Archive for December 23rd, 2004


Thursday, December 23rd, 2004

I mentioned a while back that I write music (that should be in inverted commas I think!) and since then I’ve had, ooh, two requests to hear some of it. So…

Apart from ‘Flying’ these are AAC files (m4a) so you need to have the latest Quicktime installed or iTunes.

Bear in mind I’m a self-taught ‘composer’ so be kind with your criticism 🙂 They’re not really intended for public consumption

Two Piers

These are two pieces named after Brighton’s two piers. The Palace Pier is still open and is covered in amusement arcades and fairground rides, hence the piece is quite lively and repetitive. It needs a lot of work, in particular a few key changes. I like the little fugue-ish thing about three or four minutes in and the last two minutes or so when the mood changes completely.

The West Pier was closed in the mid 1970s but not until it had starred in a couple of films: Brighton Rock and Oh! What A Lovely War! Just after I moved to Brighton it blew down in a storm and then last year burnt down as well. A real shame as it was a beautiful building. There are still plans to restore it. You can see pictures of the storm damage and the fire in progress on my site.

The West Pier movement started life as a Kyrie, which is the first part of a choral mass – I’d planned to put it forward for a choir I sang in but was too shy to let people know I’d written something, so never did.

Both pieces were written in the mid to late 1990s and I’ve been working on them on and off ever since, usually a few tweaks here and there. I’m getting a bit bored with them now.

Palace Pier is arranged for string quartet, but the computer sythesised sounds are slightly grating.

I’ve arranged West Pier for wind quintet and quite like the sound.

Click these links to hear:

Palace Pier

West Pier

Bits and bobs

A Minute Of Your Time

Just a bit of silliness. This piece actually lasts slightly more than a minute, because when someone says they want a minute of your time, it always over-runs.

Decisions, decisions

Originally written in 1992 I think, inspired by my girlfriend of the time who was practicing a piece by Francis Poulenc called Mouvements Perpetual for a piano recital. I called it Decisions, Decisions last year when a student of mine kept emailing me every few minutes with a new idea for her dissertation subject but would keep returning to the original idea – which is what the piece does. Seemed quite funny at the time.


I’ve already posted this. I quite like this but the arrangement is awful. It’s based on an overlapping seven-note tune – I think the technical term for this is ‘organum’ and dates from plainchant in the middle ages, but I could be wrong. Ocer each repetition of the sequence is a different type of melody.

I called it ‘Flying’ for an ex-girlfriend who moved to the other side of the world (I have that effect). Apparently she got into the habit of listening to it while getting ready in the morning as it lasted just the right length of time. That’s what I liked about her – she didn’t take hours to get ready 😉

I wanted to arrange this piece and make it the third movement of ‘Two Piers’ the idea being that it’s supposed to evoke the sound of walking from the West Pier to the Palace Pier on a Saturday night – the different tunes being the equivelant of the different sounds coming from all the clubs on the sea front. Maybe I will one day but I don’t think it’ll sound right.