It’s been an exciting week for my new project ‘My Iris’ (with Chris Montague, Ross Stanley & James Maddren)… We’ve just been filming for a docu-video (thanks to Pete Cant, Alex Eisenberg and Alex Killpartrick for directing, filming and sound) and rehearsing for our recording over the summer (album to be released in early 2017).
On Saturday Trish took ‘My Iris’ (with Ross Stanley & Chris Montague) plus special guest writer/director Pete Cant to Stratford-Upon-Avon to take part in BBC Radio 3’s Sounds of Shakespeare weekend… Saturday 23rd April 2016 was 400 years since the playwright’s death…You can listen to the broadcast here.
There are two new tunes, written to evoke the multifaceted ‘Iris’ – a Greek mythological character who pops up frequently in the works of Shakespeare. And there was an improvised ‘storm’ featuring Pete.
A friend of mine, Alex Fiennes, recently brought this Guardian article to my attention, written by Hossein Derakhshan. In support of his view of social media, I am sharing it here, on my own website, accompanied with a hyperlink to his blog. One of my favourite sentences in his piece is this:
“Ironically enough, states that cooperate with Facebook and Twitter know much more about their citizens than those, like Iran, where the state has a tight grip on the internet but does not have legal access to social media companies.”
Very chuffed to have won the Contemporary Jazz category at the BASCA British Composer Awards 2015 on Wednesday (with my work “The Fox, the Parakeet & the Chestnut”). There’s a BBC Radio 3 broadcast of the highlights of the ceremony on Saturday and here are a few photos…
(various photographers, official photos by Mark Allan)
And here is the press release from Basho Music HQ (minus the nice photos and logos…):
TRISH CLOWES WINS BEST JAZZ COMPOSITION AT BASCA BRITISH COMPOSER AWARDS
Basho is delighted to announce that Trish Clowes has won a BASCA British Composer Award 2016 in the Contemporary Jazz Composition category. With the field also including high profile, established composers Django Bates and Mike Williams, this win is a tremendous achievement. Trish won for The Fox, The Parakeet and The Chestnut, a BBC commission for Trish’s quintet and the BBC Concert Orchestra, performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall during the 2014 EFG London Jazz Festival.
Created by BASCA (British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors), the British Composer Awards exist to promote the art of composition and to bring contemporary music to a wider audience. The awards are unique in making contemporary classical and jazz their core focus. In honouring Trish Clowes, this year’s awards have recognised an artist who works in a distinctive space between the two genres. Presenting the award to Trish at the BFI Southbank, Sarah Mohr-Pietsch suggested Clowes’ star was ‘no longer rising’ but now ‘firmly in the firmament’.
Here are some words from Trish on the composition:
‘The Fox, the Parakeet and the Chestnut is the musical fable of a little fox that, after naughtily littering Blythe Hill Fields, makes amends by helping a little Parakeet to learn to fly, and then the two of them tidy the park. The wise old Chestnut tree provides wisdom and guidance throughout their tale. I wanted to dedicate this new work to Blythe Hill Fields because it is my place of solace, a short walk from my South East London home.
Once again, the percussion section features strongly. To develop the sounds I was using in the percussion section, I did a lot of listening to Edgard Varese’s famous piece Ionisation, written for thirteen percussionists. Other pieces that have caught my ear whilst developing this piece include John Adams’ piece John’s Book of Alleged Dances, written for string quartet and recorded prepared piano, Shostakovich’s Fifteenth Symphony and Lutoslawski’s Concerto for Orchestra.
I was interested in the idea of a musical fable when I examined more of what ‘fable’ means, a story that includes characters that are personified animals or inanimate objects. As I was developing a title that captured the scene of Blythe Hill Fields it occurred to me that I could create a fable of three characters from the hill. With the sound of bows on the bridges of the string instruments, the second movement aims to create a sense of the wind whispering in the Horse Chestnut trees, handing out tacet wisdom to anyone walking nearby. The main melody of the third movement aims to capture the parakeet flying and the quirkier first movement hopefully encapsulates the mischievous, playful character of the fox.’
The prestigious award caps a remarkable year for the saxophonist and composer, in which she has collaborated with the Heath Quartet, performed with pianist Michael Wollny at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in a tribute to the late John Taylor and developed work with her new trio with pianist Ross Stanley and guitarist Chris Montague.
I’m very excited to have been shortlisted in the Contemporary Jazz Composition category of the BASCA British Composer Awards 2015 for my BBC Radio 3 commission “The Fox, The Parakeet & The Chestnut”. Premiered at the EFG London Jazz Festival 2014 with the BBC Concert Orchestra and my quintet with Gwilym Simcock, Mike Walker, Calum Gourlay and James Maddren. We were conducted by the splendid Clark Rundell. Congrats to all the other nominees and huge thank yous to everyone behind the scenes that made this commission happen! More details here
Yesterday saw the start of a new experiment – Emulsion Live Streams on youtube! If you missed it take a look/listen… Trish performing with Percy Pursglove on trumpet, Tom Farmer on bass and vocalist Sarah Dacey:
On Tuesday 18th November I performed with my quintet and the BBC Concert Orchestra at the Queen Elizabeth Hall as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival. It was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3 and you can listen again for several weeks.