15 minutes of my setting of the Requiem Mass have now grown to c.45', and the thing is pretty much done: fully sketched, but still requiring final scoring of the final section. Relatively easy choral parts are accompanied by a modest ensemble of wind and string sextets with percussion. I have set the bulk of the Latin text, but have also included six English poems reflecting, in one way or another, on death, decay, and the passing of things. These poems are set for solo soprano and baritone. To my surprise, the final song - and final section of the Requiem - is a tango for the two soloists. Not sure where that came from, but it seems to work. . .
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(Banner photo [detail] by Robert Broughton)
When I compose, I like to think of live musicians, singing or playing. I prefer the sometimes rough edges, the rasp, clatter and hiss of acoustic instruments, to the manufactured perfection of electronic sound. And I prefer the uncertainties of live performance to recordings which, however wonderful, remain forever the same. Read more...
Engaging with other people is also essential to my work as performer and teacher. As a pianist, I do give the occasional solo recital, but I have a definite preference for work (not just concerts) in which I partner singers or instrumentalists in one combination or another. Read more...
Julian is a composer, pianist and educator with over ten years’ experience of teaching music and creative studies at degree level at the University of Sussex and in the wider community.