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!

I was asked by Steve Crowther a few weeks ago to respond to some questions for the York Late Music blog. In my responses I set down some insights into how I compose and the way my music has changed over the last decade. The theme of borrowing that I touch upon is becoming a major concern of mine and all my current as well as future projects use it in some way. This is no less the case in Brontë Antiphons which is the piece that is premiering soon – on November 6th with the Elysian Singers. I’m very intrigued, and not a little nervous, to hear how this piece turns out; it’s very austere in structure with the opening stanzas presented in alternating settings that borrow from David Power’s version (part of the commission was to pair with an existing work) and Whit Sunday antiphons respectively. I hope this dual setting creates a suitable sense of ritual rather than sounding over-extended – I guess I’ll find out soon enough!

PS: the concert came off very well indeed and all the composers were excellently served by the Elysians and their conductor Sam Laughton. What’s more the whole programme was sensitively reviewed by Martin Dreyer, available here.

Author: Tom Armstrong

Senior Lecturer in Music, University of Surrey, Guildford UK. Freelance composer.

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