Music etc.


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About me


Hello! I’m a musician from B
olton, based in Manchester.
I’m interested in innovative and inclusive ways to create music, using new ideas and new technology.

I’m also a music facilitator, leading music workshops with young people, in the criminal justice system, and with anti-loneliness groups, and I teach Computer Music Design at Birmingham BiMM.

I studied BA music at the University of Oxford, and then MA Composition at the University of Manchester.

I write about music too - you can find me reviewing at Silent Radio, and writing about music history over at Revoice! Magazine.

I’ve recently been building a box which can sense when it rains, and uses that to trigger audio. You can read all about it here
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Want to work with me?

I’m available to hire for composition, teaching, writing, or anything else you think might be up my street.

If you want to find out more, have a look around the website, or send me an email

01 Music Made


Here’s a portfolio of all the music I’ve written, for concerts, films, theatre, and installation. There’s also a section on my production work.

For Concert performance


...but if it were, (2019)
    bass clarinet quartet
 


Carol for Our Children (2018)
    string quartet
    clarinet
    flute          
    percussion
    voice

    commisioned by No Dice
    collaboration with Gregory Kearns

Circles (2017)
    solo guitar


  I Thought I Was Too Small  (2017)
        volunteer performers



Redwood (2017)
    flautist,
    acoustic guitar
    electronics


Shreds (2016)
    string quartet
   
    workshopped by the Villiers Quartet

Today I am looking at the Earth (2016)
    choir 
   
    workshopped by The BBC Singers

Eumenides (2015)
    workshopped by Chroma Ensemble


For Theatre



The Enchanted (2016, 2017)
    sound design/electroacoustic music

Twelfth Night (2015)
    saxophone 
    mandolin
    violin
    cello
    percussion
    vocal trio


Not About Heroes (2015)
    sound design/electroacoustic music

    collaboration with Tom Kinsella

Blood Wedding (2015)
    string trio
    electronics


    collaboration with Tom O’Connor

For Film


    The Dinner Club (to be released 2019)

Production work


What Are The Natural Forms? (2017)
    debut EP for Hannah Ross

Installation


Big Big Toe (2015)
        for an art installation by Alex Leigh




The Enchanted (2016, 2017)




This was a stage adaptation of Rene Denfeld’s brilliant novel The Enchanted, about a mute prisoner on death row, and the world he imagines around him. I’m part of a theatre group called Pharmacy Theatre - we first staged the show in 2016 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and after a successful run there, staged the show again in London.

I was sound designer and composer for both projects, and you can hear some of this in the video above. One thing I found really useful working on The Enchanted was Matt Rogalsky’s work - he went into the abandoned Kingston Penitentiary and used an audio technique that records how a room sounds, and that can then be applied to any other sound, which saved me a lot of trouble in trying to make things sound realistic. You can hear a piece he made using these techniques here.



I Thought I Was Too Small (2017)



Film credit to Darkfield Visuals

As part of my master’s degree, everyone on the course was asked to write a piece to be performed in the Whitworth Art Gallery’s Andy Warhol exhibit, related to the exhibit. Taking influence from the pop art movement Warhol was part of I wanted to make a piece that would be accessible for any audience. To achieve this, I came up with a piece which used audience volunteers as performers - each performer  puts on a different set of headphones, which tells them how to play their part in real time. One plays prepared guitars, one is on vocals, and one plays a thumb piano. All the sounds they make are sychronised to the same clock, using a Max/MSP program on my laptop, processed live, and played through the speakers. 

I don’t actually like Andy Warhol that much really. The title of the piece comes from an advertisement I found, which Andy Warhol starred in for Drexel Burnham Lambert, a Wall Street investment banking firm, which 
I thought was the most Andy Warhol thing I’d ever seen.

You can read a much more detailed commentary on this piece, submitted as part of my Master’s degree, here.

You can also read the setup instructions here, and read the score below.

NB: as all instruction to the players is given through headphones, the score is for reference only.





Circles (2017)




This was a piece built to explore the capabilities of my Chromesthesia technology, built to directly visualise sound as coloured light.

The title comes from Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf:

“a particular hush, or solemnity; an indescribable pause; a suspense [...] before Big Ben strikes. There! Out it boomed. First a warning, musical; then the hour, irrevocable. The leaden circles dissolved in the air.“

I originally called the piece ‘Big Round Circles’, which is what the score still says. I later realised I’d misquoted (and butchered) the original quote and changed it to just Circles.

This eventually became my Seeing Sound: A Chromesthesia Concert project!

You can read the technical documentation and the score below.

Technical Documentation:

Score:







Carol for our Children (2018)



This was commisioned by fantastic chamber ensemble No Dice Collective as part of their recent Last Christmas show, around the dual themes of Christmas and The Apocalypse. Not everyone’s cup of tea.

This show actually hasn’t happened yet, so the recording above is of a rehearsal - sadly we’re missing several players here, so please bear in mind it should sound quite a bit different!



02 Writing about music


For Silent Radio


I write reviews of new releases and live music in Manchester for a website called Silent Radio, which you can find collected here.


For Revoice! Magazine


Revoice! Magazine is an online music magazine launched in November 2016, ‘written for and by musicians who engage creatively and critically with history.‘ I’ve been writing about the song Wonderwall - you can read my first piece here, and the next one will be coming out in September.


If you want to write for them too, they both accept submissions from writers at all levels of experience, and are both run by really friendly people, so I’d definitely recommend getting in touch.

You can find everything I’ve written collected over at  https://dmcfmusic.wordpress.com/.


If you just want the highlights, you can find them at www.clippings.me/dvdmcf.


03 Things Built


Sound -> Light


As part of my master’s degree, I built a system which analyses audio input and outputs it as light in any way the user wants.

Here’s an example - in these videos, the software converts pitch to colour, and loudness to brightness:





And here’s another example, in which I use coloured bells to control the colour of the  lights:



This was all used for my final piece, Circles:



The system is built using Max/MSP, an eDMX1 PRO USB to DMX interface, and a laptop. The software looks like this:



Please get in touch if you’d like to use it for anything!