Monthly Archive: January 2009

Bring on the Groanbox

Posted on Monday, January 12, 2009

My latest piece, Groanbox, frantically worked on between Christmas pudding and New Year festivities, is completed. Details of the concert featuring Metropolis Ensemble and the Groanbox Boys are available here. Tickets available here. The fabulous picture of Michael Ward-Bergeman above is courtesy of The neepster who very generously allowed me to reuse it here.

This piece has a number of firsts:

  • my first use of banjo
  • my first incorporation of folk musicians, (or rather, in Cory's case in particular, of a musician whose principal area of expertise is the aural tradition)
  • my first use of a 2/6 bar (two thirds of a triplet)
  • my first use of sandpaper blocks, bicycle bell, goblet, stomp board, Tibetan cowbell and whip
  • my first piece to be inspired in part by the Teletubbies.

    >> Read more about Groanbox and the concert here
    >> Buy tickets here

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    Studies in African Music by A.M. Jones

    Posted on Thursday, January 8, 2009

    In video below, from Pitchfork TV, Steve Reich talks about his music (along with lots of nice, but brief examples) - he mentions a book called Studies in African Music by A.M. Jones which was his first introduction to the complexity of rhythms in African music. I went to hunt for this book, and to my surprise although not available on Amazon, it is available complete online for free, at Here are the links:

    Volume 1 (41mb)
    Volume 2 (24mb)

    Here is the Reich video:

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    Birds in Arlington

    Posted on Thursday, January 1, 2009

    My first performance of the new year takes place, alas, without me - the National Opera Association are performing extracts from my opera A Bird in Your Ear in Arlington, Virginia on the 9th Jan, as part of the finals for their new opera competition. It's a great shame I won't be able to make it, but I'm grateful to all involved, and I wish them all the very best for the performance.


    One thing this performance has galvanised me to do is get some better quality video excerpts up online, one above, more on the A Bird in Your Ear page,

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