New work for guitar

Our ears have become so conditioned by the ubiquitous nature of sonata form – organic development, the linear structuring of ideas – that it’s almost impossible to hear any piece, even a modern one, without this template at the back of one’s mind. The idea that a piece is ‘goal-driven’, that it moves towards a [...]

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Arche

So far these ‘news’ items have tended to be about individual pieces, often around the time of a first performance, but I’ve been too busy to find time to write very many of these posts. Right now though, the roof is leaking, there are builders hammering away for the next week or more, and I [...]

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Alba

Alba – revisiting the past

In the introduction to his play ‘Jaques and His Master’ Milan Kundera writes the following: “I often hear it said that the novel has exhausted all its possibilities. I have the contrary impression: during the four hundred years of its history, the novel has missed many possibilities; it has left opportunities unexploited, roads unexplored and [...]

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Basho in Helsinki

I have a well-worn copy of the poetry and travel sketches of Basho, a book I bought from a second-hand shop when I was a student. I’ve always enjoyed his style of writing – concise, clear, and crystalline – because it resonates with the way I approach composing. So I was delighted to recently be [...]

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Ay! – piano version in Toronto

The winner of the recent Open Piano Competition in London was Valentin Bogolubov. In his final prize-winning recital he included a couple of pieces from my White Book 2 – Night Journey to Cordoba, and The Sadness of the King. It’s possible to hear the detailed and imaginative performances he gave of these pieces here [...]

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Three Cut-Outs for solo sax – USA

A few weeks ago the Rodriguez and Keepe duo gave a concert which included three of my pieces. They gave the first performance in a sax and piano version of In Arcadia, and they also played Alba, which Mike has performed a number of times before. And alongside these works Mike gave the premiere of [...]

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