Tuesday, 19 November 2013

November Tea Party on Basic.fm

Saturday, 23rd November, 1730 GMT


One minute preview of tomorrow's little festival of the banal, insane and wondrous:

Moving around crowded places is like a rapid-cut movie with complete surround sound, of fragmentary tales. Spontaneous capture of where someone’s going, or what they might be waiting for. What brought them right here, at this moment? What’s urgently at the front their mind to express, for just the second it takes to pass them and hear it?

Composing can be like that: if, instead of a formal structure, streams of idea and emotion that occupy the composing process can lead it, the transitions and places we ask the listener to follow us through, we can take you on a walk through real, imagined, simulated, impossibly combined experiences.

I want to take you on a walk through the crowded places of my recent listening and musical thought. It is not a picture of a particular thing: it meant different things as I made it, tells me new stories as I listen to the completed piece while writing this.

I hope you will give yourself to it, climb inside it (with headphones) for the time it takes to run.

There’s a miniature virtual-piano study, on which the piece hangs, with its own distractions and tangents, interruptions and alternative routes taken or just suggested.

I’ve also used tiny voice samples as keyboard notes, fragments of the Victorian composer Cyril Scott, a little moment from a well-known UK rapper (talking about my town) and various voices you will recognise immediately, removed from their context.

It’s a collage, a reconstruction of the pulsing, shifting emotive and geometric forms that the sounds I’ve used here inspired in me.

I’ve tried to make you smile as I did, and to feel some of the empathy, fear and exasperation that the sampled speakers inspired, while also inviting you to look with me through a window at something bluer, beyond.