Musical Style



Glover-Whitley's own knowledge and experience as a practicing performer in different genres underlies much of his compositions. A significant number of these have been flute compositions for the Japanese/American/Mexican flutist Asako Arai. These have explored his very complex style which involves his experimental techniques through to the vivacious folk orientated works. In his more experimental works, not only for flute, he delves into the intricacies of texture and sound.


He is quite a 'free thinker' and has never followed fashions unlike many of his compatriots, and although many have tried in the media to place an -ism on his music they have found it impossible.

Some of his works (e.g. 'Byzantium', 'Krabodhran') also express his social and political concerns as well as his sense of fun. Much of his music also reflects his great love of Arabic, Anatolian and Greek Cultures as well as his love for British styles and History in general as can be seen in his recent work and newest research interests of Byzantine history and Anglo-Saxon Epic Poetry and history.


Much of Glover-Whitley's early recognition came from works that dealt with the manipulation of pulse and time. His experiments dealt with how time and pulse can be used to create opposites and tensions. He said in an interview on BBC Radio in 2003 that his fascination in this area came from watching nature’s natural rhythms of life change and move at different rates of change, and “the sound of the great earth cracking….”. This informed the works in his PhD thesis and culminated in works such as "Fractured Vistas" and "The Fickle Virgin of Seventeen Summers". These two works placed Glover-Whitley on the International stage as an interesting and new voice to watch.


This research work lead to his study of the polyrhythmic, micro-macro aleotory works of Ligeti and Lutoslawski as well as the more avant-garde and textured interests of Harrison Birtwistle. His own work is something of a development of these ideas into a more modern idiom, this is particularly evident in the slow movements of his Violin and Flute Concertos, and the Second Symphony which deals with time, texture and perception on an electronic level.


His individualistic use of tone rows has given him the means to write music that is predominantly linear in its construction and yet create dense textures and 'clouds' of sound that he uses as background for the melodies and textures derived from many folk/world music's. His love of different cultures has informed much of his recent work.


Over the years his musical style has altered radically as his interest in different music’s and the study of these different cultures, history and musical worlds has deepened. This naturally has had an effect on much of his music and its stylistic elements. Nowadays his knowledge and love of the music of Persia, Greece, Byzantine and Anatolian areas has influenced much of the recent compositions in their structures, sound worlds and instruments used as well as his love of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon music and culture.


His 2009 work for tape "Symphony No.2: Byzantium" combines and incorporates much Anatolian, Byzantine, Greek and Iranian Classical and world music’s in a mix that is unique in its genre. The piece is cast in five separate movements and lasts 73 minutes and took nearly three years to write. It is a culmination of Glover’s world polyglot polystylism that he has become synonymous with over the last few years.


In 2007 he won the “Presidents Prize” in Potsdam, Berlin, Germany for his work “Reasons of Darkness, Excuses of Light”. It is a work that shows the composers skill in incorporating new and exciting sounds from the world music field. It is written for Turkish Baglama (Saz) and Chamber Ensemble.


In 2009 he came second with his piano piece “A Night Walk Through Mexico City” in the YAGE competition in Salzburg, Austria and wrote a new "Piano Sonata  No.2, "The Salzburg"" with the pianist in this competition, Baiba Oshina, in mind.


The work for fixed-media "The Anglo-Saxon Trilogy" incorporates the Lords Prayer in Saxon and elements of the  Anglo -Saxon Epic poem 'Beowulf'. It incorporates all the points made above into a new and exciting way of viewing old and new together.


In 2009 the movement "Byzantine Light" from the "Symphony No.2: Byzantium" was shortlisted in the Udine Composition Prize for elector acoustic music in Italy.  

His current work is revisiting his older style but viewed from the point of the influences gained over the intervening years. These include the works "Symphony No.3: 'Sinfonia'", "Tarn Rune", "Earthstepper: Sonata for Recorder Player and Piano", and "Symphony No.4: Night Will Fall " for Organ.


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