Principia is an album of music for piano and orchestra, which I recorded at Synchron Stage Vienna during the summer of 2017. It was released across all major platforms on 2nd March 2017, including Spotify:
Here is one of the tracks, Tread Softly, via SoudCloud:
Each of the individual pieces which make up the album are inspired by a different creative figure from history. Both the title of the album and the opening track, On The Laws Of Motion, were inspired by Sir Isaac Newton and his groundbreaking work on the laws of physics contained in the Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica. I wrote the second track, Cénotaphe, with the designs of Étienne-Louis Boullée in mind, principally his drawings for the never-built cenotaph for Isaac Newton. The album artwork is one of his drawings and although seemingly abstract at first sight, is in fact an aerial view of his proposed cenotaph. The original is kept at the biblioteque national de France and it is with their permission that I was able to use it.
Track three, Tread Softly, takes its name from the 1899 poem Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven, by WB Yeats - "I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams." The next piece on the album, Something Is Lost, was inspired by a line in RS Thomas's poem, Kneeling - "When I speak, though it be you who speak through me, something is lost." I wanted to write some music based in this line, with a sense of loss, misinterpretation and grief. Track five, Time Passes, is based on the line - "Time passes, listen, time passes," from Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas.
Next, On A Clear Day, takes its name from a series of drawings by the Candian/American artist, Agnes Martin which I saw at her Tate Modern retrospective in 2015. "Eureka, eureka!" - the famous phrase uttered by Archimedes when getting into a bath of water is the simple title of track seven. Here, I intended to convey the excitement of discovery and understanding. The two parts of In A Field Of Yellow Flowers were inspired by a painting, Girl In A Rape Field, by John Knapp Fisher. And the last track, Antiphon, is a reinterpretation of the Marian hymn, Alma Redemptoris Mater, which I first heard on the 1994 album by the King's College Cambridge Choir, Ikos.
Conductor - Johannes Vogel
Leader - Dimitrie Leivici
Piano - Dora Deliyska
Cello - Johann Bergdorf
Mixer - Joe Rubel
Orchestrator - Jim McWilliam
Co-producer - Thom Robson
Aide-Mémoire was my first EP release. I recorded it with musicians Angus MacRae (piano), Millie Mackintosh (violin), Laurie Gregson (viola) and Peter Gregson (cello) at Urchin Studios in 2015. It's available on iTunes - itunes.apple.com/gb/album/aide-m%C3%A9moire-ep/1038722047 - and to stream via all the regular sites, including Spotify:
My work for symphony orchestra, Irrational Exuberance, was written for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales during 2013 and 2014. It was workshopped and performed as part of Composition: Wales in spring 2014 at the Hoddinott Hall, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay. It was conducted by Jac van Steen. The leader of the orchestra was Lesley Hatfield.
The work was inspired by phenomena associated with economic asset bubbles, where investor enthusiasm is unsupported by market fundamentals. Its name is a term first coined by Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve.