Mare Tranquillitatis

As part of my prize for being a winner of the BBC Proms Inspire competition in 2018, I was commissioned by the BBC to compose a piece inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

“Mare Tranquillitatis” follows the journey of Apollo 11 from Earth to the Moon. The first movement describes the take-off – exciting, energetic and ebullient. In the second movement, the pace slows as the astronauts look down on Earth. The third movement implies a sense of danger when the astronauts approach the Moon. The main theme returns as the landing starts, followed by a finale as the Eagle touches down.

It was performed by the Aurora Orchestra, conducted by Duncan Ward, on 13th August 2019 at the BBC Maida Vale Studios, and broadcast on Radio 3 the following week. You can hear it on the BBC’s website – scroll forward to 2 hours 25 mins into the broadcast.

Phorepin

Runner-up in the Oxfordshire Young Composers Competition 2019, and winner of the Orchestra’s Choice award. Performed by the Oxfordshire Schools Symphony Orchestra in March 2019 (in which I play percussion).

The basis of the piece is a hornpipe-like melody, but I find folk music most interesting when it meets other forms of music. So a “phorepin” is a mixed up hornpipe with missing beats, orchestral interludes and loud, percussion lines.

BBC Proms Inspire

In June 2018 I was named a winner of the BBC Proms Inspire competition for young composers. My piece, “The Weevil’ng“, was performed by Aurora Orchestra, conducted by Christopher Stark, at the Proms Inspire Concert at the BBC’s Radio Theatre on 22 August 2018. 

Rhythm is very important to me as a drummer. I’m interested in unusual time signatures, so set out to see what a piece in 11/8 would sound like.

(published with permission from the BBC, www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06x2k0s)