I am a classical based composer, but influenced by many other genres, jazz, Indian, Moroccan and rock music particularly. I like combining music with meditation, or with computer-generation, or sometimes both.
In my musical creation I am reinforcing directness, expressing something simple yet affecting, using the mind as an instrument rather than as an obsession which often is the case with new music. For me the most effective musical creation comes from a deeply stilling intention. My music is almost all tonal and melody-like (if not with a melody) – it is not a rough course for the newcomer, its an ocean of exploration, the communication of internal realities through airwaves, using written scores, improvised and semi-improvised, computer-generated, and includes orchestral and chamber music..
The states of mind accessed through music inspire me greatly, music having been one means whereby I have and do recover from depletion, and access deeply joyful moods.
I am a versatile and innovative composer who has a multiple focus as a composer, improviser and audio-visual creator. I have collaborated with healers, therapists and counsellors as well as writing for dance, film, orchestra, and choir and am as much at home writing a score as creating electronic or computer music. In summer 2014 I completed my 3rd Symphony. I collaborated with Pete Townshend and software engineer Dave Snowdon on the Method Music project, designing music software for a web server which generated over 10500 musical pieces – ‘portraits’ – over the internet. Pete Townshend also helped me record a double album “Method Music” now available through Amazon on Navona Records or through Amazon or iTunes as a download.
My work is largely tonal (in the sense of an identifiable set of notes that are emphasised – rarely changing the key, central note). It is contemporary, in that it has much in it which is formed anew – not directly influenced or inspired from the classical music tradition. It is often associated with meditational or New Age aspects, because of the strong emphasis on its relationship with silence and presence, it makes more use of the space between notes than occurs generally in classical music. It is in the minimalist genre, in the sense that it borrows the idea of looping and repetition (since over 40 years) from the musical innovations of Terry Riley and LaMonte Young, and seeks deeper experiences through working with constancy, with sustained sounds and small or zero contrasts.
Since 2001 I have worked with sarod player Lisa Sangita Moskow and vocalist Manickam Yogeswaran on improvised music based on North and South Indian raga scales. I have created 5 multi-media audio-visual installations with the artist Genie Poretsky-Lee: including Anonymous Words (2007) and Image Of Sound (2008). I have developed techniques to deeply integrate audio and visual images with quantum physicist Michael Tusch, collaborating on this since 1993 with Dave Snowdon who created the software “Visual Harmony” to explore this arena; worked with healer/counsellor Isobel McGilvray in shaping harmonic tonescapes to aid relaxation, and have worked with choreographers/dancers (ex-Sadlers Wells Royal Ballet) Sheila Styles and (ex-Ballet Rambert) Rebecca Ham on several dance projects. I have written for the pianists Yonty Solomon, Mark Swartzentruber, Tim Ravenscroft (2 suites), and Alessandra Celletti (Fractal Studies and Mist Sculptures), for The Smith (string) Quartet, the Electric Symphony Orchestra, , the female vocal quartet led by Rosemary Forbes-Butler, Rosy Voices, and I wrote 6 pieces for the violist Robin Ireland (of the Lindsay Quartet) and many more for violist Neil Davis.
I composed music for the film “The Eye Of The Heart”, a portrait of the life and work of the artist Cecil Collins, and I feature in the book on Collins and his circle by Nomi Rowe. I have recorded around 4000 piano improvisations as well as performing many live. My work in acoustic and electronic media, in composed and improvised methods is one of the broadest of any composer. I have performed in Canada, the US, Latvia, Lithuania, Italy, Switzerland, France and Germany as well as in the UK. I have accompanied the international painting group Collective Phenomena who work ‘more than one to a canvas’ with marathon keyboard improvisations, at John Calder’s La Fonderie in Paris and The Blackie in Liverpool, as well as a Planet Tree Festival London appearance. I am a pioneer in music, having addressed meditative and healing presence and state-of-mind, primarily, for over 40 years. In 1996 I founded the Planet Tree Music Festival, which I also direct, having run 8 festivals so far. I am also a highly sought after private tutor in mathematics. I live in London.
ALESSANDRA CELLETTI comes from a purely classical background, but her musical and artistic experiences multiply with sudden deviations in a very personal music world; away from labels, difficult to categorize in existing cliché, her unique and irreplaceable center of gravity is the piano. She made her debut in 1994 with “Les sons et les parfums,” a collection of recordings dedicated to Debussy, Ravel and Satie; In 2006 Alessandra imposed herself also as author with the album: “Chi mi darà le ali” (“Who will give me wings”), although she also remained (and still remains) a valued interpreter of a vast repertoire that includes compositions of Janáček, Gurdjieff/de Hartmann, Scott Joplin and Philip Glass.
In 2007 she published “The Golden Fly,” sixteen compositions for piano solo, followed in 2008 by “Way Out,” an album where the sound of the piano blends with naturalness and balance with the rhythmic power of the drums.
All through these years many have been the collaborations: with the Swedish conceptual artist Paulina Wallenberg Olsson, the saxophonist Nicola Alesini, the British composer Mark Tranmer (aka GNAC) with whom she released the album “The Red Pages;” the free movement of sounds has also made possible the meeting between Alessandra Celletti and one of the leading exponents of contemporary experimental electronic music, Hans Joachim Roedelius with whom, in 2009, she composed the album “Sustanza di cose sperata” (“Substance of things hoped for”), in the same year of “Alessandra Celletti plays Baldassarre Galuppi” an album dedicated to the venetian author of the eighteenth century.
2011 was the year of “Crazy Girl Blue,” the thirteenth album by the Roman pianist, released alongside two very special editions of her compositions; the first one was “Sketches of Sacagawea,” a printed cardboard box containing a book and CD in a limited edition of 200 numbered copies, dedicated to the Native American heroin Sacagawea.
The second special project was conceived with the German surrealist artist Jaan Patterson; Celletti and Patterson co-wrote an album soundtrack that accompanied the release of George Bataille’s previously unreleased book, “WC,” for the publisher Transeuropa.
In the summer of 2013 Alessandra Celletti has been the protagonist of a daring bet, bringing her piano around Italy aboard a truck in the “piano piano on the road” tour. The entire route has become a documentary produced by the independent company Primafilm creative distrinct and it was selected in competition at the Edmonton International Film Festival in Canada, while the trailer was awarded the “Premio Roma Videoclip – Cinema Meets Music,” XXI edition.
Her last album “Above the sky” was published by the North American label Transparency.
Alessandra Celletti’s music is a kaleidoscope, an imaginary visual and audio world, that, with tenacity and tireless, swirling enthusiasm, she chooses to represent, in studio and on stage in concert: her live dates are moments of rare intensity.
I was born in the Canary Islands. That precisely I don´t remember but it might be beside the point. I do remember growing up within a marvelous family, and that discovering both reading and music were the two keys that allowed me to glimpse other realities that I would not have known otherwise. At the beginning it was all about child play, and it should have carried on that way… perhaps the biggest challenge that a performer faces is to preserve the naivety and curiosity that encourages him to wake up every morning willing to spend as much time as possible in contact with the instrument in order to discover new things. I used to perform simple pieces. Now I have known better the likes of Scriabin, Schoenberg, Bartók, Stravinsky, Crumb, though I still perform my beloved Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Granados, Mompou…
Sometimes I think I am a dilettante in spirit, that what I really like is to enjoy Arts without any further transcendence or aspiration. But I cannot help but thinking also that to deepen in any artistic discipline also inoculates the longing for perfection, beauty and proportion. Difficult call…
I have been lucky enough to count on people that have stimulated me to become a better person and, along the way, a better musician also. I fondly remember Armando Alfonso, Yonty Solomon, Joaquín Achúcarro and Howard Shelley. All of them have left a profound mark in my life. I have also travelled and performed in venues and countries that I never dreamt of visiting due to being a musician: Wigmore Hall in London, Auditorio Nacional in Madrid, China, Japan, Cuba, Bolivia, Argentina… I feel equally fortunate to be able to participate in two projects that somehow have also changed the course of my recent life: the Odradek Project and the Quantum Ensemble, resident chamber music group in the Auditorio de Tenerife. It is not easy to find the perfect blend of professionalism, excitement, spirituality and friendship in a profession where the purely commercial interests prevail.
I am also a piano professor in the Centro Superior de Enseñanza Musical Katarina Gurska in Madrid. This job has provided me with invaluable experiences and a very favorable, family environment. Madrid is the city that has turned me into a happy man, and the city from where I have travelled the world, and I hope it continues to be that way for a long time.
I could also tell you about my prizes, but then this would become an ordinary biography. Maybe I could also talk about my failures, for sure that would be more interesting (I always remember Scott Fitgerald´s famous quote: “I talk with the authority of failure”). I hope that with these few lines you have got to know me a bit better and that you enjoy Lawrence´s works.
– Javier Negrín
NEIL DAVIS hails from Shipley, near Bradford, and is a composer as well as a violist, having studied both at Chethams School of Music and the Guildhall School of Music in London. Since then Neil has studied with Robin Ireland, then violist with the Lindsay String Quartet.
While still a student, Neil was principal violist with the Bradford Chamber Orchestra, and was also principal with the City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra. He has played with the Almira String Quartet. He played with the Scarborough Spa Orchestra, the R.T.E. National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and the R.T.E. Concert Orchestra. He has also freelanced with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Ulster Orchestras. He has taught violin and viola for many years.
Neil's compositions and playing are strongly expressive, stemming from a firm perception of absolute pitch, and a feeling for tonal relationships that can work outside of a fixed key or scale. He has written five string quartets, and of note a Viola Concerto as a joint composition with Lawrence Ball, for whom he has also performed five world premieres.
ALTHEA TALBOT-HOWARD is based in London, England, where she works as a freelance soloist and teacher. She studied at Girton College, Cambridge, the Royal Academy of Music, London, and the Banff Centre for the Arts in Canada. She has been awarded a number of scholarships including a Fulbright Scholarship for study in the USA. Althea has played concertos at venues including London's Purcell Room, the Marble Hill Park Proms and St. John's Smith Square; has given recitals for numerous music clubs, festivals, universities and concert promoters throughout the UK, the Irish Republic, Australia and the USA; and has broadcast live on Radio 3, Classic FM, RTE FM3 and ABC FM. Her recent CD - From Leipzig to London - was warmly reviewed in several publications including Gramophone magazine, which described her as "a superb oboist". She has also had the privilege, on several occasions, of performing live for HM the Queen.
In 2007, Althea won Third Prize at the Paris-Ville d'Avray International Oboe Competition, where she was the competition's first British prizewinner. Past orchestral work includes Guest Principal Oboe, Oboe d'Amore and Cor Anglais with a number of orchestras including the RPO and RPCO, the BBCSO, the Royal Opera House Orchestra and the RTE National Symphony Orchestra, in addition to several seasons as Principal Oboe in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake and Nutcracker! at Sadler's Wells Theatre, London. Further career information can be found on her website, where her CD is also available for purchase; and free video clips are available there and on YouTube.
DINAH BEAMISH is a freelance cellist living in London. She enjoys playing in many different musical genres. Classically, in chamber music recitals and regular work with the Birmingham Royal Ballet, RPO concert and many other orchestras.
In lighter music she has toured with Mark Knopfler, Beverly Craven and The High Llamas in the UK, Europe and America. She regularly plays with Jools Holland and his Rhythm And Blues Orchestra, on his albums and for the BBC New Years Eve show The Hootenanny.
With Brilliant Strings she has played on numerous pop albums including Zero 7. McAlmont and Butler, The Stereophonics, South to name but a few. She has played solo on the albums of The Manic Street Preachers, Eddi Reader and The Veils ® an up and coming band for whom she wrote the string arrangements.
Dinah has played with the Syd Lawrence Orchestra and Hot Strings and depped on Phantom, Saigon and Oklahoma at the National Theatre.
In addition to freelancing she is currently working on the performance of North Indian classical music on the cello which she intends to use for educational workshops.
Aberdeen born and bred, Jackie studied violin with Kenneth Piper at the Royal College of Music. She freelanced widely in London before joining the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Subsequently she has worked in many milieux, including several orchestras nationally and internationally, chamber groups and jazz/folk collaborations. Since returning to Scotland, she works primarily for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra of the Scottish Ballet. Her violin in by Helen Michetschlager.
AMANDA CHANCELLOR studied viola and piano at the Royal College of Music. She was a member of the Ulster Orchestra and the Orion String Quartet. She then toured the world with the Chamber Orchestra of Cologne.
She freelances with several London Orchestras and did numerous West End Shows on violin and viola. She enjoy playing electric 6-string violin and projects have included a concerto for Electric 6-string and Brass Band and a creation for two electric 6-Strings and Gamelan Ensemble. She also works in fringe theatre, modern ensembles and string quartets.
Throughout her career, she has always taught violin and viola, formerly in schools and now in private practice.
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