Category Archive: Composer

Rowan Williams

Rowan Williams

26th November 2020

This Sunday is Advent Sunday, a day which marks an important step in my composing. As I wrote back in the summer, I wrote my setting of Rowan Williams‘ poem ‘Advent Calendar’ in 2006. Two years later, on Advent Sunday 2008, it was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 by the Choir of St John’s College, […]

The Angel and the Unicorn

The Angel and the Unicorn

8th October 2020

According to The New Oxford Book of Carols, this year marks the 125th anniversary of the famous carol known in English as ‘Gabriel’s Message’. It is actually a translation, by Sabine Baring-Gould, of a Basque carol, Birjina gaztettobat zegoen, which was collected by the French musician Charles Bordes and published in his Dix cantiques populaires […]

Under another sky

Under another sky

17th September 2020

Under ordinary circumstances, I would have been in Paris today, for the opening this evening of the annual Salon international du Livre rare. But I am in still in beechy Buckinghamshire, enjoying instead some late summer sunshine. My mind, however, has turned to French books, and one in particular which I have at the moment. […]

(Not) on Choir Tour

(Not) on Choir Tour

6th August 2020

This week I should have been singing at Ely Cathedral with a group of friends called the Pearce Singers, a choir which arose some years ago out of those of us who used to sing with Tring Parish Church Choir when we were growing up. Back in the 1980s and early 90s, we would go […]

The World to me

The World to me

22nd July 2020

Following on from previous blogposts on The Greatest Refreshment, Advent Calendar, and Three Heine Love Songs, I thought I would write a little about another piece of mine, The World to me. Its text is the poem ‘World’ from Carol Ann Duffy‘s 2005 book Rapture, words I had actually wanted to set for a long […]

Three Heine Love Songs

Three Heine Love Songs

24th June 2020

I wrote these back in 2009, when they were premiered by the Damon Singers. The text for the third was one of the readings at our wedding (my wife and I both studied modern languages at university).  Having discovered it, I read more of Heine’s work, and found two more poems of his I wanted […]