Tag Archives: King James

Choir & Organ magazine feature

I am the featured ‘New Music’ composer in the current issue of Choir & Organ magazine (Sept/Oct 2011). You can read their interview with me about how I came to composition, the challenges I have overcome, how I write and what it means to me.

Even better, for the next six months, Come Unto Me is published on the Choir & Organ magazine website and you can download it for free. Click here to download the score. You can also download composer’s notes. [07.08.2012 update: the score is no longer available to download from Choir & Organ. Please contact the composer if you would like to purchase the sheet music.]

I’d love to hear your feedback on both the article and the music – and do let me know if you plan to sing it with your choir!

A new commission

Hast thou not known? was premiered on Tuesday 17th May by the Royal College of Music Junior Department Chamber Choir at the beautiful Temple Church, London, in the finals of the King James Bible Composition Awards. It was a lovely evening of new choral music, each piece very different but equally exciting. I love listening to new music – you don’t often get the chance to hear much down in Devon!

The piece was one of four finalists in ‘Category B’ (a piece for professional choir) and received excellent feedback from the adjudicating panel, which included James MacMillan, Roxanna Panufnik and James O’Donnell, and from the audience.I am grateful to the choir and their conductor Joy Hill for doing such an excellent job. You can find out more about the event and the other composers here.

I am very pleased to announce that, as a result of the competition, I have been commissioned to write a new piece for Choir & Organ magazine. So although I didn’t win, I am thrilled to have been a finalist in this international competition. It is onwards and upwards, and I am ever more determined to write. I’m glad there’s another bank holiday on the horizon!

Experiments in form

Work began a few weeks ago on the third of my King James Bible 400th anniversary trilogy, When thou passest through the waters. This was to be an antedote to the whirlwind of Hast thou not known? and I decided on a simple melody. To make things interesting, this time the main area for experimentation is therefore not melody or harmony, but form.  The first draft presented options for singing it as some kind of structured, irregular ’round’.

I then began to consider how best to notate such a thing, so it appeals to amateur singing groups and yet doesn’t over-instruct. I could foresee bars and bars of rests while one part waits for their entry. I decided to sleep on it.

Since then I have not been brave enough to return to the page! I know that it is nearly finished but the next stage will be the labour intensive part. The devil is in the detail. Once again, I really ought to just get on with it and stop making excuses!