I am a composer and a conductor specialising in new music, based in the UK.
My music has been performed and broadcast worldwide, and five portrait discs have been released to date: windfell (another timbre, 2019), Mala punica (Winter&Winter, 2017), Signs of Occupation (Métier 2016), mural (confront 2015) and TIDE (Métier 2013). My work also appears on the Wandelweiser, HCR and NMC labels.
I typically (but not exclusively) write for small ensembles or soloists, exploring pared-down, ‘primary’ musical syntaxes and systems, with particular interests in microtonality, modality and indeterminacy, embodied/haptic dimensions of sound, and plain-speaking. I often work with text and with found materials, particularly early music, and I have an ongoing preoccupation with the music and aesthetics of the Italian Renaissance, which I also explore with my vocal ensemble EXAUDI. I have also made a lot of work for open instrumentations, spatialised performances and performance installations.
Collaborators and other performers of my work have included Quatuor Bozzini, London Sinfonietta, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Ives Ensemble, Plus-Minus, An Assembly, Talea, EXAUDI, Ekmeles, CoMA, Mira Benjamin, Apartment House and Anton Lukoszevieze. My music is published by University of York Music Press. Awards include a British Composer Award (2018) for Libro di fiammelle e ombre, written for EXAUDI, and an Ivors Composer Award (2019) for Leafleoht, written for Quatuor Bozzini.
In 2002 I founded EXAUDI with soprano Juliet Fraser, now regarded as one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles for new music. As well as maintaining a busy international touring and recording schedule with EXAUDI, I work regularly as a guest conductor, working with instrumental ensembles and orchestras such as Royal Northern Sinfonia, BBC Singers, London Sinfonietta, musikFabrik, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and L’Instant Donné. I have also worked extensively with amateur musicians, both at CoMA (Contemporary Music for All), with whom I have been closely associated since 2014, and in early music fora and summer schools around the UK. I was Musical Director of both New London Chamber Choir and Orlando Chamber Choir (London) from 2007-2011.
A lapsed organist, I still occasionally appear as a pianist in new and experimental music. In 2006 I co-founded the ensemble Kürbis with the composer Claudia Molitor, which was active until 2012, giving a number of notable performances of Cardew, Skempton, Chris Newman and younger British composers.
I am also active as a writer on new music, with published articles on Cassandra Miller and Christopher Fox, and a pair of chapters on Michael Finnissy in the Routledge Critical Perspectives volume (2019). I compiled and edited the CoMA Partsong Book, a volume of new experimental music for small vocal groups, published in March 2018.
Previously an Organ Scholar at Queens’ College Cambridge (1997-2000), I studied composition with Michael Finnissy privately and then at the University of Southampton, from where I was awarded a PhD in Composition in 2005.
I was Associate Head of Composition at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London from 2012-17, and took up my present position as Assistant Professor of Composition at Durham University in October 2017.