Monday, 28 October 2019

Michael is nominated in #TheIvorsComposerAwards

I'm delighted to say today I received a nomination in the category Jazz Composition for Small Ensemble for my composition Mother Medusae in the Ivors Composer Awards (formerly British Composer Awards). 

The piece was created for Thomas Gould, violinist and leader of Britten Sinfonia, who was looking for a jazz composition to perform at Kings Place as part of his Gould Standard Series. Thomas has a love and fascination for jazz, and a growing fan base as a jazz violinist, alongside his reputation as a fine classical soloist. This gave me the musical freedom for the main melodic theme to begin on the violin and exhibit an element of reflective romanticism, and at the same time incorporate jazz patterns not generally found in classical music. I knew Thomas liked the percussive, rhythmic feel on a track on my album The Long Way Home called Silverlink Express and so that became my touchstone in the development of the composition.

His trio also included the outstanding musicians Kristjan Randalu, on piano and Stephan Braun on cello. 

During the period prior to and while writing Mother Medusae, stories about the #MeToo movement, the gender pay gap and aggressive online ‘trolling’ were unfolding in the news. However, women were finding solidarity, fighting back and confronting the situation. Mary Beard’s book Women and Power spoke of classical attitudes to women and how these attitudes have been perpetually recycled to this day. The symbolic meaning usually associated with the Medusa is that the Medusa monster, a Gorgon, is to be feared, however Medusae are also associated with protecting women from evil. This fierce feminine power as a protector from evil is at the heart of my composition, inspiring a fluidity and strength in the musical movement and requiring a bold attack in the performance.

Check it out @SoundCloud 

Photo credit: Deborah Ripley

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