Over the last few months I have been properly settling into London and into music college and my degree. I moved into my flat three weeks ago, and have been busily getting set up with all the usual living necessities, as well as a digital piano so that I can compose at home whenever I need to, rather than needing to use a practice room for the trying out of ideas.
College is now well and truly underway, with many of the year’s projects starting in the last month or so. I am now busy writing a piece for two piano players and two percussionists for a postgraduate ensemble, in which I am experimenting with some of the more mathematical and procedural methods of composing. We have also started working with choreographers from the London School of Contemporary Dance to create a dance piece with live musicians from the college and dancers from the LCDS. It is very exciting to be working with the choreographer and dancers, and although I know very little about contemporary dance, quite a learning curve.
We have also just embarked on another collaborative project, this time with postgraduate singers and poets from the Birkbeck University School of Poetry, to create new song works for première next year at the Wigmore Hall.
In addition to the curricular compositions I have used the opportunity to get involved with a couple of extra-curricular and professional projects. I recently completed a collaborative intensive at the Young Vic Theatre company, and I have just started work on a similar project to the one above, working with singers and pianists to create new art songs. I am in all likelihood going to start working on the drama school’s production of Twelfth Night. In addition to getting into the conducting unit, I am currently preparing scores for competitions run by the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music and the BBC Concert Orchestra.
I am enjoying finally being properly settled in London, which is a very exciting city with so many different performances and events going on. It is also nice to be properly stuck into the business of composition and study. I am already trying to broaden my compositional style and stretch myself to try new ideas and ways of working.