I'm a composer, conductor, interpreter and producer of music that I endeavour to make as strange and beautiful as is humanly possible. I have principal artistic outlets that number three, as follow:
- Owen Kilfeather: being both avant-garde concert pieces and dark, romantically-veined pop songs shot through with contemporary compositional techniques.
- Miss Foreign Affairs: this one's a beauty, being a comic agitprop avant-rock band that blends postminimalism with three all-terrain Elliott Carter chords and the aesthetic of Britney Spears. The guiding principle of Miss Foreign is that it be communicative, weird and danceable. Think Public Enemy meets Steve Reich. Debut album Spring 2017.
- Ensemble PMV: saving the best for last, this is a mutable travelling orchestra in which only a composer/conductor or two do the travelling and the orchestra is made up of musicians from each town to which they travel. This is made possible through music created through a combination of guided-improvisation signals and sheet-music designed to be performed with little rehearsal-time. The loveliest aspect of Ensemble PMV (Parts May Vary) is that it is community-based in the widest sense, one that diverges from the typical my-band-are-coming-to-your-town-and-we're-going-to-eat-and-leave model in favour of one that gets the local musicians to perform, invite their friends, earn a crust and put that back into the local economy. And I can do it in a single afternoon - give me a three-hour rehearsal and a concert that same evening and I'll turn out a tight little classical-jazz-rock militia to get every head in the spot nodding in appreciation.
A reharmonised cadenza for electric guitar, this piece was recorded in 35 minutes with no rehearsal and two takes, of which this is the second. The only edits made were a couple to bring sections closer together, meaning that the musical material was not prettied up in any way. Probably the most fun I've had in a single session was conducting this chamber orchestra of conservatory kids and grizzled improvisers.