Inspired by David Hockney’s giant series of paintings, The Woldgate Woods,
Song of the Trees hints at the mysticism of the ancient woodland as it fleetingly reveals it’s secret life-force.
It is scored for flute and clarinet with live processing (optional) and fixed media. These woodwind instruments were specially chosen for their organic link to the theme of the piece, making use of extended techniques on both instruments.
The fixed media track of the whispering wind was created from transformed clarinet and bassoon samples
special thanks to clarinetist Gareth Stuart and bassoonist Sherry Rea.
All other sounds are created live with automated processing of the flute and clarinet, generating both
the floating magical touches in the melodic sections, where the translucent harmony emerges through the mist,
and the dramatic metamorphoses in the central sections. These seemingly impossible powerful and
wild transformations transcend the original timbre of the flute and clarinet, whilst remaining firmly
rooted in the earthy spirituality of the forest.
Light and Sharpness Concert 2013
Song of the Trees
The Mumford Theatre, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK
Performed by Gareth Stuart (Clarinet) and Amanda Stuart (Flute
New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival 2015
Song of the Trees
The Playhouse, Abrons Art Center, New York
Performed by Margaret Lancaster (Flute) and Vaski Dukovski (Clarinet)
Leeds International Festival for Artistic Innovation 2015
Song of the Trees
Performed by Gareth Stuart (Clarinet) and Amanda Stuart (Flute)
This piece explores the feeling of being lost at difficult times
in our lives and the search to find our voice and inner peace.
Translucent textures and dramatic metallic shards,
fragment a mystic landscape, full of vibrant dynamism and fluent lines.
ODILON MARCENARO - RWCMD
A text-sound piece for 1-4 Voices and Fixed Media. A setting of the poem by the artist, created using
sound transformations and word-painting of just the composer's voice.
PROF SIMON EMMERSON
AARON KEEBAUGH - BOSTON CLASSICAL REVIEW
The sounds are identified as:
Sferics and Tweeks (atmospherics emitted by lightning strokes).
Whistlers (originating from thunderstorms, meteorites or after earthquakes,
interacting with plasma particles in the radiation belts).
Dawn Chorus (Chorus waves generated near the magnetic equator,
peaking at local dawn, sounding like birds singing and called
“killer electrons”as they can cause damage to satellites and harm astronauts).
Hiss (low-frequency radio waves evolved from chorus waves which deflect speedy
particles in the earth’s upper atmosphere).
This electronic acousmatic piece was inspired by the painting "Light and Sharpness" by Paul Klee (1935).
Klee analysed musical composition methods and translated them into "polyphony painting".
In this piece I have reversed this process taking inspiration from the colours and shapes of his work
to directly effect the sounds and structure of this percussion piece.
Special thanks to the Paul Klee Zentrum, Bern for permission to use the painting -
(Paul Klee, das licht und die Scharfen, 1935, 102, The light and the sharpnesses,
Watercolour and pencil on paper on cardboard, 32 x 48 cm, Zentrum Paul Klee, Bern)
World Premiere: Light and Sharpness Concert - The Mumford Theatre, Anglia Ruskin University 2013
This piece was inspired Wilton’s Music Hall - the world’s oldest surviving grand music hall that first opened in 1828 at Grace's Alley, Cable Street, London.
The textures, colours and layers of the peeling paint on the walls demanded to have their hidden stories told. The visuals were created by manipulating and transforming photographs of the building in its current state.
The soundscape uses familiar sounds and songs of the music hall, which are subjected to both subtle and exaggerated sonic transformations. The film conjures up an imaginary history of the hall, with the walls whispering their secrets and hinting at the dramatic happenings buried in their layers.
With special thanks to Dave Ruddy for the vocals.