• Composers in shackles?

    “A composer’s creation might seem like the embodiment of freedom: the author can call forth anything he wants from out of nowhere, give it the form he desires, think up a continuation for it which suits him, and finally, when he thinks the time is right, complete the piece’s development. Unlike, say, an architect, a […]

  • Listening to expectations

    Yet another Twitter discussion has inspired me to contemplate on a particular musical issue. Listening. I revel in the fact that music exists in the fourth dimension – how the first lecture of my degree started – and music is the manipulation of this dimension. Music orders sounds over a period of time and we […]

  • London Road to Juniper Street

    It’s been a long few days writing songs for my musical theatre work. I’m starting to get a sense of it’s bigger shape but there is still some way to go. Initially I was fearful of what musical language I might use and I craved some kind of model for the work I would write. […]

  • Three plays in two days

    I enjoy being part of the National Theatre’s Young Patron scheme as there are regular emails to alert me to events that I might miss otherwise out of ignorance. I was really pleased to attend the second Double Feature in the Paintframe this week and see two very different yet intriguing plays. ‘Nightwatchman’ was a […]

  • The Fall

    Mulholland Drive was one of the first movies I saw that intrigued me. Of course that’s because my experience of cinema is limited, and I am increasingly aware there is a wealth of interesting film that I am yet to discover. I hadn’t contemplated before the Lynch movie that what I was seeing – for […]

  • The art of suffering

    It is a real testament to Amy Winehouse’s impact that reportedly 20 million tweets were sent about her untimely death. Her personal struggles undoubtedly colour one’s appreciation of her music and it seems fitting that she will be subsequently canonised as a great artist. It scares me a little that artistic endeavour might depend on […]

  • Dance steps…

    “To become integrated and healthy … You need to sense the patterns of preparation, stress, and release contained in your scores, and let these patterns inform and animate your gestures, which become varied and adaptable rather than habitual and fixed.” — Pedro de Alcantara, Integrated Practice: Coordination, Rhythm and Sound (OUP 2011) I’m really enjoying […]

  • Integrating musicians

    I am really pleased to have received Pedro de Alcantara’s book last week and keen to start reading to write my review. I feel a little nervous about trying to encapsulate what I hope to be a very interesting read in 500 words but fingers-crossed. I’ve managed to read the introductory pages and already nuggets […]

  • Forward and Up

    Several years of Alexander Technique have had a rather huge effect on my entire thinking. I recall the lessons, particularly the two I was fortunate to have with Pedro de Alcantara in Paris, with excitement as every one gave me a renewed understanding of my body and how it interacts with space. At the time […]

  • Music, when soft voices die

    It was rather by chance I stumbled upon some choral music in the Clore Ballroom at the Southbank Centre today, and I am rather pleased I did. I am desperate to try and write some choral music. The voice fascinates me, and the combination of numerous voices is an incredible sound. There was a fascinating […]