I am a composer and musician based in Glasgow, Scotland. Born in Central Kentucky, I studied music at Guilford College in North Carolina and spent a large chunk of the 1990s touring in bands. Around the turn of the century, I moved to Glasgow, Scotland to study composition with Bill Sweeney. Since then I have gained a PHD in composition and have taught numerous music subjects at the University of Glasgow and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. I write music for a variety of instrumental and electronic forces.
P r o j e c t s
For the last three years, I have been developing a composition workbook using my composition students at the University of Glasgow as guinea pigs. This is the 2016-2017 version, although I am currently working on a new one to be published here hopefully before October 2017.
In the workbook, I include a letter to the students, included below. This outlines what is for me the hardest part of teaching composition in higher education: how do you teach something that has no ultimate ethical boundaries? The question of what is right or wrong, materially, well, that cuts to the nature of my concerns for most of my young undergraduates. That is, that they think for themselves, and are uncompromising, but not in a way that is reactionary or ignorant, but in a way that stems from a need, as Cage put it, for poetry?
You Can't get There from Here
Five other composers based in Scotland and I have recently engaged in an unique collaborative composition project that resulted in a six-part piece played by Ensemble Thing at the Sound festival on 31 October 2015 in the Arts Centre Theatre in Aberdeen. Reviews of this and other events in the festival can be found in the Herald and the Scotsman.
Composers taking part:
Harmony Nerd Blog: The Nontransposeable Series
Check out my blog post on the Nontransposeable Series in which I explore all the circular, patterned divisions of our old friend IC5 - the circle of 4ths.