Vocal & Choral Music
The Dark Gate (2017) - for soprano and piano - sets five poems by David Vogel (1891-1944) which are sung without a break:
1) On Summer Evenings
2) How Can I See You Love
3) An Autumn Day will Breathe
4) With Gentle Fingers
5) There is One Last Solitary Coach about to Leave
Following a visit to Auschwitz in 2016, I felt compelled to re-tell Vogel's words and to reflect upon my visit to that place. The Dark Gate is published by UYMP.
Apocalypse (2012) - for SATB choir - depicts the final fifteen days of the world, as foretold in some of York's medieval stained glass: the 'Prick of Conscience' window at All Saints Church, North Street, York. It was first performed in York in 2013 and was recently presented by the Danish Radio Vocal Ensemble in Christian's Church, Copenhagen in February 2016 as part of their Angels and Demons programme, which was broadcast and streamed live on the DR website. Apocalypse is published by UYMP.
Music of a Thousand Breaths (2018) for five solo voices was inspired by the extensive medieval wall paintings in Pickering Church, North Yorkshire, where the work was first performed. Poetry is by Abi Curtis. My pieces are interspersed with electronic soundscapes by David Power (and, towards the end, William Byrd's Ave Verum Corpus). The paintings include depictions of St George, St Christopher, Salome, St Thomas, St Catherine, the Passion and Crucifixion, Descent into Hell, and the Virgin Mary; I have provided vocal music and an instrumental 'commentary' for each painting.
Gentle (2015) for soprano and marimba, sets three poems by the 13th-century Persian poet known as Rumi. 1: The Firmness Under You. 2: Dance. 3: Gently. It was composed in 2014 and also exists in versions for soprano and piano and soprano with small orchestra: clarinets and strings. Gentle has been released by PercusSing on their debut CD Two Worlds.
Fallen (2010) for SATB choir was composed for York St John University Chamber Choir who first performed it it Canterbury Cathedral. The texts are by Rumi (We have fallen into a place where everything is music) and an ancient Persian proverb (Drops that gather one by one finally become an ocean). Fallen is for SATB with two antiphonal soprano soloists. Following the premiere it was included in a Sky TV documentary 'The Night Football Changed Forever'.
Confound Winter (2016) - for three female voices - sets words by Tess Kincaid. It was composed for the Juice Vocal Ensemble who have recorded it on their 'Snow Queens' album. This is a live recording of the first performance which took place in London, December 2016.
Three Songs of Peril (2011) was the second set of songs for baritone and piano composed to words by Daniela Nunnari. The songs are Snakes and Ladders, Clocks (in which singer and accompanist play independently of one another) and Willow. To read the texts for these - and Daniela's other poetry - visit her website.
Bliss (for SATB chorus) was composed in 1998 and first performed in York Minster as part of a universities choir festival the following year. It has since been performed by the Elysian Singers and Vox Aurum chamber choir. The text - which unfolds very gradually in the music - is a beautiful medieval English carol: 'Grant us the bliss to see Thy face, where we may sing to Thy solace'.
The group of two songs called Propaganda are the third composed using Daniela Nunnari's fine poetry: Loose Lips Sink Ships and Make Do and Mend. On this recording they are sung by a baritone but the songs were conceived for female voice: I must confess to preferring the version for soprano and piano. These songs date from 2012.
Memory of Place (2009) is a sequence of three songs (Frozen, Floating and If Wishes were Willows) for baritone and piano, to poetry by Daniela Nunnari. They have been recorded by Paul Carey Jones and Ian Ryan and released under the Meridian label.