Phillip Neil Martin

Shadowed Facets

for chamber ensemble
(fl, ob, cl, tpt, 2 perc, pf, 2 vn, va, vc)

duration: 11 minutes

Shadowed Facets consists of seven short movements based on certain aspects of Mario Donizetti's painting The Seven Deadly Sins. The painting has seven parts, each one representing one of the seven deadly sins, and I have used each of these as a backdrop on which to work.

The movements depict the action or colour of the canvas as often as using the ideas brought forth by Silvana Milesi's essay on these paintings called "Faith and Beauty, Truth and Reason, Reason and Passion". This allowed me a broader freedom of interpretation on the subject. The individual movements' relationships were designed upon Dante's groupings of the sins (excessive love, perverted love and insufficient love) associated with the philosophy of the Yin-Yang symbol. The concept that within blackness there is always an element of white (also vice versa), and thus using this notion as a basis to insert fragments of associated movements inside each other. This sees it pinnacle in the final movements depicting Pride - the root of all the other sins of man, according to Bernardo di Chiaravalle - which is said to be the only truly deadly sin of the seven. This movement incorporates all the other movements' fragments heading backward through the work, with the lone trumpet painting the picture of the cold solitary figure of Pride, from which everything else arises.


As a scholar at the Royal College of Music Phillip Neil Martin graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in July 2002. Recent commissions include a piece for the London Philharmonic Orchestra to open their concert series at the Royal Festival Hall last March. 'De Profundis' was a commission from Paul Spicer for a double choral work commemorating the 25th anniversary of Benjamin Britten's death, subsequently performed by the Finzi singers at the Barbican.

Recently, Shattered Spectrums, a specially commissioned solo violin piece for The BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition 2002, was performed in the string finals by violinist Emma Hancock with subsequent broadcasts on BBC television and radio.

Phillip has won all of the major prizes/competitions at the Royal College of Music including the Cobbett & Hurlstone Prize (first won by Benjamin Britten), the John Longmire Prize and the Sullivan & Farrer Prize for composition.

Work in the last few months include the premiere of Landscape for fifteen players at the Aldeburgh festival in June 2002. In July of this year, Phillip received a scholarship from the Leverhulme trust to go and study on the New Music/New Media course at the Britten-Pears summer school working in cross-media under such diverse artists as Joanna MacGregor, Keith Tippett, Donnecha Dennehy, Hans Kristian Sorensen, Kathy Hinde & Alasdair Nicolson. July also saw Phillip short-listed by the spnm for his work Shadowed Facets‚ for eleven players.

Phillip will return to the Royal College of Music in 2002-2003 on a scholarship to study on the MMus programme under the continued tuition of Julian Anderson and with support from the Countess of Munster Trust and the RVW Trust.

Back to shortlist.