A week ago today my new work for organ and orchestra, “Tiraki”, was premiered by the Auckland Philharmonia.
It went fantastically well, I was very happy, as was my fantastic organist, Nick Forbes. The overall structure worked, we developed an exciting organ part and the orchestrations were exactly how I envisioned.
Thanks to everyone who came to the concert or tuned in live on Radio NZ and provided us with such positive comments about the piece.
Congratulations also goes to the wonderful David Hamilton, Anthony Young, Robbie Ellis, Ben Hoadley and Chris Adams for their superb premieres.
Here is an interview from Radio New Zealand’s Arts On Sunday programme on 26th May with Hamish McKeich, Kerry Stevens, Nick Forbes and myself talking about the collaboration and concert (recorded before the concert, broadcast after the concert).
Every now and then I get sent an email from a student who is doing an assignment on a “living musician”, or a “real composer”, or on how to “make it in the music industry”.
Recently I got a list of questions from Jayde, a student at Kerikeri High School. I first met Jayde when I did some composition workshops there last year. He had a great list of questions and I thought they, and the answers, were worth sharing.
The Auckland Town Hall Organ is mightily impressive, mind-blowing, even enough to take your breath away! Hours before the first drafts of my APO + Auckland Town Hall Organ composition were due, Kerry Stevens gave me a tour. Amazing. Here are some of my photos.
It’s not often that you can make the floor rumble but when the powers of the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra and Auckland Town Hall Organ combine, I might just have that opportunity!
I am very happy to be one of the six composers writing a work for these two forces. One of the great things about these APO composer workshops is the process – there are three workshops with the orchestra during this year, followed by the premiere in May 2013. The first is in May and most of us I’m sure will just trial ideas, versions, sections and so on.
… or rather, finger to keyboard! Here is an update on three pieces I am currently writing.
This is a piece for the award winning choir, Euphony, from Kristin School. After a lot of hunting I found the wonderful poem “Wild Daisies” by NZ poet Bub Bridger. It was hard to find something suitable for school-aged students, something on a happier rather than sad note, and something that would allow lots of musical additions … perhaps I’m just not well acustomed to hunting down texts. Anyway this is going to be a fantastic piece for unaccompanied choir.
There is a flute player I want to write for, a viola player has been begging for a piece, and I have been wanting to write a piece for tuba for a long time. So, this is it. A suite of solo pieces, one for each of these instruments. I’m trying to get some of the movements done before the trip to Brazil, as then I can workshop the pieces with the players there.
I was thinking how to tie these three pieces together and had a great idea about clouds as they are categorised into high, mid and low clouds. So the three pieces are based on:
Cirrus – flute (high)
Altocumulus – viola (middle)
Cumulus – tuba (low)
The title, Tiraki, means to clear the sky or lift away the clouds.
Don’t worry, that’s not the actual title – I’m still deciding. This piece for wind orchestra and choir is well underway and will open the 2010 ERUPT Lake Taupo Festival. This project is possible thanks to the very generous funding by SOUNZ (The Centre for NZ Music) and their SOUNZ Community Commission.
We put a call out for texts to use and so they are flowing in. Have started drafting some ideas and have got a good idea of how it’s going to turn out. It’s going to be a 15 minute, or thereabouts, piece but it is going to be able to be performed as a 5-6 minute piece later in it’s lifetime. This, along with the fact that it is suitable for younger players means hopefully it will have a healthy future. As soon as I get back from South America I will be full on writing this piece.