Biography

Programme Notes // Credits

2011

Following further editing/cutting and the insertion of new footage for the film “Tortoise In Love”, I composed some extra needed music cues including “Anya’s Theme” for solo Violin and Orchestra (played beautifully by Martin Reed). (recorded & delivered Feb.)

2010

Composed, produced and recorded the Album “White Bird” for CDBaby, iTunes and Amazon. Features me on keyboards and Paul Dunmall on solo saxophone & various other winds. First performance of new Carol arrangement “Lully Lullay – Coventry Carol” for solo voice and piano (with opera singer Joanna Campion (mezzo soprano) and Jo Marks (piano). (16th Dec. 2011).

2009

Commissioned to write score for “Tortoise In Love” a Ninety Minute RomCom Feature film, director: Guy Browning. Film Company: Immense Productions Ltd.
In December I recorded and conducted the score for “Tortoise In Love” in the Royal Northern College of Music’s main concert hall in Manchester with a twenty-five piece orchestra.

First performance of: Three Character Pieces for Brass Quintet (4th April), a commission from David Taylor, performed by the Alfredson Brass Quintet (Brian Thomas, Tomi Johnson, Rob Fox, David Taylor and Simon Handley) in Ardington Church (near Wantage, UK)

2008

First performance of commissioned Carol Sequence for SATB choir, children’s chorus and organ: Festa Dies: 7th Dec. 2008 by St. Albans Choral Society, Park Street School Choir and organist Richard Harvey, conducted by George Vass.
One of the Carols (Adam Lay Y Bounden) was also performed by chamber choir “Two–a-part” (cond. Tim Cook) at Rycote Chapel (Oxon.) on Dec. 19th 2008.

2007

First performance of Carol Lute Book Lullaby: 9th Dec. 2007 by St. Albans Choral Society, organist Richard Harvey, conducted by George Vass.
Other performances in 2007 included those at St Aidan’s Church (Rochdale), Wantage Silver Band (Oxon.), Wolfson College (Oxford).

Choral composition course at Dartington International Summer School with composer Cecilia McDowell. Composed: Five Japanese Poems (2007) for SATB chamber choir; First performance “Night Without End”: Aug. 2007 by Stile Antico at Dartington International Summer School.

2004

Composed and recorded commissioned score for short animated film “Requiem” produced and directed by Hugh Walker. Awarded First Prize in the 2004 Kerry Film Music Festival in the “Experimental” category.

2003

Commission to compose Incidental Music for CD-ROM: “ The Changing Views of Mars” (released by the Society for Popular Astronomy) narrator: Heather Couper.

2000

Composed: “Sonatine” (in three movements), a commission by clarinettist Neil Greig-Smith. First Performed by him (bass clarinet) and Nicholas O’Neil (piano) in the Holywell Music Room, Oxford, 17th May 2000.

1999-01

Worked on electronic music library tracks for David Mellor Production Music Ltd. (DMPML). Composed some 80 new works, now published on 6 CDs

1999

Piano variations composition workshop at Dartington International Summer School with composer Martin Butler. Composed: “Six variations on a theme by Rameau”; first performed by Stephen Gutman on August 12th1999.

1998

First performance of “Variations on a Wessex tale” for string quartet. Headington School Concert 19th November (Oxford, UK).

1996

Awarded Dartington International Summer School bursary to work with composer Edward Cowie and participate in a two-week course with to compose songs based on the poetry of Rabindranath Tagore.
The first performance of my work “A Soft Wind” was made (9th August 1996) with Jane Manning (soprano) and her Minstrels (“Pierrot-Lunaire” ensemble) at Dartington International Summer School.

1995

Commissioned to write the incidental music for two Leon Garfield abridged Shakespeare plays: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and ‘Twelfth Night’ by Iffley Performers (Oxford) with local children musicians, singers and actors.

1994

Commissioned to write the title and incidental film music for a 50 minute TV on-location African film by Geofilms Ltd.

1993

Commissioned by Geofilms Ltd. to write the title film music for a 30 minute film on oil exploration – “3D Seismic” for B.P. personnel training.

1992

EG Records Ltd release my CD recording of a live Jazz improvisation by pianist Keith Tippett at Dartington Hall – “The Dartington Concert”. Later voted Guardian Newspaper ‘Record of the year’.

1992

BBC Radio 4 broadcast my Jazz Theme Risky Business on “Desert Island Discs” 16th Feb 1992); selection by Sir Roger Bannister.

1991

Completed the composition and recording (at CTS studios) of a commissioned suite of production music works for Carlin Production Music Ltd. Conducted the chamber ensemble (based around the Medici String Quartet); I also played the piano with the ensemble.
Completed commissioned musical score for interactive video-disc “Getting Into Business” (Digital Computers / Premiere Productions).

1990

Awarded Dartington International Summer School bursary to study Film Composition with Dominic Muldowney

1989

BBC commissioned theme for OU Natural History programme.
Works published by Carlin Production Music Ltd for Film, TV and Library Music.

1988

Completed commissioned musical score for interactive video-disc “Terminal Risk” starring Jonathan Pryce, Lindsay Duncan and Kristoffer Tabori (Price-Waterhouse / Premiere Productions).
Studied Film Composition with Wilfred Josephs at Dartington International Summer School

1987

Completed commissioned musical score for interactive video-disc “Risky Business” starring Ronald Lacey, Joanna Kanska, Andrew Bicknell, Michael Maloney and Ruddy L Davies (Price-Waterhouse / Premiere Productions).

1986

Studied Film Composition with Patrick Gowers at Dartington International Summer School.
Completed commissioned musical score for a prize-winning interactive video-disc “Accountability” starring Bill Paterson and Miranda Richardson (Price-Waterhouse / Premiere Productions)

1985

First experiments with electronic composition.

1978-84

Piano Lessons with Nicola Gebolys.

1973-77

University of Cambridge Ph.D. in Radio Astronomy in the Cavendish Laboratory. Member of Christ’s College

1974

Rehearsed choir, soloists and orchestra, added original incidental music and conducted performances of Henry Purcell’s “Dido & Aeneas” in Christ’s College Hall, Cambridge

1970-73

University of Sussex B.Sc.(hons) in Physics. Included music project.
Early development of the symphony supervised by Professor Donald Mitchell.

1970

Jazz Improvisation Course (Cambridge College of Arts and Technology)

1969-78

Piano Lessons with Sarah Campbell-Taylor in Cambridge.

Programme Notes

Three Character Pieces for Brass Quintet

I wrote this mini-suite in early 2009 for the Alfredston Brass Quintet, following a commission from David Taylor, the ensemble’s trombone player. The work is in three movements and is scored for the standard brass quintet (two Trumpets, French Horn, Trombone and Tuba). First is a vigorous “Tango” (Appasionato con brio) employing antiphonal effects from the trumpets. The music then moves to a quieter, more lyrical middle section, before returning to the opening theme. The middle movement is entitled “Blues” (Swing). The title is more a reminder of the musical feeling than of any formal description of the movement’s structure. The style owes something to a 1950s Big Band, but on the scale of chamber music. An ostinato bass motif is played by the Tuba, recalling very early Jazz practice and a time before the plucked string bass had become the Jazz bass of choice. The final movement has the title “Burlesque” (Marcato) initially evoking a comic circus march. But that mood does not last for very long. The middle part of the movement explores the “Octatonic” musical scale (an 8-note scale employing alternating tone and semitone intervals). Finally the march idea returns and the movement concludes with a clear statement of the scale on which the whole movement is constructed.

Festa dies

I wrote “Festa Dies” (“the festive day”) in 2008 for the St. Albans Choral Society, following a commission from the Society’s Musical Director, George Vass. I have added four new Carols to my setting of “Lute-Song Lullaby” which was beautifully performed by the choir in December 2007. In “Festa dies” I have continued the idea of setting new music to traditional words. The overall mood of the sequence is celebratory, punctuated by the contrasting and more meditative Carols (No. 2 and 4). I was delighted to be given the opportunity of including the children’s chorus in two of the Carols, the opening “Festa dies agitur” (based on words from a 13th century monophonic conductus) and “What child is this?”. In choosing words to set, I was especially attracted to those of the powerfully mystical “Adam lay ybounden”, and the joyful storytelling of “Sunny Bank”. The sequence is rounded off jubilantly with a reprise of the title Carol.

Music Credits

I have been published by CARLIN MUSIC for almost twenty years and more recently by DMPML MUSIC.
TV producers worldwide have used my Production Music since 1992. Here are some instances of its use in programmes from different countries.

United Kingdom

The Clive James Show, Horizon, Goodness Gracious Me, Emmerdale Farm, Coronation Street, Today with Des and Mel, Britain’s Best Sitcom: Blackadder, Escape to the Country, Antiques Roadshow, A Bit of Fry and Laurie, Changing Rooms Revisited, All Rise for Julian Clary, Cruise of the Gods, On the Warpath

USA

Oprah Winfrey Show, Beavis and Butt Head, Access Hollywood, Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Biography of America, Scratch, Wedding Story, Adventures of Pete and Pete, America’s Most Wanted, Terra X

Australia

Australian Living, Huey’s Cooking Adventures, Gardening Australia, Healthy, Wealthy and Wise, Life, Masters of Beauty, Our House, Book Place, Quantum, Burke’s Back Yard, Sean’s Show, What Now

Canada

Science Times, Adventure Olympique, Weird Homes, Biography, Fashion TV

Southern Africa

Topsport, Beauty with a Purpose, Bon Voyage Australia

Other EU

(Ireland) Fair City, No Frontiers, Open House, Ireland AM; (Switzerland) Lac de Gruyere, Chicago, Road Warrior; (Holland) Geo Topics; (Finland) Barking Mad; (Spain) Floralia; (France) Pond Life; (Sweden) Ghost Stories

Film & educational music credits:

1985: “Accountability” Financial Training Interactive Videodisc.

2003: Music written for “Changing Views of Mars” CD. (Society for popular Astronomy). Narrator: Heather Couper. Link to Mars CD

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