New Year, New Hip

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!

Damascene Redux Recordings Released

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.

A Book of Song

July and September 2023: in central London working with pianist and fellow composer Nathan Williamson and a trio of singers. Our aim is a modest one – nothing less than to reconfigure the traditional classical vocal recital!

Roll Over Beethoven

August 2023: down to the country (Hampshire to be exact) to work with Tim Redpath and Rachel Calaminus of Trifarious on our latest project.

Music and/as Process Ten Years On

June-July 2023. It was lovely to return to the Music and/as Process conference a decade after my last visit.

Musical Collaging with Jakob Fichert

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.

Bouncing Back in Wymondham

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.

Bartókiana in Budapest

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.

DSQ at Canterbury

February 2023: the Delta Saxophone Quartet gave Damascene Redux another outing as part of the University of Kent’s lunchtime concert series at Fergusson Hall. This was followed by a workshop with music students.

DSQ revisit Damascene Redux

September 2022: I am delighted that the Delta Saxophone Quartet are performing Damascene Redux again in their concert The Steve Martland Story as part of the York Late Music series on the 24th of this month.

Workshopping with Trifarious

July 2022: later in the month I met up with two thirds of Trifarious (Tim Redpath and Rachel Calaminus) to work on a duo project. We made some recordings, shot a promotional video and worked on a Louis Couperin transcription.

Recording with Trifarious

July 2022: I had a great three days recording with Tim Redpath, Rachel Calaminus and Nicola Meecham aka Trifarious laying down Consort Music and Two Tributes and a Dance.

Article on ‘Dance Maze’ published

June 2022: the Journal of the Royal Musical Association (vol. 147, no. 1) contains my article ‘One into Three: Context, Method and Motivation in Revising and Reworking Dance Maze for Solo Piano’.

100 Second Songs at York Late Music

March 2022: after being postponed at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, York Late Music finally presented the complete 100 Second Songs project performed by Anna Snow (soprano) and Kate Ledger (piano).

First Airing for New Guitar Piece

January 2022: I took part in a festival of research with the guitarist Katalin Koltai mounted by the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Surrey.

Fretwork and Desbruslais

December 2021: an interesting exploratory day with viola da gamba consort, Fretwork, and trumpeter Simon Desbruslais working on ideas for a new project.

Meet the Composer – University of West London

December 2021: I gave a talk to an audience of composition students studying music for film, the stage and the concert hall at the University of West London.

Composer of the Month

October-November 2021: I’m ‘Composer of the Month’ on the York Late Music blog. Expect some insights into the compositional process and desert island discery!

Late Music Live!

Autumn and Spring 2021-2: at last some real live performances in front of actual audiences!

NYCEMF Programme Available

June 2021: the Programme for the 2021 New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival is now available here. The Gramophone Played, co-composed with Madeleine Shapiro features in concert 7

Brontë Antiphons at York Late Music

Brontë Antiphons that I composed in the spring of 2020 is to receive its world premiere by the Elysian Singers at York Late Music in November 2021.

The Gramophone Played at NYCEMF 2021

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.

Composing the Historical 2

April 2021. Myself and Ed Hughes hosted a half-day research event at the University of Surrey about composers’ use of historical materials.

Videos by MAUD

February 2021: Two Curves from Shadow Variations have just been posted on YouTube by the Muir Albini Ukulele Duo (MAUD).

At the RAM

January 2021: I delivered a paper to performance and composition research students at the Royal Academy of Music this month.

Midlands New Music Symposium

December 2020: on the 5-6 December the Nottingham Forum for Artistic Research (NottFAR) are hosting a symposium in which I’m giving a paper on Dance Maze.

Composing the Historical

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

On Sabbatical

November 2020: I’m six weeks into a sabbatical from the University of Surrey

New Chapter on Collaboration

July 2020: my chapter ‘Collaboration and the Practitioner-Researcher: A Composer’s Perspective’ has just been published in Artistic Research in Performance Through Collaboration edited by Martin Blain and Helen Minors and published by Palgrave Macmillan.

VUE Premiere

June 2020: the Virtual Ukulele Ensemble’s first three videos of movements from Shadow Variations are now on YouTube.

Virtual Ukulele Ensemble

May 2020: for the last month I’ve been working with a new ukulele ensemble on Shadow Variations.

York Late Music Projects

April 2020: just completed the second of two pieces for York Late Music. It is a piece for the Elysian Singers setting Emily Brontë’s ‘No coward soul is mine’

Perspectives on Musical Revision

March 2020: just before the coronavirus mayhem took hold I organised a half day event on musical revision at the University of Surrey.

Shadow Variations at Surrey

February 2020: delighted that Samantha Muir is giving the UK premiere of Shadow Variations at the University of Surrey.

100 Second Song

January 2020: I am working on a short song for soprano Anna Snow and pianist Kate Ledger.

Research time awarded

December 2019: myself and my colleague Chris Wiley have been awarded a Research Fellowship from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at the University of Surrey.

Manchester Bound

December 2019: I am off to the Royal Northern College of Music this month to talk about musical ruination.

‘Divertissements’ in Amsterdam

My electric guitar and harpsichord duo receives its European premiere as part of the 2020 Prix Annelie de Man.

Autumn Performances

October 2019 sees outings for Two Tributes and a Dance as well as Shadow Variations.

Australian Premiere

Shadow Variations (2019) for ukulele ensemble was premiered this August at Vala Beach Ukulele Camp, NSW.