Marc Yeats - Composer

May 4th 2024

The premiere of a point in the landscape with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at Tectonics Glasgow 2024.

April 2024

‘Music, Painting, Landscape and Me’ is published!

Vision Edition

We are thrilled to announce the publication of ‘Music, Painting, Landscape, and Me’ by Marc Yeats. Release date is 1st April 2024. In this book, Marc Yeats embarks on an introspective journey, weaving together the symbolic realms of music and painting through the written word. This endeavour expands upon the immediacy of engagement with his compositions and paintings and what these artworks tell us, offering further understanding and dialogue concerning their interrelation. Yeats’s transformation of his inquiries and insights into text emerges from a conviction that the foundational questions—the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of being an artist and his creative exploration—resonate far beyond the confines of his personal experience, reaching out to a wider community of artists and those intrigued by the mechanisms of artistic expression. Available now on Vision Edition.

Music, Painting, Landscape and Me is a fascinating, detailed and honest journey into the endlessly curious, questioning and polymathic mind of landscape artist and composer Marc Yeats. Drawing on a diverse range of subjects – including quantum mechanics, metaphysics, philosophy, fuzzy logic, neuroscience and hermeneutics – this book offers the reader an extraordinary personal insight into the complex mechanisms of making art and music, and Yeats’ own intent, impulse, imagination and inspiration. Furthermore, it shines an important light on the ‘how and why’, not only of Yeats’ artistic practice, but that of creative individuals in general, and is an invaluable contribution to the understanding of the creative impulse and ‘what artists do all day’.

Frances Wilson, writer & publicist, The Cross-Eyed Pianist

With the scope of its many bold threads, musings and provocations, this book initiates discussions on consciousness, the mind and the flaws of scientism, directly addressing the crises found in positivism and deconstructionism. Throughout the book, Yeats remains deeply honest; his attempts at openness are often disarming in a writing style that is inviting and accessible. Yeats’ thoughtful inquiries into various scientific fields as guidance for the creative artist regarding experience, communication, and perception are aptly positioned. Most importantly, this book presents a compelling contemporary analysis of the intricate relationships between visual and auditory elements in creative imaginings, navigating their apparent irreconcilable differences with sophistication.

Prof. Stephen Davismoon, composer, sound-designer, educator and author, Liverpool Hope University

This publication is a detailed and rigorous account of the intellectual journey of an artist trying to identify the chimera of meaning within his fields of endeavour – music composition and painting. Through an analysis of his process of practice, Marc Yeats unpicks the conceptual foundations of his aesthetic response to landscape through the lenses of philosophy and science, bringing in insights from new fields like neuro-aesthetics. Considering effects from fuzzy logic to quantum theory, he ultimately seems most comfortable with an understanding of places as embodied experiences, “compelling performative expressions” that drive a creative response. This book will be of interest to anybody concerned with contemporary art and music practices as research.

Dr. Alex Murdin, director of

The paintings and compositions of Marc Yeats can amply demonstrate their own unique qualities without a requirement for supplementary text. This book is in no sense a text designed to bolster such work’s credentials, but instead stems from the clear desire of an artist to share wider reflections upon his creative and cognitive activity with practitioners and others who should find it stimulating. The reader is taken on a creative and mental odyssey, conveying in a vivid manner thoughts, perceptions, sensations, actions, and much more, all in an interlinked stream of consciousness. Rarely can not only the act of creation, but also the wider processes surrounding and following such an act, have been conveyed in such a dynamic, compelling fashion, especially in the central chapters. Whilst the field of reference is large and diverse, little seems superfluous, concepts from hermeneutics to proprioception are always carefully explained and defined. Beyond being a text of practice-based research, this richly-illustrated book should be read as a type of art work in its own right.

Prof. Ian Pace, pianist, musicologist, composer and Professor of Music, Culture and Society at City, University of London

February 2024

Tectonics 24 with the BBCSSO

I’m thrilled to announce that my spatialised timecode-supported polytemporal orchestral composition, a point in the landscape will be premiered by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with Ilan Volkov on the 4th of May in City Halls, Glasgow.

Much more information can be found at these links:


Line up

Artist Profile

About Tectonics Glasgow

December 2023

5 Sea Shanties for the 21st. Century

I am thrilled to announce that following a recent successful application to Arts Council England, Electric Backroom can deliver our project called 5 Sea Shanties for the 21st. Century.

For the project, Lyme Bay Moonrakers (LBM), a Lyme Regis community shanty group, partners with composer Marc Yeats and videographer David Rogers of Electric Backroom Studio (EBS) to compose five contemporary vocal pieces that reimagine traditional sea shanties. Developed with LBM, Marc’s shanties will extend vocal and performance skills through a weekend of fun musical exploration. Workshops are free and open to anyone, regardless of experience. Along with LBM, members of other local choirs will be invited to participate. Events culminate in two live performances: at the Woodmead Halls, Lyme Regis and through ‘pop-up’ performances around the town, presenting the old and new shanties to audiences. Performances will be documented and presented as video and audio recordings for later online sharing. All-day workshops will occur at Woodmead Halls on the 23rd and 24th March 2024. An open call for voices (no singing experience necessary) and complete details for participation will be released through social media, local vocal networks and online generally in January 2024.

December 2023

Collaboration with the English Symphony Orchestra: Next Steps

I’ve been writing solo pieces just now for the principal players of the English Symphony Orchestra.

So far, I’m writing for James Topp (principal horn), Laura Jellicoe (principal flute), Joely Koos (principal cello) and Zöe Beyers (principal violin and leader of the orchestra) in a series of pieces called ESOlo I–IV. There will be more to follow.

This series of solos contains an array of materials that will be expanded and transformed within an orchestral commission for Kenneth Woods, conductor and the ESO, which will be the project’s future stage.

Writing for the principles is an excellent way of working ‘up close’ with the orchestra so they acclimatise to my work and writing before launching into the big piece. From my perspective as a composer, it’s a fantastic way to get all my ideas down on paper before seeing how they will unfold in the larger composition.

Each ESOlo is 8-10 minutes long and is an intense and concentrated presentation of ideas. The solos are all related to each other as iterations and transformative explorations.

A solo’s dynamics differ from instrumental lines embedded within a score. A solo has to work on its terms, feel balanced and complete in its forms and textures and be a satisfying, freestanding entity. Due to this, the compression of musical ideas in each solo is greater than the expanded iterations that shall appear in the orchestral version, making the solos a more demanding compressed performance than would be the case when contextualised in their orchestral setting.

I’m fascinated to write an orchestral piece like this, from the ground up, from solos outwards. It guarantees that all materials will be linked and contextually related to one another through transformative processes.

September 2023

Music, Painting, Landscape and Me – Publication Agreed

I’m delighted to share the news that my book ‘Music, Painting, Landscape and Me’ will be published by Vision Editions with an anticipated release in Spring 2024.

This is my first book and is the culmination of a lifetime of thought and several years of writing, so you can imagine the relief and satisfaction I feel having found a publisher to bring the title to the public.

A friend recently asked me why, with painting and music composition to express my thoughts, I needed to write a book. I replied:

The questions I pose and the answers I discover in my work find expression through the symbolic forms of music and painting. The significance conveyed or interpreted is presented within these symbolic realms. To communicate within the realm of words, I must transform questions, concepts, and responses from the ‘languages’ of painting and music into text-based forms. This process opens up new dimensions for interpretation and expression.

This transformation is a learning experience, allowing for fresh perspectives on my work and providing alternative ways to articulate my thoughts. My motivation stems from the belief that questions about my creative practice resonate with many who engage in artistic pursuits. By using words to convey those thoughts, I aim to offer an alternative to relying solely on my music compositions and paintings as the exclusive sources of information about my practice. Music, Painting, Landscape and Me allows me to share those thoughts more widely.

From a personal perspective, putting my thoughts into writing is an attempt to consolidate and satisfy my curiosity regarding why and how I pursue my artistic endeavours. It also seeks to explore whether there is a way to convey the connection I perceive between music, painting, the landscape, and myself that extends beyond my personal experience.

Beyond all that, I’m just really excited to get the book out there.

There are many to thank, and I’ll do that in the book acknowledgements when it is published. In the meantime, you know I know who you are, and you have my heartfelt thanks.

April 2023

Collaboration with the English Symphony Orchestra

I will have more detail as the project unfolds. In the meantime, here is an overview of what we have discussed. I can’t wait to get started.

I’m excited to announce my collaboration with the English Symphony Orchestra (ESO) and its artistic director Kenneth Woods, conductor. This collaboration involves several stages that form a holonic family of pieces ranging from solo to orchestral.

The orchestral piece, imagined from the ground up, is constructed from its solo components. To achieve this, ESO will programme my music in the 2023-24 season with a view to ESO musicians getting to know my work, initially through newly written or adapted solo and small ensemble compositions. It is intended that once my work is familiar, ESO will commission the holonic orchestral work for performance in late 2023-24 or the 2024-25 season. This work will form the basis of an ongoing collaboration to look at place and develop my compositional practice and the confluence of visual and musical art.

Constructed from the orchestral commission, new works will be built around compositions that function in different contexts and with differing ensemble sizes that will be effective in various settings, from community halls to concert venues. These compositions will be supported through meaningful engagement that accesses music through participatory visual art, composition, performance, landscape and walking activities.’

April 2023

Online presentation of my compositional research at City University of New York

innovation:SOUND:technology (IST) #2: Philippe Kocher and Marc Yeats

The innovation:SOUND:technology (IST) series is centered on creative approaches and novel technological advances with aesthetic implications for music, instrument design, performance art, sound art, and digital art. In the second virtual event of the IST series, composers and researchers Philippe Kocher and Marc Yeats introduce their creative works, artistic thinking, and research surrounding synchronicity, complex time structures, polytemporal music, and technological advances enabling new temporal and spatial musical experiences.

February 2023

New Digital Album Out Now!

download here

solo and ensemble music: volume 2 is the second of several albums focusing on my solo and ensemble compositional output released through Polytempo Records.

It brings together a collection of solo and ensemble pieces created between 2014 and 2023 that showcase new developments and thought in my compositional output particularly concerning polytemporal composition, that is, music where two or more instrumentalists perform using independent, different tempi simultaneously.

The album contains 78 minutes of music and generous 13-page PDF liner notes.

Performing on this album are:

Raymond Brien • Ondrej Veselý • Daniele Colombo • Gavin Stewart • Jeremy Little • Eluned Pierce • Robyn Austin • Anonymous Strings (see below).

November 2022

New Collaboration

I look forward to working with the fabulous trumpeter Fabio Ne Fabbri over the coming year and beyond. We had our first collaborative zoom session today to lay out the groundwork for the first trumpet solo I shall write for him. Fabio is, for me, the perfect musician. He has the heart of an explorer, a warrior’s fearlessness and an artist’s expressive intention.

I shall be throwing a great many trumpet challenges Fabio’s way within the confines of this 13-minute piece which explores a great deal of the capacity of the trumpet and the intellectual and musical stamina of the person playing it (those musicians who have taken on my music before will know exactly of what I speak). The piece will be full of quarter and microtones, rapid flourishes and gestural outburst, colour and lyricism.

My job now is to work up my sketch into a part and get that to Fabio before Christmas so he can begin studying it over the holidays. I do love these collaborations.

We aim to make a number of videos following the path of this collaboration released through Music Patron. If you support me there (, you’ll be able to get the whole story as it unfolds after Christmas.

If you’d like to support my work and projects by becoming a patron please use this link.

September 2022

Download Now Available

Download here

Ian Pace is a phenomenal pianist, a man whose musicality and intellect I have admired for many years. I have heard him fearlessly play some of the most challenging music of our time with huge flair, passion, insight and musicality.

I’ve been writing piano music since 1997 and over the years have built up a substantial catalogue of works, many of the pieces highly ambitious and virtuosic beyond normal pianistic expectations. I have dedicated many of these pieces to prominent international pianists, but across the years – due to a number of factors, mainly around the music’s enormous challenges – only a tiny handful of the pieces (often the least frightening and shortest of them) have been performed live, and until now, none were recorded.

In this amazing collaboration with Ian, for the first time, I have found a pianist who not only enjoys and can meet these musical challenges but is a pianist who actually wants to perform my work because of the very nature of the writing itself.

This album is the first recorded collection of my piano works, ranging from 1997 to the present day, and includes pieces deemed by many pianists to be too challenging to play. The recording of this album has been made possible through the amazing generosity and support of over 120 people through a crowdfunding campaign initiated by Sound and Music’s ‘Compose, Curate, Engage’ initiative.

Ian and I would like to acknowledge our deepest gratitude to everyone who has pre-ordered the album, ordered our exclusives, donated, sponsored and supported the project from the outset. We couldn’t have achieved this without you!

June 2022

PhD Thesis Published

After three years of research, one year of delays, a pandemic, several lockdowns and a major heart attack, I am finally able to present my PhD research Control, Flexibility, Flux and Complexity: A Timecode-Supported Approach to Polytemporal Orchestral Composition. The download is free and available from White Rose Ethesis Online.

May 2022

Music Painting Landscape and Me: A British Music Collection Exclusive.

In this new monthly video series, Marc Yeats explores his relationship to composing, painting and landscape. Click here to see the story so far.

“Hello. My name is Marc Yeats. I’m a composer and painter. I’m just starting to write a book supported through Arts Council England’s Developing Your Creative Practice grant titled ‘Music, Painting, Landscape and Me’ that explores my relationship to composing, painting and landscape and I’d like you to join me on this explorative journey. 

As part of my research, I invite you to think about, discuss and answer some of the questions I’m posing in the book. I’m interested to know your perspectives to help focus and challenge my own ideas and responses as I believe many of the questions I’m asking myself are universal to all artists. In this regard, I’d like to think that any exchange of ideas and positions may help all of us develop a clearer understanding of the deeper aspects of our practice. 

To move the conversation along and share my thoughts, I will be producing a series of monthly videos that will document my questions, thought processes and general ramblings as I share my journey with you. I hope these videos act as an invitation and provocation for you to think about your work and practice, too. At the end of the series of videos, it will be possible for us to exchange views (the format for this has yet to be decided). Your thoughts, verbal or written, will not be included in any part of the book and will remain completely private.

Writing from my perspective as a composer and painter, the book aims to demystify, disentangle and clarify my creative thought by asking: What compels me to do what I do? Why is my practice as it is? What elements of landscape, music and painting are transmitted across these media, if any? Why do certain landscapes affect me so deeply? And finally, what do I mean by a sense of place and how, if at all, is it embodied in my work? 

If you have ever asked yourself any questions similar to these, then please join me.

I may not be able to fully answer the questions I have posed for myself but hope that this inquiry, journey and the eventual book will provide some useful insight for all of us on a similarly questioning path. Without a doubt, this is the most daunting project I have ever undertaken and your company along the way will be greatly appreciated.”

February 2022

Music Patron

This is an exciting new venture I’ve been keeping under wraps and which I’m very excited and proud to be a part of.

“Made possible by the Boltini Trust, Music Patron is an ambitious new online platform that will connect composers directly with patrons, run by Sound and Music’s Sonia Stevenson and we’re delighted to see two Composers Edition composers amongst its very first creative beneficiaries.

The brainchild of philanthropist and composer Anthony Bolton, Music Patron will both create new and direct existing sources of funding for the vital creative work of today’s composers – work which is all too often held up by a lack of funding. Music Patron is motivated by the ambition to support more composers to have more time to focus on composing, as well as to attract new audiences and patrons to engage directly with composers and the music they create. Funding through Music Patron will complement established funding models for composers in the UK, including commission fees, royalty payments, commercial income, project funding and awards.

To find out more about Music Patron and all of the 10 composers being supported and how you can help support the scheme head to“I believe Music Patron has the potential to help composers make the financial aspects of their working lives more sustainable. An initiative like this can really make a difference to the future of music creation.

There’s a fabulous selection of 10 composers on this first cohort drawn from incredibly wide backgrounds. I believe that what we learn will help build a brighter future for many music creators.

With funding opportunities shrinking, funding criteria becoming more specifically tied to ever-changing social rather than necessarily artistic outcomes, the room to support experimentation dwindling and ever-larger numbers of individuals applying for funds, it’s clear music creators need other ways to help them continue doing what they – we – do.

Philanthropy is hugely underdeveloped in the U.K. and an initiative like this paves the way to new ways of thinking around how audiences and interested parties can connect with and directly support the work of others.

It’s not just being involved with Music Patron that’s exciting in and of itself, it’s the way Music Patron has the potential to remodel how music creators are supported in the future that really gets me interested. I’ve been part of talks about this initiative for some years and know the passion that the team at Sound and Music in association with their own visionaries and philanthropists have maintained and nurtured for some time to make this happen now. All strength and thanks to them.

This stuff matters to all of us!

November 2021

New Digital Album Out Now!

download here

solo and ensemble music: volume 1 is the first of a number of albums focusing on my solo and ensemble compositional output released through Polytempo Records.

It brings together a collection of solo and ensemble pieces created between 2014 and 2021 that showcase new developments and thought in my compositional output particularly concerning polytemporal composition, that is, music where two or more instrumentalists perform using independent, different tempi simultaneously.

The album contains 84-minutes of music and comes with generous 20-page PDF liner notes.

Performing on this album are: Gleb Kanasevich • Carlton Vickers • Carla Rees • Karin de Fleyt • Daniele Colombo • Caleb Herron • Dirk Amrein • Geert Callaert • Christopher Redgate • Eugene Lee • Minsi Yang • Stephen Upshaw • Patrick Tapio Johnson • Roger Heaton • Marie Scheer • Ashley Myall • Jeremy Little • Eluned Pierce • Anonymous Strings (see below).

October 2021

Say Hello to Dr Yeats!

As of the 12th October 2021, I now have my first degree and it’s a PhD in music composition. I am now Dr Yeats.

After four years, a number of external setbacks and a pandemic, it feels surreal to be able to say this. I’m very happy. I’m very exhausted. Huge thanks to so many people, but just now, to Scott McLaughlin and Benjamin Oliver for such an enjoyable and constructive viva, and to Michael Spencer and Martin Iddon for supporting me as supervisors, colleagues and friends, and to my friends, past and present, at WRoCAH, Caryn Douglas and Clare Meadley. Also Mark, Sadie, Jane and my family for always being there through thick and thin.

I was not naturally drawn to academia. As a self-taught composer with no music education, no technical language to express my ideas and no academic qualifications, universities felt like alien places full of the kind of learning I did not possess.

Despite twenty-two years working internationally as a professional composer, a lack of intellectual self-confidence prevented me from engaging with these institutions in any meaningful way. Now, after nearly four years of doctoral study, my view of academia and my place within it has radically altered and my experiences as a practice-researcher have been transformative.

Although initially resistant to suggestions and advice from those around me, I was sufficiently ‘bullied’ — in the kindest way — particularly and relentlessly by my partner, Mark Hewitt, into investigating the possibility of undertaking a PhD in music composition and situating my ongoing research within academia. Though reluctant, I made tentative enquiries through friends and contacts working in universities and presented my research ideas to them.

Before long, I was encouraged to apply to the University of Leeds by my current supervisor, Dr Michael Spencer, who together with Professor Martin Iddon, my co-supervisor, held my hand through the application process to secure a place at the School of Music in Leeds University and subsequently, a second application to secure a scholarship from The White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH). Following a successful application to WRoCAH, I encountered Caryn Douglas (then WRoCAH Manager) and Clare Meadley (WRoCAH administrator) who became part of my life for the next three years and supported my studies and requests for additional training, experience and funding with creativity, kindness, interest and enthusiasm, making my PhD journey as useful, enjoyable and straightforward as possible.

Together, Mic, Martin, Caryn and Clare have been the face of my academic experience throughout which, I have felt valued and respected. Completing my doctoral studies would have been impossible without them, not least because entering university at PhD level as a fifty-seven-year-old without any previous academic experience was daunting in the extreme and I needed help transitioning from ‘civilian composer’ to formal practice-researcher. The supervision I received from Mic and Martin to aid this transition and much more besides, was exemplary, focused and friendly. I had a real sense they believed in my research and my capacity to deliver it. For this support and belief, they have my heartfelt thanks.

At home, the emotional contours of my PhD journey were played out at their most acute and personal with Mark who supported me through the triumphs, trials and tribulations of the past four years, including the particularly exacting circumstances that devastated the final year of my research project due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. Mark has been a strength and sounding board throughout.

I would also like to offer huge thanks to Dr Lauren Redhead, Dr Ian Pace, Dr Sadie Harrison and William APM for their resources, advice and support as well as to colleagues in academia and the wider music world, my friends and family and indeed, anyone who showed an interest in my research journey, offered advice, enthusiasm, or showed kindness, I am deeply grateful.

October 2021

‘the unimportance of events’ selected to represent the UK at the International Composers Rostrum

I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that my timecode-supported polytemporal chamber orchestra composition, ‘the unimportance of events’ for 22-players, premiered at this year’s Tectonics Glasgow and brilliantly performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, has been selected by BBC Radio 3 as one of three works representing the U.K. at this year’s International Rostrum of Composers in Belgrade.

My huge thanks are also due to Ilan Volkov, whose decision to programme my piece at Tectonics Glasgow 21 made inclusion in the Composers Rostrum possible. A full list of selected composers from around the world can be found here:

The International Rostrum of Composers (IRC), organized by the International Music Council, is an international forum of representatives of broadcasting organizations who come together for the purpose of exchanging and broadcasting contemporary music. Currently, over 30 national radio networks participate in the Rostrum presenting some 60 works composed within the five years preceding the Rostrum. After the listening sessions, the assembly of delegates selects and recommends the most important works in two categories: general and “young composers”. These and other works will be presented in concerts and broadcast after the Rostrum by the participating and other interested radio stations.

Moreover, all works presented at the IRC are made available by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to its wide network of members and associate members via satellite. These dissemination schemes ensure excellent international coverage for the composers.

Since the foundation of the IRC in 1955, some 400 composers have been promoted and their works broadcast thousands of times within the network of participating radios. After 65 years, the IRC continues today to be the most important platform for the promotion of contemporary music via radio broadcast with some 800 broadcasts of the selected works in the last season. Moreover, the IRC is an invaluable occasion to meet colleagues from all over the world and share contemporary music.

Besides the high number of broadcasts, selected composers in the two categories are offered a commission. For the General Category, IMC commissions a work which will be recorded and broadcast by Radio France while for the Under-30 category, thanks to Swedish Radio, the selected composer benefits from a short-residence program with recording and live broadcast with the Ensemble NEO in Sweden. From 2015 to 2018 the IRC was part of a broader project called Rostrum+ which was co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

August 2021

Arts Council England Developing Your Creative Practice Award.

I’m absolutely delighted to announce that I have been awarded an Arts Council England ‘Developing Your Creative Practice’ (DYCP) grant for a new book project called ‘Music, Painting, Landscape and Me’. More of that in a moment.

First, I’d like to say that after 8-years of trying for an Arts Council grant – any ACE grant, and my second attempt at a DYCP award, I was totally surprised to see that I had been successful. I’m usually not.

What is this project?

To answer that, I’m going to quote a few parts of the application that spell out what it is I want to achieve with this book idea and how I’d like to go about it.

I have been awarded 45 research and development days across 9-months to research and generate substantial preliminary written materials such as an introduction, chapter outline and sample chapter materials for a book that explores my relationship to composing, painting and landscape and how these intersect and are embodied in my practice, particularly through a sense of place.

I will produce these materials to help secure a publishing offer or to complete the book for release through self-publication.

Using clear language and written from my perspective as an artist/composer for other artists, composers and arts-interested readers, this book would aim to inform and inspire those exploring their own practice across different media as I set out to demystify, disentangle and clarify creative experiences, conclusions and assumptions through the lens of my own work.

Although I have experience in academic writing, I have not written a book before, so this activity develops entirely new skills and requires new research, learning and partnerships.
Initial expressions of interest include:

• An external critical support network with the schools of music and art at a London university

• Exploring publishing partnerships

• 9-talking head videos (one per month) for my YouTube channel and other organisational outlets (to be confirmed) that document, explore and share this journey.

I have been creating compositions and paintings intuitively or using various processes, particularly with composition, for around three decades. The time has come for me to ask some deeply personal questions about why and how I make these works.

To move forward in my practice and create evermore connected work, it is now time to ask:
• what compels me to do what I do?

• why is my practice as it is?

• why do certain landscapes affect me so deeply?

• what elements of landscape, music and painting are transmitted across these media?

• what exactly is a sense of place and how is it embodied in my work?

Although frequently asked questions, explanations are often wrapped in impenetrable philosophical or metaphysical language that can feel disconnected from the lived artistic experience, or from my lived experience, at least.

Why does this matter?

Because approaching these questions as a practising artist rather than a philosopher may provide unique insight into actions and motivation, shining a light onto what are internalised and little understood processes.
In seeking answers about my own practice, I may provide answers for others.
Supported through a critical network of scholars and artists, this is an intensely personal project driven by my curiosity and developmental needs.

The possibility of becoming a published author positions my creative practice differently, opening opportunities for conference and artistic presentation, meaningful joint concert and visual art exhibitions/installations/lectures and establishes me as a thinker and writer about artistic practice as well as a maker of music and paintings.
So there’s the blurb. I hope you find this project as exciting and interesting as I do. It is unlikely I will be able to answer all of my questions – much of how we operate artistically remains deeply embedded within our bodies, mind and hearts, senses and sensations, and is difficult to articulate such affects in words, but like peeling back the layers of an onion, I’m curious to see just how far I can get along this path, hopefully identifying the territories that bound what is unknown, or even, at this time, unknowable, along the way. This is not a technical instruction book about how to paint or compose, it’s a book about *why* I paint and compose and *how* music, painting and landscape are connected to each other, to me and to my practice.

July 2021

PhD Thesis submitted

And it’s away!

After nearly four years – four because of the additional year of difficulties wrought by Covid restrictions, and with, surprisingly, something of a happy ending and resolution, my PhD thesis is finally submitted for examination. ‘Control, Flexibility, Flux and Complexity: A Timecode-Supported Approach to Polytemporal Orchestral Composition’.

I’ve hugely enjoyed the journey, apart from the last year which promised no hope of completion as all performances were forbidden. It was the unforeseen opportunity to write for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Tectonics Glasgow 2021 but particularly the invitation to take part from Ilan Volkov that saved the day, and my research, a turnabout of fortune I had not anticipated, hence the happy ending. The results from that particular performance were so good that they significantly helped me to present an extremely strong case (I believe) for the efficacy of my polytemporal composition methodology. Now, the final hurdle, the viva voce, is all that stands between finishing my research project and, if successful, sharing my thesis widely.

Pressing that ‘submit’ button with all its warning about the finality of the action and no going back if you upload the wrong document, was nerve-wracking. I shut my eyes when I pushed the ‘send’ button. And now it is done. Fingers crossed! And huge thanks to all the support thus far from, to mention just a few, Michael Spencer, Martin Iddon, Mark Hewitt, Ian Pace, Sadie Harrison, WILLIAM APM, Caryn Douglas, Clare Meadley and many others.

June 2021

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

the unimportance of events (2021). Premiered by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for Tectonics Glasgow 2021

Here it is. The world premiere of ‘the unimportance of events’ for 22 players, (2021), performed by members of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as part of Tectonics Glasgow 2021.

The piece is dedicated to my friend and colleague Jason Eckardt.

Thanks to Ilan Volkov and Alasdair Campbell for including me in this fantastic festival of new music.

This composition is my latest timecode-supported polytemporal composition and the largest to be so far performed at 22-players.

To find out more about the piece, please click here.