Yep, bit of a long stretch here. A sign I've been very busy! Here are the headlines - lots more bits and bobs in the background that will hopefully come to fruition in future.
In the last fortnight, I’ve been…
Playing with the 2nd session of the New Creative Big Band [working title!], a collaborative jazz orchestra recently set up by myself, Maria Rehakova, Charlie Bates and Tom Ridout to play original music for large jazz ensemble. We also played my piece DARKMANS, which is now available as a video from a performance last year.
Supporting GSCE Music students at St Richard Reynolds Catholic College as a visiting composer. I was first invited there this time last year and spent an enjoyable day working with the students on a range of compositions covering classical, popular, electronic and film styles, using both Logic and Sibelius software.
Going to see the 2nd night of Anthony Braxton’s 3-day residency at Café Oto, along with my friend and collaborator John Garner.
Making some quick MIDI demos of some choral pieces I’ve written in the last couple of years:
Talking to composer Charlotte Harding about music and composing career paths. Charlotte and I worked together on her Ivor Novello award winning piece Convo in 2018, for which I did the music preparation.
Travelling to Edinburgh, Durham and Newcastle for meetings and discussions with creative partners and advice on developing my composing career. Thanks in particular to Dr James Weeks of Durham University and conductor of leading contemporary vocal consort EXAUDI, for meeting with me and letting me sit in during a workshop of student compositions.
Preparing the ELCB Jazz Combo for a first external performance at Jazz @ St Ant’s in Forest Gate on 12 February.
Planning for my new role as Visiting Jazz Teacher at Bedford Girls’ School, where I’ll be introducing jazz and improvisation to the whole range of age groups, from 7 to 18.
I’ve been listening to…
Hortus conclusus by James Weeks, performed by EXAUDI,
New Day, by James Weeks, performed by Rolf Hinds and the CoMA Summer School Ensemble
Stan Getz & Bob Brookmeyer: Recorded Fall ‘61
Turtle Island String Quartet
I’ve been reading:
Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Tell You Everything You Need to Know About Global Politics by Tim Marshall.
I’m looking forward to:
Finding some time to work on some new pieces for trombone quartet, violin duo and solo piano, which are currently in sketch form.
Spending some time with my Dad, watching Six Nations rugby (come on Ireland!).