Lake of Tenderness was commissioned by Dr. Robert Childs and the Grimethorpe Colliery Band as part of their 2015 Brass in Concert programme, in which a selection of new pieces were commissioned based on the various basaltic plains of the earth’s moon, thought by early astronomers to be lakes.
Lake of Tenderness, named after the Latin ‘Lacus Lenitatis’, uses extended harmony to evoke imagery of the solitary moon in the still of space. The piece grows in texture and dynamic as if one were getting closer and closer to the Lake of Tenderness until the piece arrives at a thrilling climax. As the piece comes to an end the music dies away as if one were moving away from the moon, finishing with a final image of the full moon.
Ben Hollings, January 2016
'Clapp!!!!' was originally written in 2006 whilst studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and was written for two players at one piano. The music uses rhythmic phasing with each rhythm assigned it's own tone cluster - as each shift in rhythm occurs the harmonic structure is altered too. Melodic passages are created through the shifts in rhythm and harmony, but these only occur within the given rhythmic parameters. The music can very much be viewed as a study in momentum, with its unrelenting pulse driving us through the music.
The Brass Band version of 'Clapp!!!!' was written for Manger Musikklag and Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen, receiving its premiere at the 2010 BrassWind Festival in Bergen, Norway. The Whitburn Band featured Clapp!!!! at their 2012 Brass in Concert programme and the piece was featured by the Grimethorpe Colliery Brass Band on their 'Grimethorpe Entertain' CD.
The Spirit Within is meant to represent the human spirit and the capabilities of human emotion, which is portrayed by the harmony in the piece. The harmonic language is the focal point that plays on the relationship between major and minor chords, including lots of extended harmony and suspensions that encompass the main melody.
First Light was written for Kirsty Abbotts and Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band.
A slow lilting melody is presented in the cornet solo and passed between the band and the soloist to create images of the tranquil night before the piece reaches a climactic moment which is meant to represent the beams of light emerging as the sun rises. The theme is then presented in a tutti forte section before arriving at a tranquil finish.
First Light is featured on the Kirsty Abbotts and Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Bands CD, A Search for Peace.
He is Starlight was commissioned by Margaret Austin with financial support from UNESCO, for performance by The Woolston Band at the 2015 Festival of Star Light in Twizel, New Zealand. The piece is a commemoration for composer John Ritchie (J.A.R.), my