Two from Dr Suss

I’ve recently finished a new piece for Manchester based Trio Atem. The premiere is at lunchtime on 14 February at the University of Manchester (information here or here). I can’t wait.

This new piece is scored for bass flute, low female voice and prepared cello (no blu-tack in the end though) and is a continuation of my setting of sections of Matthew Welton’s extraordinary long poem Dr Suss. I set a section of this poem last year (for EXAUDI) and this piece took the patterns and repetition from the Welton original as well as the related material from Simon Patterson’s The Great Bear and employed a complimentary musical pattern with the compression of a Monteverdi madrigal.

For Trio Atem the musical patterns do not use borrowed material but the disintegration of the text into a musical line/melody and then (in the second song) the reforming of the text as a new melody exchanges from instruments to voice.

Here are a couple of very short extracts from the two songs.



Trio Atem sessions


I had an excellent session with Alice Purton and Nina Whiteman last week as my new piece for Trio Atem gradually takes shape. Most of the sketching, rhythms, structure and pitch is done/selected so I’ve been looking to find more fragile, temperamental sounds that will suit the repetitive piece. We tried blobs of white tack on the strings but had more success tying the C and A string together. Tomorrow I’m trying to find some matching sounds with flautist Gavin Osborn.  The text is two sections from Matthew Welton’s extraordinary long poem Dr Suss.

Revisting exchange and return

I have been revisiting the music I made with mira calix on a year-long+ project exchange and return. It was an intense process at a very busy time but I’ve been enjoying listening to the music again and in particular the final piece we made together onn/off which sees us back in our more ‘traditional’ roles (i.e. I wrote the acoustic music and mira made the electronic music – hardly our traditional roles any more) but music filtered through the lens of having worked together on this for some time. I’ll put some or all of the track up at a later date if I can but in the meantime here are a couple of exchange and return images from our recording sessions at Aldeburgh Music.


ddmmyy Sandbar 28/11/2012

Second ever GOVES set on 28/11/2012 at the Sandbar in Manchester courtesy of the good people of ddmmyy – more information here.

I’ll be playing a set of the upcoming ep with some new bits and piece joined on this occasion by cellist Dave McCann.

We’ll also be selling some of the forthcoming GOVES ep A crèche for the lonely and peculiar ahead of its release on 2 December. There will be some CD and vinyl copies. I’ll write more on the EP in another post soon.

I hope to see you there. There are some great sets and DJing in this supremely relaxed and excellent bar.