Profiles of my favourite composers

Laura Reid – Crossing

Born in Sheffield in 1977, Laura studied music at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne and graduated in 1999. Laura lives in Newcastle and works primarily with singer songwriter Kathryn Williams playing cello in her band and collaborating on arrangements and music. Other collaborations have included working with electroacoustic musicians ‘Artwhore’ and DJ ‘Salad Butty’. Laura also performs with the experimental improvisation duo, ‘A String Thing.’
‘Crossings’ was originally written in 1999 and revised in 2001. It reflects ideas about pathways, confrontation and resolution.

Richard Whalley – The Joy of Melody

Richard Whalley was born and brought up in North Herts, and has composed and played the piano from a young age. He studied for four years at University of York, graduating with a masters in composition in 1996, before going on to work as a professional accompanist for a year at Wells Cathedral School, and is now deep into the depths of a PhD in composition at Harvard University. An ideal antidote to all this composition continues to be playing the piano as much as possible, and he plays with various contemporary music groups in Boston. He was a runner up in the 1992 Young Musician of the Year Composers’ Award, has attended advanced composition seminars at Tanglewood, Aspen, Dartington, and Acanthes. Previous mentors have included Melanie Daiken, Roger Marsh, Nicola LeFanu and Bernard Rands, and he currently studies with Mario Davidovsky.
Melody is indeed what this piece is about: what constitutes melody, and what it takes for human ears to infer a melody whether one is intended by the composer or not. It might be going a little far to suggest that the process of composing this piece was actually joyful, but I did take a certain pleasure in layering different types of melodic (and “melodic”) material on top of one another, and challenging the listener to find their own path through the resulting labyrinth.

Ramon Castillo – Travis Hartman Experiment

Ramon Castillo received his BM in composition from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2001 and is currently studying at Boston University School of Music. In July, Ramon was a composer in residence at the Ernest Bloch Music festival where he attended seminars with master composer Joan Tower.
This set of pieces was written between 1999 and 2000, and they draw heavily upon the images associated with them for direction and texture. The purpose of the pieces is not to enhance the photography, but musically depictvarious characteristics of each photo. Some musical gestures are very subtle and are intended to provoke each individual’s imagination. Travis Hartman is the photographer responsible for the beautiful images.

Loretta Notareschi – Moon Jazz

In 1999, Ms. Notareschi earned her Bachelor of Music in composition (with a minor in art history) at USC. She went on to earn a General Diploma from the Zoltán Kodály Pedagogical Institute of Music in Kecskemét, Hungary in 2000. Her principle teachers in composition have included Morten Lauridsen, Erica Muhl, Frederick Lesemann, and Elinor Armer, and she has studied choral directing, solfege, and performance practice with the eminent Hungarian conductors Kiss Katalin and Erdei Peter.
Ms. Notareschi has received the GALA Choruses Youth Composition Award, the Phi Kappa Phi Award, and the Peter David Faith Memorial Award for her compositions. She has been commissioned by the exciting young ensemble Non Sequitur, as well as by the innovative saxophone and percussion ‘yesaroun’ Duo.
Loretta’s music has been performed in Oklahoma, California, New Hampshire, and Kecskemét, Hungary.

Jamie Serafi – Elliot’s Dream

Jamie lives in Cheshire and is currently studying band musicianship at Salford University. He plays Clarinet, saxophone and piano but his first love is composition. Last year, Jamie composed a winning fanfare as part of a competition hosted by Lloyd Pigott accountants which is now performed annually at the Lowry Centre. He has strong ambitions to compose commercially, for film and television.
It was working with children which inspired this piece. It is intended to capture the imagination of a child’s dream. Despite the obvious programmatic nature of the work, the majority is left to the listener’s imagination. There are anumber of devices in the piece which depict events in the dream: the opening bars serve to recreate the simple melody linesof a music box., while the descending whole tone passages in subsequent bars suggest a gradual sinking into deep sleep.

Marc Macauley – To Walk in Wilderness

Marcus Macauley lives in Seattle, Washington, where he studies composition with Janice Giteck. At the Aspen Music School and Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, he has studied piano with John Perry and composition with George Tsontakis, Samuel Adler, and George Crumb. In the U.S., his music has received national awards from ASCAP, BMI, the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts, Collage New Music, and the Austin Peay State University. His works have been performed by cellist Truls Mørk, members of the Seattle Symphony and the Ensemble Sospeso.
With ‘To Walk in Wilderness’, I aimed not for an exploration of the specific timbres and technical possibilities of the instruments, but rather for a more simplistic and purely musical statement. The entire piece stems from the material presented in the violin solo at the opening; it explores the possibilities of developing this material both
linearly (throughout the piece, but particularly in the outer sections) and vertically, as seen especially in the central fugato section .

Larry Goves – Breed

Larry Goves was born in Cardiff in 1980 as was then raised in Oxfordshire. He began studying composition at the age of 17. In 1998 he won an award to study at the RNCM where he is currently a 4th year student studying with Anthony Gilbert, Simon Holt and Ian Vine. His music has been played by various chamber ensembles including the London Sinfonietta, the RNCM New Ensemble and Ensemble 11, the last of which he has formed a close working relationship with since winning the annual composers competition in September 2000.
Breed was written as a response to a request made by Ensemble 11 for a piece for their standard instrumental line up. Despite the piece being played without breaks it is broken down into five movements, isolated because of their extremely different characters. The piece is structured around the relationship between tiny rising and falling figures and the overall shape and direction of large sections of music.

 

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