Here are the recordings from the Hepworth concert. I’m only posting my pieces her because .. well, it’s my blog. If you want to see the rest then head over to the YouTube channel. For complex reasons the YouTube channel does not include Leaving Rome – but this blog post does. That’s life.
I’ll present the three pieces of mine in a semi-random order.
First is Wrong Way Home which is a solo piece that I premiered at the “A Whispered Shout” concert in Croydon. Technically this went better than the first performance as the Max for Live patches worked correctly this time. My playing is slightly rushed on this version though so it’s shorter than I’d have liked but I generally I think it came out rather well. The video is slightly blurry as I’ve enlarged it from the original (non-HD) recording so you’re not mostly staring at the rows of seats in front of the camera 🙂
Second is Market Hill which I wrote for mezzo soprano Dorothy Taylor and a static backing track that I prepared. The sounds are based on wind noises and church bells recorded on Market Hill in the town of Hedon where I grew up. Dorothy did a wonderful performance of this piece that I’m immensely pleased with. There’s no video only audio, but there’s not much to see unless you want to watch a classically-trained singer eating an SM58. The truth of the matter is that I filled the camera SD card with Leaving Rome and the other pieces.
Lastly is Leaving Rome which I have labelled a ‘Talking Opera’ because the only words in it are spoken; there is a singer but she just sings syllables taken from the text – which is by Juvenal. I have mixed emotions about this piece. I started it two years ago now and my style and abilities have developed quite a lot since then. If I was to do this piece again I very much doubt it would turn out like it has here. Having said that, there are parts of the music that I still like and think really work, but there are also bits where I cringe and go “what was I thinking!?“. Karen Kirkup’s acting and staging rescue a lot of the substandard music – they give you something more interesting to concentrate on. And that’s the intention to some extent, it’s a music-theatre piece that you’re supposed to watch – a sound-only recording would be pointless.