Article in BBC Magazine


Photo: Jenny Lewis

Ahead of the premiere of my new piece The Song I Came to Sing for JAM’s Music of our Time concert, they invited me to write an article for BBC Music Magazine. I talk about the piece and about my return to composing. You can read the piece here.

Green Deva string trio to be performed in Hackney Proms

I’m delighted to be included in a Hackney Proms concert, celebrating 3 local women composers for International Women’s Day. Kate Conway, Chris McClain and Alison Holford will perform my string trio Green Deva, which was commissioned for St Magnus International Festival, performed by Hebrides Ensemble in 2021. It’s lovely when pieces get further performances! There will also be pieces by Lisa Logan and Tamara Douglas-Morris.

The concert is 5th March, Sunday, 4pm and lasts an hour. Hackney Proms are family friendly and there is a range of income-related priced tickets.

JAM Commission world premiere

My new piece The Song I Came to Sing, for choir, brass quintet and organ, commissioned by JAM will be premiered by Selwyn Chapel Choir, Cambridge, Onyx Brass and Simon Hogan, conducted by Michael Bawtree.

I have set three poems by Rabindranath Tagore, from his Gitanjali collection. The piece is a commission from JAM, following my participation in their Masterclass Series with Voces8, during which I wrote Gold from the Stone.

Tickets are available here for this concert at the beautiful St Brides Church, Fleet Street on 21 March, 7.30pm


Recording for new feature documentary

Post string ensemble session at RAK Studios

I’ve recently completed the score for a wonderful new documentary by Jeanie Finlay, who I worked with on her film Seahorse.

It was such a treat to record the soundtrack with such wonderful musicians — strings, piano, clarinets and flute, joining earlier recordings of guitar and voice, also to work with the brilliant score engineer Olga Fitzroy.

Here we all are, Jeanie too,  at RAK Studios following the first session of 10 strings. More news to come of this film and soundtrack!

Gold from the Stone wins JAM President’s Commission

I was delighted that my piece for the JAM Voces8 Masterclass, ‘Gold from the Stone’, received its premiere as part of the culmination concert at St Bride’s, Fleet Street in October. It was a wonderful concert, performed by the brilliant Voces8 Scholars, whose voices were just sublime in those acoustics. St Brides is a beautiful venue, and I loved hearing 6 premieres (by Christopher Churcher, Henrik Dahlgren, George Parris, Jack Ledger-Dowse and Chris Williamson), alongside earlier works by Tallis, Gibbons, Byrd.

It was a fantastic surprise at the end of the concert to be awarded, jointly with Christopher Churcher, the President’s Commission, which means I will be composing a new work for the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College for JAM’s ‘Music of our Time’ concert in March 2023.

Thank you so much to Voces8 Scholars, Voces8, JAM and Paul Mealor, and to Lemn Sissay for allowing me to set his poem Gold from the Stone.

Receiving the award at St Bride’s Church

Voces8 concert, St Brides Church

Tickets are now available for the Voces8 Foundation concert, in association with John Armitage Trust, featuring 6 premieres, including my ‘Gold from the Stone‘.

This concert is the culmination of the Jam on the Marsh Masterclass, with Voces8 and Paul Mealor, in which drafts of pieces we sent were workshopped and then developed. I’m very much looking forward to hearing Voces8 Scholars perform the pieces, alongside Byrd and Tallis, on October 12. For my composition I have used words from Lemn Sissay’s poem Gold from the Stone.

More information on the Jam website:

Voces8 Foundation concert, October 12

Britten Sinfonia Opus 1 Scheme

In the summer I was delighted to be selected to Britten Sinfonia’s brilliant Opus 1 scheme, for emerging composers. There are eight composers and two trio combinations — mine is the very unusual grouping of French horn, violin and percussion. It’s been wonderful to work with such wonderful musicians, trying out ideas in two workshops, with help from mentors Dani Howard and Raymond Yui. There finished pieces will be recorded in early October in Stapleford Granary.

Here is a picture of the second workshop, in the beautiful Craxton Studios, with the other trio of harp, viola and flute (Sarah O’Flynn, Bridget Carey and Tomos Xerri.

Selected for Jam on the Marsh Voces8 scheme

I was delighted to be selected to take part in the Jam on the Marsh composing scheme, writing for the world-renowned Voces8 ensemble, with guidance from Paul Mealor. My first draft sketch was workshopped alongside those of 5 other composers in the beautiful church of St Leonard, Hythe, (whose crypt incidentally houses the largest and best-preserved collection of ancient human skulls and bones in Britain) and we were treated to a wonderful concert by Voces8 that evening as part of JAM festival.

I am using text from Lemm Sissay’s poem “Gold from the Stone”, a poem about the yearning for home and sense of belonging. I am now developing the piece and the completed 6 compositions will be performed by Voces8 in a concert at St Bride’s Fleet Street in October.

St Magnus Festival returns for three weeks

There’s another chance to watch the beautiful films made for St Magnus International Festival. I thought they were the best examples of online concerts I’d seen during the pandemic period, as you really get a feel of the venue and of Orkney!

The tickets per concert are now only £2.50 and you can watch my string trio Green Deva, which is included in the Hebrides Ensemble’s performance at St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall, Orkney.

New score for short documentary, screening now

I really enjoyed working with Ikram Ahmed recently on her short documentary, Barry the Beekeeper, for Together TV. It’s now available to watch on ITV Hub.


Barry the Beekeeper