Tuesday was the premiere in Dunkirk of the new opera I have been writing with Antoine Thiollier for over a year, Les Constellations - Une Théorie, in collaboration with L'Éventuel Hérisson Bleu theatre company and Miroirs Étendus. A great close to the year and to the first chapter of this adventure, which we hope will tour France next year, starting with 3 dates in Amiens in February. The show, a real blend of pure theatre and opera, mixes a lot of different musical genres & narrative devices to tell the story of a troup of randomers sent into space to find out why the stars have disappeared from the sky... It is for 3 actors, 2 singers and 4 instrumentalists (including me on electric guitar!). Hope you can see it someday.
What an honour to be featured in this month's edition of the French Classical music magazine Diapason as 'Young Talent'! Full article if you buy a copy
opera final steps
Les Constellations - Une Théorie teaser
Last month while on a residency in Lille we shot a little teaser video for Les Constellations - Une Théorie, the devised opera I have been working on for nearly a year with L'Éventuel Hérisson Bleu. You can watch it below. Just under a month now before the premiere!
EVERGREEN LP2 strings
I wrote some string arrangements for Evergreen (aka We Were Evergreen)'s new album, which we recorded at RAK studios earlier this week with players from the brilliant 12 Ensemble. Record out next year on Because Music! Watch this space.
ce n'était pas nous @ Maîtrise de Radio France 70th
On the 18th of October the Maîtrise de Radio France, the French Radio's children's choir, celebrated its 70th anniversary with a concert at the Auditorium of the Maison de la Radio in Paris. Under 4 different conductors, current and past choristers sang a huge range of music from their repertoire, old and new.
I was lucky and honoured to have my piece ce n'était pas nous, written for the choir earlier this year, performed for the second time alongside some of the Maîtrise's classics. You can rewatch the performance, conducted by Morgan Jourdain, below:
Dulwich Picture Gallery interview
In November my friend the viola da gamba player Liam Byrne will be performing a pair of concerts at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, in tandem with their exhibition 'Dou in Harmony'. I'm writing a new short piece for Liam for the occasion, and you can read an interview of us talking about it with the chief curator Xavier Bray in the gallery's magazine here.
The concerts take place on the 3rd and 4th of November at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. Come! Tickets are available here
I was a guest on the latest 'Proms Extra' on BBC Two (episode 3), discussing the Bowie, Berlioz and Mahler Proms of the previous week with conductor Jessica Cottis and soprano Ailish Tynan, hosted by Katie Derham.
HART was the closing act for the last Listenpony in March. I arranged one of his songs for the violin duo Mainly Two and the vocal consort Eo Nomine to join him. The video of it has just been released and you can watch here & now:
Bowie Prom @ Royal Albert Hall
A week ago I had the honour of being part of the super BBC Prom no. 19 at the Royal Albert Hall, a tribute to David Bowie curated by André de Ridder with his ensemble s t a r g a z e.
Guest singers Amanda Palmer (The Dresden Dolls), Anna Calvi, Neil Hannon (The Divine Comedy), Paul Buchanan (The Blue Nile), Laura Mvula, Conor O'Brien (Villagers), Marc Almond (Soft Cell), John Cale (The Velvet Underground) and Philippe Jarroussky sang new versions of DB songs arranged by Jherek Bischoff, Greg Saunier, stargaze, Michel van der Aa, David Lang, Anna Meredith and myself.
I worked on 3 songs for the occasion: 'The Man Who Sold the World' (from The Man Who Sold the World, sung by Conor O'Brien), 'I Can't Give Everything Away' (from Blackstar, sung by Paul Buchanan) and 'After All' (from The Man Who Sold the world, sung by everybody).
It was an incredible night - watch it again (my numbers at 16:00, 58:00 and 1:57:00):
Music Meets interview
Earlier this year I recorded a little podcast with my friend Matthew Ker aka producer MaJiKer. We discuss music we like: I played him a cover of an Yves Simon song by Christine and the Queens and a piece for solo cello by Laurence Crane, he played me a song by Les Doubles Six and a DJ Krust track. We also play a bit of our own work.
Last night was the 2015/16 season finale of Kammerklang, a wonderful concert series of contemporary classical/experimental music held monthly at Cafe Oto in Dalston. I had the joy and privilege of opening the concert with the violinist Eloisa-Fleur Thom playing a new, live version of my 2013 tape piece if nomen boat for violin and tape. Followed performances by EXAUDI of Christopher Fox's Catalogue Irraisonné and by Tom Pauwels and Liesa Van der Aa from ICTUS of music by Christopher Trapani and Larry Polansky, putting traditional American folk music in the context of just intonation. Both sets were completely astonishing.
You can listen to the broadcast of the concert on BBC3's Hear and Now podcast here until the 1st of August.
The latest 'Fabrication Maison' programme on the French radio France Musique included a 20min report around the Maîtrise de Radio France's 9th April concert, which included the premiere of my piece ce n'était pas nous.
You can replay the podcast here by clicking 'Écouter l'émission' (the specific bit about my piece happens between 37:40 and 45:00!)
Radio France interview
I was interviewed by Radio France ahead of the premiere of ce n'était pas nous, a new piece I wrote for the Maîtrise, next month.
The main project I am working on this year is a new devised opera: a collaboration with the wonderful French theatre company L'Éventuel Hérisson Bleu. It's called Les Constellations - Une Théorie and tells the story of a group of artists' journey in space. The cast consists of 2 actors, 2 singers, and 4 musicians (violin/electric violin, piano/synth, clarinet/bass clarinet and electric guitar). It is being produced by Miroirs Étendus and co-produced by Lille Opera. The premiere will take place in December of this year and we will perform the show throughout France in 2017. Keep your eyes out!
You can read more (in French) about the project here.
through the bleak midwinter @ Karolaoke
Last December I was asked to write an 'anti-carol' for KAROLAOKE (The Coveryard). Ben Osborn and I created a new song in response to the famous 'In the bleak midwinter', focusing on those people who spent Christmas out in the cold, especially those travelling towards us, trapped between worlds by the shutting of borders.
Watch the beautiful video Rachel Margetts made for the performance, with the music: