Monthly Archive: June 2012

New Sounds - Prince Zal and the Simorgh

Posted on Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Here's an extract which the LPO have kindly given me permission to post of my recent piece for narrator and orchestra, Prince Zal and the Simorgh. This is the final four minutes of the piece.

In the story, written and narrated by Sally Pomme Clayton - based on a story from the old Persian epic poem The Shahnameh - King Sam abandons his white-haired son on a deserted mountain. but it turns out the mountain is home to the magical bird, the Simorgh, who looks after the baby Prince Zal and raises him. Sixteen years later, King Sam's life has been lonely and miserable, and he sees the error of his ways. He comes to the mountain to pray for his sons forgiveness, and is astonished to see a white -haired boy jumping across the rocks. Zal tells the King the mountain is his home and he can't leave his mother - but then the Simorgh appears - and that's where we pick up the story:

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Boots, Forgotten and International

Posted on Friday, June 8, 2012

The second batch of players enrolled in Carnegie Hall's Academy program, and their performing arm Ensemble ACJW are giving the final performance of their tenure this Sunday at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC, and I'm honoured that they asked me to be part of it. They requested a 2 minute piece, and up to my neck in opera as I am, I was concerned even that would be a struggle. Then I remembered the lost movement of Gumboots which I'd reworked for Todd Palmer for clarinet and piano (it hasn't yet been performed after Todd's pianist fell ill for the premiere). I suggested to the ACJW players that it would make a fun short piece to rework for their entire 20+ players (including two pianos!). The concert also features an enticing mish-mash of pieces by Mahler, Lennon and McCartney, Faure, and Taraf de Haidouks! Please come down and support these great players! More details on the Carnegie Hall website and tickets via L.P.R.

Later in July there are two international performances of
Gumboots to look forward to - Spain's foremost contemporary clarinettist José Luis Estellés performs it Granada on 17th June, and on 23rd, Sarah Beaty and colleagues from the newly formed The Declassified (all ex-ACJW players) perform, excitingly in Iceland - how I wish I could attend both these performances.


I should also draw attention to the Spitalfields & London premiere of Fire on 23rd June, and earlier that day I shall be honoured to be sharing a Meet the Composer event/talk with Howard Skempton.

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