This is a little album of seven works, mostly improvisations about the era my favourite girlfriend and I had our breakup.
1. Anja's Song the first number is most directly related to that; indeed I wrote that when I first started to compose seriously in 2009. I had been bought a mini HP notebook which I had loved and I just tracked me playing it on Audacity on Mp3 over the computer mic and begun to think I was some kind of composer at 29 years of age. I've since enhanced the file and equalised it, digitally remastered it. It's in ternary form with the lyrics in the middle. It reminds me of the early work of the German band Tokio Hotel.
2. Anja's Birthday was even earlier in 2004 when we were still going out and not just keeping in touch via email and phone. I wrote her this tuneful little Neo-baroque piece for her birthday when I was at Cologne Conservatoire Wuppertal Campus with her. It was originally written out by hand in my college notebook. It's a little dance movement in binary form.
3. A Little Crush Music was written a little later for someone else I met whilst singing for Aldeburgh Voices in 2016. It's partly improvised and sketched out by hand. I won't mention names because it was so one sided. It was just a reaction to leaving Aldeburgh Voices and not seeing her again but it wasn't the reason for leaving. It's got a sort of development section sandwiched in between two A Sections but has a light, jazzy almost pleading, kind of feel.
4. The St Nicholas Sonata Part II was improvised and will be transcribed as the second movement to what is now my 7th sonata but it was originally started as the second to be composed. It was completed in 2013 after seeing the Ipswich School at Snape Maltings concert in that year with my old choirmaster Andrew Leach conducting a performance of Britten's St Nicholas Cantata. It contains mondodic episodes like the Britten sandwiched in some light jazz. I sang the St Nicholas Cantata with Ipswich School Chapel Choir myself in 1993 or 94 whilst at school there and was already familiar with the piece. It's often performed by Ipswich School Music Dept because they were on the original Britten recording of it with Peter Pears in the 1950s. Aldeburgh is a cat's leap away from Ipswich in the same county of Suffolk being home to the world renown festival of music Sir Benjamin Britten founded.
5. Chinese Girl was written for a friend of mine called Jun in the German Society of Essex University where I did my linguistics masters and taught her a bit of German and listened to some Schubert with her in exchange for her preparing me a low salt home made Chinese meal at her place. it was nice of her but after the meal it just went dead. That's probably why it has a kind of forlorn feel to it as well as being very stylistically Asian. it was completely spontaneously improvised.
6. A Crush on Jessica This was written looking back to my days in Cologne University studying German as a subsidiary subject with major in musicology and composition where I transferred my credits to form Cologne Conservatoire. Jessica was my tutor I fell hook line and sinker for but it was just a crush because someone took my place when I contracted diabetes and was laid out in hospital for three weeks. She was one of the most attractive women I ever mer and she was responsible for me earning about 30,000 euros doing freelance translation on the side which I'm very grateful for. She taught my German syntax and I have her to thank for the fact that I could break down and analyse complex legal jargon in German and translate it. That's why I still hold her in high esteem she got me money as my favourite German teacher.
7. This is a later piece completed in 2019 from my 19th Sonata Hallelujah! So named after being inspired to write it by listening to Eric Whitacre's piece of the same name which was an influence on the first movement in particular. We sang a piece by Whitacre at the Roman River Festival Scratch Choir with Ben Vonberg Clark. I do these things to keep fresh and encounter new repertoire and style for my compositions that's why I do chorus work. Hallelujah sonata was written off the back of hearing that piece online after performing A Boy and a Girl in 2018.