Young Composers at Work

We’re having a great time working with five young composers (Samuel Carrington, Nikhita Nandi, Marie-Louise Ptohos, Amelia Mills and Molly Kain) from the foreSOUND school of music as they prepare their pieces for our 15th May ‘Young Composer of the Year‘ concert.

We began by introducing the students to the instruments they would be writing for (Flute, Soprano, Piano, Violin and Cello) in a day of workshops.

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The students then went away and wrote sketches, which they’ve been working on in a couple of lessons with our Artistic Director, Aaron Holloway-Nahum.


The players themselves will chose a ‘winning’ piece that we’ll perform again in 2016, and the audience will also select a piece to hear again on the night. We can’t wait to see – and give the World premieres – of all five pieces in a couple weeks.

Young Composer of the Year

Date: Saturday 7th May; 7.00pm
Venue: Palmers Green United Reformed Church
In association with the foreSOUND school of music, we’re so excited for our annual education project encouraging and training the next generation of composers.  Numerous young foreSOUND students have been selected to attend an instrument introduction day with our players (27th Feb) and take composition lessons with our Artistic Director Aaron Holloway-Nahum.  They’ll then compose new pieces (often their very first) and we’ll perform them on this concert, alongside John Tavener’s To A Child Dancing In the Wind.  Recordings of all the pieces will be released on our media pages.

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Young Composer of the Year

Date: Friday 15th May; 7.30pm
Venue: Palmers Green United Reformed Church
In association with the foreSOUND school of music, we’re running an education project to encourage and train the next generation of composers.  Five young foreSOUND students have been selected to attend an instrument introduction day with our players (28th Feb) and take composition lessons with our Artistic Director Aaron Holloway-Nahum.

We’ll then perform these pieces alongside George Crumb’s Vox Balanae and Djuro Zivkovic’s I Shall Contemplate at a Gala where our players will select one of the new pieces to be performed again on our 2016 season.  Recordings of all the pieces will be released on our media pages.

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A few moments with Nina C. Young

*NinaCYoung2015-04We are thrilled to announce that Nina C. Young will be our 2016 Composer in Residence!  During the course of 2016 we will give the UK premiere of a number of Nina’s works, alongside a co-comission (with Ensemble Échapeé) of a new viola concerto. Nina’s has a unique background in engineering, and she describes her music as being obsessed with sound itself.  Her careful sensitivity to timbre and the vibrant immediacy of her music have been widely commented on, but it is the way these details fuse with her wonderful sense of storytelling and form that really drew us to her music.

Nina is the current holder of the Rome Prize, and so we are hugely excited about bringing more of her music to the UK, and grateful that she took the time to sit down with our Artistic Director Aaron Holloway-Nahum to answer some questions!

Aaron Holloway-Nahum: Hi, Nina!  Thanks so much for taking the time to chat to us.  I believe you are currently in Rome, where you’re living for a year with the American Academy.  Can you tell us a bit about what life there is like?

Nina C. Young: Thank you so much for having me!  I am overwhelmed with gratitude and surprise (still) at being one of the two composers selected for the 2015-16 Rome Prize (Christopher Cerrone is the other composer, and you should totally check out his work).  The American Academy in Rome (AAR) is pretty much the best place ever.  The 28+ other fellows (in artistic and scholarly disciplines) and I have been granted the most precious thing – the gift of time.  Here we are given the opportunity to press pause on our busy lives (sort of, the internet makes this a little trickier) and focus on our own projects and growth in an supportive and welcoming environment that takes care of all of life’s time-consuming essentials.  However, this is not a typical artist-colony in the middle of nowhere.  Instead, we live in a magnificent complex that perches itself on a hill looking out upon The Eternal City – this offers endless sources of inspiration and distraction.  We are really well taken care of – living a cushy existence with two decadent meals served per day (by the Alice Waters initiated Rome Sustainable Food Project), ample private living and studio space, and weekly housekeeping.  Oh yeah, and there is a bar on premises, which obviously gets well used by all.  I suppose the biggest hurdle here is diving my time between my musical projects, vibrant conversations with my colleagues, the hefty list of activities and opportunities offered by the AAR, and the treasures (both obvious and hidden) of Rome.  With a little less than half the year-long residency under my belt, I can already tell that this is a life changing experience that will offer artistic fodder for decades to come.    

AHN: Composers are surrounded – both in everyday life and more and more in the repertoire – by sounds, and I suppose we are even more aware of this in new/unfamiliar places.  Do sounds influence you and are they in any way significant for your compositional work?

NCY: I adore sounds and am endlessly intrigued by them.  Every moment presents itself as some sort of sonic experience and my mind is constantly collecting and cataloging the sounds of my environment and how they resonate in different locations.  While this provides a great deal of mental entertainment, it has also encouraged quite a bit of insomnia!  Anyhow, I try to spend time focusing and taking mental sonic “photographs” (though sometimes, I just use a recorder) and save this memory data for use in my music.   I like this famous Stravinsky quote, “Good composers borrow, great composers steal.”  I don’t consciously steal/borrow from the repertoire, but I certainly harvest the sounds of my environment and then translate them into the seeds of my work.

AHN: Even though you are a young composer, your music struck me from the first time I heard it as having a very strong and distinctive voice. Do you think you have a ‘personal style’ of composing? Could you describe your own style to us?

NCY: Thanks, Aaron, I am humbled by your comments, as I am a great admirer of your work, too.  I would say that my “style” of composition is constantly evolving, though, as hinted above, it’s primary focus is sound itself.  I have a background in tech (my undergrad was in ocean engineering), and my artistic focus in composition straddles the worlds of acoustic and electroacoustic music.  Within my own practice, these worlds are seamlessly entwined and have resulted in a personal musical voice that draws equally from elements of the classical canon, modernism, spectralism, American experimentalism, minimalism, electronic music, and popular idioms.  I am always striving to create unique sonic environments that can be appreciated by a wide variety of audiences while challenging stylistic boundaries, auditory perception, and notions of temporality. 

I write instrumental, electronic, and mixed music, but my working methods in all three are very similar.  The process is always concerned with the sculpting of sound and the creation of an auditory experience that is constantly leading the listener into new sonic areas.  When I’m writing for purely acoustic combinations of instruments, I try to employ methods that are influenced by electronic studio production techniques.  I’ll often start pieces by improvising on my laptop with recordings which I’ll then process until I find that particular sonic “seed” that sprout to create a piece.  This will get integrated with sound experiments using my voice, the piano, my violin, and various other instruments.  Eventually I’ll start to write things down, always in full score.  Orchestration is an integral and often primary element of my compositional process.  I find it akin to working in an electronic production environment in which I am always aware of balancing the horizontal frequency spectrum.  Every instrument has its own natural resonance and filtering characteristics – when you begin to combine these different effects, an infinite world of sonic possibilities evolves!  Lately, I’ve also become very concerned with rhythm and its relationship to form.  I think that’s something you can hear evolving in my pieces over the last several years.

AHN: As our Composer-in-Residence next year you’ll write a co-commissioned Viola concerto for Riot Ensemble (with Stephen Upshaw) and Ensemble Échappé (with Jocelin Pan).  Can you tell us a bit about how you start a new piece?  What will it be like to write for two different soloists?

NCY: I’m really excited about this project, especially because I think the “concerto” is a challenging form.  I’ve taken a strong liking to the trompe l’oeil optical illusions of the Italian painters of the late Quattrocento.  A really powerful example of this is in the “dome” of the Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio in Rome.  In this viola concerto, EarPlay, I will use the relationship between the soloist and the ensemble to explore sonic and spatial equivalents to this optical illusion.

I’m looking forward to writing this piece for two fantastic violists and ensembles.  The idea for the project came from the long-term collaboration that I have had with Jocelin Pan (who is also the co-Artistic director of Ensemble Échappé) – we met at Tanglewood back in 2013 and have been working together ever since.  In fact, the initial impetus for our ensemble was as a result of conversation that Jocelin and I had with Jeffrey Milarsky (EÉ’s conductor) about how to make this concerto come to life.   I have a really intimate knowledge of Jocelin’s approach to the viola and this will certainly have a big influence on the music.  The fact that this is a co-commission is even more exciting.  I’m really curious and enthusiastic to see how piece expresses itself through the interpretations by two different, stellar groups.  I’m hoping to get to know Stephen Upshaw before I begin really working on the piece, as I like to incorporate musician’s personalities into the music I write.  It’s always more fun to write for friends!

AHN: As you mention, you were involved in founding Ensemble Échappé.  What will your ongoing role with the ensemble be, and what are you hoping to accomplish with these players?

NCY: Jocelin Pan and I are the founding members and Co-Artistic Directors of Ensemble Échappé, a New York City based sinfonietta.  We basically gathered together a group of friends who are exceptional soloists and collaborative musicians that love working together to explore diverse sonic palettes.  We are really trying to showcase a wide swath of stylist approaches by not rooting ourselves in a set aesthetic camp.  Our goal is simply to share great music with our audience.

In addition to my role as Artistic Director, I am currently serving as Composer-in-Residence with Ensemble Échappé (2015-17) and am spearheading a commissioning initiative to promote a dialogue between the musicians and living composers.  The musicians are not only collaborators, but also rotate as solo artists.  This season (our 1st!) we have selected repertoire that highlights individual ensemble members (such as percussionist Sam Budish in Andy Akiho’s LIgNEouS, harpist Emily Levin in Carter’s Mosaic, Jocelin Pan in Derek Bermel’s Soul Garden).  Staring next season, we want to begin showcasing our solo talents with specially commissioned concerti.  EÉ’s is first commissioning Doug and Brad Balliett to write a bassoon – double bass duo concerto for themselves, The Brothers Balliett, to be premiered during our 2016 season opener.  Our next spotlight will be EarPlay (later to be premiered by you, the Riot Ensemble!) and a new concerto by Jonathan Dawe for pianist Conor Hanick.

AHN: It all sounds totally fantastic.  As we finish, could you tell us a bit more about the music you are writing in Rome?

NCY: I’m working on a wide variety of projects; I’m really trying to take advantage of the opportunity to replenish my well of artistic fodder while utilizing this undistributed time to write music that maybe falls outside of my typical comfort zone.  Upon arriving in Rome I finished a bassoon pocket concert for Brad Balliett and the Metropolis Ensemble’s Multiphonics show that was premiered at (Le) Poisson Rouge in NY in October.  I’m writing a short solo piece for a series commissioned by cellist Anssi Karttunen of Columbia-affiliated composers (Taylor Brook, Zosha Di Castri, Bryan Jacobs, Yoshiaki Onishi) that have been involved in his Creative Dialogues Symposium over the past several years.  He’ll premiere the piece in February in Paris at Columbia’s Reid Hall.  I’m involved in another group project spearheaded by Marilyn Nonken.  She has commissioned a series of solo piano pieces that use the same tuning as Grisey’s Vortex Temporum (one of my all-time favorite pieces).  The other composers are Richard Carrick, Marcos Balter, Edmund Campion, Christopher Trapani, Victoria Cheah, and Brian Erickson.

An exciting new work came to fruition upon arriving in Rome.   Miro Magloire, the artistic director and choreographer of the New Chamber Ballet, and I decided to collaborate on a Rome-based music-dance project.  Miro came to the Academy with dancers Elizabeth Hudec Brown and Daniela Giannuzzi in early December. Together we created a new location-specific piece (working title Temenos) for dancers, violin, and electronics that will be premiered at the Bramante Tempietto on March 3, 2016 as part of the AAR’s Cinque Mostre curated by Ilaria Gianni.

I came to Rome to write the music (commissioned by the Koussevitzky Music Foundation) for my multimedia cantata Making Tellus: A Mandala for the Anthropocene, a collaboration with The Nouveau Classical Project (NCP); impresario, pianist, and producer Sugar Vendil, and bass-vocalist/librettist Andrew R. Munn.  Imagine collecting an ice-core sample from a glacier. This cross-section contains thousands of years of information – data that depicts the history of Earth’s climate. With this information, scientists become chroniclers as they discover and tell the story of our planet.  In Making Tellus the artistic team creates a metaphorical sample of human time and tells of our species’ experience in sculpting the Earth, pointing to the many processes that have led to our new geologic epoch – the Anthropocene. Our goal is to deepen the public understanding of the Anthropocene and its implications through a marriage of arts, technology, and environmental activism.  Making Tellus is an evening-length interdisciplinary performance piece that invites audiences to meditate on their role in writing Earth’s story. The work presents moments, both historical and contemporary, that illuminate our complex and ever-shifting relationships within Earth’s ecological and geological systems.  The music is scored for solo bass voice, female vocal trio, chamber ensemble, and mixed electronics.  In performance, the work incorporates costumes by sustainable fashion designer Titania Inglis, generative video projection by new media artist R. Luke DuBois, staged choreography by Miro Magloire, and a set piece kinetic sound sculpture that I’ll design.  This is a fascinating project to work on in Rome, a city whose every corner is a cross-section of thousands of years of human history.

AHN: Thanks so much, Nina.  We can’t wait to hear all of it!

Sound and Music: Portfolio

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I am absolutely delighted to announce that the call for scores for The Riot Ensemble’s 2014-15 Portfolio Scheme with Sound and Music are now open!  This will be the first Portfolio Scheme to pair emerging UK composers with international musicians.

Portfolio Graphic

There will be a public UK masterclass from each of these musicians in November, followed by a workshop (April) and concert in June 2015 with our Artistic Board performing alongside them.  The project will revolve around three new pieces from three emerging UK composers, one of each of these incredible players:

Heather Roche, Bass Clarinet
I can’t say enough about how much I adore Heather’s playing, or how much she does on behalf of composers day-to-day.  Just take a look, for example, at this catalogue of Bass Clarinet techniques she has documented on her website.

Marco Fusi, Viola D’Amore
I first met Marco in France, where he was performing on both the violin and viola with Ensemble L’Arsenale.  I’ve wanted to work with him ever since, and when the opportunity came to get him involved on the Viola D’Amore (on which he is one of Europe’s foremost performers) I literally jumped at it.

Rafal Luc, Accordion
Rafal is a performer I’ve known ever since my time at the Royal Academy of Music, where we always used to half-joke that – among one of the foremost institutions in the world – it always seemed the strongest department in the whole building was the accordion one.  I simply can’t believe some of the things I’ve heard Rafal do with his instrument in performances and am hugely excited for whichever composer eventually gets to work with him.

The final pieces will feature these performers, and will also include members of our Artistic Board, themselves some of the foremost contemporary performers in the UK.  Composers only need to send in two scores (one for a solo instrument, the other whatever you think is your best work) and a few other documents for consideration.

The deadline for the call is noon on 9th July.

You can find further details, and make an application, over on Sound and Music’s webpage.

A few moments with Chris Mayo


Tomorrow evening at The Forge in Camden we’re opening up a new series of contemporary music concerts called Wednesdays at The Forge.  The concert is a rather extraordinary array of low instruments: 5 Bass Clarinets, 5 Bassoons (including 3 contrabassoons) and 4 Trombones, along with Tenor.  Opening up the concert, will be a brand new work for 5 Bassoons (with members of Reed Rage) by Chris Mayo.  I’m happy to have had a few moments to sit with Chris and ask him about the experience of writing this piece, and what the audience can expect tomorrow night!

AHN: Thanks for joining us Chris!  Can you tell us a little bit about what you first thought when we asked you to write for 5 bassoons, and how you went about writing for such a homogenous – and unusual – ensemble?

CM: My works list reads like a catalogue of unusual and impractical instrumentations. It’s gotten to the point that I just assume people are going to ask me to write for some crazy, odd combination of instruments. I would be surprised if someone asked me to write for a string quartet.

That’s just to say that it didn’t particularly occur to me that this was an unusual ensemble, or at least not any more unusual than other combinations I’ve had to contend with. In terms of it being such a homogenous ensemble, that’s something that I actually found really interesting about this instrumentation. The possibility of having this really pure and intense blend of timbre and sharing and overlapping material in a way where the individuality of voices kind of disappears became a central idea for the piece.

AHN: Your piece is called Youngblood II, is there a Youngblood I?

CM: Yes, Youngblood is a piece for recorder quartet that I wrote in 2012. Youngblood is also the title of Carl Wilson’s second solo album.


As a bit of background, here’s an introduction I wrote to the recorder piece:

“I am completely obsessed with the solo albums of the various members of The Beach Boys. Some of them (Dennis Wilson’s Pacific Ocean Blue) are genuinely marvellous while others (Mike Love’s Looking Back With Love) are unforgivably atrocious. Whatever their musical merits, these albums all illuminate part of the fascinating story of a profoundly screwed-up bunch of people.

I’ve always seen Carl Wilson as a slightly tragic character, constantly overshadowed by his two older brothers: one a super-talented musical genius, the other an hedonistic, womanising partier. I think his two solo albums were his attempt to really establish his own, individual personality separate from them. They don’t really succeed, and I feel like there’s an enormous amount of pathos in that. My recorder quartet Youngblood uses a tiny bit of material taken from computer audio analysis of What More Can I Say [the first track on Wilson’s album] as a seed for a sort of quasi-baroque canonic study. Hopefully, in its five minutes it encapsulates some of the ideas and emotions which I attach to Carl Wilson and his solo albums.”

Youngblood II returns to this same starting material and is also (in a completely different way) a sort of quasi-baroque canonic study. Maybe this will become my thing any time somebody asks me to write a piece for a large grouping of the same instruments.

AHN: That is an incredible back story.  I like the idea of this material you return to each time you write for a particular group of instruments.  Another thing I’ve always admired about your music is the long, audible and – really physically feelable – nature of your transitions.  How do you think about transitions within your music?

CM: Spreadsheets! I do think a lot about change and transition in my music and get super-nerdily obsessed with working them out (which I guess is a little bit “crafty” but then everybody needs to be a hypocrite, sometimes, right?). This usually means having loads of spreadsheets working out various different overlapping arcs of change in lots of different musical parameters all working independently but gradually moving towards the same goal. I don’t really think of them as transitions though, because often they’re the entirety of the music! It’s not so much that there are various ‘states’ which are transitioned between, often it’s just all gradual change.

I mean, it’s not an especially new or exciting thing to say “I’m going to write a piece where there’s a long gradual process that takes place over 12 minutes” it’s kind of been done to death. (Music as Gradual Process and all that.)  So if, like me, you feel like you’re going to do it anyway, you have to find other ways to invigorate – to vitalise(?) the music. My music never ends up being just the bare process, there’s always something sculptural going on that tries to make it into something more explicitly….narrative perhaps?

AHN: I wonder if some of that has to do with your sound world?  While your music is largely focused on traditionally ‘musical’ sounds, you do have pieces that include effects such as rustling paper and breath noises.  As composers, we’re surrounded – both in everyday life and more and more in the repertoire – by extra-musical sounds.  How do these sounds influence you and how significant are they to your work?

CM: Well, in terms of my incorporation of these kind of effects in my music, there are sort of two sides to that. On the one hand, they are related to those transitions, as they usually come as the solution to some kind of process which is burbling along under the surface of the music. I often plan pieces in a very abstract way without really thinking of the limitations of the particular ensemble I’m writing for. It means that for me the composition process is often about finding solutions to the awkward situations I put myself in. How do you write a 12-note chord for flute, or things like that. It’s often in searching for solutions to these kinds of process-instigated problems that I arrive at these extramusical sounds.

But on the other hand, my use of these effects in music has a lot to do with how much I dislike the use of these sounds in contemporary music. I had a lesson once with the French composer Philippe Leroux and he made the assertion that he thought a lot of my music was about how much I disliked contemporary music. I think he meant that as a criticism, but I think he’s possibly right. I do have what ranges from a mild to an intense dislike of the focus which we as composers and teachers place on the craft of being a composer (finely wrought, exquisitely orchestrated, beautifully heard, all that…) and sometimes I like to present these kind of sounds (paper, air, etc.) in a kind of very un-crafty inelegant way. It’s not exactly a revolutionary manifesto that’s going to rock the establishment, but for me these are often awkward, kind of dumb sounds and presenting them in an awkward, kind of dumb way makes sense to me.

AHN: That’s a very accurate description of what I know of your music.  I’m hugely looking forward to hearing this new piece tomorrow.  Before we go, tell us what’s in store for you in 2014?

CM: I’m currently writing a piece for four female voices and orchestra for Esprit Orchestra in Toronto. It’s based on an excerpt from Toby Litt’s novel deadkidsongs. The novel is titled after (and full of quotes from) Mahler’s Kindertotenlider.

The thought of writing a piece that referenced Kindertotenlieder in the music just seemed to me like such a terrible idea for a piece that I decided that’s what I would do. Sometimes the most inspiring thing for me is something that’s really obviously a bad idea. Some people like to impose various systematic/harmonic/rhythmic/aesthetic constraints on themselves when they’re composing. My favourite constraint is just having a really bad idea to start with—finding a way to turn a bad idea into a good piece is a great way of pushing yourself to do new and interesting things. Like even Youngblood II actually. Writing a piece for five bassoons based on a track off of Carl Wilson’s second album is a bad idea. But that’s what I like about it.

After that, I’m making a collaborative opera for five voices and tape with Opera Erratica. This is part of triptych of pieces loosely inspired by Il trittico with the other two parts written by Christian Mason and Thomas Smertyns. And I’m also in the middle of writing a piece for Crash Ensemble in Dublin which has a very drawn-out gestation period—that piece is about a box of records that belonged to my grandfather. Or that was the idea to begin with. I’m not really sure what it’s about anymore…

A few moments with Alastair Putt

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Of all the pieces in our concert this Friday, only two will be ‘non-first’ pieces.  One of these will be Harrison Birtwistle’s second wind-quintet Five Distances for Five Instruments, and the second will also be a wind quintet: the very beautiful Halazuni by Alastair Putt. (Here performed by Martha Long (flute), Graham Mackenzie (oboe), Danny Goldman (clarinet), Elyse Lauzon (horn) and Andrew Brady (bassoon) at Tanglewood Music Center on July 22nd, 2012)

I know the Atea Quintet have hugely enjoyed preparing Alastair’s work for our concert on Friday, and it was my pleasure to sit down with him and ask a few questions about this piece, and his wider work as a musician and composer.

AHN: Alastair, thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions – and for your great piece!  I think it would be fair to say that – as with this piece – the majority of your music primarily focuses on ‘musical’ parameters (harmony/rhythm/etc…) eschewing extra-music things such as noises (rustling paper, key clicks, breath sounds, etc…)  As composers, we are surrounded – both in everyday life and more and more in the repertoire – by extra-musical sounds.  Do they influence you and are they in any way significant for your compositional work?

pretty good composing advice!

pretty good composing advice!

AP: In short, no. More than anything, I’m interested in harmony, and I feel that there are already enough decisions to be made as a composer using only the 12 notes of the chromatic scale (occasionally more!), let alone bringing in the potentially endless spectrum of extra-musical noises into the equation. Which is not to say that I shun music that incorporates such sound, only that I don’t feel I have anything new to bring to the table, in that regard.

AHN: You’re active in contemporary music as both a composer and as a performer (a tenor, and occasionally as a guitarist), does your activity as a performer affect what you do as a composer?  

AP: Not hugely, I don’t think, but I do try to be as considerate as possible towards performers- even if I don’t know how to play an instrument, I will always try to imagine the basic actions that a line of music might require of them. On, say, a string instrument, those can be relatively easy to visualise, but it’s harder with wind instruments because of all the fiddly fingerings!

AHN: And do you think of the audience when you compose?

AP: Not explicitly, but I do care about how the music sounds in real space rather than in some abstract, formalised sphere, so in that sense, yes. Ultimately, I try to write music that I would like to hear, rather than analyse.

AHN: Could you tell us a little bit about how and when you wrote Halazuni?

AP: Halazuni was written for the Richmond Concert Society in 2011; it takes its inspiration from arabesque decoration in Islamic art, and the patterns and lines therein. I’ve always been drawn to the beautiful abstraction of such art, and its juxtaposition of rigid patterns and shapes with more florid, elaborate elements. In the piece, a rhythmically regular background texture is overlaid with slower, more flexible lines. Much of the pitch material is derived from the Fibonacci series, so often a building-block in geometric art: here, the numbers from the series determine the successive intervals heard in the opening motif, which rises by 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 and 13 semitones. That ratio is also used rhythmically, at the very end of the piece, as the five parts play the same (but transposed) material in the tempo relationship 1:2:3:5:8, which creates a rather wild heterophony.

AHN: Many composers (and musicians) consider the wind quintet to be a rather difficult ensemble to write for.  How did you find the wind quintet and how did you go about solving some of the problems it presents? 

AP: I’ve always liked the somewhat bracing sound of the wind quintet, and I remember it as being quite a fun piece to write! I don’t think it’s a particularly problematic ensemble, really: all the instruments are naturally pretty agile (though the horn less so) and can handle a variety of articulations. That said, I have no experience of playing wind instruments, so I can’t vouch for how nicely it sits under the fingers; I suspect that the final, dance-like section contains some nasty little corners for everyone. As for the potential for balance problems resulting from a brass instrument masquerading as a wind instrument, I didn’t really attempt to tackle that in the score, figuring that a good wind quintet is perfectly aware of issues specific to their ensemble- it’s not the composer’s place to butt in and try to ‘solve’ anything!

Our First Call for Scores!

We’re really pleased to announce that we’re running our first call for scores!

The call is in collaboration with the fantastic East Coast Contemporary Ensemble.  Two scores will be selected for performance at both The Forge (Camden, 16th July) and The Meetinghouse (Brighton, 17th July) as part of our Transatlantic Collaborations projects.

You can apply through the ECCE website.