My new album entitled name pieces was released on 14 August 2020. The album is a collection of five pieces that are homages to some of the people that have impacted on what I do.
When I started writing the earliest of these name pieces, Morton Feldman Philip Guston, I was obsessed with single page pieces that were somewhat indeterminate. This work was quite unlike the music I had been making up until that point (though some older characteristics remain), and as a result I thought that I needed to break from my previous naming conventions of X minutes of Music on the Subject of Y, and X lines of music slow down and eventually stop. I had initially decided to name the pieces written around this time after ships launched in the 15th century and onwards. I am a fan of all things maritime, and I also figured that if I started this titling convention, then I would be unlikely to run out of titles. However, they just didn’t have enough to do with the music I was writing, so I left this idea aside. In the end, I elected to name these pieces after people that have impacted upon my development as a composer, putting two names together to see what might result from the dialectic created between two related or unrelated names.
These five pieces span a three-year period, when many things changed in my life. However, one thing that remained unchanged is the admiration I have for the people mentioned in this collection’s titles. You will hear tributes to friends and teachers, as well as artists and composers I’ve never met, but have somehow impacted upon what I think, and what I do. For the most part, this collection of music is made up of long sustained tones derived from the names of the people in each title, and these tones are sometimes punctuated by concrète sounds from my lived experience. Perhaps you will enjoy this music in its own right. Perhaps it might inspire you to go check out, or revisit, some of the work by the people mentioned in these pieces. I’m a big fan of drawing attention to other people’s work within our artistic community, and perhaps now, in the middle of 2020, it is more apparent than ever that music, in its performance and in its reception, is (or ought to be) a celebration of community, and a drawing of attention to others.
I performed, recorded, mixed, and mastered everything using a variety of different hardware synthesizers and life-recordings, and it was recorded straight onto a small Tascam DR 44 WL.
The album is available to stream or download via my bandcamp page below, and includes include a PDF of all five scores, as well as liner notes. I hope you enjoy, and if you are interested, do help spread the word…