So last weekend the Magnificat & Nunc Dimittis on G came into being. It is one of the pieces which will form part of my plan of attack, mentioned yesterday. I wrote it in this very room last summer, and it’s been pretty much complete since then, so it has waited a long time to come into being. If anybody from the choir is reading this, then I hope it went well and didn’t cause too many problems or headaches. I’ve written about it here before, and it’s a piece I’m pleased with. I had wanted to write another Mag & Nunc for a while, but I hadn’t expected it to be 20 odd years since my last one.
I try to keep up to date with forthcoming performances, and it’s nice to realise that they are coming with greater frequency these days. In September trumpeter Simon Desbruslais and I will perform my piece Achias The Hero at St. Bride’s, Fleet Street at a lunchtime recital on the 16th. This will be its second performance.
Achias The Hero is a piece I wrote side by side with the organ work Dum Committeret Bellum (now available on CD!), and is for trumpet and organ. At the time I remember fiddling around with my musical language, as I tend to do, but I was pleased with both these works. Achias was a chap who apparently won medals in the original Olympic games for his trumpet playing, not for its virtuosity and musicianship, but for its volume, and, if I remember rightly, a monument was built to celebrate his multiple victories. Thus the piece is a depiction of him warming up and eventually – in modern parlance – going for it. Simon will need to warm up for this one! Musically it’s an experiment in quartal writing (chords built on fourths), something I was going through at the time, not as a stylistic phase, but more as a technical challenge. I’m sure my technique has moved on since then, but that doesn’t make this piece redundant. I can’t stand composers who just churn out the same old nonsense. One should always be moving forward.
There are some other performances lined up for later in the year, but I will write about them in other entries, lest I suddenly find myself running out of material. There are some potentially exciting things happening, even before the end of the year, but I don’t want to jump the gun. For now it’s enough to look forward to September and all it might bring.