Book of Mirrors (2017)
for solo piano
Duration: 10 minutes
Book of Mirrors is a ten-part cycle of piano miniatures written to explore variation form - not as a single unified structure, but as a collection of discrete musical threads. The cycle is divided into two halves: the first five miniatures are transformed (with varying levels of clarity) in the last five. To highlight this, each title is generic rather than descriptive, clearly defining the style without extra-musical connotations.
for soprano saxophone and piano
Duration: 7 minutes 30 seconds
First performed by Allison Balcetis and Roger Admiral in April 2014.
In Greek Mythology, around the character of Ariadne spins a very troubled tale. My musical portrait of her selects two key moments from the mythos to bring to life. In the first movement, Theseus has volunteered as a sacrificial offering to Minos, the King of Crete, to be sent into his labyrinth and devoured by the Minotaur within. Ariadne falls in love with Theseus at first sight, and provides him with a sword to fight with, and a thread to find his way back out. Thus, the movement winds a trepid path through the labyrinth and back again. Still, not all is as it seems; although Theseus and Ariadne elope, he eventually chooses to abandon her on the Isle of Naxos, placing her under a deep sleep. This movement, freely written in a mixture of triadic and twelve-tone styles, depicts the ebb and flow of the waves and the heartbreak of the betrayal. However, ultimately the piece ends on a happy note, knowing that the god Dionysus will soon rescue her.
The audio below is from the first performance by Balcetis and Admiral in April 2014.
Three Movements (2013)
for solo piano
Duration: 5 minutes
First performed by Roger Admiral in December 2013. First European performances in May 2018 by Clare Simmonds in Hertford and London, UK.
In this brief work, it was my intention to present three diverse approaches to the concept of motion (natural, spiritual, and physical) while also exploring the physicality of piano playing in the process. The first movement, Spiral, is an energetic tornado, with syncopated dancing rhythms running a vertigo-inducing helix around the central section: the eye of the storm. Despite its energy, the storm dissipates almost as fast as it appears. The second movement, Meditation, imagines Olivier Messiaen alone in the woods as he meditates. The three independent staves represent the three spirits which speak to him: the voice of the birds, the voice of the earth, and the voice of God. In the final movement, Sprint, the piano part features a variety of colourful scales which run a marathon across the keyboard, accompanied by the pounding irregularity of the runner's heartbeat beneath it.
The audio below is a private recording of Clare Simmonds from July 2018.
In His Arms (2013)
for solo organ
Duration: 3 minutes
First performed by Hart Godden in August 2013.
In His Arms is a brief organ work written on the occasion of my own wedding in the summer of 2013. The music (which I aimed to write as emotionally-open and honest as possible) is cast in ternary form, where the climax (the beginning of the A' section) represents the very moment of spiritual and emotional union.
concerto for trumpet and piano
Duration: 10 minutes
First performed by the composer with Karen Klassen (piano) in April 2012.
With so many notable film composers pushing the artistic credibility of the medium over the past few decades, it has always been a small personal dream to score a film of my own. Soundtrack, a brief concerto for trumpet and piano, is my way of fulfilling this fantasy. Set in six parts, this piece roughly narrates some imaginary film (although the plot is for the listener to fill in!): Title Card, A Quiet Life / Call to Arms, On the Road, Death / A Growing Vengeance, The Final Conflict / Prayers of the People, and A Celebration. Although the piano part was originally intended to only serve as an orchestral reduction (and an orchestra would be fitting here), this version is entirely suitable for recitals.