemble on Fourteen Minutes of Music on the Subject of Greeting Cards as part of Free State 8. This is the third time Crash Ensemble have performed my music and I always relish working with them. They performed my piece with such energy and poignancy that left me taken aback, whilst a nicer bunch of people to work with would be hard to find. It was also incredibly wonderful to be featured alongside Barry O’Halpin, Bebhinn Nic Dhomhnaill, Elis Czerniak, Chris McCormack, Dermot McDermott and Raymond Deane, and really great to hear how exciting, fresh and engaged the current musical climate in Ireland is.
I am currently on a residency in EMS in Stockholm working on my largest piece to date Forty-Five Minutes of Music on the Subject of Football with the Electric Guitar Ensemble KROCK. It is absolutely incredible to be working in this studio with such fantastic facilities and wonderfully friendly staff whom have been incredibly nice and helpful, making me feel right at home. As I write this, KROCK are working on Joe Cutler’s exciting new piece Chords on the Shore which is shaping up fantastically and displaying a really visceral soundworld. KROCK and myself have been working on this project for the best part of a year now and they have been such a great group to work with. Not only are they wonderful guys whom I would count as friends, they are also amongst the finest musicians I have worked with, ever excited by the sonic possibilities of both myself and Joe’s Pieces. We will be presenting the fruits of our labours in Birmingham on June 3 as part of Frontiers Festival and in Dublin on 11 July. Stockholm is also an incredibly beautiful city with wonderful people. Yesterday evening when misfortune befell me, I was saved by the kindness of the staff at The Bishops Arms Bellmansgatan.
On Tuesday I travel to Izmir with Ed Bennett and Conservatoire students to work on the final year of the IICS project. It its my first time on the project and also my first time to Turkey. I’m really looking forward to having this new experience and working with the students on their creative endeavours. So it’s all go, go, go! For now though, back to working on a forty-five minute piece for electric guitars!