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Jeremy Clay New Music The Arts

Y Gollyngdod: Mezzo-soprano aria with piano reduction

Finally got around to uploading this recording from October 2011. I posted about the project at the time which you can read here.

Anyway, hope you enjoy this!

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Jeremy Clay New Music

A composing day – writing a cello duet

These are my favourite sort of days. Days when I just get to write music. Today’s task: a cello duet. Been sketching out ideas for a couple of weeks on and off, but today I have been piecing them together. Not quite there with it yet though!

It’s frustrating when you have so many ideas that you just want to splurge them all out onto the paper, but you are restrained by the physical impossibility of writing it all at once.

Time for a cup of tea, I think.

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Family Jeremy Clay New Music

Video clips from The Selfish Giant

Here is the promo video of extracts of The Selfish Giant performed by Springs Dance Company, the family show for which I wrote the soundtrack. You can hear the audience laughing which is great! The video is taken from last autumn’s UK tour. Unfortunately my favourite section hasn’t made the cut for the extracts video… but maybe you can go and see it if it comes to a theatre near you!

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Teaching

For those of you who are missing Christmas…

…here is a piece by one of my young piano students to brighten your day!

Mirran found the words to this song in a Christmas carol book so she decided to write a melody for it. (With no help at all from me).

Here she is singing How Far is it to Bethlehem and playing the piano. (Her mum is also singing).

I am impressed at the harmonic structure of the piece! Not bad for an 8 year old!

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Jeremy Clay The Arts

A great new photo from Springs Dance Company

Here’s a fantastic photo from the Selfish Giant tour! It still amazes me that they are dancing to MY music!!! I love the way the giant is reacting!

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Birmingham Jeremy Clay New Music The Arts

New piece: A Little Character – for Trumpet and Piano

Here’s a new track which I recorded with Ed Carpenter earlier this autumn.
It’s very delicate to begin with, and I have parts where I am playing inside the piano. I also use the trumpet to set off resonances inside the piano, which are very quiet on the recording, but just about make it out!

Towards the end there’s a great bit of squealing by Ed on the trumpet, along with some singing… look out for that!

Hope you enjoy it.

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Birmingham Jeremy Clay New Music Reviews The Arts

Make an Aria at the Barber Institute – Y Gollyngdod

Monday was fun! I got to rehearse my aria – Y Gollyngdod – with mezzo-soprano Amanda Baldwin, Michael Rafferty conducting and Michael McCarthy directing. I was really pleased with the way it turned out and it was really nice to see it being rehearsed with real attention to the subtleties of David Roberts‘ libretto. Amanda was great, and was really enthusiastic about getting to grips with the aria which was great to see. Also, repetiteur Nicola Rose did a really nice job.

In the masterclass Nigel Osborne really got to the heart of my music and showed a great deal of insight and understanding which was really helpful for me. Having such a big focus from Nigel and the others on my music was incredibly revealing and taught me a great deal. It also made me pretty pleased with myself, because I think its a pretty decent piece!

Overall I think the project was ace – a great opportunity to really work with a writer and confront the challenges that collaborative opera writing can throw up, as well as really making sure I got to the heart of the text and considered the dramatic aspects. A big thank you to all the people involved from Music Theatre Wales, Welsh National Opera and BCMG. At some point we may even get round to finishing the opera!

For now, David and I are going to work on a few songs – he tells me he has some poems he reckons would be good so it’ll be interesting to get my teeth into them. Speaking of teeth, I’m having really awful toothache  – I think from my wisdom teeth. Sad times.

Anyway, hopefully I should get a recording up here pretty soon, so please come back when its around!

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Birmingham Jeremy Clay New Music The Arts

Make an Aria – public masterclass at the Barber Institute

On this coming Monday (10th Oct) from 5pm til 7.30pm there will be a public masterclass of four new arias written for the Make an Aria project, and I have written one of them!

The project is through Welsh National Opera, Music Theatre Wales, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, The University of Birmingham and Birmingham City University (Birmingham Conservatoire). There were four composers and four writers from the two universities and we were paired up. My writer was David Roberts, and we focused on a storyline which involved the intriguing and conflicting life of a communist Welshman. The aria is sung by his wife as she mourns his death and comes to the realisation that she has not really been able to live her life because of him.

If you fancy coming along, the  public masterclass will be at 5pm at the Barber Institute in Birmingham, which is a beautiful venue with a lovely acoustic.

See you there!

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Birmingham Jeremy Clay New Music The Arts

Until the Middle – my latest piece – have a listen!

Here’s my latest work – a piano solo entitled Until the Middle  which I recorded at the CBSO Centre in Birmingham last week. There’s no huge story behind it – it’s fairly abstract. It uses a series of pitches for the first 3/4 then kind of inverts it, around the middle of the piano keyboard. I wanted to write a piano piece which didn’t use any extended piano techniques like playing inside, but that still has a dramatic visual effect… Unfortunately I don’t have a video of it though!

Hope you enjoy it!

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Funding Jeremy Clay New Music The Arts

Arts Council England funding a tour of my latest piece!

Quick update with some exciting news! My latest piece for Springs Dance Company has just received funding from Arts Council England to tour around England! The Selfish Giant is a newly composed and choreographed piece based on the children’s story of the same name by Oscar Wilde. The show is a production of dance, storytelling and puppetry and is a great show for families. The tour dates are here, so go and have a look if you fancy it – and take some children along with you!