World Premiere of Round By the Ness

Tonight at 6pm BST Louise McMonagle will be premiering Round By the Ness, my new piece for solo cello, as part of a concert for Living Room Live. All the info on how to watch the concert is here. The full programme is as follows:
Lutoslawski – Sacher Variation
Ailie Robertson – Skydance
Samantha Fernando – Fault LInie
Trish Clowes – Round by The Ness (world premiere)
Zoe Martlew – Salat Babilya

Louise McMonagle

Programme note for Round By the Ness

Written for Louise McMonagle, in response to images and sounds captured by film-maker Rose Hendry along the East Neuk of Fife coastline, and dedicated to the memory of Alan Ford (lover of all things musical and geological).

As I sat down to write this piece, Rose was sending me images and videos of the coastline, on different days, near where she was staying in Scotland in Spring 2020. I began sketching ideas in response to the way the seaweed moved with the waves, the dancing sunlight or the moody clouds on the horizon, the patterns in the sand, bright orange flowers and darkened rocks. One of the recurring motifs in the piece is a series of microtones, which mimics the birdsong I could hear accompanying the sounds of the sea.

I have worked with Louise for many years, and she is a dear friend. Over time, I have developed a collection of favourite cello techniques that I have thoroughly enjoyed putting into action in this solo cello piece. In particular, I have been inspired by Louise’s performances of Heinz Holliger’s Chaconne, which showcases exceptional cello writing – I have learnt so much from exploring this work.

Some of the images Rose took along the East Neuk of Fife coastline…

I hope you enjoy the concert!! I can’t wait…


I just thought I’d share some things that my ears have been loving recently…

First up is a new album from bassist-composer-producer Michael Olatuja called ‘Lagos Pepper Soup’, available here:

An incredible vision for an album, and soooo much joy. Here’s a video of one of the tracks called ‘Soki’ which features legends Dianne Reeves and Lionel Loueke

Next up is a piece called “i only bite because you make me” by Yshani Perinpanayagam, for piano synchronised to a perfect game of snake. It was written for “The Pixel Players” hosted by Royal Concert Hall Nottingham and the National Videogames Arcade, March 2019. I think this is just a brilliant, inventive piece of writing.

Next one… admittedly I’m a bit biased, this is a video of my good friend Louise McMonagle performing Heinz Holliger’s ‘Chaconne’ for solo cello. I’m writing Louise my own solo piece at the moment, so I’ve been checking out the details of this incredible composition, and Louise’s brilliant performance of it!

Finally, I’ve discovered these amazing string quartets by Eleanor Alberga… These are just EVERYTHING I want to hear in string quartet writing… Happy listening everyone!

Architecture of Autonomy

Yesterday, a wonderful film I wrote music for went live…!

Architecture of Autonomy was designed and produced by Kristina Walsh, and it includes many, many wonderful artists, practitioners and craftspeople… (full credits below)

The music is called ‘Alison’, for my mum, and it’s performed by yours truly and Ross Stanley (piano and organ).

Film credits:

Creative Director, Designer, Producer – Kristina Walsh
Film Director, D.O.P, Editor – Mae Sass
Choreographer, Movement Director – Cathy Waller
Rehearsal Director – Julie Ann Minaai
Music ‘Alison’ by Saxophonist + Composer – Trish Clowes
with Pianist + Organist – Ross Stanley
Hair + Make Up – Ellie Morris
Film Assistant – Cengi Sen
Production Assistant – Baani Singh

Performers (in order of appearance):
Yukiko Masui, Erin Ball, Sade Alleyne, Vanessa Guevara, Leanne Thompson

Supported by Arts Council England and Sarabande Foundation

Kristina – Instagram: Website:

BBC Postcard ‘Earworm’ for solo violin

Recently I was commissioned by BBC Radio 3 to write a ‘postcard’, a miniature piece for a solo instrument. I chose violin, and yesterday ‘Earworm’ was premiered on BBC Radio 3’s Breakfast programme by the brilliant Nathaniel Anderson-Frank, leader of the BBC Concert Orchestra. The piece was then broadcast again during R3’s afternoon and evening concerts. Here is a link to the afternoon concert, which includes a short intro from me (it’s from about 1hr10mins in):

Nathaniel and I also put together a video as we live pretty close (a field recording I suppose… socially distanced!), which has been shared on Twitter and Facebook. Here’s the facebook link:

I hope you enjoy! Although completely forced on me by the pandemic, I’ve been loving exploring the solo concept, both in my writing and my playing. I’m currently working on a solo piece for cellist Louise McMonagle… so watch this space! And I have a solo saxophone track up on bandcamp now too:


My wonderful band were supposed to tour this month and of course, we won’t be doing that again for a while… Instead I have released a live album on Bandcamp – it’s download only, and the money comes direct to us. The recordings are from the gigs we had in Belfast and at Galway Jazz Festival in October last year. It was such a fab weekend away and it’s really cheered me up to listen back and choose highlights for this emergency album release!


Album liner notes below… There are two new tracks – Amber and Shirley – and the others are from our releases on Basho Records…

PUNKT festival is postponed!

Dear Friends,

an announcement from Punkt Birmingham HQ…

The festival will be re-scheduled and Louise and I are thinking about doing some recording in the meantime…

Big thanks to Chris Mapp and co for handling such a tricky situation so beautifully…

Over and Out!


Rose Hendry (director of ‘Abbott & Costello’) shortlisted for THE VOICE OF A WOMAN AWARDS 2019

‘Abbott & Costello’, my music video directed by Rose Hendry, was screened at Cannes Lions (the advertising wing of Cannes Film Festival) earlier this year as part of the VOW (The Voice of A Woman) Made By Her Showcase, and with this film Rose has been shortlisted for the VOW Awards 2019. Huge congratulations to Rose on this amazing achievement. If you haven’t seen our music video yet, take a look/listen! The music also features the talents of my band MY IRIS (with Chris Montague, Ross Stanley and James Maddren).