Free London performance for Pieces of Eight: 7 October 2011

Autumn Aperitif concert posterThis week Luca Tieppo will perform the piano version of my Pieces of Eight at the first of the London Composers Forum’s new series of FREE lunchtime concerts in Putney.

This will be a world premiere performance of this version of the piece.

The concert starts at 1pm at St Mary’s Church in Putney – get the full details from Facebook or the London Composers Forum website.

Want to know more about the piece? Click here to learn about Pieces of Eight and listen to MIDI versions of two of the eight movements

I hope you can come (did I mention it’s free?!) – and do say hello if you do!

Egg the Seventh now on SoundCloud

Well, I’ve been working hard playing around with Logic Pro and am happy to say that the result is a shiny new recording of Egg the Seventh, the waltz movement from 2 x 4 – a set of two-part inventions for piano or harpsichord – is now up on SoundCloud. I’m working on the other three pieces from the set and they should hopefully go up gradually over the next couple of weeks.

Until then, I hope you enjoy this one!

Three Whitman Songs now on SoundCloud

It’s been quite a week for the uploads! Today I’ve posted some recordings I made last night of my Three Whitman Songs for contralto and piano. The set consists of three songs (obviously) plus a tiny piano interlude, which is related to Egg the Tenth (which started out as the interlude to this set then got ideas above its station).

Yes, this is me singing. So sorry.

This site’s page for Three Whitman Songs has the texts as well as some notes. A downloadable score will – I hope – follow in the next couple of weeks.

Diabolus now on SoundCloud

My new piece for unaccompanied violin, Diabolus, is now up on SoundCloud in a MIDI-rendered version for your listening pleasure. The piece itself has been sent to Conway Kuo in New York for consideration for his 15 Minutes of Fame concert, so I can’t post the score yet as he gets first dibs on the first performance. Hope you (and he!) enjoy(s) it!

Diabolus is a one-minute piece for solo violin based around the interval of the tritone, the diabolus in musica. It features open string sonorities and natural harmonics and aims for a mix of aggressive rhythmical patterns and moments of stillness.

The blog post Approaching a single line from three directions, posted on this site a few weeks ago, traces the generation of the piece’s initial form. A follow-up post looking at the transformation of the base material to become the final piece is planned for publication in the next month.

Today’s the day!

Tonight my short song-cycle Remembrances of Half-Forgotten Dead People receives its world premiere. The lovely folks at London Composers Forum have included it in their Piano Plus concert, where it will be sung by soprano Tamara Tempera.

The concert also includes works by other members of London Composers Forum – it’s going to be a very varied programme!

So if you’re looking for something to do this evening, come along and have a listen: It’s a favourite piece of mine and I’m really looking forward to finally hearing it with a real singer.

The concert starts at 7.30 at Lauderdale House, near Highgate Village. It’s a ten-minute walk from Archway tube station. Full details are available on the LCF website event page. Find me and say hello if you come!

New piece: Thickets for string quintet

I’ve just added my latest piece, Thickets for 2 violins, viola and 2 celli (or cello and double bass) to this site. Thickets was written for a 5-day composer workshop in Durham with Tansy Davies which was organised by the fantastic organisation CoMA. CoMA focuses on contemporary music-making for amateur players, and as our Masterclass was run in conjunction with a Late Starters String School, it needed to be playable by amateur (late starter) players of a level equating to about grades 4-5.

Writing for amateurs was a brilliant challenge – to limit a piece’s technical challenges while still keeping it interesting to play and working on a musical level – it really brought out the problem-solver in me! And when it was workshopped, the reactions were fantastic – the conductor said it was “incredibly well-written for strings” and players I talked to afterwards said that once they’d worked out the rhythmic challenges of the central hocketing section, it was a fun piece to play and they hoped they’d get to do it again.

The piece has its origins in a trilogy of paintings on the subject of Bacchus by American Abstract Expressionist painter Cy Twombly which are currently on display at the Tate Modern (although, frustratingly, not listed on the Tate’s website so I can’t link to it) which evoked in me impressions of thickets of willows, or possibly thorns. After being passed through the filter of my strange brain, the piece features intertwining shared melodic lines and interlocking rhythmic figures leading to an ending of immense stillness and simplicity.

Thickets (score and parts) is available through this site (free download coming soon – till then, please contact me directly) now and will be in the CoMA library shortly.

Second performance for Deconstruct: Point, line, plane

The London New Wind Festival will be playing my flexible-ensemble piece Deconstruct: Point, line, plane for the second time on 19 November in London at their “Brand New Music for Winds” concert. I’ll be there – and I’ll also be speaking on a panel of composers talking about their work which appears in the concert portion of the evening.

It’s going to be a big night: Panel at 6pm, then a concert at 7pm of sax/clarinets/flute and piano music, and finishing off with the full ensemble concert at 7.45pm (this is the one that Deconstruct will be in). Come along to all of them, or just one.

The full concert programme is over on the London New Wind Festival’s website (you’ll need to scroll down to get to this concert as the page contains details for all concerts in this year’s Festival).

And there’s a Facebook event set up too so you can get reminders. I’ll also be posting reminders closer to the day over on my new Facebook page – visit and become a Fan!

World premiere: Deconstruct: Point, line, plane

As part of the London New Wind Festival, Caitlin Rowley’s new composition, Deconstruct: Point, line, plane, will receive its world premiere on 28 September at St Cyprian’s Church in London.

Deconstruct: Point, line, plane is written for flexible ensemble consisting of five instruments plus piano. For this performance, the five instruments will be violin, oboe, clarinet, horn and trombone, but the piece can also be performed by a standard wind quintet or by only strings plus piano, or a range of combinations. While the starting point for the piece’s melodic material is the opening of Janacek’s The Cunning Little Vixen, the piece itself developed through ideas sparked by the composer’s reading of Kandinsky’s theories, especially those expressed at the beginning of Point, line and plane. The work doesn’t attempt to create either a musical representation of Kandinsky’s paintings, or even a direct translation of the artist’s theories, but rather is informed by his ideas of the nature of these basic elements of painting and explores how they intersect in a musical context.

More information about the concert can be found on the Festival’s website. Tickets are available at the door for £8, or £5 concession.

Flyer for 13th London New Wind Festival concert

New performance: London, 6 Nov

Yes, if you missed the performance of Caitlin Rowley’s Pieces of Eight back in September, it’s on again! The London New Wind Festival is performing it again, in a slightly different configuration on Friday 6 November 2009 at 9pm at Regent Hall, 275 Oxford St, London, W1C 2DJ. It’s going to be part of an evening of women’s music, comprising a panel discussion and four concerts and tickets are either £8(5) for individual events or £15(10) for the full event. Hope to see you there!

For more information, visit the London New Wind Festival website (go to concert details then scroll down to the end for the full evening’s programmes).

London premiere for Pieces of Eight

Flyer for London New Wind Festival concert

We are pleased to announce that Caitlin Rowley’s Pieces of Eight will be receiving its London premiere this week as part of the London New Wind Festival in a concert on 21 September called ‘Brand New Music for Winds’. Pieces of Eight will be performed in a new arrangement for oboe, clarinet, horn, trombone, piano and violin, arranged by oboist Catherine Pluygers.

Also on the programme are works by Anthony Green, Meira M Warshauer, Rebecca Oswald, Orie Sato, Dudley Hyam, William Attwood, Philip Cashian and Michael Finnissy.

Tickets are £8 each, with concessions at £5 and the concert will take place at 7.30pm at St Cyprian’s Church, NW1 6AX. For full details, see the London New Wind Festival website under ‘Concert Details’.