A cisgender, heterosexual gaze is prevalent in Western art music. It is ingrained in our academia, and almost unquestioningly accepted in composition, performance, and listening practices. It extends into other arts and academic disciplines, and into all areas of life (this last point should, hopefully, surprise no-one). Sadly, even when the topic of ‘queerness’ is […]

The cisgender, heterosexual gaze is prevalent in academics. It’s prevalent in everyday life: from casual conversation, to journalism, to amateur and expert commentary. This is undoubtedly influenced by proportion in the population (most people, perhaps even queer people, will not look at situation with a queer gaze, even when it is obvious or necessitated), but […]

This portfolio is concerned with two new developments in my composition. Firstly, I have incorporated theatrical techniques in addition to and as an enhancement of my purely sonic writing. Secondly, I have aimed to engage with, and attempt to clearly communicate a central concept with each piece. This commentary outlines the various inspirations behind these […]

I was recently very fortunate to have had my piece Murphy vs Mr Endon. Written for 2 pianists, 2 silent actors, and a narrator, it is a depiction of a chess game. I say depiction and not representation very deliberately. In my initial planning, throughout the compositional process, and during the performance, my intention was not to give the audience some idea of a chess game. Rather, I wanted to present it very literally, perhaps even engage the audience and draw them into the game, rather than have them simply sitting through another new music concert.

 My, admittedly brief, experience with British music academia has shown me an irrational prejudice against any music that breaks the ideals of the 19th century German model. Texts such as Richard Taruskin’s Oxford History of Western Music depicts a crescendo towards Wagner, followed by a diminishment of music, relieved only by the new tonal language of […]

If there is one thing living in the UK has taught me, it is that I am South African – proudly South African. The culture shock was unexpected, slightly unnerving, yet rewarding. It has, to use a terrible cliché, enabled me to ‘find’ myself. My identity is now firmly South African, but to what extent […]