Two from Dr Suss – recording of first live performance.

Here is the recording of a new piece Two from Dr Suss. The piece is a setting of two sections of Matthew Welton’s wonderful long poem Dr Suss and was commissioned by Trio Atem. It’s scored for bass flute, low female voice and prepared cello. This is the first performance of the piece at the University of Manchester and I’m very grateful to Trio Atem for their skill and sincerity in preparing and performing this music.

Movement 1. Getting into the car of the south side of Main Street, ‘It’s just a lot of cold treacle,’ was all Filippino Lippi would say.

Movement 2. ‘And I was feeling a little worried before you mentioned James Watt.’


Sounds from the other city.

Next Sunday I’m doing a short set for the lovely folk of slips discs and Sounds of the Other City – a music festival of interesting music  in mainly small venues on or near  Chapel Street in Salford. I have three reasons to be happy about this – Ian Vine is going to be doing live guitar and electronics from his new album held/always/immer/gehalten, I’m going to be alongside slip discs veterans Tom Rose, Aaron Parker and Chaines and I’m also going to be joined by composer and violinist Bethan Morgan-Williams. See you there. Details here and festival poster below.


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.



Slip Discs at Cafe Renoir

ImageMore Slip Discs fun this Friday. Great live music from Chains, Aaron Parker and Tom Rose alongside a performance of Steve Reich’s monolith Four Organs. I’m going to play some music (mainly vinyl!) at the start of the evening (expect Ligeti, mira calix (vinyl of Prickle just arrived from ebay), Ian Vine, Saint Etienne etc.) before DJ pros Murray, Tomkins and Futers get everyone moving. Should be great fun. See you there.

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.