Category Archives: Composition

The ExoPlanets Suite

ExoPlanet Suite front cover

When Will Gregory asked me to be involved with the Moog Ensemble I started writing some music for the group which formed the beginnings of this collection of pieces. It became apparent after a while that for practical reasons it wasn’t quite the right music for the group (I have written other music for the ensemble since), but I decided to pursue the idea of my own suite for synthesizers anyway. The notion of a collection of sci-fi scenes – planets with different characters and colours, gradually evolved.

 

The pieces show off the different kinds of music that have been made on synths. Some of it has a distinctly “radiophonic” feel – neoclassical fanfares, fugal writing etc – that reminds one of sci fi of the 1960s and 70s. Some of it is atmospheric or ambient – conjuring alien landscapes or architecture. There are occasional nods towards the electronic music of the avant garde, and to the dance music of the 1990s.

 

One of the intriguing things for me about the instrument is that despite its promise of being a new sound, it is in fact quite dated. Some of the sounds are so iconic and evocative that it becomes impossible to shake these associations off. So I decided to use these associations rather than avoid them. The synthesizer has many different traditions, many different colours: as noted above, there is the neo-classical (or more properly neo-baroque) style in many TV soundtracks of the 60s and 70s – for example, Doctor Who of the Jon Pertwee era. Many of the sounds in the original series of Star Trek (the Enterprise going into warp, photon torpedos, various planetary environments) are made on synths. Prog rock made much use of the synth and there are allusions to the style of bands like Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Gentle Giant here too. The synthesizer was a big part of the jazz rock fusion era, and the soundscapes featuring in the music of Weather Report, Herbie Hancock’s HeadHunters, Chick Corea, and others, were created using synth sounds. Stevie Wonder worked with the TONTO team to create his own synth sound world. Later on, with samples and drum loops, another characterisation of the synth came into dance music.

 

The music of this album can be broadly characterised in three ways: there are “narrative” pieces like the fanfares and “Strange Games”; there are “ambiences”, either of environments or architecture; and there are dance-style “groove” pieces. The compositional approaches vary from the traditional dots-on-paper (“Hindemith Planetia”, “Nu World Synfonie”) method to more improvisatory jazz and dance-music methods (“Angular Momentum”, “Cloud Catcher”). The synth’s ability to create imaginary worlds is explored in an intuitive music concrete way, sometimes using actual sounds from the real world (“Rain Planet”, “Ice World Terraforming”).

 

Listen out for certain motifs carrying over from piece to piece. This gives a sense of continuity over the 18 pieces that form the suite.

 

There is a huge dynamic range over the course of the album. Some of the ambient music is very quiet. The synthesizer is an instrument which has the ability to create sounds that hover almost subliminally, and this is unlike any other instrument. I’m hoping that this dynamic range will draw the listener into the sound world of the ExoPlanets Suite.

 

I’m still exploring the world of the synth: there’s plenty more to come!

 

Eddie Parker 2016

 

 

Snowsteps for Moog Ensemble

Snowsteps

For Will Gregory Moog Ensemble, 10 players

 

This is the second piece I have written which is based on, and is a transformation of, a Prelude by Claude Debussy. The piece, “Des pas sur la neige”, translated as “Footsteps in the snow”, is the sixth in Book 1 of the Preludes for piano, written around 1909-10. Although there is no specific literary or artistic allusion contained in the title, the romantic image of the lonely journey through a winter landscape, punctuated by moments of hope and of despair, is a common one in European art. Schubert’s Winterreise, settings of words by Wilhelm Muller, is perhaps the most famous.

 

Following the example of painter Joan Miro’s transformation of Dutch master Hendrik Martenzoon Sorgh’s “The Lute Player”click here for link, I have kept the shape of the original piece intact, but adding mirroring phrases and transforming the harmony.

 

In my first Debussy transformation “Windgames”, the original instrumentation remains. When the opportunity to write something new for the Moog Ensemble came up, it allowed me to explore some of the timbral landscape of Debussy’s piece. My first piece for the Ensemble, “Oceans of Heaven”, was based on the instrument’s ability to make a note appear from, and disappear back into silence. In “Snowsteps”, I’m exploiting, among other things, the instrument’s ability to change the timbre of a note over its duration – great for conjuring images of changing shades of sunlight reflecting and refracting on snow.  The high tones, with filters open, create a glassy quality, as of ice. The use of delay pedals, with muted swirls of notes, of drifting billows of snowflakes.

 

In a few places the progress of the piece is interrupted. One hears distant unearthly harmonies like howling wolves, or a mourning choir of angels. This is achieved on an instrument called a Swarmatron.

 

One can imagine several iterations of this piece, each getting further and further away from the Debussy – as if successive snowfalls were gradually burying and adumbrating the original contours.

 

Would Debussy have composed for the synthesizer if he were here now? A bit of a cliché question, and rather problematic considering all that has happened to musical language since his time: Stockhausen took the exploration of electronically generated sound to an extreme point half a century ago – notwithstanding that it was Debussy that opened the compositional door to timbre and colour a half century before that. Debussy conceived of his music as “the art of sound and colour”; he was interested in the sonorous possibilities that modern musical instruments offered. It would be difficult to imagine a piece like “La Cathedrale Engloutie” on a harpsichord, for example. So, yes, if the synth had been around in Debussy’s day I’m sure he would have been intrigued by its capabilities. He was never interested in the organ though – but then the timbre of an organ note cannot be changed while holding a note down…

Bright Smoke, Cold Fire: some secrets

BBC Radio 3 commission for Loose Tubes, first performed at Cheltenham Jazz Festival May 3rd 2014
 
The piece started as a bag of disparate elements and ideas about the kind of thing I wanted it to be – lots of changes of tempo and texture, something in the Mahavishnu Orchestra arpeggiated chord vein, something beguine-ish with rhythmic brass, a swooping tune, a busy, unpredictable tune, a rising sax soli gesture; these jotted down in the summer of 2013 when the idea of a reunion commission first came up. Then I let it go to sleep.
 
When the project was confirmed I began to work on the piece in earnest. I still had the idea of music which changes abruptly from one area to another and I set to work on fleshing out the different kinds of material. As I went on, it became evident that these different areas were related – they were transformations or translations of each other. I also became fascinated by the idea of how seemingly angular, atonal melodies could become tonal, and vice versa. There is a jagged, abrupt melody in the opening half minute, which comes back a little later in a more harmonically focused context. Motifs from the opening melody are harmonically refocused later on, and extrapolated contrapuntally towards the end.
 
The harmony is the real foundation of the piece. The sequence of 9 harmonic areas, expressed in chord symbols, goes:
 
 F maj7+5,     B11,     Bbmaj7#11,    Bb11,    Emaj7#11,    Emin11,    Abmaj7+5, C7alt,    F#maj7+5
 
This is quite a rich sequence. Looking at the chord scales, you find that A maj triad belongs to the first two chords, and that the 7th and 11th of the second chord become the maj 7th and # 11th of the third, and so on. In arranging and voicing these chords you can also express them in close form, with the 13th a semitone below the 7th, or in expanded form emphasising min 9th intervals. This is a bit of a technical explanation, but it means that the sound of the harmony can go through different transformations. The music can sound sometimes “jazzy” and sometimes “contemporary”.
 
After the opening rising sax figure the first version of the harmony, a tribute and reference to John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra,  is a filtered version of the sequence, with fewer notes to give a more gutsy sound. When it returns at the end in fuller orchestration the bare intervals remain – I didn’t fill the sound out with other extensions etc. I like this “white hot” sound – it expresses the shock of revelation in Mahavishnu’s music, and here something hopefully similar: wake up!
 
Next comes the keyboard arpeggiated chords – another Mahavishnu trademark – and then the band comes in with parts that trace the keyboard and an angular phrase over the top at odds with the harmony, from which a lot of the later melodic material is derived. A sound that suggests a complex woven thread.
 
The next version of the harmony is in beguine tempo, with close voicings arranged for the brass. The large – interval melody which appeared earlier is on the guitar, doubled below on bass and bass clarinet. Also in this section is a little melody for alto and trumpet harmonised in fourths. This is lighter in mood, with a dancing rhythm.
 
Now comes another harmonic sequence, unrelated to the central one and providing a release from it; the time signature settles to a regular 3 in the bar. Now the atonal angular phrase is recontextualised in tonal harmony. There follows a flute solo on the sequence, followed by a recapitulation of the melody with high woodwind trills – suggesting a Debussian delirium. The fourthsy melody has now acquired a little countermelody.
 
An abrupt change leads to the second half of the piece, a percussion-heavy groove in 6 with accented bass notes. A saxophone solo weaves in between until the horns begin their contrapuntal explorations of the intervallic and melodic material. There is an urgency in this section – the high woodwind trills sound like a phone ringing (must take this call!), the chromatic lines propel the music forward with increasing complexity, like a polemic. The grand brass chords which stand monumentally over the music from time to time are another iteration of the original harmonic sequence, this time arranged in expanded intervals to give a more plangent contemporary sound. In fact the bass notes spell out the roots of the original sequence, and the rhythmic accents have been in the piece from the beginning. So the abrupt change to something seemingly unrelated is in fact a change to the same thing as before!
 
The contrapuntal section leads headlong into the opening Mahavishnu-style music with cataclysmic force; then comes a final reiteration of the beguine tempo section with yet more dancing counterlines. And finally another abrupt change: the mood becomes more forgiving, more wistful, thinner in texture, and gently waltzes to a close that feels unresolved, a dot-dot-dot ending. The harmony in this section is in fact a re-spelling of the original chord sequence – each chord has the same parent scale as the original, F maj+5 becomes A maj +5, B11 becomes F#min11, and so on. The voicings are similar to things that happen in the late Pete Saberton’s music, and this section is a fond tribute to his memory.
 
 
 
So what, finally, is the meaning of the title “Bright Smoke, Cold Fire”? In the original Shakespeare Romeo uses the phrase to illustrate what it feels like when he doubts Juliet’s love for him – a world turned upside-down. But here I intend other, broader meanings. The world is not as it should be: there is still, even now in the 21st century, war, children starving to death – that’s Bright Smoke, Cold Fire; greed, fear and power are still abroad both in the wider world and in the interactions of daily life – that’s Bright Smoke, Cold Fire; music is still used by many as acoustic wallpaper while doing something else, or as mere entertainment, or as social badge, or as a means of manipulating opinions and buying habits, instead of as the supreme medium of transformation and healing – that’s Bright Smoke, Cold Fire;  music history is a list of officially approved figures rather than a universal legacy of generosity, free to all – that’s Bright Smoke, Cold Fire… and more… I think, or I hope, the urgent need for these revelations is there in the sound of this music.
 

Two Loose Tubes Compositions

Two Loose Tubes Compositions: “Sosbun Brakk” and “Delightful Precipice”

 

A lot gets said about Loose Tubes in performance – reviews of gigs naturally tend to talk more about the spectacle, the humour, the energy, etc, but so much remains to be said about the compositional side of the band. In an interview trumpet player and composer Chris Batchelor said that the standard of writing in Tubes had “raised the bar” for bands playing their own music. I interpret this as meaning that expectations were raised, that for example after Tubes it was no longer adequate merely to write a “head” with (or without) chord changes: original compositions had to be much more thoroughly conceived, not only in the arrangement, the chord voicings or part-writing, but in the fundamentals of what the music was, how it sounded, and how it related to the larger world it made connections with. Loose Tubes was a meeting place of styles and influences. Sometimes the band sounded South African, sometimes avant-garde, sometimes funky, sometimes folky. I think Chris was implying that it is no longer possible to make assumptions, to rely on clichés. From now on composers need to not only embrace, but explore, probe and question their influences. And be prepared for new ones.

 

There was so much music and so many styles it’s almost too hard to begin. But begin I will, and forgive me if I blow my own trumpet a bit and choose one of my own pieces and an area of music close to my heart – the relationship between jazz and classical music. I’m going to start with my own piece “Sosbun Brakk” and put it alongside Django’s “Delightful Precipice”, both of which appear on Loose Tubes’ second album “Delightful Precipice”, and both of which appear on the second volume of material recorded at Loose Tubes’ final week at Ronnie Scotts. “Sosbun Brakk” bears traces of composers like Ligeti and Berio, as well as Eric Dolphy, Anthony Braxton etc on the jazz side. Django’s piece sounds at times like Charles Ives and Varese but also gives a gruntling nod towards minimalists like Riley, Reich and Adams.

 

 

Jazz/Classical Cross-Over

 

Both pieces can be heard in relationship to contemporary classical music idioms; I guess because of my own background I’m particularly interested in the cross-over between classical music and jazz, but by this I don’t mean the blatant bashing together of the two idioms. This has never interested me. I am attracted by subtle blends of musics; I’m impressed when an artist’s work shows a deep level of understanding of musical idioms rather than a superficial one. For example I find the addition of an oboe or sitar to an otherwise conventional post-bop jazz rhythm section (that used to pass for “cross-over”) gratuitous, lumpy and gimmick-prone. Neither have I ever been a great fan of early 20th century classical composers trying to “do jazz” – Stravinsky’s Ebony Concerto and Milhaud’s La Creation Du Monde always sounded awkward to me (Gershwin was always more successful than these).

 

But for me the real stuff starts with Gil Evans. Gil Evans’ music was by far the most successful blending of jazz and classical sensibilities. It is to be found in the harmonies and textures, the shifting of orchestral settings from intimate portraits and interiors to wide open landscapes, that occur in his work with Miles: it isn’t just the choice of material that speaks of classical influences in jazz. The relationship is much more fundamental, much more organic. Gil Evans’ harmonic and arranging voice is as jazzy as Tadd Dameron’s but as orchestral as Ravel’s. The term “third stream music” seems to have fallen from use these days; it was Gunther Schuller who first coined it, and an interesting though (in my opinion) limited brand of jazz, some of which explored serial techniques and sounds, grew up around him. Gil was associated with this brand but his work has a warmth, and an expansiveness, which I do not find in other “third streamers”. Gil also has great command of orchestration and a large vocabulary of what I might call “orchestral gestures”.

 

 

Sosbun Brakk

 

The title is the name of a mountain in the Karakoram range of the Himalayas. A picture in Mountain magazine shows a jagged, angular, wedge-like peak with a plume of icy cloud perpetually blowing off into the stratosphere. I liked it! And I liked the words.

My thanks go to my friend Chris McHale in Liverpool for introducing me to it. So there is a programmatic element to this piece, especially at the end.

 

I wrote “Sosbun Brakk” partly as a way of working through my experiences with contemporary music at York University where I immersed myself in that kind of music, playing tons of Berio, Victor Hoyland and other stuff. There is a moment in Berio’s monumental music theatre work “Laborinthus II” when suddenly a jazz rhythm section erupts into the music, playing fast time-no-changes in the style of Ornette Coleman. I had the idea to turn this image on its head. I felt there was a space for a modern jazz piece that made use of contemporary classical sounds and gestures, just as Berio had made use of jazz.

 

It was my first piece for Loose Tubes and the one I agonised about most – I wanted, like all young composers, to be as impressive and as whippersnapper-like as I could. So my compositional task was to create a sustained piece of atonal music in which no elements were repeated, but which nevertheless sounded complete and of one piece. I had no numerical or integral serial scheme for this. I just tried to hear all the sounds in the piece as belonging to one idea or mood. The sources of the sounds in the piece are probably quite traceable: for example, the muted trumpets behind the first solo are not a million miles from what happens in a quiet moment in the second part of the “Rite of Spring”; the melodic writing in the opening section before the first solo is similar to moments in “Out To Lunch” by Eric Dolphy.

 

From an improviser’s point of view I also wanted to create a vehicle for non-chord based playing. It was my attempt to contribute to a rapprochement between “free” and “harmonic” improvising, and over the years it was interesting to hear the various soloists’ approaches to playing on this tune. I particularly love Dai Pritchard’s bass clarinet playing, so reminiscent of Dolphy, and so nuts! Django’s comping behind the trombone duet in the live recording is a direct reference to Conlan Nancarrow and also luminous and deranged.

 

I’ve always been fascinated by music which is on the “event horizon” between tonality and atonality, between harmony and texture, and between the abstract and the programmatic. That’s why Debussy is always the greatest classical composer for me, why I love Alban Berg, why I immersed myself in Luciano Berio’s music, and why I believe Ligeti will eventually be recognised as the greatest of the Darmstadt avant–gardists. Not that I don’t like other kinds of music; but there is some kind of philosophical tingle associated with music “on the cusp” – you can’t quite pin it down; it defies the categories. This is one of the things I was trying to achieve in Sosbun Brakk: there is melody, but not in any key; the piece is in common time but without the feeling of “hard” barlines or four-bar squareness. The opening of the piece is jagged and discontinuous in true avant-garde music-theatre style, with abrupt starts and stops; Dai Pritchard takes the first solo with an accompaniment of orchestral gestures and colours. Then there is a section after the first solo when the rhythm drops out and a tune is suspended over some chords – again there is no key, but the melody and harmony just sit together somehow. A passage of extreme, jagged, battling accents follows and then we are into the second, extended improvising section.  And at the end, after the spiky avant-garde abstraction of the second solo, you get to hear the mountain itself growing higher and higher, line by line and note by note, until the perspective changes and you see the whole thing as from a distance, vast, imposing, unchanging and austere (in the first rehearsals of the piece several members of the band screamed at this point). And just to remind you that it’s jazz you hear a flat five interval in the bass!

 

Delightful Precipice

 

Django has said that his piece “Rowing Boat Delineation Egg” (on Loose Tubes’ first album “Loose Tubes”) was an attempt to sound like randomly edited tape; “Delightful Precipice” is in the same whacky wing of Django’s oeuvre but more developed. There are some kaleidoscopic repetitive passages where themes (including that of the BBC Radio programme “The Archers”) emerge from a psychodelic fog; abrupt changes in genre (eg from classical choral music a la Parry to South African Township jazz); and some Varese- or Berg- like melodies and chords. Despite, and maybe precisely because of this angular, jerky, whacky character, this piece became something of an anthem for the band. It shot from angst to joy, from enormity to frivolity, in a surprisingly authentic way  – authentic to our experience of life, that is.

 

At the beginning and end of “Delightful” a twisting, chromatic melody is heard. The accompanying music is circus-like, demonstrative and bombastic and bearing more than a trace of American writers like Ives, Varese, even Frank Zappa. This chromaticism, with the mosaic- or collage-like approach to accompanying orchestral gestures, is an aspect of Django’s writing he was to continue to explore in later pieces like “Fox Across the Road” and his setting of “New York, New York”. Django has repeatedly demonstrated his love for both circus and cinematic devices – changes of “scene”, tempo, scale (I mean numbers of instruments playing). The sequel to Loose Tubes, the band entitled Delightful Precipice, was the vehicle for many of these explorations.

 

Next we hear a short repetetive section in minimalist style, here delivered in mesmerizing legato but later developed at greater length as a sprightly staccato. The tonality is Ionian mode – “true major” – one’s sense of tonality begins to swim – Django plays with harmony and tonality throughout this piece. Disolving from this scene to the next, there is  now a passage of “extended tonality”, in other words, the harmonies contain strong tonal elements but these are offset by “wrong notes”; the melody set against these block chords is twisting and non-repetetive.

Later, after a reprise of the first section, there is a passage of trembling beauty in which the harmony is suspended in a series of trilling chords like a down-feather bed (with a bass flute solo supplied by yours truly!).  A wonderfully striking trombone melody gives a slow-tempo nod to Carla Bley, then there is a return to the pacey trance tempo (sounding so very English ((all based on the diatonic A-major scale but offset by the octave–displaced C sharp –D – E)) like Gavin Bryars, or fellow Scratch-Orchestra member Howard Skempton, perhaps) which finally gives way to the Berg/ Varese-like ending.

 

It’s interesting that we were both looking into the idea of forming a kind of continuity from discontinuous or heterogeneous elements in these two pieces.

 

It knocks me out how much these two pieces sound like they belong together, but also how the other pieces on the album (e.g. John Eacott’s “Sunny”, Steve Berry’s “Shelley”) complement them and make a foil to them – they are the edges of “Sosbun” and “Delightful” while “Sosbun” and “Delightful” are the edges of them. That was the way Loose Tubes worked but also the way our own individual oeuvres worked. After I wrote “Sosbun” I wrote “Children’s Game” and then “Shadow Play” and  “The Last Word”. These pieces are all very different from each other; some might be challenged to understand how they might be written by the same person: unless you know me! Similarly, put “Delightful” or “Rowing Boat” next to “Yellow Hill” or “Like Life” and you might ask a similar question. Stylistically heterogeneous oeuvres may seem commonplace now (do they?!!) but it was one of the things that made Loose Tubes really different back then, and it was important then as it is now for Django and for me to make the connection between jazz and contemporary “classical” music.

Windgames

Windgames

https://soundcloud.com/groove-on-music-workshops/eddie-parker-windgames?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_ca soundcloud.com

IMG_3501

For solo piano duration approx. 2 mins 40 secs. Composed Summer 2013.

This piece is based on and is a transformation of “Le Vent Dans La Plaine”, the third piece in Book 1 of the Preludes by Claude Debussy. The dynamics and contours of the piece are retained, but some of the gestures have been amplified and the harmony transformed.

The idea for making a piece like this had been in my mind for many years. There are precedents: Berio’s “Sequenza VI” for solo viola, gradually expanding as the “onion layers” are added in successive pieces – “Chemins II” for small ensemble and then the orchestral “Chemins III”; but also, and more influential, the painter Joan Miro’s transformation of the Dutch old master Hendrik Martenszoon Sorgh’s “The Lute Player”.

Dad with the Vernon's Choir

Dad with the Vernon’s Choir

My Dad, Frank Parker, Concert Pianist manqué, whose professional career consisted of performing music for variety theatre, musicals and ice skating shows, used to play Debussy on the piano to me when I was a child: “La Cathedrale Engloutie”, “Danse Sacree” and “Danse Profane” in piano transcription; “La Plus Que Lente”; “Jardins Sous La Pluie” and “Children’s Corner”. Then as a teenager my school music teacher Len Sartin would hold one spellbound not only with his prodigious pianistic abilities (he performed “Feux D’Artifice”, the notoriously difficult final Prelude of Book 2, in a school “Speech Night”, to the utter bewilderment of assembled parents), but his comprehensive knowledge of the art, poetry and literature that each Prelude was alluding to: Baudelaire, Mallarme, Chinoiserrie,  Arthur Rackham, etc. This in a comprehensive school for boys in Liverpool.

Debussy’s music for piano, especially from the two books of Preludes, went in deep for me and stayed there.

The feeling of a kind of kinetic sculpture in sound, involving a synthesis of harmony and sonority, a precise choreography of pianistic gesture, all bound together by an amniotic envelope created by the subtle use of the pedals – “like a kind of breathing”, as Debussy himself described it – these are the alchemical elements that have been infusing in my mind over the decades.

The fingering shapes – centrally, the sequence of left and then right thumb, followed by right fourth, fifth and then fourth fingers and again thumb, leaving right index and middle fingers free to play those restless “nested” melodies – I have retained, played with and expanded upon, and sometimes mirrored symmetrically in the left hand.

The four-note minor 6th and 7th chord inversions, signifying the loneliness of the homeless howling wind, have mutated: they are similar to the original, but the two hands are transposed and in contrary motion.

The thunderclaps are angrier, closer overhead, and more immediately threatening than in the original.

This piece is difficult to play. The recording I have made of it is – I hasten to admit – a bionic, computer enhanced performance recorded at a slower speed. However, nothing in it is physically impossible. Any difficulties – for example, of maintaining the feeling perpetual motion; of achieving continuity of phrasing; and moulding the dynamic contours – can be readily addressed, I believe, by studying the Debussy.

There may be more: one could foresee a series of Debussy transformations (or “Busygames”!): “Snowgames”, based on “The Snow Is Dancing” from” Children’s Corner”; “Raingames”, based on “Jardins Sous La Pluie”;   “Soundgames”, based on “Les Sons Et Les Parfumes…” from Preludes Book 1;  “Chordgames”, based on “Pour Les Chordes” from “Pour Le Piano”…

It may take me a while.

Ocean of Heaven

Composed for the Will Gregory Moog Ensemble, this deeply meditative piece, which lasts 10 minutes in performance, explores the synth’s  ability to make sounds swell from silence and back again, like ocean waves. First performed St Georges Brandon Hill Bristol 2013 and subsequently at King’s Place London, where Eddie dedicated it to the memory of recently departed friends and colleagues Steve Martland, Pete Saberton and Alan Hacker.

A different rendition of this piece exists on the new solo cd “Rain From A Cloudless Sky – Music for Tai Chi and more”. Contact for details.

Bright, Toward Heaven’s Descent

Eddie was shortlisted for the Britten Sinfonia Opus 2013 Composer’s Award. Ten composers were shortlisted from 250 applicants accross the UK. For this competition Eddie wrote “Bright, Toward Heaven’s Descent” for oboe, harp and string quartet, a highly evocative essay on the passing of the seasons inspired by Eddie’s home environment in rural Gloucestershire.

“Bright, Toward Heaven’s Descent” for oboe, harp and string quartet. Genre: contemporary classical, through written. Level: Advanced.

Contact Eddie for more details

Three Anagrams for Kurt Schwitters

‘Three Anagrams for Kurt Schwitters’, for percussion ensemble, commissioned by Ensemble Bash and first performed at Cheltenham Contemporary Music Series, November 2004.

Open Skies

‘Open Skies’, (London Arts Board Commission) for professional band and 150 school performers was performed at Kidbrooke School Community Venue London in November 2000. It was the culmination of a three year education and community outreach project called “Developing Musical Communities”.

In the piece, three large scale compositions by Eddie formed the main structural points – the scaffolding – into which participating groups inserted their own compositions. All of the creative work shared a common starting point, ensuring a compositional unity throughout.

Autogeddon

‘Autogeddon’, (Arts Council Commission) was performed by Saxtet with Anthony Kerr and Paul Clarvis for a week in February 1997 at the Pleasance Theatre, London.