Selected compositions:

Listed below are scores and mp3 files for some of my recent compositions.  Please feel free to look and listen; if you are interested in further information about these pieces, or indeed performing one or more of them, please click on the Contact Ian tab and send an email asking for more information, or for instrumental parts.  Unfortunately, the sounds in Avid's Sibelius program have not yet developed the ability to enunciate words, so the reproductions of the vocal lines are simply a bland 'oooo' or 'ahhhh' sound, so a certain amount of imagination is required!


State and Ceremonial Marches 1 - 5

Five Concert Marches for Wind Band (2022) 

The State and Ceremonial Marches were written for the Committee of the Army Musicians’ Association in acknowledgement of the closure of Kneller Hall - the home of British Army Music from 1857 - 2021. They were started in 2021, and completed in the year of Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.

This set of five concert marches was written as a response to Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance Marches. The difference in context is that Elgar saw the pomp and the circumstance from the outside, as a spectator; with these marches I saw it from the inside: the many hours behind the scenes spent rehearsing on drill squares, the shouting, the polishing, the cleaning, the individual and team effort necessary to reach the required standards.


It was my intention to provide a set of concert pieces that would show off the wind band as an entity to rival the orchestra; it is my hope that they can be seen as a set original pieces which are useful, challenging and enjoyable for audience, player and conductor alike.

My long term goal is to develop the sound of the wind band, raise musical standards through complexity of wind band music, and increase the breadth of serious windband repertoire.

 

State and Ceremonial No. 1 - Full Score.pdf State and Ceremonial No. 1 - Full Score.pdf
Size : 1065.965 Kb
Type : pdf

State and Ceremonial No. 1.mp3

State and Ceremonial No. 2 - Full Score.pdf State and Ceremonial No. 2 - Full Score.pdf
Size : 1132.101 Kb
Type : pdf

State and Ceremonial No. 2.mp3

State and Ceremonial No 3 - Full Score.pdf State and Ceremonial No 3 - Full Score.pdf
Size : 1159.397 Kb
Type : pdf

State and Ceremonial No 3.mp3

State and Cermonial March No. 4 - Full Score.pdf State and Cermonial March No. 4 - Full Score.pdf
Size : 1021.216 Kb
Type : pdf

State and Cermonial March No. 4.mp3

State and Ceremonial March No. 5.mp3

H.R.H. The Countess of Wessex - Full Score.pdf H.R.H. The Countess of Wessex - Full Score.pdf
Size : 774.956 Kb
Type : pdf

HRH Countess of Wessex.mp3

I conducted this performance in a recording by the Band of the Welsh Guards at a studio in London in November 2021, and uploaded to the Household Division website in March 2022.  

My grateful thanks go to Major Craig Hallatt, Director of Music Welsh Guards, for allowing me to conduct this piece in recording, and in subsequent concerts.

H.R.H. The Countess of Wessex

Concert March for Wind Band (2021) 

H.R.H. The Countess of Wessex was commissioned by the Committee of the Army Musicians' Association. This march could be seen as a companion piece to Sir Malcolm Arnold's H.R.H. The Duke of Cambridge.

Malcolm Arnold's march was written in 1957 to celebrate the centenary of Kneller Hall, and is named after the Founder of the school: Queen Victoria's Cousin, The Duke of Cambridge.

This piece has been written to acknowledge the closure of Kneller Hall in 2021, and is named after the Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal Corps of Army Music: H.R.H. The Countess of Wessex.

The march sets out in C minor, a key seen by Beethoven and Brahms as being dark and tragic, and changes to A flat major at the trio section, this new key was used by Elgar in his First Symphony. My idea being that it' s possible for a good outcome to emerge from a seemingly tragic decision.

The trio theme is drawn directly from the opening theme, which is built on a series of rhythmic motifs growing in power as the piece progresses. The bridge section is the central section of the trio, and is distinctive as a development section; it links back to the Trio theme by use of quotations from the Quick March of the Royal Corps ofArmy Music, over a dominant preparation for return to the tonic key ofA flat major.

The march ends optimistically, with a view of a new chapter of musical contribution to the British Army.

Trusted Guardians

(Symphonic Suite for Wind Band)

(2020)

This piece was commissioned by the Band of the Household Cavalry as part of very defined plans for a charity CD to be made towards the close of 2020.

Plans for the CD were tripartite: firstly, the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, celebrating the British Armed Forces; secondly the Coronavirus pandemic, celebrating the UK Emergency Services, particularly the NHS; and finally a positive view into the future.

In order to establish a structural link, I decided to use the hymn tune Jerusalem as common ground to all three movements.  In the first movement the theme occurs in a minor key as part of a battle scene depicting British Soldiers. 

In the second movement the theme is much more obvious. Here, the Jerusalem theme represents NHS paramedics, doctors, nurses, support staff and care home workers on their own front line, early in this battle a tradition took off across the UK, to step outside and applaud the heroes of the present at 8pm on Thursday evenings.

The final movement contains the entire hymn from start to finish. The music which approaches the hymn is uncertain, but grows stronger. The hymn is powerful, and the music which closes the suite is at peace, as it drifts into the distance.

So who are the heroes of this final movement? They could be the Armed Forces, the Emergency Services, they could be anyone, or someone, or a fictional character, or maybe even an aspiration. After all, the listener should take some responsibility for the final outcome.

Trusted Guardians - Complete - Full Score.pdf Trusted Guardians - Complete - Full Score.pdf
Size : 1679.368 Kb
Type : pdf

Trusted Guardians.mp3

Trombone Concerto - Full Score.pdf Trombone Concerto - Full Score.pdf
Size : 1342.748 Kb
Type : pdf

Trombone Concerto.mp3

Concerto for Trombone and Orchestra

(2019)

This concerto was originally conceived for bassoon and orchestra, and written for Miles Nipper, a friend and colleague from our army days.  

Having now re-written the piece for trombone, it feels like it could never have been written for any other instrument.  The balancing in the orchestration is much more successful, and the mood and nature of the music suits the trombone perfectly in my opinion. The other factor, which I can't experience with my other compositions, is that I can enjoy playing this piece.

The concerto is cast in three movements, and is set mainly in the dorian mode based on F.

As with all of my pieces, I'm happy to talk to anybody about sending out scores or sets of parts ; please see the Contacts tab.

Piano Quartet

(2017)

This Piano Quartet has been written with the express intention of writing tonal music, focusing on melody writing. Having spent an extended period of time exploring atonal composition I felt that I wanted to indulge myself in trying to hone my tune-smithing skills. The Quartet is set in three movements, with the melodic material for the outer two movements being modal, hopefully giving a hint at my interest in folk music. The central movement is cantabile in style,
and firmly based in F major.  I am hopeful that players and listeners will enjoy the piece for its coherent melodic and structural qualities. Players should not try to take the music too seriously, but should feel free to make interpretative decisions at will, within the stylistic nature of the piece.




Piano Quartet - Full Score.pdf Piano Quartet - Full Score.pdf
Size : 807.559 Kb
Type : pdf

Piano Quartet.mp3

Trumpet Sonata - Full Score.pdf Trumpet Sonata - Full Score.pdf
Size : 398.146 Kb
Type : pdf

Trumpet Sonata.mp3

Sonata for Trumpet and Piano

(2016)

This piece is unashamedly tonal, and romantic in nature.  It's a little self-indulgent, and I really enjoyed writing it!

There is no program to the music, and the structure is loosely based on sonata forms.  My aim with this piece was to try and develop thematic material from the start, to give the music more of an organic feel whilst still creating coherent themes.

I realise there's nothing new in this; but for me, writing this piece was all about the constant process of honing my skills as a composer. I would like people to want to play my Sonata, and I would love to hear from people who would like a pdf of the solo part.  Please email me if you are interested!


Sinfonietta for Brass Band

(2016)

This piece was started around January 2016, and finished in June.  I had a break from writing the piece through March and April.

Sinfonietta is set in three movements




Sinfonietta for Brass Band - Full Score.pdf Sinfonietta for Brass Band - Full Score.pdf
Size : 1440.396 Kb
Type : pdf

Sinfonietta.mp3

Songs and Interludes

(2015)

This set of seven movements has, on the surface, nothing substantial in common.  The common ground is, simply,  that in one way or another, a text inspired me.  The attractions were rhythmic, atmospheric, structural, or a combination of these factors.  It was not my intent to try and create programmatic music through word painting, it was simply to create a musical context through my own sonic response to each poem.  I felt that the balance between voice and cello was an extremely good one, both strands were able to blend and contrast comfortably.

My intention is certainly for these pieces to be sung and played, and I hope to hear from anybody who wishes to do so.

Songs and Interludes - .pdf Songs and Interludes - .pdf
Size : 632.24 Kb
Type : pdf

Songs & Interludes.mp3

Prelude in B flat

(2015)

This Prelude was written in response to a Call for Scores for the Colchester New Music Festival where it received its first performance by David Mitchell on Wednesday 4th November.

The Prelude is not typical of my usual musical language.  In writing this piece, I took time out from atonality to enjoy traditional harmony.

I enjoyed composing this piece; writing piano music within the bounds of traditional harmonic strictures seemed a little indulgent at first, but it was useful in terms of making me think about the basics of harmonic issues which are all equally pertinent in atonal music.

I get considerable satisfaction from playing this piece; it may well be followed by more short tonal piano compositions.

Prelude for Piano.pdf Prelude for Piano.pdf
Size : 80.529 Kb
Type : pdf

Prelude for Piano.mp3

Four Haiku (2014)

For Soprano and Chamber Ensemble
1. Chora   2. Basho    3. Issa    4. Buson

The Four Haiku I have chosen to set are by four great masters of Haiku, who between them, have compressed the gamut of human experience into the limits of seventeen syllables.  The poems I have chosen were all translated from the original Japanese by H R Blyth, and edited by Peter Washington.

The full moon, Only lovely, Flawlessly clear                            - by Chora

All around, that meets the eye, Is cool and fresh                      - by Basho

How lovely. Through the torn paper window, The Milky Way - by Issa

This is all there is; The path comes to an end, Among the parsley - by Buson

Haiku - Transposing Score.pdf Haiku - Transposing Score.pdf
Size : 342.515 Kb
Type : pdf

Four Haiku.mp3

Passing Through Three Points (2013)

A Suite for Large Orchestra

Passing Through Streets is the rough derivative of the Spanish word Passacaglia; I did not want to use the term Passacaglia as the title of the movement because the piece is not a strict Passacaglia. The odd numbered playings of the melody (the complete tone row) are strict repetitions, however the even numbered playings are as close as I can get them within the constrictions of half of the tone row. This makes for a constantly varying melodic language.

Passing Through the Geodesic is a Scherzo in essence. In mathematical terms the Geodesic is the shortest line between two points on a sphere; this scherzo is the fast movement which links the two outer slow movements.

Passing Through the Origin uses Isorhythmic phrases to form its structure. Each of the three tone rows used in this movement has its own rhythmic row with the respective augmentations, diminusions and retrograde permutations. Mathematically, a line which passes through zero at 45 degrees on a graph is said to be passing through zero. This movement places equal importance on rhythmic possibilities (the x axis of the graph) and pitch (the y axis of the graph).

Passing through three points.mp3

Origins(2011)

for Wind Band

Origins was was written to follow the same processes of the beginnings of life on Earth; it was not intended to be a tone-poem describing the processes, but to actually start with individual notes and sounds and allow them to grow and mutate into larger motivic cells, and eventually develop into coherent thematic ideas. The piece starts with a clarinet gradually exposing the tone row accompanied by seemingly random percussion. It closes with the trombone restating the row accompanied by a regular pulse in the percussion. The trombone's final solo is intended to give the impression of the survival of the fittest.

Origins - Full Transposing Score.pdf Origins - Full Transposing Score.pdf
Size : 614.121 Kb
Type : pdf

Origins.mp3

Piano Quintet (2011)

I composed this Piano Quintet at the end of 2011, it is cast in three movements and uses three tone rows as its structural basis. The Piano Quintet was composed in 2012 in response to the death of a close friend from my time in the army. Hugh Billington was an outstanding ceilidh fiddler who was trained in the Irish and Scots traditions, and he and I performed together on a regular basis for about 15 years. The final movement of the Piano Quintet contains a verse of one of Hugh’s favourite tunes: My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose by Rabbie Burns.

The Piano Quintet was rehearsed and performed at a workshop at Durham University by the Ives Ensemble, and subsequently edited into its current format. It was also performed at the SoBe Institute for Arts in Miami, Florida on 15th March 2013 as part of the XXII Subtropics Festival where it won the Jury's Award.

Piano Quintet - Full Score.pdf Piano Quintet - Full Score.pdf
Size : 596.063 Kb
Type : pdf

Piano Quintet.mp3


Dance Suite (2010)

for Solo Piano

Dance Suite for Solo Piano was composed in 2010. In true 'retro' fashion, the first movement of the Dance Suite to be composed was the Finale. After which quickly followed the quasi Allemande, the Toccata, the quasi Menuet, the quasi Sarabande and the quasi Aria.

My intention was not to create a strict Baroque Dance Suite, neither was it to re-invent the musical wheel in any way; it was to try and capture something of the mood and feeling of the Instrumental Suites of J.S. Bach, without copying their structure or style; so to try and create a piece which had its own integrity as a 21st Century piece, but showing clear influence - with respect.

The Toccata and the Finale illustrate their point without requiring explaination. The four internal movements however may require comment: these movements are influenced by blues music, Russian Romantic pieces, the New Viennese School, Hungarian and Romanian Nationalism, and many other diverse areas. However I feel that they mainly owe loyalty to their Baroque relatives, and a performer will get closest to the musical essence of these movements if s/he approaches them from a Baroque point of view.

Dance Suite for Solo Piano.pdf Dance Suite for Solo Piano.pdf
Size : 426.757 Kb
Type : pdf

Dance Suite.mp3

The Music Makers (2010)

This piece was composed in 2010 for a competition organised by the Corps of Army Music who were, at the time, searching for a new March to represent the Corps.  The Music Makers won the competition, and the march was subsequently adopted by the Army.  I conducted the first performance of the Music Makers at the Royal Military School of Music (Kneller Hall) in July 2011. 

This recording of the brass band arrangement is played by the Band of the King's Division - the Band to which I was first appointed upon graduation as a newly qualified Bandmaster.

Music Makers.mp3