Overview



When Glover-Whitley has spoken about his music in the past in interviews he has always been open and very helpful with much of the information on his work given straight from memory without reference to notes. He cites his first composition as a pathetic attempt at writing a flute piece when he was about thirteen.

"It didn't fire the imagination; all it did was raise its head and then died on its stumps."

It wasn't until he went to Nottingham and began studying art and music as a combined course that he started taking composition seriously. He has always had a love of art, particularly 20th century, poetry and photography. He is a keen and adept photographer in his own right. Poetry has also played a big role in his life and he has set many poems from the late 20th century poets to great avail. He was 21 when he graduated with a 2:1 (hons) and wanted to develop this growing interest in composition, but was uncertain how to go about this. He turned to the then head of composition at the RNCM, Anthony Gilbert.


He has always thanked the composer Anthony Gilbert for helping him find a direction, and also Michael Finnissy for giving him a "push" in the right direction when he needed it at the start. Anthony Gilbert put him in touch with his first real composition tutor, Keith Gifford, who took Glover-Whitley back to the basics and gave him his new direction and opened the door on new ideas. This continued for two years until Glover-Whitley couldn't afford to go anymore, due to being unemployed.

"I was out in the cold again, but this time with some idea of what I was doing".

His work finally got shortlisted on the Society for the Promotion of New Music lists and he began getting the odd performance which caused something of a stir at the time. It was the period when Macmillan and Turnage were breaking on the scene and the next generation was about to have their influence on the new music world. Along with his compatriots, Joe Cutler, Sam Hayden, Jonathan Powell, Luke Stoneham, Tom Ingoldsby, Michael Zev Gordon, Julian Anderson, Richard Causton et al, Glover-Whitley made something of a mark in the 1993 50th anniversary of the SPNM concert series with his solo piano work "800th Lifetime". His microtonal work "The Stones Speak Czech" was then premiered at the Barbican Centre, London, in 1994 which consolidated his reputation as an up and coming young British composer.


Since then his rise has been slow and intermittent but always on the up, even when to hear a work of Glover-Whitley's you would more than likely have to travel to Europe or Mexico than in Britain, although this is at long last changing.

"I have lived in or near Birmingham all my life and yet I have still never had a work performed in my home city."

This was very much the case until April 2013 when his Birmingham Conservatoire students organisesd a 50th birthday concert of some of his chamber music which was critically acclaimed.


The BBC have broadcast and supported him with large premieres and broadcasts, but generally his music is much neglected in Britain. In fact until 2005 he was very much out on a limb, even as far as his work was concerned, having to work in totally unrelated fields such as Kitchen Design, Wines (a great love of his) and Telemarketing. He taught for a number of years at various FE Colleges in the West Midlands and also at BCU Birmingham Conservatoire. His music has developed and changed over the years, in a more directly approachable and uncluttered way, but in Britain he is still remembered for the 'Angry Young Man' attitude of his orchestral work 'Fractured Vistas' and for his no holds barred extreme modernism of his String Quartet "The Fickle Virgin of Seventeen Summers". His work has softened only slightly, as can be seen by the Violin Concerto "The Death of Angels" based on John Milton and his "Flute Sonata 'Remember'" and by his love of world music’s that inform his own sound, "Cretan Dragonfly" for Flute, Vibraphone and 12 Solo Strings, or his work for two guitars called "Cappadocia" influenced by Turkish mountain music, plus his work "Reasons of Darkness, Excuses of Light" for Turkish Baglama and small mixed Ensemble and his “Symphony No.2: Byzantium”, a tour de force of polystylistic composition (now available on CDP Records), that incorporates many of Glover-Whitley’s predominant interests of history, composition and world music. There is still an uncompromising side to his work that is not accepted in Britain and is yet loved by people in many other countries; this is particularly evident in the outer movements of his "A Time of Moments: A Concerto for Piano and Orchestra" and "Tarn Rune" for solo Organ.

When asked about his lack of performances in Britain Glover-Whitley once retorted with,

“I have grown so used to being ignored in Britain, what do you expect from a country that is so into banalism, pseudo post modernism, and is purely fad driven. Fickle or what! Thank goodness for the rest of the world."

Over the last few years he has forged close ties with the performers Charles Matthews (Piano, Harpsichord and Organ) and Caroline Jones (Recorders) and has written a number of works that they have been very successfully premiered such as "Eardstappa: A Sonata for Recorder player and Piano", "Tarn Rune" for organ, and "Lacrimae Rerum" for Recorders and Organ (Brecon Cathedral). He has also written a four movement "Sinfonia" for Jones's own Recorder Orchestra, the Arden Recorder Orchestra, which is a tour de Force of writing lasting 23 minutes. It is a Symphony in all but name. All these works were written for these players and to explore the techniques and unusual sonorities of these instruments.


His fourth Symphony "Symphony No.4: Night Will Fall" is for solo organ and was written for the organist/pianist Charles Matthews to celebrate the performers 50th Birthday. It is a large forty minute work in five movements each exploring different timbral, colour, texture, and stylistic elements and peculiarities of this great instrument.

 


Next Page

 

 

Example Pages From Selected Scores 


Fractured Vistas page from score.pdf Fractured Vistas page from score.pdf
Size : 1403.805 Kb
Type : pdf
White Flight page from score.pdf White Flight page from score.pdf
Size : 1091.378 Kb
Type : pdf
Thowring 3 Threnoidia page from score.pdf Thowring 3 Threnoidia page from score.pdf
Size : 829.259 Kb
Type : pdf