Inspired by different cultures
My approach to music composition is inspired by the music of all periods and cultures, while forming a distinctly personal contemporary style. Melodic design linear patterning very often the key which unlocks the dynamic of a musical process, is my main source of inspiration. Gregorian, early Renaissance and Arabic music are particularly influential.
Musical 'deep structure' intrigues me: that is, how the relative roles of melody, harmony, rhythm and sound in relationship to one another inform different musical styles and forms. Complementary to these relationships is how the music flows through time, often forming many shorter formal processes with a larger form leading me to compile a musical pattern language of 'micro-time-forms'. Observing and appreciating these myriad musical processes informs my musical thinking, leading to realisations in a variety of harmonic design contexts. Stylistically, I tend to favour a richly chromatic harmonic idiom laced with aspects of 'sound composition'.
The use of sound in recent years greatly enhanced by new computer tools for sound design has always pervaded my outlook. The effective and musical integration of pitched and sonic components is a major objective: expanding musical discourse while retaining the ability to use a wide variety of musical components.
The use of text, often handled phonetically, and the musicalisation of theatrical elements adds another dimension to my varied and unpredictable output. Moving between singing and vocalising informs several pieces. Along with specifically 'music theatre' pieces, theatrical elements enter into a number of other compositions.
To summarise, my primary concerns as a composer focus are:
- an intense interest in pattern and relationship in music, as seen in the title of a book-in-progress: Building Musical Relationships
- exploration of the new timbral sound world opened up via tape recorders and computers
- integration of new sonic materials into the whole fabric of musical discourse, i.e., with historical aspects of musical design
- an interest in music theatre in which the musical form is thoroughly integrated with other arts media