Unique and From The Heart
Updated: Sep 9, 2019
The artistic impulse, as cave drawings show, has been with us since the dawn of time, yet remains a mystery. What exactly is it that compels a sculptor confronted with a block of marble to fashion it lovingly into a statue of David?
What convinces a painter to live in penury while a thankless public rejects his vision of the world until decades after his death? What persuades a composer suffering chronic deafness that he must still share the music in his head? Money? Piety? Self-aggrandisement? A desire, perhaps, to shape the natural world into works they can call their own? Is it purely the satisfaction derived from creating something new and original? Or is something more profound that simply can’t be captured in words.
Whilst I wouldn’t for a moment hold myself as equal to the artists whose identities are hinted at above, musical composition has been a part of my life since my early teenage years.
Where others might see a blank sheet of paper divided into five-line segments, I see a vista of endless possibilities, to be annotated with a score that transforms a mass of pressed cellulose fibres into something airborne and alive.
As with every artistic medium, it brings with it its own demands. Music cannot be made impersonally; a composer understands it as a form of human expression, manifesting thoughts and emotions that cannot be put in any other way, delving into the places that speech - even rational thought - cannot reach.
That is why at bespokeclassicalmusical.com my first prerequisite is to listen to what a person commissioning a piece wants to convey, indicate, signpost and suggest.
Such a person, perhaps with the only the scantest understanding of music, may have just the vaguest idea of what their individual piece should sound like. It’s for me to suggest the possibilities open to them.
As well as performing my own compositions at various musical festivals in the UK, I have been privileged to work with some of the foremost musicians of my time – Angela Hicks, the soprano shown in the film The Favourite (singing Henry Purcell’s ‘Music for A While’) to Queen Anne, Emily Armour, a soprano who has performed solo at the London Handel Festival and the accomplished cellist Michael Atkinson, a member of the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Whilst a chorister at St. Paul’s Cathedral, I also sang for late John Scott.
Working with them has allowed me to develop rich conceptions of the avenues open to a composer. It is that knowledge that I seek to share with those wanting to mark the milestones in their lives with music that is unique and truly from their heart.