Brass Band - 2019
‘The Wolf that Shall Break it’ was commissioned by Ocean Brass Band for their jungle-themed entertainment set at the Wychavon Festival of Brass 2019.
The work takes its name from Rudyard Kipling’s poem ‘The Law of the Jungle’. The poem’s form is a set of nineteen edicts depicting the laws of the animal kingdom from the perspective of the wolf.
The ‘Law of the Jungle’ is a common expression used for describing the mechanism of natural selection: the Darwinian principle that those beings who are strong and apply ruthless self-interest will be most successful. Although this evolution process can seem brutal and unforgiving through a human lens, the harsh reality of the natural order produces stronger, more adapted generations of life.
This constant struggle for survival is the basis for this work. The music aims to capture the beauty of the animal kingdom along with its contrasting brutal and violent nature.
The opening features slow, lyrical brass underpinned by a driving, primal percussion section. A middle section showcases the band’s soloists before we return to the original musical material. The final section gradually builds in tension to our climax before the piece finishes as it began with the drum kit.
The music itself takes inspiration from a number of sources but most notably draws upon the music of avant-garde jazz group ‘Mammal Hands’.
The music is suitable for both lower and upper section bands and is designed as a modern work to fit and contrast into concert programmes.
To download a full set of 'The Wolf That Shall Break It' please click here:
Saxhorn Quartet and Piano Accompaniment - 2019
'Minibeasts' is a three movement work for saxhorn quartet commissioned by Katrina Marzella for Saxhorn Fest 2019. The work is written for a quartet of two tenor horns and two baritones with a piano accompaniment.
The music is based on the bestiary; an early compendium of various common, exotic and mythological animals. Bestiaries date as far back as the second century and became popular in England and France during the middle ages, particularly in the Christian Churches. Often the images would be accompanied by a moral lesson
'Minibeasts' takes the concept of a bestiary in the form of musical work. The piece is inspired by three miniature creates and aims to capture their behaviours and characteristics in three moments:
1) Spider: The Webspinner
2) Mantis: The Prophet
3) Dragonfly: The Pond Dasher
The first movement features the tenor horns with the second featuring the baritones. All four soloist combine as a full quartet in the final movement.
'Minibeasts' received its premiere at Saxhorn Fest 2019
2nd February, St. Mary's Church, Richmond.
Photograph: The premiere of 'MINIBEASTS' at Saxhorn Fest 2019
Hazel Whittal Photography
Euphonium Soloist and Brass Band - 2018
‘Chant’ is a 4 minute concert work for Euphonium soloist and Brass Band commissioned by Jonathan Bates for Yorkshire brass band Strata Brass. The music draws inspiration from plainchant, an ancient, unaccompanied form of religious music.
Plainchant existed during the earliest centuries of Christianity and developed from the music of the Jewish synagogue and Greek modal system. The music is unaccompanied and monophonic in order for the sacred texts to be the focus for the congregation. Plainchant was one of the earliest forms of music and forms the basis of our notated music today. Brief references to modern styles of music can be found within the work.
’Chant’ opens with a recurring chant (see right) from which the rest of the music is developed:
Following the opening, using the chant as the work’s source material, the piece transitions into an appassionata section. After this, the music enters a more modern and rhythmic 3/4 section before we reach a peak with the appassionata section returning. The piece ends with the soloist performing the chant one final time.
The winning entry for the 2017 Cory Band Composition Competition, 'Tarot! Tortuous Tarot! is a musical work based on the reading of the infamous occult cards.
Iwan Fox, chief editor of popular Brass Band website 4barsrest.com, described the piece as a ‘mini gob-stopper of darkly hued fears and anxieties based on the reading of the infamous occult cards’. It's CD recording was also reviewed in Brass Band World Magazine as 'a dark and mysterious piece of music guaranteed to stick in the mind for its well orchestrated and cleverly developed material - a hidden gem in the repertoire'.
The music opens with a haunting music box, which sets the thematic material for the rest of the piece. The power of the cards suddenly erupts as the spell is cast and, from this, the music follows the twists and turns of the prediction as each card is turned. We then finish with the inevitable as the music box returns one final time and, along with a faint heartbeat, solemnly slows to a stop.
The work features on The Cory Band's acclaimed 2018 CD: 'The Art of Brass':
Sheet music is available from Wright & Round Music Publishers here:
Video: Cory Band Livestream 2/10/17 [Music Begins: 5:40]
Cover design courtesy of Mango Graphic Design
Video: Cory Band Livestream 2/10/17
[Music Begins: 5:40]
Brass Band - 2016
Lomahongva means ‘beautiful clouds arising’ in the language of the Native American Hopi tribe. The Hopi believe that, when a rain-dance is performed, the spirits of their ancestors, named ‘Kachinas’, return to their villages as the rainclouds that help to sustain their way of life .
The RepCo Brass Band was re-formed to perform this in concert alongside the RepCo Wind Band.
[Recorded live in concert - 21st February 2017, Dora Stoutzker Concert Hall, RWCMD.]
Commissioned by the Cardiff University Brass Band to open their sea-themed set at UniBrass 2016, 'The Deep' won the best student composition award at the competition.
The music draws upon material from three maritime hymns : 'Nearer my God to thee', 'Melita' and 'Will your anchor hold?' and features a solo quartet and narrator.
The recording was taken live from UniBrass 2016.
Sheet music available from Pennine Music Publishing:
Windband - 2016
'King' is a one minute hip-hop infused fanfare, which was commissioned by the Cardiff University Wind Orchestra to open their platinum-award winning set at the National Concert Band Festival 2016.
The music is based upon Notorious B.I.G's 1997 single 'Hypnotise', which was released a week prior to his untimely death.
Big Band - 2012
A piece written for the Southampton Jazz Workshop dedicated to one of my former trumpet teachers, Paul.
A light number with funk and latin musical influences, all based around the same bass-line groove.
Solos by Nick Willsher, Jo Downs and Myself.
Recorded at the University of Surrey, February 2013.
'Fade Away' is a cornet feature composed for cornet soloist Lauren Chinn.
The original performance was in 2011 and the piece was performed by Lauren, accompanied by a massed band featuring members from all across the Southampton Music Community.
Sheet music is available from Pennine Music Publishing:
‘The Rising Tide’ is a short work for traditional Male Voice Choir (TTBB) and Piano accompaniment.
The work details the overcoming of personal struggles against a 'rising tide' with the help of friends, family and loved ones. The music is written in dedication to my parents, Alan & Eleanor.
A free PDF download of the sheet music is available by clicking the button below:
Brass Band - 2018
A concert work depicting the execution of wild west outlaw and hired gun: Thomas Horn. In 1902, Horn was convicted of the murder of 14-year-old and, based solely on a drunken confession, was sentenced to execution by hanging in Cheyenne, Wyoming
The music imagines the stoic figure of Horn, as he slowly walks into view of the gallows with a constantly building, trudging bass line; his time slowly running out. The music transitions into a middle chorale-like section, taking a moment to remember and reflect on his chequered and tragic past, before culminating with an even more intense and sinister building to his final few moments, ending with an horrific, bone-cracking snap!
Commissioned by the Markham and District Brass Band for their set at the Welsh Open Entertainment Contest, 2018
‘In This Moment’ is a short concert work for chamber orchestra, expressing the contrasting feelings of being completely alone and the joy that the company of friends, family and companions brings.
The piece features numerous quotes throughout the music from the popular hymn ‘All people who on earth do dwell’. The hymn tune is attributed to the sixteenth century French renaissance composer Loys ‘Louis’ Bourgeois and was brought to prominence by Ralph Vaughan Williams’ arrangement for the 1953 coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Cover design courtesy of Mango Graphic Design.
A fanfare based on the Cardiff Bay area of Cardiff.
Written in 3 distinct sections the music begins with a slow but powerful opening before transitioning into an intense 7/8 pattern. The opening theme then returns in an even more grand setting.
- Trumpet 1 (Parts provided in both B♭ & E♭)
- Trumpet 2
- French Horn (or E♭ Horn)
- Trombone (or Euphonium)
Shortlisted for the Sir Norman Lloyd Edwards Award for Young Composers.
SSAATTBB Choir - 2012
A large scale work for choir commissioned by the Southampton Choral Society.
The music is based on and features text from the short poem 'If I can stop one heart from breaking' by American poet Emily Dickinson.
- Soprano 1
- Soprano 2
- Alto 1
- Alto 2
- Tenor 1
- Tenor 2
- Bass 1
- Bass 2
- Piano Accompaniment (optional)