In this work I have made up the lives and dreams of people who are out of sight in Hopper’s painting of a quiet row of houses at dawn. I wrote about different situations I imagined, from house to house. There are seven sections in the suite; the first and last sections represent the ends of terrace.
After Ansel Adams This suite was written from memories of the atmospheres in Ansel Adams’ photographs. Rather than work directly from any single image, I recalled how his pictures had made me feel in the past and tried to capture those feelings in the compositions. In some pieces I was led to short, imagined stories in the style of Adams photography.
This suite was written after observing very young children exploring the piano keyboard without inhibitions. In copying their approach I freed musical ideas from deep in my imagination; these ideas formed the backbone of work.
After Rachel Whiteread, Nazarin Montag and Roberto Battista
The starting point for this work was artist Rachel Whiteread's sculpture piece where she'd cast into plaster the shape of the space underneath a bed. I set out to try something similar in composition; at the time Whiteread was working in the Arctic so I began to think about the shapes of spaces within icebergs and to allow these imagined cavities define peaks, troughs and edges of the music. Later on, I sought extra visual input so I collaborated with two photographers, Nazarin Montag and Roberto Battista - also preoccupied with the depiction of spaces.
Written for Music, Science and the Brain, an open symposium, Plymouth, Sept ‘08.
When I set about composing the pieces for the symposium I corresponded with the scientist and violinist, Dr Martin Coath, who had invited me to perform and who was also due to present a paper at the event. The correspondence was about the speed of synapses throughout the brain and became a main source for the music.
The last time I caught sight of my friend and fellow musician before his untimely passing he was walking down a road and laughing with his companion. His family asked me to play piano at his memorial, so I wrote a set of pieces. In my mind I could see how he continues his journey still, along the gradient road.