David Hunt


for saxophone quartet

duration: 7 minutes

Having worked in the City of London for several years, prior to my musical studies, I became fascinated with the hustle and bustle of city life. The piece, as the title suggests, aims to convey the sights, sounds and frenetic pace of the city. For me, the timbre and variety of colouristic effects of the sax quartet seemed to offer the best medium in which to portray city life. The piece is not strictly programmatic, since I am not keen on that kind of thing, but for one element: the 'walking bass' riff, played by the Bari sax, which recurs throughout the piece. This aims to symbolise a person walking through the city and interacting with people, places and machinery. The walk through the city takes in the busy traffic filled streets, the 'parping' of car horns, the sound of a distant busker, homeless people crouching around a makeshift fire, in short: whatever the city means to you, the listener.

David Christopher Hunt was born in Croydon, Surrey in 1973. Following an early grounding in music through the local church choir, Dave taught himself to play keyboards and found an interest in composition through improvising, a mode of expression he enjoyed and decided to explore further. Having left school at 16, Dave combined working full time in the city of London with taking piano lessons, studying with Phylis Druce, Lillian Strange and John Parry, as well as A Level music studies, studying in his spare time with Stephen Davies.

In 1999 Dave completed a BA (Hons) Music degree at Bath Spa University College, specialising in composition. During his degree, Dave studied with Deirdre Gribbin, Nick Atkinson and Geoff Smith and also participated in workshops by Howard Skempton, Barry Russell, Phillip Cashian, Harrison Birtwistle, Graham Fitkin and Barrington Pheloung.

Dave's work has so far been performed in venues across the country, both by amateur and professional musicians in areas as diverse as Bath, York, Banbury and London. Recent premieres of Dave Hunt’s music include the 1998 saxophone quartet Metropolis, (performed in Alkmaar, Holland, to critical acclaim), the London Brass Ensemble commission, Frantic at the Michael Tippett Centre, Bath in 1999 and Two Preludes for solo guitar (commissioned by Gordon Dunn), which gained its first performance in Banbury, Oxfordshire on the 14th of June 2001.

"The main influence in my music is probably city and urban life, mixed with knowledge of the music of many other genres. The immediacy of the music may stem from my beginnings in improvisation and experimentation. There is no pretence to be more complex or minimal than is necessary for the piece to communicate its meaning. My spnm shortlisted work Metropolis has the frenetic feel of the city, as do many other works including Frantic for Brass and Percussion and Time-lapse for large wind and percussion ensemble. In the main, I try to write music that I myself could get into, if it were from another composer. If I have satisfied those criteria, I am happy to let a piece out of my sight, into the hands of the performers and listeners."
- Dave Hunt

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