Thank you words are never enough!!

Posted in News on November 9th, 2015 by Nigel – Comments Off on Thank you words are never enough!!
After the European Premiere of `A Richer Dust' - Malene, the Band of the Irish Guards and myself '(Photos: Marius Skaerved)

After the European Premiere of `A Richer Dust’ – Malene, the Band of the Irish Guards and myself ‘(Photos: Marius Skaerved)

I would like to thank everyone involved in the `Remembrance Concert’ with the Band of the Irish Guards on 6th November in the Guards Chapel, London, and for giving the European Premiere of `A Richer Dust’ (Symphony No1) for Speaker and Wind Orchestra. In particular, I would like to thank Major Bruce Miller for his support in this event and WO1 Bandmaster Andrew Porter, whose energy, enthusiasm, vision and talent brought this large-scale project to fruition. Andrew’s reading of the text was moving indeed – The Band of the Irish Guards itself, gave every possible ounce of their musicianship and professionalism to make this 50 minute work come to life.

WO1 Bandmaster Andrew Porter before performing `A Richer Dust'

WO1 Bandmaster Andrew Porter before performing `A Richer Dust’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I would also like to thank Peter Sheppard Skaerved who hosted the pre-concert talk, and of course the continued support of writer Malene Sheppard Skaerved whose text left us so much to think about – I must add that Malene was always a constant source of support throughout the rehearsal process. For me to conduct such musicians (and a band in which I once served) was more than a privilege, and will remain with me for ever, and I thank the band for that. Finally this work, would never of happened with out the commissioning vision of Dr Reed Thomas and the Middle Tennessee State University Wind Ensemble our musical partners across the pond who premiere the work earlier this year. (Photos: Marius Skaerved)

European Premiere of `A Richer Dust’ Friday 6th November

Posted in News on October 15th, 2015 by Nigel – Comments Off on European Premiere of `A Richer Dust’ Friday 6th November

Memorial Service IG Band PosterFlyer V3Using music and words, my symphony for Speaker and Wind Orchestra ‘A Richer Dust’ explores what it means to live with violence and extremism, the constant companions of human history. The words were written by the Danish writer Malene Sheppard Skaerved, with whom I have collaborated before. The intertwined text and music, ideas and images, weave together voices ranging from those of historically significant figures through to voiceless, ordinary people living in extraordinary times.

For me it is an honour to conduct the premiere with the Band of the Irish Guards: I served in the regimental band between 1982 and 1986 and owe the military so much for giving me not only memorable musical experiences, but allowing me time to study composition at the Royal Academy of Music. So this is a ‘coming home’ experience for me! As far as writing for wind orchestra, it has been one of the most challenging projects to date and I have given it my all.

The World Premiere of ‘A Richer Dust’ was given by the Middle Tennessee State University Wind Ensemble under the baton of Dr Reed Thomas. I am proud to contribute to the European and UK Premiere as a conductor on this occasion, falling as it does on Remembrance weekend. This work is about the victims of conflicts throughout history, and it is appropriate that it takes place in the Guards Chapel, London, which was destroyed by a doodle bug bomb during a church service in 1944 killing 121 people.

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Nigel Clarke rehearsing with the Band of the Irish Guards

The day before the concert there will be an “In Conversation” event held in the Royal Academy of Music Museum (Piano Gallery). This is part of the SoundBox series hosted by the Academy’s ‘Viotti Lecturer’, violinist Peter Sheppard Skӕrved . The event will include the writer Malene Sheppard Skӕrved, the Irish Guards Band’s Director of Music Major Bruce Miller, the Band Master Andrew Porter and myself.

This event is free to the public: SOUNDBOX 1230 6th November Piano Gallery Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Road, London NW15HT

Nigel with Bandmaster Andrew Porter & Malene Sheppard Skaerved

Nigel with Bandmaster Andrew Porter & Malene Sheppard Skaerved

See 4barsrest Link for more about this event:

http://www.4barsrest.com/articles/2015/1531.asp#.VjZgXelR_pR

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The Band of the Irish Guards – Changing the Guard 14/10/15

Brendan Ball (Trumpet) records `Mystereies of the Horizon’ at the RNCM

Posted in News on October 4th, 2015 by Nigel – Comments Off on Brendan Ball (Trumpet) records `Mystereies of the Horizon’ at the RNCM

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A big thank you to Brendan Ball (Trumpet), Clark Rundell (Conductor) and the magnificent students of the Royal Northern College of Music Wind Orchestra for recording my concerto `Mystereies of the Horizon’ (26/09/15). Such an enjoyable day being surrounded by such talent and experience!!! I also have to thank Richard Scott and his team of recording engineers as well as Martin Ellerby who was a chief Producer!!!

Music for Thirteen Solo Strings Disc – Now Out!!!

Posted in News on October 4th, 2015 by Nigel – Comments Off on Music for Thirteen Solo Strings Disc – Now Out!!!

TOCC 0325 Nigel Clarke Music for 13 stringsMy latest disc has just been released on the Toccata Classics Label, featuring music written for 13 Strings (eight violins, two violas, two cellos and double-bass) as well as one short work for solo violin. The disc is recorded by Longbow  – Director/Peter Sheppard Skaerved, Mihailo Trandafilovski, Aisha Orazbayeva, Midori Komachi, Alice Barron, Annabelle Berthome Reynolds, Sara Cubarsi, Shulah Oliver, Morgan Goff, Diana Mathews, Evie Heyde, Valerie Welbanks, Rachel Meerloo. Sébastien Rousseau (Flugel Horn) is soloist in my memorial work `The Scarlet Flower’ dedicated to the memory of the First World War British nurse Edith Cavell who was executed in Brussels in 1915, The release of the disc coincides (almost to the day) with the Edith Cavell’s execution  – the short work `Epitaph for Edith Cavell’ for solo violin (performed by Peter Sheppard Skaerved) is also written in her memory and is based on material from the opening of  `The Scarlet Flower’. I have written two musical portraits of the seaport of Dover with `Dover, Dogger, Fisher, German Bight, Humber, Thames Dover White’ and `Pulp and Rags’. `Dogger, Fisher, ……’ is written as a ‘diptych’ with a poem by Malene Sheppard Skaerved bound together by recorded sound from Dover beach.

Longbow is a virtuoso string ensemble composed of some of today’s most adventurous players. Their work is entirely project-based, resulting in critically acclaimed recordings for Toccata Classics, Naxos and Metier. The members of this international group hail from the USA, Macedonia, Kazakhstan, Japan, France, Belgium, Canada and the UK. The ensemble’s most recent release, of Hans Werner Henze, was reviewed by Gramophone as ‘this superb disc’ and was ‘disc of the week’ in The Guardian. The artistic directors of Longbow are Peter Sheppard Skaerved and myself.

Nigel Clarke: Music for Thirteen Solo Strings (TOCC0325) can be purchased direct from Toccata Classics: www.toccataclassics.com or from Amazon and Naxos Direct or download from iTunes.

This clip is taken from the recording session and features `Pulp & Rags’ which  commemorates the Buckland Paper Mill which use to be a major part of Dover’s history.

Recording Part Two of my String Orchestra Disc with Longbow

Posted in News on July 4th, 2015 by Nigel – Comments Off on Recording Part Two of my String Orchestra Disc with Longbow

Ensemble Longbow. Photograph by Malene Sheppard Skaerved

Yet again a big thank you to Peter Sheppard Skaerved, and all the players of ‘Longbow’Jonathan Haskell (Engineer) and Kickstarter supporters for the wonderful recording session (30th June)!! We recorded the final two works `Pulp Rags’ and `Parnassus’ for 13  piece string orchestra. It is such a privilege and inspiration to have music played and recorded by such energised musicians.

The players of Longbow are:

Longbow – Director/Peter Sheppard Skaerved, Mihailo Trandafilovski, Aisha Orazbayeva, Midori Komachi, Alice Barron, Annabelle Berthome Reynolds, Sara Cubarsi, Shulah Oliver, Morgan Goff, Diana Mathews, Evie Heyde, Valerie Welbanks, Rachel Meerloo.

`Parnassus’ was my very first 13 piece string orchestra work written for Peter Sheppard Skaerved back in 1988, and `Pulp Rags’ is my latest which commemorates Dover’s (now closed) Buckland Paper Mill. The work was written for Dover Arts Development (DAD). I was privileged to have been part of an artistic collaboration with Malene Sheppard Skaerved with DAD led by Joanna Jones and Clare Smith.

 

Here is a sneak preview of some unedited outtakes/’bolt ups’ from our recording session.

Pulp Rags

Parnassus

A short clip from a CD recording session of `Pulp Rag’