Most works have scores attached, available to view and print. You are welcome to use these scores: I would be happy to hear your comments and feedback. Please contact me if you perform any of these works.
Moving Through, Moving On: for string orchestra, duration 4 minutes (2023) Suitable for amateur ensemble, this piece is unconventionally scored but accessible and fun. Premiered by the CoMA String ensemble, January 2023. Download the score here
Of the Forest: for string trio, duration 4.5 minutes (2022) Of the Forest for violin, viola and cello is a quiet piece in rondo form (its sections indicated on the score) whose refrain (A) is based on the Provencale folk song èr dou guet. It is inspired by an opera libretto by Simon Pettifar set in 19th century Provence. Download the score here
Humming suite: for clavichord, duration c.4 minutes (2021) Five short pieces for clavichord (with vocalising). Written for an premiered by Francis Knights in Cambridge in 2021, this tiny suite explores the different functions of humming (a favourite activity of mine!). This relates to the intimacy of the clavichord, as if we’re privy to a series of free-floating thoughts and fleeting moods, expressed musically, rather than hearing an external and formal performance. Download the score here
Knots of desiring: a graphic score, (2020) For two or more players, this graphic score has no further instructions.
5 ways to go: for string quartet, duration 5 minutes (2020) A very brief, seemingly solid musical object then disappears in five different ways. Download the score here
Yellow and Purple: for baroque violin and harpsichord, duration each 5 minutes (2020) A pair of works for baroque violin and harpsichord. Purple prelude and Paspy has some setions modelled loosely on the unmeasured preludes of D’Anglebert, interrupted by manic dance sections. Yellow is a sound description of yellow leaves dancing in golden sunshine.
Gallery View: Graphic score for collaborative improvisation, duration approx. 6 minutes (2020) Created in collaboration with the creative technology of Jon Crews: A 6x6 grid of images, to which players and groups were invited to respond. A piece was constructed of all the contributions from 30 different musicians and groups; the images with their attached audio responses is presented online and can then be arranged like a musical jigsaw. Gallery View
Missing: for string quartet, duration 5 minutes (2020) A re-writing of an earlier string piece called ‘The Journey Out’, Missing is in memory of a lost friend, and explores ideas of impotent obsession and random reminiscences interrupting grief. It has two main ideas – an insistent rhythmic attachment to the note G, and a blurred, pizzicato effect that develops into a dancing section.
You may delay, but time will not: For 3-part open score remote ensemble, duration 2 1/2 minutes (2020) This piece is a response to the Lockdown of 2020, due to the Corona Virus. Ensembles may perform it together over Zoom, or individuals may record their line individually. Recordings are then collated. The latency, lags, patchiness and lack of conductor are part of the sound-world of the piece. Video here
Rondo: For cello and piano, duration 4 minutes (2020) An essentially tonal, playful easy-listening duet.
Tree, Knife, Sand: Coda: acousmatic work, duration 2 minutes (2019) Designed and performed by Janet and then recorded, mixed and produced by Alfie Crews, this is essentially a collaboration between Janet and Alfie, creating an evocative soundscape of wind and ocean, forests and time.
C-Level: For any three instruments, duration approx. 5 minutes (2017) TThis is a free canon for three instruments which can share pitches, even if at the limits of their registers. It includes improvisation and loose notation, exploring the note C (or whichever note the different instruments choose). Premiered with marimba, oboe and voice, this wildly different version by TableMusic (piano trio) is from the Richmond New Music Collective concert 2017. Video here
Riddle Time: For percussion duo, duration 5 minutes (2017) The work is based on three riddles about time and its passing; there is also a musical riddle hidden within. Commissioned by Miriam Mackie for the concert ‘Modern Times’; premiered by Rosie Bergonzi and Catherine Herriott.
Dryads: For Clarinet consort, duration 8 minutes (2016) Written for the London Consort of Winds, for a project run by the London Composers’ Forum; written in collaboration with the dancer/choreographer Irene Fiorilino. Based on the idea of tree spirits, the work is rhythmically complex and has tricky solo parts.
Snapshots: For piano trio, duration 10 minutes (2016) This is an appealing, colourful work in 5 short linked movements, loosely based on the 2002 work for strings, Bagatelles. This recording by TableMusic (piano trio) is from the Richmond New Music Collective concert 2017. Video here Download the score here
Hope Birds : for string orchestra, duration 4 minutes (2015) For string orchestra, suitable for amateur ensemble (easier vl.3 and Vc.3 parts included): a colourful but accessible exploration of yearning and hope. Premiered by the CoMA String ensemble, January 2023. Download the score here
Shop!: For toy xylophone, toy handbells, objects, duration duration open, depending on circumstance (2015) Written for Contemporary Music for All (CoMA), this piece has each performer playing defined pitches / objects in response to people entering a venue. The outcome of the piece, and its duration, therefore depends upon the number of people, and their flow into the venue.
Fanfare Suite: For 3 cellos of mixed ability, duration 4 minutes (2014) TA piece in ternary form with fanfare motifs introducing each section; rather fun, drawing on dance rhythms.
Five short pieces for double bass: double bass and piano, duration total 5 1/2 minutes minutes (2006) 1) 642 for double bass with piano – moody and multi-layered, with humming (1 minute 15”)
2) adumbra: for double bass with piano – free timing, db playing in the distance (c. 50”)
3) Devil to dance: for double bass with piano a cheeky character piece (c. 1 minute)
4) Elephants’ graveyard for double bass with piano, with reference to Saint-Saens (1. 15”)
5) Trinity for solo double bass – exploring the physicality of the instrument and the player’s relationship with it (1’ 15”)
The Journey Out: For string quartet, duration 8 minutes (2005, rev. 2015) The first half of the quartet is based around a single tone, while the second half, with much use of pizzicato, has a blurred effect and makes use of a calling motif. At the end the single-tone attempts to return but the pizzicato material wins out. Recording: Performed by the Jubilee Quartet (Tereza Privratska, Julia Loucks, Stephanie Edmundson, Lauren Steel) in the 2015 concert by the Richmond New Music Collective.
43:Gigue and Sarabande: For hooboe, clarinet and piano, duration 10 to 13 minutes (2005) This piece uses a significant element of chance to create a sense of play and energy between the performers as the diverge and converge in time. The premiere (and recording) was at the Sounds Underground festival in 2005. I apologise to the wonderful performers, whose names I do not know.
Trilody: For horn, violin and harp, duration 5 1/2 minutes (2005) Described by the horn player of its premiere as ‘challenging but worth it’, this is a playful, attractive piece. The performance was at Royal Holloway, University of London in 2005 and I have no current knowledge of the performers – apologies.
Vice: For trombone solo, duration c.8 minutes (2005) A tricky piece exploring the creation of a character and relationship with the audience. Download the score here
Jante Framed: For string ensemble, duration 15 minutes (2005) Written during my MMus at Royal Holloway, University of London, this piece for strings won the student composition prize for 2005. By turns urgent, ominous and melancholy, with some tricky harmonics / extreme register work, and full of character. The recording is the RHUL student orchestra, 2005
Possibly...: For violin, clarinet, piano, cello , duration 6 1/2 minutes (2004) Marked constantly pp possibile, this quartet encourages and explores the act of engaged listening and watching, for players and audience alike, highlighting the human aspects of performance (e.g. gesture, breathing) that are normally considered incidental to performance. The recording is from a workshop; performers unknown (apologies).
Intensity 3x5: For three timpanists, duration c. 6 minutes (2003) Exploring the timbres and techniques of timp playing, with chance element.
Bagatelles: For string ensemble, duration c. 3 minutes (2002) These three short movements evoke feelings of flying and freedom. They were later developed into the piano trio and open score versions of 'Snapshots'.
Vox organa: For 2 C flutes and one B-foot or alto flute, duration 5 minutes (2002) An exploration of how various slight interventions (e.g. humming) can create new colours to the flute sound; based on chant-like material, this is a spacious and atmospheric piece.
The Road less travelled: For marimba, amplified acoustic guitar, piano, viola, duration c. 5 minutes (2002) Created from ever-expanding rhythmic cells (mirrored in the final section) and written to a process, with a serial element but a warm, almost quartal-harmony tonality.
Humming suite for solo clavichord: duration 4 minutes (2021) Four short pieces for clavichord solo (with vocalising), written for and premiered by Francis Knights in Cambridge, 2021. Download the score here
Tick Tock for solo piano: duration 9 minutes (2013, rev. 2020) Essentially set of variations on ‘hickory dickory dock’, this challenging, physically demanding and humorous work is a tour de force for the performer, who needs a good dash of theatricality and a tongue-in-cheek attitude towards 19th century piano works too!
Elements: For harpsichord duo – reworking of 2003 piano piece, duration 6 1/2 minutes (2018) Seven short movements exploring various aspects or characteristics of the elements of the periodic table. Written for Colchester New music call for works, and performed April 2018 by Francis Knights and Dan Tidhar. Recording available on request for interested performers
Some assembly required: For solo piano (for Clare Simmonds), (2017) Performed by Clare in 2017, this is a work which asks the pianist to choose the fragments and physically paste together the final piece. Clare holds the only 'score'
Three inventions for harpsichord: duration 6 minutes (2016) Three short inventions structured along the lines of Bach's 2-part inventions, with contemporary style and tonality. Requires double-manual keyboard – tricky! Performed by Katarzyna Kowalik 2022
Ländlisches Lied: In 3 short movements, for two low-to –mid grade piano players at the same piano., duration 5-6 minutes (2013) Each movement has one tricky element (e.g. playing very slowly together); each is a description of nature inspired by fragments of text from Emanuel von Geibel. Ideal for an introduction to contemporary style. 3rd section requires toy hand-bells or triangle, or similar.
Less Than a Minute Sonata: Solo piano (for Daniel Becker), duration 1 minute (2004) Very fast, requiring significant physicality in performance – a three-movement piece lasting a total of a minute.
Elements: Piano suite, duration c. 12 minutes (2003) 9 tiny pieces representing various aspects or characteristics of the elements of the periodic table. Later arranged for two harpsichords.
Butterfly Rag: Piano solo, duration 3 ½ minutes (1999) A new rag completely in the style and structure of Scott Joplin.
Vocal and Choral
Songs for young voices
you know I didn't do it!: spoken voices, duration open duration (2020) This is a text score encouraging creativity, imaginative responses, exploring the use of voice and texture, to create collaboratively a dramatic spoken-piece.
Raindance: children's choir project, duration open duration (2020) Guidelines for creating a ‘soundscape opera’, duration anything from 5 minutes to 30 minutes! The preparation and process (anything from one session to a scheme of work) are fully explained in a teachers’ kit. Part of the ‘Children’s part songs’ project run by Janet for Contemporary Music for All (CoMA).
Lully, baby, lully: for children's choir, duration 3 minutes (2020) Using contemporary, experimental ideas to create a carpet of lovely gentle sound, yet within the capabilities of most children’s choirs. The singers will gain in confidence about timing and texture as they work through their lines independently.
The night sky: 2-part song, duration 1 1/4 minutes (2014) A poem of childlike innocence, simply in two short verses.
The Blue bird: Unison or solo song, duration 1 1/2 minutes (2014) The lovely poem by Mary E Coleridge set simply in two short verses.
Snow: Unison (optional brief harmony line) children's choir, duration 2 1/2 minutes (2014) The traditional (anon.) poem set with simple pitches, some tricky rhythms, and with quirky features!
Spanish Fiesta: Unison (optional brief harmony line) children's choir, duration 2 minutes (2014) Great fun, if you can fit the words in! Also works well as a solo.
My Lady Spring: 3-part children's choir, duration 2 1/4 minutes (2014) Gentle, beautiful setting of the poem by Longfellow. Also works well as a solo.
The wind: 2-part song, duration 1 1/4 minutes (2013) Pretty setting of the Christina Rosetti poem. Also available with extension suggestions of improvisation / graphic score elements (duration then 3 minutes).
Crows and The Souls once Gathered: 2 poems for unpitched children's choir, duration 1 1/2 minutes, 2 minutes respectively (2011) With aleatoric elements, these short, simple pieces are a good introduction to contemporary style and technique for children’s choir.
Fairy Song: Unison or 2-part children's voices and piano. Also works well as a solo or duet, duration 1 1/2 minutes (2000) Light and attractive setting of the the text 'over hill, over dale...' by Shakespeare
Solo voice, with or without accompaniment
Five Tree Proverbs: duration 15 minutes (2022) Five settings of sayings about trees and growth from around the world, for soprano with optional second soprano; flexible combinations of viola da gama, theorbo, (baroque) violin, recorder, or other melody and continuo instruments. Informal live recording available on request. Download the score here
The Wife and her Lover: for soprano, theorbo and soprano recorder, duration 3 1/2 minutes (2021) Based on a humorous fable by Marie de France (12th century), this song sees the canny wife hoodwinking her gullible husband. Full of colour and fun, it was written for and premiered as part of the Theorbo Today Project, 2022 Informal live recording Download the score here
Can’t live with cats: duration 3 minutes (2020) For basset horn and narrator, a description of a troubled dog finding its home and peace. Written for and performed/recorded by Sarah Watts and Jon Iles, for the Feed the Hound project and album 2020. Download the score here
Limb-loosening love: solo voice and piano, duration 1 1/2 minutes (2020) Based on a fragment by Sappho, this is a brief insight into the confusions of passion. Performed here by Janet Oates (soprano) and Michael Keen (piano) as part of the Philomel ‘In Short’ project, August 2020. Video here Download the score here
After heavy rain: solo voice and piano with soprano recorder, duration 1 1/2 minutes (2013, rev. 2020) A brief but dramatic setting of the tanka by Carol Purington. Performed here by Bethany Horak-Hallett (mezzo), Michael Keen (piano) and Janet Oates (recorder) as part of the Philomel ‘In Short’ project, August 2020. Video here Download the score here
Laustic: solo voice with soprano recorder, duration 1 1/2 minutes (2020) Based on the story by Marie de France, a melancholy song of loss. Performed here by Felicity Hayward (Soprano) and Janet Oates (recorder) as part of the Philomel ‘In Short’ project, August 2020. Video here Download the score here
Mortuary Chest: for soprano with box, or unison soprano with boxes, duration 2 1/2 minutes (2020) Inspired by the mortuary boxes of Winchester Cathedral, this is a dramatic, dark spoken work combining poetry and percussion. Video here Download the score here
Three miniatures: for medium voice and piano, duration <5 minutes (2020)
Lichens of Britain: duration 100” Short and simple: a list of lichens evoking contemporary liturgical writing.
Paperwork:duration 90” Cynical little miniature with flamboyant piano accompaniment
Dreaming of Spring: duration 90” Amusing vignette, playing with the phonemes of a famous Shakespeare verse.
Just a walk: for alto and oud, duration 5 minutes (2019) A commission from Listen Pony, premiered by Jess Dandy and Francesco Iannuzzelli 2019. Just a Walk traces the anxiety and mental gymnastics of an agoraphobe attempting to walk to the end of the road. Additive fragments and vocalisations reflect the rituals and calming methods.
! - A gallery of ne'er-do-wells in five portraits: for mezzo and piano, duration 3-5 minutes (2019) These 5 tiny songs are character studies in archaic insults, and may be spread throughout a programme or performed as one continuous piece. Download the score here
Singings and sayings: for flute, viola, piano and voice, duration 8 minutes (2017) Written for and premiered by the Deruflé Trio in 2018, this short song-cycle sets 6 proverbs from around the world. The songs are for various combinations of the instruments, and are varied and attractive. Video here
La la la 1 and La la la 2: for voice and percussionist, duration 4 1/2 minutes (2017) Two amusing, characterful songs using texts from flat-earthers and conspiracy theorists. Percussion used: cymbal (hit and bowed), drum with skin; singer plays claves. Percussion part can be mended to suit instrumentalists upon request. Slightly dodgy unbalanced recordings (Janet Oates and John Holland) for reference only!
Leda: for soprano, percussion and alto flute, duration 9 minutes (2017) Leda considers her position in life and history as unwilling bearer of death. An atmospheric, powerful piece requiring a brave soprano with big range, and extended techniques from the flautist.
Medea: for soprano playing percussion and using loop pedal, duration 7 minutes (2017) Medea imagines the emotional journey of the wronged queen as she considers killing her children. It’s an emotional and vocal tour de force. This recording (Janet Oates) is missing the drum part (I forgot to bring it!) and could be much improved upon by a better performer. It has been performed several times and is popular with audiences. Video here Download the score here
A Lover: for voice and piano, duration c. 5 minutes (2016) Setting a tiny but evocative fragment of text, this is a colourful duet for voice and piano, sharing material and employing gesture and aleatoric elements. Versions exist for two voices and piano, and unaccompanied small group of female voices. Download the score here
Blind fool love: for soprano, cor anglais and piano, duration total 10 1/2 minutes (2016) Three songs (in any order), charting the pain and irrationality of love! No. 3, Blind fool Love, won the EPSS composition prize 2015. Workshop recording available on request.
Cecilia: for soprano and cello, duration 7 minutes (2015) This is a dramatic character piece with evocations of words rather than actual text; it traces the emotions of Saint Cecilia during her final hours. With aleatoric elements and some tricky parts for both singer and cellist, it is moving and effective. Performed here by Janet Oates and Martin Jones:
I loved you once: duration 4 minutes (2015) A lyrical setting for soprano and piano (in Russian, transliteration included) of Pushkin’s poem. Download the score here
Selva Oscura: for mezzo or countertenor and string quartet, duration 8 minutes (2015) A moody, melancholic setting of a few sentences from Dante’s Inferno, canto 1. Workshop recording available on request.
Atomic Poems and Fancies: for mezzo, flute and piano, duration 12 minutes (2014) Composed for and premiered by Lucy Green. A cycle of 6 songs, setting the fascinating 17th century texts by the natural scientist Margaret Cavendish, trying to explain the properties of atoms and how they affect the body. Characterful and varied. Here performed by Jill House (alto), Janet Oates (flute), Clare Simmonds (piano). Video here
Splintering: Peter watches the crucifixion from afar: for baritone with piano and oboe, duration 9 minutes (2013) For baritone solo with piano and oboe, plus soprano solo or duet/two-part treble/soprano. A moment in time for Peter as he reflects on his relationship with Jesus, while the cock crows…. Download the score here
Bee:Dance: For soprano and piano, duration 3 minutes 20" (2012) evocative setting of the text by C.A Duffy (with permission). Sung here by Sarah Leonard, accompanied by Nigel Foster, from the CD 'Sappho, Shropshire and Super-Tramp'. Video here Download the score here
Fall, leaves, fall: soprano and piano, duration 1 1/2 minutes (2011) A fast-moving, leaf-fluttering song celebrating autumn and winter.
Autumn: tenor and piano, or tenor and string quartet, duration total 5 1/2 minutes (2011)
Fragments: 5 short songs for soprano, flute and piano; parallel settings for flute and piano only, duration total 5 minutes + 5 minutes (2011) The idea of these parallel settings (10 miniature pieces in all) is that they can be scattered throughout a programme, singly or in groups, to unify a programme, or provide links between items. Also available for voice and piano.
Zerlina, Zerlina: for soprano and string trio, duration 5 1/12 minutes (2010) The aftermath of Don Giovanni’s death, from the point of view of Zerlina (text my own). First performed by the Palm Court quartet at the SopranoSoprano concert in 2010.
Night Listener: for soprano and cello, duration 4 1/2 minutes (2007) A sleepless night... Involving much wordless vocalisation, built from cells repeated ad lib.
This workshop performance by Sarah Leonard and Robin Michaels, 2007.
November: for baritone and piano, duration 4 1/2 minutes (2007) A slow, moody setting of this melancholic song. Download the score here
November: for baritone, clarinet, violin, marimba, double bass (also for soprano and piano; baritone and piano; tenor and piano), duration 4 1/2 minutes (2007) A slow, moody setting of this melancholic song.
The Land of Lost Content : for baritone and piano, duration c. 4 1/2 minutes (2006) An expressive setting of the poem by A.E. Housman (poem XL of The Shropshire Lad) Download the score here
2 songs of Walter de la Mare: for soprano and piano, duration c. 5 minutes (2006) (3rd and 4th place in the EPSS composition, competition Summer 2006):
The Cupboard (2 ½ minutes) a fun, quirky setting of this child-like song. Sung here by Sarah Leonard, accompanied by Nigel Foster, from the CD ‘Sappho, Shropshire and Super-Tramp’. Video here
Song of the Mad Prince (2 ½ minutes) (2006) a fragmented, broken-down melody gives the nursery-type poem a darker, sadder meaning. Recording from a recital performance in Bristol, 2006 – apologies for not having the performers’ names.
Sitwell Songs: 5 songs for soprano and piano, duration c.17 minutes (2004) Needing a very good singer, these songs explore various interactions between piano and voice as equal partners. One is also available with violin or clarinet obbligato. At present, only one has permission from the Sitwell estate (other permission will be sought if performers are interested):
The King of China’s Daughter (2 ½ minutes) – a theatrical, narrative, tantrum-invoking character piece, popular with audiences. Sung here by Sarah Leonard, accompanied by Nigel Foster, from the CD ‘Sappho, Shropshire and Super-Tramp’ Video here
3 Shakespeare Songs: Soprano and harp, duration 9 minutes (2001) a) The isle is full of noises (2 ½ minutes) – joyful whole-tone curiosity b) I have supped (4 ½ minutes) – melancholic and fragmentary c) Fairy song (1 ½ minutes) - playful and colourful. Also available for 2 sopranos, piano and cello, and for children's choir. Download the score here
Le Ciel Est: Medium voice and piano, duration 4 1/4 minutes (1999) A simple, melancholic setting of the Verlain poem, in impressionistic style.
Ave Maria: Soprano solo, duration c. 2 minutes (1999) A simple chant-like, spacious setting of the liturgical text. Download the score here
More than one voice, with or without accompaniment
Fairy Song: duration 2 minutes (2002, rev. 2020) An appealing setting of Shakespeare’s Over hill, over dale from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for two sopranos, violin and piano. Solo version with harp also available as part of Three Shakespeare Songs. Download the score here
3 canons for community choirs: duration c. 6 minutes (2020) Three conventional, short rounds suitable for amateur choirs. ‘don’t you know who I am?!’ satirises the ‘look at me’ attitude of social media; ‘take o take’ is a bluesy setting of the Shakespeare words, and ‘counting’ is an un-pitched exercise in concentration!
Dream Catcher: For online or live performance, duration 2-5 minutes (2020) A text score creating a patchwork of dream images from the performers’ speech and gestures, gradually circling round and reducing the images until the dream is caught. This piece acknowledges that Zoom doesn’t always allow us to hear everything everyone says, and so each performance will be different. It also uses imitation of each others’ physical gestures, and so is ideal for conference-call type video performance.
Dream Catcher was written for and performed by the CoMA Singers during the lockdown of November 2020. Video here Download the score here
I need to be heard: (2020) Vocal ensemble, to be performed live over Zoom or video conferencing technology. Taking into account the difficulties of technology, and referring to them in the content and text at the same time, this is a work of loss, a response to the very specific situation of summer 2020. Written for, and performed by, the CoMA Singers as part of the live-streamed concert by CoMA London and the CoMA Singers. Video here
Dear Lady: SSS solo trio, duration 100 seconds (2020) Extremely bare and spacious, heartfelt miniature for three voices. Download the score here
Mortuary Chest: unaccompanied mixed (open score) choir with boxes, duration 5 1/2 minutes (2020) Written as a CoMA commission for Partsongs vol. 2, a rewriting of the solo version. This dramatic, dark piece uses spoken word, percussion (singers knock on boxes) and some indeterminate pitches.
Spirits of the wind: a cappella choir (easy), duration 5 minutes (2020) Four short character studies of the wind with experimental elements.
! - a gallery of ne'er-do-wells in five portraits: a capella vocal ensemble (open score), duration 5 minutes (2020) These 6 tiny songs (re-workings of the solo piece) are character studies written in archaic insults, and may be spread throughout a programme or performed as one continuous piece. They are great fun and popular with the audience. Written for and premiered by the CoMA Singers, 2020. Download the score here
Five Event Scores: (2019) Written for a project of NewCelf.
1) a new better you
2) mobile phone performance
3) street art
4) top hat and tails
5) sshh LINK to be added
Summoning: a cappella mixed choir, duration 5 1/2 minutes (2019) Inspired by A Poem for dried up river by Alice Oswald, and written for the Echo ensemble, this song juxtaposes geological information – hard-edged modern reality – with ritualistic primitivism. Silence and quietness, tiny vocalisations, sit alongside increasingly confident calls summoning the river gods. Download the score here
1000 cuts: soprano, mezzo, tenor with bowls of paper, duration 12 minutes (2019) Adaptable for other voice types, this is a very quiet, very spacious, thoughtful piece (influenced by lowercase music), exploring microagressions towards the LGBTQ+ community. There are few sung pitches; performers whisper, rustle paper and make subtle gestures.
Tree, Knife, Sand: for voice (with loop pedal) and two speaking percussionists, duration max 12 minutes (2019) Written in collaboration with the video-photography of Jennie Meadows for the RNMC event Age/less, November 2019. Factual texts are spoken and poetic texts sung, with an accompaniment of atmospheric, evocative percussion/object noises. The piece considers the beauty of aging and transformation in the natural world, and considers that we might feel about human aging in the same way. A recording and video are in progress
You may delay, but time will not.: a capella vocal ensemble (open score), duration max 1 1/2 minutes (2019) Designed to exploit the variances (!) in the accuracy of counting rests, this short piece sees the singers sing short notes separated by long rests, until a final spoken sentence (attributed to Benjamin Franklin). The spreading-out of the chords over time, and the scattered timing of the final sentence, is expected and to be enjoyed.
Cecilia Sings: Cantata for 6 sopranos, theorbo and handbells, duration 40 minutes (2018) Written for and premiered by Philomel, 2018. Recording available on request. Cecilia Sings sets beautiful texts by Euan Tait, written specially for the work, and sees the spirit of Saint Cecilia watching and protecting the world, lamenting over the violence and sadness she sees but retaining hope. The voices appear in various combinations including solos and duets, and arrangements of madrigals by Maddalena Casulana are an integral part of the work.
Steel Thyself: Cantata for one or three sopranos (one with loop pedal), with alto flute, cello and percussion, duration 27 minutes (2018) Steel Thyself is a challenging work exploring the strength and strategy of three mythical characters at significant points in their lives. It combines the separate character-studies of Cecilia, Medea and Leda, along with a prelude and conclusion. One soprano may take all three roles or, with the alternative version of the conclusion, it may be a trio of women.
Passing: unaccompanied choir, duration 5 minutes (2017) A re-working of ‘the souls once gathered’ (2011). Using free canon and aleatoric techniques, this moody piece is quite simple but will spark lots of discussion and new ways of listening and working as an ensemble.
Sirens: 5 unaccompanied sopranos, duration 8 minutes (2017) Written for the vocal ensemble Philomel, this is a dramatic and impressive work, telling the story of the sirens from their point of view rather than the marginalised bit-parts they are usually confined to.
A Lover: for small vocal ensemble, duration c5 minutes (2016) Setting a tiny but evocative fragment of text, this is a colourful duet for 4 to 6 female voices, sharing material and employing gesture and aleatoric elements. Versions exist for solo voices and piano, and for two voices with piano. Download the score here
A Lover: for 2 voices and piano, duration c5 minutes (2016) Setting a tiny but evocative fragment of text, this is a colourful trio for 2 female voices and piano, sharing material and employing gesture and aleatoric elements. Versions exist for solo voices and piano, and unaccompanied small group of female voices. Download the score here
Silent Night: SATB choir, 2-part children's choir or SS sub-choir, soprano solo, piano, duration 7 minutes (2016) Written for a community choir, the SATB parts are only medium difficulty; this is a lovely alternative to conventional Christmas music, with tranquillity and joy in equal measure.
Atomic Choruses: unaccompanied vocal ensemble (open score), duration 5 1/2 minutes (2014) For 3 singers upwards: originally for the CoMA Singers; published in the CoMA Partsongs volume, pub. Peters Edition. A very different setting of the Cavendish texts (1653) used in ‘Atomic poems and fancies’, here with aleatoric and contemporary vocal techniques. CoMA resource
The Event: Ensemble opera in one act, libretto by Jon Crews and Janet Oates, duration 60 minutes (2013) For 11 singers accompanied by piano, a bass instrument and a treble instrument, the Event is an amusing hour of examining the English suburban community: with solos, ensembles (‘In praise of bunting’, ‘ode to the volunteer’) and choruses. How are alliances forged and destroyed? Who will take charge? Successfully produced by an amateur group in 2013, , it’s great fun to perform and watch!
Sanctus: unaccompanied SSA soloists, duration 3 1/2 minutes (2011) A fun, tricky setting of the mass text of Sanctus, with complex rhythms and free (un-coordinated) canon section. Written for the vocal ensemble Juice, and as part of a planned Mass for female chorus and SSA soloists.
Splintering: cantata for baritone, oboe and piano, with optional solo soprano or treble chorus, duration c.9 minutes (2013) Peter watches the crucifixion from afar and muses over his relationship with Jesus, while the cock crows three times… text: Janet Oates with Cedric Lee Download the score here
Lilith: Oratorio for soloists, chorus and small baroque-style orchestra, duration c.60 minutes (2009) Telling the story of Adam’s first, banished wife Lilith, this oratorio is suitable for amateur choir and orchestra; first performed by Isleworth Baroque in 2010. Text: my own.
Three Mediaeval Lyrics: For SSA unaccompanied, written for Juice (York RMA conference), duration 8 minutes (2009) Three settings of 15th century poems, in the original texts, with lots of energy and complexity of rhythm and vocal techniques
Are There Llamas?: Chamber opera for soprano, baritone, and small ensemble, duration c. 55 minutes (Produced Richmond 2008) A 'portrait opera' – the portrait of a young couple preparing to go out for the evening and considering their lives as they do so. Set in 'real time', charting each thought and action in real time rather than episodic 'operatic' time. Full video available on request.