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Dormiré Sin la Sirena

Dormiré Sin la Sirena for viola and accordion ca.10


Programme Note

Dormiré Sin la Sirena is a work entirely derived from a single pattern: 1, 3, 2, 7, 6, 7, 2. By combining ideas related to algorithmic approaches to composition. The piece cycles through the pattern across a pitch, rhythm and form. This multi-levelled treatment of musical structures gives the work a web of connectivity which can be found from what could be called the microscopic to the macroscopic levels of the work. The title of the work comes from a challenge I set myself in which I could only use letters from the fixed-do solfége. Spanish words worked well in this system, and with some experimentation, I was able to create a title with a level of semantic meaning Dormiré Sin la Sirena, or in English: To Sleep Without a Mermaid.


5 for two sopranos, tenor, and baritone c. 8’


Soundless Musical Ideas Hear Occasionally

Soundless musical ideas hear occasionally c. 10'


Programme Note

For this work, I wanted to write a piece in the material would be like the mobile sculptures of Calder Alexander. I worked out the shorter ‘denser’ objects are the multi-technique phrases through experimentation and a patch which I programmed in OpenMusic. These dense phrases are joined together via longer modal phrases. To express the third dimension of motion, which is present in the Alexander mobiles I used the dynamic range of the tuba to give an important role to have the impression of sound far away and close by.

...apropos of nothing

...apropos of nothing for Mezzo Soprano and Harpsichord c. 7'


Programme Note

In …apropos of nothing, I devised a way to introduce a metalevel of miscommunication; central to this idea is the unmeasured notation in the harpsichord. The use of free or highly variable durational scheme allows the performers to adjust both tempo and rhythm according to their spontaneous reaction. The text in the composition is of my creation based on ‘false friends’ from four different languages, to create an abstract narrative with no discernible meaning; in other words, apropos of nothing.

The Unweving Rainbow

The Unweaving Rainbow for solo Cello c.15'


Programme Note

For The Unweaving Rainbow, I wanted to explore the interaction of form and musical material.

Herein, the whole works construction is primarily concerned with an unravelling of the musical

content. An introduction outlines the chords which make up the melodic material which is then

gradually stretched out to convey an unravelling. My thinking behind this procedure to the

material was to consider an unravelling thread spool, however, in this case it is the temporal

spool which, as time goes on, it’s length grows.

Dora and Sembodo

Dora and Sembodo for double Gamelan Orchestra c.10' 


Programme Note

  1. Hana caraka

  2. Data sawala

  3. Padha jayanya

  4. Maga bathanga

The work gets its title from the two servants named in a Javanese legend developed by King Aji Saka. Inspired by a quadriptych of the legend the work contains a four movement structure: Aji Saka’s faithful servants Dora and Sembodo were sent a message to bring the pusoko (heirloom) to Java. When Dora came to Sembodo and told him Aji Saka’s order Sembodo refused since he remembered Aji Saka previous order: no one except Aji Saka himself was allowed to take the pusoko. Dora and Sembodo each felt suspicious towards another and suspecting each other tried to steal the pusoko. So they fight each other to death.


Kosmos for guitar quartet c.12'


Programme Note

Kosmos represents something of a natural progression as it related directly to my own experience

as a classical guitarist. Drawing upon my knowledge of playing classical guitar, I felt inspired to

write for guitar quartet because of a frustration with the repertoire, in which engagement with

contemporary musical issues and trends is often left wanting. Composers are more adventurous in

writing for solo guitar with works; therefore, I wanted to bring a similar level of engagement for

guitar quartet repertoire.

The Long Night's Dawn

The Long Nights Dawn for Glissando Flute, Bass Flute (One player) c. 10'


Programme Note

Stefan Zweig once wrote that memory is not a phenomenon preserving one thing and losing another merely by chance, but is a poAwer that deliberately places events in order or wisely omits them.

Here the memories are of a disparate Europe in a lament towards the end of life for many cosmopolitan Viennese. A Europe “lost” as it tears itself apart for the second time in living memory.

Conceived as a homage to Stefan Zweig, the piece makes use of Jewish prayer mode cantillations and computer-based techniques providing a dialectic of contrary interests in a single sound world. Zweig began “The World of Yesterday” with a suggestion from Shakespeare: “Meet the time as it seeks us.” On that, at least, he had a point.

Cyril Among the Flowers

Cyril Among the Flowers for solo vibraphone c.5'


Programme Note

Cyril Among the Flowers was commissioned by the Belfast Music Society for performance in the Night Music Series 2017 by Alex Petcu. The title of the work comes from a well known character in Belfast, Bontanic Cyril. Cyril is a homeless man often seen in the Botanic Gardens with plastic bags full of books. I was drawn to the contrast of the place in which he set himself. Belfast's Botanic Gardens in summer is a wash with colour, and Cyril stands out against the flowers in full regalia.


Amàlgama de Amor

Amàlgama de Amor for solo Piano c.4'


Programme Note

Written as a 21st-century response to the love song genre. Amálgama de Amor evokes a romanticised

soundscape through the use of two types of pedalling, which have been termed ‘Half pedalling’ and

‘Tremolo pedalling’. In the first of these techniques, half pedalling involves a partial depression of the pedal

so that only some of damper makes contact with the string. The second technique, tremolo pedalling, is an

extension of half pedalling, where the foot ‘trills’ the pedal to damp some of the sounds while giving the

effect of the constant pedal.

Persephone in Repose

Persephone in Repose for Tenor and 10-course Lute c.4'


Programme note

Persephone in Repose is the setting of music to the poem Demeter by Carol Ann Duffy, in which the Greek goddess Demeter is lamenting the loss of her daughter Persephone to the underworld. Taken from her collection The World’s Wife, Carol Ann Duffy challenges traditional male orientated myths and legends and creates stories from a female point-of-view. The storyline of my piece however puts the focus on the father whose grief is equally felt. This is reflected in the title where the subject of mourning Persephone made the focal point.

Persephone in Repose is a through-composed piece which seeks to evoke grief through the use of dissonance with sparse consonance as well as often disjointed movements of the Lute and Voice.