NEW (2016)

Visual Music for Orchestra and Screen


Apart from my UX / UI work, I also write quite a lot of music. Coming from a classical background, I sometimes get the opportunity to write for ensembles of various kinds. In 2015-16, I was commissioned to write for the Red Note Ensemble in Glasgow. The result, titled 'NEW', is a large-scale visual music work for amplified chamber orchestra and synchronised animations to be projected on screen. It took about nine months to complete and is probably the hardest thing I've ever worked on. Below is a video I put together of the performance, mixed with animations that were being projected at the time. I've also included some of the concept art and illustrations that I put together when determining the overall visual style.

Programme Note


This piece is based on the concept of ‘newness’ in art: an idea loaded with more connotations and expectations than any other I can think of, and one that I have a complicated relationship with since I constantly feel it exerting pressure on my visual and musical work.

With this in mind, NEW is intended to ‘practice what it preaches’ by embodying what I think are the most interesting characteristics of the idea of newness in the 21st century: the uncomfortable link it has with novelty, technology and self-promotion; how it can fill a work with promise and excitement or conversely, cheapen it. And ultimately - when you consider that an ostensibly ‘new’ work is really just the latest re-shuffling of a collection of innumerable historical influences - how unattainable it is.