2020 has kept me busy.
My role as Interim Head of Composition at the RCS has continued, and I have also been navigating the various projects that have/haven't happened in the second half of this year (and into next). Like everyone I know in the world of new music, many of my projects (either at the planning stage, or previously definite) have been cancelled, with little prospect of any re-scheduling at the moment for the majority.
One project that has (miraculously) gone ahead was the recording of an album of some of my works for wind instruments, which took place during the week of the 14th of December; I had been planning this since February this year, with funding applications written at the end of 2019, so it has been a long time coming!
I was fortunate to work with a team of players from the RSNO, along with two of my longer-term collaborators: Richard Craig and Carla Rees (both virtuoso flute players). Delphian Records have recorded all of the material, for editing in the new year, and eventual release in April 2021.
The repertoire for the album is as follows:
Pilgrim of Curiosity (wind quintet) - ca.40 mins
Snowbirds (wind quartet) - ca.9 mins
Dalriada (reed trio) - ca.20 mins
Faith, Hopes and Charity (solo baroque flute) - ca.6 mins
The RSNO have been a long-term supporter of my work, and as well as making their principal players available, we were also able to record in their new concert hall (in the RSNO Centre, in Glasgow); Richard Craig kindly stepped in at the last moment, due to two other flute players having to step back, and Carla Rees popped up from London for the day, to record the solo work; I am still surprised that any of this happened, and it took a lot of concentrated effort from everyone to allow this to take place! Until the final session was done that week, I was still pretty certain that COVID was going to prevent someone from turning up.
Paul Baxter (from Delphian) was fantastic, and guided us all through the recording process; due to the lack of opportunities to meet prior to this week - and co-ordinating parts between players, due to the physical-distancing regulations - I had to conduct a lot of the music for the ensembles, which helped hold it all together.
I am still surprised that the largest project I had planned this year (in terms of budget and organising on my part) actually happened, and that any postponement was avoided on this occasion. I am therefore very grateful to the following organisations/individuals for their support, without which the project would not be taking place: