Research Topics and other items etc

1 - The Romantic Flute

2 - Symphony No.2: Byzantium

3 - The Anglo Saxon Lyre: Approaching the Instrument as Composer and Performer

4 - Other Selected Research Profile since 2009




The Romantic Flute 


This is the outline of the 18,000 word monograph about the performer composers of the flute repertoire of the 19th century. This research took up about 8 months of 2011 and a 2000 word abridged article is to be published in the British Flute Society's quarterly journal "Flute" in March 2012.

 

Brief Outline of Monograph

 

Title: The Romantic Flute: Performer composers 1820 – 1914, a brief  overview.


Introduction section:

 

·         This covers the fallacy of no good music written in the romantic period for the flute.

·         Why this fallacy has come about.

·         The reason for the monograph

·         Why this fallacy has been developed and the reasons why.

·         Reasons for the massive growth of music by performer composers

·         Comments by other writers about this period and comments on them.

·         Romantic ethos and what it means in Flute terms.

·         The performer composers covered:

 

o       Friedrich Kuhlau

o       Joachim Andersen

o       Rudlof Tillmetz

o       Jean-Louis Tulou

o       Eugene Walckiers

o       Willhelm Popp

o       Cesare Ciardi

o       Jules Demersseman

o       Giulio Briccialdi

o       Ferdinand Buchner

o       Ernesto Kohler

o       Adolf Terschak

 

·         The purpose of the music written and its reasoning.

 

The Composers and their works:

 

(Each contains a brief biography on each composer and an analysis, brief or more detailed on a particular work and why it is important or of interest)

 

·         Friedrich Kuhlau – “Grand Sonata Concertante” opus 85

·         Joachim Andersen – “Concertstuck” opus 3

·         Rudolf Tillmetz – “Ungarische Phantasie” opus 25

·         Jean-Louis Tulou – “Duet” opus 104 No.1

·         Eugene Walckiers – “Trio in D Major” opus 35

·         Willhelm Popp – “Schwedische Concert” opus 264

·         Cesare Ciardi – “Gran Concerto” opus 179

·         Jules Demerssemann – “Fourth Concert Solo for flute and piano” opus 80

·         Giulio Briccialdi – “Il Carnivale di Venezia” Variations opus 78

·         Ferdinand Buchner – “First Concerto” opus 38

·         Ernesto Kohler – “Fruhlinglied” opus 38

·         Adolf Terschak – “3rd Sonata for Flute and Piano” opus 175

 

 

The Outcomes, thoughts  and conclusions plus other works by non-flautist composers:

 

·         Influences:   Cross fertilization of styles and ideas

                                             Hungarianism (Folk and Szardas)

·         Styles: Variation

                                            Fantasy

                                            Hybrids/recompositions

                                            Rhapsodies

                                            All in connection to the ideals of Romanticism and Virtuosity

·         Flautist composers preference for simple system flutes to Boehm system instruments

·         Other flautist composers not mentioned.

·         Public deference to this period in favour of rehashed other composers works in preference to the originality of these composer performers.

·         Research and the lack of it in this field.

·         Recordings

·         Scores: where to find the scores for free as well as from publishers

·         Final thoughts and opinions and observations.

·         A word of warning!

 

End Credits and Appendices:

 

  • Bibliography
  • Discography
  • Scores
  • Internet Websites
  • Photos and score information



This monograph is available for sale on the Merchandise page or available as a Kindle download via Amazon.


Symphony No.2: Byzantium CD 


This CD took three years of hard research, experimentation, recording, digital sound manipulation and production to issue it. It is a 73 minute five movement work. The insert booklet notes are below. It was finally issued in late 2009. It has a limited run of only 200 pressings, so once gone they are gone for good.


Symphony No.2: Byzantium

 

 

In 2006 I began reading John Julius Norwich’s seminal three volume history of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium). It covered the entire history of this astounding Empire from its founding in 330AD by Emperor Constantine until its very brutal last moments at dawn on the 29th of May 1453 when the Seljuck Turks finally over-ran Constantinople and established the Ottoman Empire in its place, massacring every one they could find in the city.

 

Its history was one of survival, power struggles, complex feuding plots, wars and riots. Underneath all this there was a certainty in its religious faith and its right to exist come what may.  After all they were THE Roman Empire in the East; the continuous line since the founding of the Roman Republic many centuries before. The Emperors became loved or hated in equal measure, some were pious, some strong, some paranoid, some megalomaniacs’, some terribly ruthless while others were weak and ineffectual and unable to command respect but throughout they wore the empirical purple with a purpose, to survive and keep a civilised beacon of hope and culture amongst barbarians that threatened on its borders to engulf it. Each Emperor was protected from the 7th Century AD until the Empires collapse by the Varangian Guard, a troop of Vikings and Saxons drawn from as far afield as Norway and Britain.

 

Through various faults and problems the empire began to weaken after the great defeat to the Turks at Manzikert in 1071, now in Eastern Turkey. A blunder that cost the empire its omnipotent military position in the east and much of its Anatolian heartlands to boot.

 

After the fall of the Empire many survivors fled to Western Europe (especially Italy), and through their knowledge, science and civilised culture the Renaissance found its platform and Western Europe again ascended in its enviable position as world leaders. Without the influence of the Byzantine refugees Europe would probably have remained a plague ridden backwater fighting for its very Christian and cultural survival against the onslaught of a strong and single minded enemy of the Islamic Turk.


 

Across The Golden Horn

This is a fanciful idea of the arrival of the Roman Empire and the eventual coming of Christianity. The chants are actually Coptic (Egyptian Christian Church) and date back to the founding of the original Christian Church. The last chant is the Byzantine National Anthem “Ypermaxo” and is still heard in some of the monasteries on the islands of Greece.

 

 

The City of Constantine

This movement is in three sections divided by a repeated midi Sibelius file. The first section “The Founding of the Empire” uses sound files of music written in the Empire around the 9th and 10thCrucifixus Byzantianum 1”. The second section “The Nikka Riots” is a piece I originally wrote for orchestra but kept as a midi file and added other sound sources to create the tense mid section. Section 3 “After Manzikert 1071” portrays the slow decline of the empire and the ever encroaching menace of the Islamic Turks until the “Ypermaxo” chant collapses into the barbarian hordes and final extinction at the hands of centuries and also contains a piece that was broadcast on WKCR out of New York entitled “the Muslims.

 

 

The Walls of Constantinople 

The Theodosian Wall that protected the capital of the Empire was only breached twice. 1204 by the Crusades of the Fourth Crusade, a crime against fellow Christians and then again in 1453 when the Empire finally fell to the Turks. My idea was slightly surreal, a conversation with the walls themselves and the tales they can tell. The main sound sources for this movement come from Baglama, Dhoumbek drum and Ney Flute.

 

 

Byzantine Light

Whenever as a tourist I have entered an Orthodox Church I have always been struck by the light that exists inside the space. It is neither too dark or too light. It has an atmosphere that is neither oppressive of friendly. I speculated about what it must have been like upon entering the great cathedral “Hagis Sophia” in Constantinople during the time of the Empire. I break with the traditional sound world of the work and improvise on the concert flute in an almost jazz style.

 

 

Akritika: Dream of the Eastern Byzantine Border Guards

Akritika is in three sub movements. The first “Akritika”, the Greek name for the Eastern Border Guards of the Empire. The track is built up from snippets of songs from the 9th century border regions, now deep in Iraq, Syria and Eastern Turkey. Each tells of life or myths and would have been sung during long boring nights watching for any signs of invasion from the Persians, or later the Turks. The second “Visions of A Future” is a flight of fancy and is an attempt to create a distorted nightmare of the visions of a guard who sees into the Empires future. The third and longest sub section “Fall and Loss” deals with the collapse and the aftermath of the 29th of May 1453. In this movement I tried to emphasise the sense of loss felt throughout the Greek world and how it still rankles with them to this day. The elements are song, natural and man made sound sources. The symbology of the Wolves baying at the end of the work is one that the Greek Cypriots would understand through the attacks perpetrated on them by the Turkish terrorist movement ‘The Grey Wolves’. The Ancient “Hymn to Augusta” is interpolated to contrast with the barbarity of the hordes the Empire had to deal with. It is the earliest extant piece known to be by a named composer in history. The composer in question happens to be Kassia who was a woman from an important commercial family of Constantinople and dates from the late 8th century. There are certain other sounds used such as the crying of a woman to exemplify the loss of the empire.

 

The Anglo Saxon Lyre: Approaching the Instrument as Composer and Performer


Other Selected Research Profile since 2009 


 

Composition:

              

·         Thowring 3: Threnoidia” for Chamber Orchestra, written for the Unno Klaami Competition Award in Finland.

·         A Night Walk Through Mexico City” 2003 Second in the YAGE Xicoatl Biannial Competition in Salzburg 2009. Performed by Baiba Oshina and performed again in Vienna four weeks later.

·         Sonata No.2 for Piano, ‘Die Salzburg’” 2010
Premiered by Charles Matthews at the Birmingham Conservatoire as part of the 50th Birthday Concert

·         Crucifixus Byzantianum 1” 2009 Fixed Media, Broadcast on WKCR in New York, USA. 2009. 

·         Symphony No.2: Byzantium” (2006–2009) Electronic/Fixed Media (CD)

      Released on commercial CD by CDR in late 2009. Currently in the process of working with five visual/film/animator artists for performance in Concert hall situations. 

·        Faeder Ure (Lord's Prayer) (2010)Electronic/Mixed Media (CD).

        Premiered at the Birmingham Conservatoire in October 2010 as part of the Legacies in Technology Festival

·         The Anglo Saxon Trilogy” (2010) Electronic/Fixed Media (CD)

·         Marrakesh Moon” 2010 Fixed Media (CD)

·         See Reason” 2010 Fixed Media (CD)

·         The above three works were released by CDP on a commercial CD called “See Reason” in 2011 

·         Anatolian Distortions” for Amplified Flute with footpedals and Fixed Media CD was premiered in June 2011 in the ‘33rd Foro Internacional de Musica Nueva’ in Mexico City by Asako Arai

.     " Symphony No.3 "Sinfonia". For full Symphony Orchestra (2015).

.     " Tarn Rune" for solo organ. A 16 minute atmospheric piece for large organ (2014).

.     "Sinfonia" A large four movement Sinfonia for full Recorder orchestra (2015).

.     " Symphony No.4 "The Night Will Fall"". A Symphony for large Church or Cathedral Organ lasting approximately 40 minutes (2016).

.     " Punk-Tarius" for Flute and Organ. An unusual combination but very interesting acoustically and timbrally.  

 

 

Written Research

  •                           

                       .    For essays on various musical areas and subjects please see the following     page


  • For the Romantic Flute Monologue See above


                 

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