Phil Baker

Composer Brighton born­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­
COMPOSITION PUPIL OF EDMUND RUBBRA AT GUILDHALL SCHOOL OF MUSIC & DRAM
M.PHIL IN COMPOSITION AT ROYAL HOLLOWAY & BEDFORD NEW COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF LONDON

 
’…through a glass darkly…’ for SATB, piano violin & violoncello

 

  
The Murals at Albi

“…Best piece in the concert – truly moving…” (BrightonFestival Fringe Review)

Library Hollers                                                                                                                   or

Ways to disturb the silence by  Phil Baker

INSTRUCTIONS: Select a spacious library such as the spanking new one in Brighton…etcetera …

“Phil Baker’s Library Hollers was a good opener and attention grabber: sudden sounds of book titles being read out aloud, books being slammed shut, lines from pages being sung out aloud. Baker’s starting point was that on entering a library he felt compelled to break the silence by reading a title out aloud or singing / reciting a line. I suspect this is something that many of us might harbour as a secret desire.”

Medieval sources are important for Murals at Albi and Ancient Sources have also been a significant influence in other works

Chronophagos for Two Pianos uses melody fragments from Greek stele and papyri__________Premiered & recorded by adam swayne & terence allbright on october 22ND, 2011 AT CHAPEL OF UNIVERSITY OF CHICHESTER

”…a significant contribution to the repertoire.”

 

Epinikia I – II – III – composed in 2011-12 for the forthcoming Cultural Olympiad and the Cool Fusion Project.

Written for wind instruments, double bass piano and percussion, the Epinikia are based around edited texts from Pindar’s Olympian Odes (in translation). My approach to these works was as an illustrator rather than as an ‘expresser’ of words, as in a song.

The poetry is either sung or spoken metrically by a Khoros of three actors.

Epinikian I  is due to be performed in London during The Games:

Also, in the same concerts, one of my olympian fanfares (Canzonae OLYMPIAE)  will be performed. I wrote two for brass quartet and percussion.

follow the links for details  and to hear music extracts

http://coolfusion.org.uk/contact/

http://www.forumcomposers.org.uk/

www.newmusicbrighton.bandcamp.com

Theatre Works

The Trojan Women - Incidental music

Nine Scenes from Cinderella – small ensemble with Narrator; text William Gilbert after Perrault

                                    The Pardoner’s Tale – an opera in one act; libretto    by  William Gilbert (after Chaucer)

Gulliveran operatic musical in two acts based on Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels; libretto by Thelma Hedley/William Gilbert

The Bayeux Tapestry  - two act opera tracing the  narrative of the eponymous tapestry which features as the revolving background to the opera; Libretto: William Gilbert

The Very Hungry Caterpillar –five minute setting of Eric Carle’s children’s story complete with role for bendy caterpillar prop

Toured in normandy being performed in english at a number of selected primary schools.

The Pardoner’s Tale in rehearsal at Herstmonceux Castle

Felix Beacher as The Pardoner        The Rioters have found Death!

The production was conducted by Steve Dummer and directed by Ian Gledhill (OPERA SOUTH AMONG OTHERS) and was funded by ‘awards for all’

             from The Trojan Women     

                                                            from The Pardoner’s Tale

 

 A theme running through much of my work is that of memory

The String Quartet II from the 70s has a sub-title ‘Memory & Premonition’ .

music itself draws on memory for its creation as well as its COMPREHENSION.

Listening to a piece of music, we have to attend to and recall what has already gone in order to make full sense of what follows.

                                   Premiered by The Sussex String Quartet in a concert which featured Steve Dummer in Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A at The Hawth Studio, Crawley in 1986; it was subsequently performed also by The Kingfisher Quartet and, recently, by The Regency Quartet at Sussex University Chapel.

Works such as Chronophagos and Epinikia and The Murals at Albi draw on music from the distant past and tap into the historical memory.

 

The solo piano works, Freeze Frames, are rooted in PERSONAL memories:

 1 . . . Cortège         

 

                             2 . . . Close-up

 

                                                         3 . . .  Soft focus

 

                                                                                              4 . . . Dissolve

 

Historical memory is also

present in The Bayeux Tapestry

Opera itself allows exploration of immediate and distant memory

Performances – my work has had excellent performances over several years and I am indebted to many including:-

pianists Glen Capra, Ray Luck, Anthony Green and Adam Swayne

clarinettists and conductors Murray Khouri and Steve Dummer and lazslo heltay

violinist Ellie Blackshaw and Andy Sherwood

flautist Alison Back

singers Debbie Bridge and Alison Swayne

among many others as well as ensembles –

Talkestra (dir Steve Dummer)

The Kingfisher Quartet

The Regency Ensemble

Musicians of All Saints (with Andrew Sherwood)

The Brake Drum Assembly

The Sussex Quartet

the london contemporary chamber orchestra

Selected from Catalogue

Solo Works

Piano Sonata

Sequentia super De Profundis (cello)

Mr Jenner His Air and Ground (guitar)

Four Freeze-Frames for Piano

Study for Piano (Roulette Boogie)

Four Little Ostinato Studies for Piano

In Nomine Antonius Viridis (solo piano)

 

Chamber Music

Music for Piano with Two Clarinets

Sonata for Violin & Piano

String Quartets  I, II & III

The Epiphanies of Silence I (vln, cello, flt, clarinet)

The Epiphanies of Silence II – Piano Quintet  (pfte,cello,violin,clarinet, horn)

The Murals at Albi (clrt/bass-clar,guitar,dble-bass,perc)

“Opera” for Percussion

KA-BU-KI for Percussion Ensemble

Sinfonietta

Sinfonia – “Poles Apart” for Orchestra

Sinfonia Concertante for Small Orchestra

Concerto for Cello and Orchestra – “The Song Lines”

Songs for Theo (clar, perc & pre-recorded track)

Tango Lava (vln, electric gtr, pfte & perc)

Triptych for Wind Quintet

Quintus for Wind Quintet

Chronophagos for Two Pianos

 

Voice

Improvisation from Marcus Aurelius (soprano and viola)

Memorial (Fear no more the heat o’ th’ sun/soprano + pfte)

CoventryCarol – (SATB+Treble, pfte/organ)

Christmas Carol from Carmina Gadelica (SATB)

Full Fathom Five (SATB + pfte)

o, magnum mysterium (piano + S (trebles) A

 

Works for Theatre

Gulliver – two-act operatic musical/original libretto by Thelma Hedley, revised by William Gilbert

The Pardoner’s Tale – one-act hour long opera/libretto by William Gilbert after Chaucer

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – six minute music theatre work for children based on the story by Eric Carle

Incidental Music for The Trojan Women (Euripides)

TheBayeuxTapestry – two act opera

Three Epinikia for Ensemble and Khoros (text from Olympian Odes of Pindar)

Cendrillon (after Perrault) – chamber ensemble

 

Contact details

philmuscomp@gmail.com

0751 3946 132