On the off chance that anyone was trying to access my website between the 23-29 July you may have noticed that it wasn’t working – I forgot to renew the domain name whilst away on holiday. Apologies if you were trying to access any information about me and my work. PAC
My short work for solo flute, Hafren (2008) has been published in a recent compendium of solo flute pieces The Arcomis Flute Album which features 18 new works, some of which were premiered at last year’s Arcomis Flute Event. Alongside my work there are pieces by Phillip Neil Martin, Jane Stanley, Elizabeth Winters and Adrian Hull (amongst many others). For information on the album and how to purchase a copy visit here.
I recently found a nice review in the Church Times of the Arcadian Singers concert in Oxford in March, the concert featured first performances of two part-songs of mine I Stood on a Tower (2008) and How Clear, How Lovely (2010). In the review it states, “Phillip Cooke, Thomas Chevis, and Alexander Campkin are young composers of substance: their approach is largely tonal, but the tonality is richly extended and vitalised by a range of added-note chords. They are aware of the era that they belong to, but not unduly diverted by it.” It then states, “Cooke, who possibly fared best…achieved a real wanness and tangible poignancy later in Tennyson’s I stood at the tower. “A 21st-century take on the partsong”, the composer dubbed this and the ensuing rare Housman, How clear, how lovely.” Cheers.
I just read another nice review of Invocation in this month’s Organists’ Review. Alan Spedding refers to the piece as ‘a dreamlike setting…dripping with nostalgia’ and concludes by stating ‘a beautifully atmospheric piece’. Which was nice.
There is a short feature on me and (interestingly…) my choice of computer software on www.compositiontoday.com written by Christian Morris. I’m glad he kept my clarinet/rabid cat simile in. Check out the feature here.
There were some nice reviews of my pieces Invocation and Lakesongs in recent publications that I stumbled across. Classical Music Magazine had Lakesongs as one of their premières of the year and referred to the piece as “A very interesting extension of the English nature music tradition”. Jeremy Summerly reviewing the Novello New Choral Series (of which Invocation is featured) in Choir & Organ said of Invocation: “arguably the most interesting of Novello’s new clutch…Invocation is memorably haunting…spine-tingling.” Nice.
Here are two of the photos that were taken by Peter Jones earlier this month. The photos were taken on a benign Autumn day in Mollington, Oxfordshire. I’m very happy with them, even if the main response so far appears to be ‘not the kind of guy you would want to bump into on a dark night.’ Due to some unwieldy technology on my website I haven’t been able to upload as many as I’d hoped, but then again, two photos may be enough of me.
Promo 1 (© Peter Jones 2011)
Promo 2 (© Peter Jones 2011)
It was a hugely enjoyable, if slightly surreal experience at the première of The Two Trees at The Queen’s College, Oxford on Thursday. Meeting HRH The Duchess of Cornwall was nice, as was chatting with Rowan Atkinson as was being given a bit of birthday cake by a Ukrainian Billionaire’s wife. Fiona Maddocks in The Observer was very kind about my piece referring to the ‘Subtle colours of Cooke’s work’. The feature can be read here. An article in The Oxford Times can be read here.
I recently received some reviews of the performances of my work Invocation that took place with JAM in Scotland last month. Though I was hoping for, perhaps, some more national newspapers (both in Scotland and the UK) to cover the events, I was nevertheless happy with the positive comments about the piece. The St Andrews Citizen referred to the work as ‘evocative and vivid in [it's] imagery’ and the equally august publication the Dundee Courier stated that ‘Phillip Cooke’s Invocation - a beautiful secular work which was a rhapsody’. The website Sound Scotland was kind to call me ‘a contemporary master of the new imagining of traditional music’. I was, however, most happy with some feedback from a 10 year old audience member who said the piece was ‘like heaven in a way’ – very high praise indeed!
I was very excited to hear that my work Invocation has been published by Novello today in a series entitled ‘Novello New Choral Series’. The series will be launched at the ABCD Conference in Birmingham later this month. To purchase a copy please visit here.