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January 2021

New year, same situ?

The first month of 2021, and we were all hoping for a new, fresh start - but instead it looks like the continuing pandemic is getting worse, not better. Who knows at this point when we'll be able to get back to regular live music making, concert going and face-to-face music teaching? But certainly the year has started with a bang in terms of composition!

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One of the groups who reached out to me early this month was the excellent Villiers Quartet, who as part of their "From Home" initiative are commissioning 8 composers (myself included) to write a piece for them this spring. I'm really excited to be working with four such excellent musicians - I can't wait to share the sounds I'm creating for them!

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Another group I'm totally excited to be working with, and the subject of a previous blog post, are the wonderful people at Strange Trace Opera. This month they've been doing some initial rehearsals and recordings of my upcoming new opera Goliath, and I had the incredible treat recently of hearing the first complete rehearsal recording of the whole opera. It was amazing hearing my music being brought to life - words can't really describe the difference between hearing the music in my head and hearing it being sung (fantastically) by such great players.

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Another American group I'm excited to be collaborating with is Hypotenuse Trio, a group of clarinet, saxophone & trumpet, who selected me from their call for scores to be commissioned to write a new piece for them - they're so lovely and it's going to be a real pleasure to write for them.

Speaking of lovely American groups to write for, The Diversity Initiative, together with Opus Commons, premiered my prize-winning brass septet "Transmission II" this month. You can watch it online here:

Finally, and this probably needs a blog post of its own, this month I signed my first "proper Hollywood" contract for composing original music for a film! More to follow...