January 2024: the new year did not get off to the best of starts – a cycle ride one Sunday ended with me being taken to hospital in an ambulance after skidding on a roundabout and landing heavily on my right hip. I’ve come off my bike before and bounced (sort of) but not this time unfortunately. Still, there have been some compositional upsides!
December 2023: the latest release by the Delta Saxophone Quartet – Late Music – contains cut-down versions of my Arabic lute transcription, Damascene Redux, alongside pieces by composers associated with Late Music York as well as music by Joe Duddell, Steve Martland, Hayley Jenkins and others.
March 2023: up in York with pianist Jakob Fichert to explore a collaging project incorporating Dance Maze. Jakob played on the eponymous CD recorded in 2017 that involved two versions of the piece with piano – Dance Maze Variations (the original version dating from the early 90s) and Dance Maze Duos (a 2017 re-working for piano and trumpet). Jakob and I are now working on a ‘composed programme’ that aims to ‘suture in’ a number of other pieces to Dance Maze’s discreet sections.
Early in 2023 I received a text from Margery Baker, conductor of the Wymondham Youth and Pulham Village Orchestras, to the effect that Bounce (a piece dating all the way back to 2004) is to be played again in August as part of the orchestras’ 40th anniversary celebrations. News like this is always really uplifting to hear as repeat performances, particularly of orchestral pieces, are rarely easy to come by.
February 2023: Katalin Koltai premiered two pieces from my ongoing Bartókiana project at the Budapest Music Centre. The concert included talks by Katalin, myself and David Gorton with the latter two simultaneously translated into Hungarian. The pieces Katalin premiered were my transcription of Bartók’s Romanian Christmas Carols and Flute of the Slovak Shepherd from For Children.
Summer 2021: mine and Madeleine Shapiro’s piece The Gramophone Played for cello, spoken word and fixed media electronics was selected for NYCEMF (the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival) this spring and will be performed online during the summer.
November 2020: on the 25th I am taking part in the launch of Composing the Historical. This is a collection of interviews with myself, Judith Weir (CBE), Shirley Thompson (OBE), Roxanna Panufnik, Ed Hughes, Evelyn Ficarra, Rowland Sutherland, Kerry Andrew and Martin Butler