PRESENT PROJECTS

 

I've written a book about Brighton, Coming and Going: part memoir, part psychogeography (whatever that may be), part history, occasionally fiction. George the Fourth, Dusty Springfield, seagulls, Edward Carpenter and my brother Jamie, Le Gateau Chocolat, Biba, bungaroosh, Heile Selassie and Max Miller, flint penises, Wartz, Elizabeth Robins, Fatboy Slim, Gandhi, Ranji, Caroline Lucas, vegan fish and chips..... Essentially it's a sequence of stories, but at the same time it's fascinated by the relationship of past and present, of fact and fiction, of the urban landscape and the natural world. You can order a copy here.

I've been working with the composer Gabriel Prokofiev and the viol consort Fretwork on Albion, a sequence of arrangements (you could call them cover versions, you could call them remixes) of all kinds of British songs and instrumental pieces, from Worldes Blis, written in 1150,  to Purcell to Elgar to Holst to Delia Darbyshire to Napalm Death, and beyond. We've asked a group of frisky composers and producers to contribute versions - so far Sarah Dacey, Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian, Ewan Campbell, Blasio Kavuma, Sally Beamish, Yfat Soul Zisso, Max de Wardener, Genevieve Murphy, Talvin Singh. There have been performances at Dartington and at Kings Place, London. More performances next year. There's an introductory video here, made by the excellent Sam Stadlen of Fretwork.

 

I've made Ready To Drop (Artichoke) with John del Nero, a sound installation on the basketball court near the i360 in Brighton. It was inspired by the incredibly dynamic and frisky daytime life on the court. It begins by recreating this life, and then becomes increasingly about the sea -  a meditation on human life and the natural world. It includes contributions from the singers Phil Minton and Rebecca Askew. It played at night for a week in August. Listen here.

 

I've made the music for Light Towers, an installation by the artist Bruce Munro at Paso Robles, Sensorio, California. The music, a loopable a cappella 20-minute piece, featuring the voices of Sarah Gabriel, Sianed Jones, Rebecca Askew, Sian Croose, Melanie Pappenheim, Hazel Holder, Jeremy Avis, Manickam Yogeswaran, Ben McKee, Jonathan Williams and Jonathan Baker, is a recording, but we will occasionally do live performances with 69 singers. Listen here.

Bloom Britannia (Barefoot Opera), an opera with a libretto by Stephen Plaice, directed by Polly Graham, had its first performances at St. Mary-in-the-Castle, Hastings, in October. Film coming up soon.

 

I've been working with the choreographer Luca Silvestrini on a site-specific walking piece En Route (Protein Dance Company). The first manifestation was in Woolwich in July. In the next few years it will make appearances in other locations. There are contributions from four composers: Helen Chadwick, Andy Pink, Matteo Fargeon and me.

 

Voice Project: I have just contributed to the Voice Project film The Distance Between Us, a choral lockdown diary. Watch here.

This is a follow-up to the Arc of the Sky, a film about flight, perspective, scale, solitude and connection. Watch hereThere will be a live version next year.

Weather The Storm, an opera with a libretto by Lucinda Jarrett and Chris Rawlence, based on the thoughts and experiences of stroke survivors, their carers, doctors and nurses, is the latest manifestation of Stroke Odysseys, made in collaboration with Garsington Opera. The first performance was at Garsington in July. You can watch part of it here. Full film coming up soon. I've written a post, Covid Choral 2, about the extraordinary experience of having contributed to it.

We've also worked with the video maker Magali Charrier on a short film Learn From Us. Watch here

The next manifestation will be Spirals, in the New Year, again with Magali.

I've just written a piece C-DanCe (The Society of Strange and Ancient Instruments), a dance of death and life, for four tromba marinas. A tromba marina is an instrument with one string which only plays harmonics. It sounds like a cross between a trumpet and a chain saw. Wonderful. The first performance was at the Brecon Baroque Festival. More performances to come.

And I've written a piece Erthe toc of Erthe for Joglaresa. Performances throughout the year.

I've written a post Listen Hear about the idea of composers 'hearing' music, and what that might mean.

 

When we lurched out of the first lockdown, I was thinking about the fate of the amateur choir, and wrote a little post Covid Choral.

 

Thirty years on.......Man Jumping's albums Jumpcut and World Service are up on Spotify. Jumpcut, and two albums of remixes by Khidja, Bullion, Gengahr, Reckonwrong and William Doyle, is available on vinyl from Emotional Rescue.

The bell-ringing project Ringing The Changes (artconnexion), in collaboration with the artist David Ward, Charminster, Dorset, was scheduled for July 2020. Now scheduled for......when?

Staging Schiele (Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company) choreographed by Shobana Jeyasingh, set by Ben Cullen Williams, costumes by Cottweiler, lighting by Adam Carree, is available to watch here.

Somewhere in the far distance, beyond Covid-19:

I've started work on an opera based on Shirley Jackson's wonderful, scary, hilarious novel We Have Always Lived In The Castle, libretto by Timothy Knapman, directed by Orpha Phelan. Find out more at the website.

Consultant on Jem Finer's Longplayer (choral version)