David Charles Martin
duration: 43 minutes
Fugue is both traditional and completely
Like its ancestors Fugue has a subject and counter-subjects that
are always combining in new ways and its main subject generally returns
in alternate sections. However, being a forward looking member of the
family, Fugue makes radical use of new materials and techniques
in the new structures they imply. Fugue is built entirely out of
regrouped combinations of its subjects: it has no passage work whatsoever.
The subjects are combined in ways that create a forward moving drive,
an inexorable building of energy that often drops back a level only to
return and grow with even greater energy than before. Fugue starts
with a single repeated middle C and builds to its greatest climax in its
David Charles Martin (b.1954) studied music
at Huddersfield (BA, Composition) and then at the Guildhall School of
Music and Drama (Composition Postgraduate) in London. He was awarded a
Gulbenkian scholarship to study composition for dance with Robert Cohen.
He was principal music teacher at Queens College in Harley Street,
London for some years, eventually leaving full-time teaching to spend
more time composing.
His major achievements include a number of pieces of music-theatre for
concert performance, the most frequently performed of which are:
soprano alone or with either flute or oboe, - a chair-bound woman in extreme
old age daydreams alone but is afraid of the doctors
Woman 45 Seeks Man for Fun
soprano, solo saxophone and flute/cor anglais/bassoon - she is taping
a cassette letter to her ex-husband and opening replies to her lonely
Desolation Like A Town: In Praise of Bereaved Communities
vocal ensemble - a response to the death of friends with AIDS that explores
the feelings not of the sick but of those who are healthy and left behind
Music for the Rites of Dionysus flute/oboe/clarinet/violin/cello/percussion/piano
four programmatic movements that express different aspects of Ancient
Greek worship of the godMusical Language
David Charles Martin has spent over ten years refining and systematically
extending new techniques of composition. He has created a new integrated
language in which detail, process and form all imply each other. This
gives each of these elements a new integrity and individual strength while
at the same time giving them a new unity with each other. Everything he
has written has developed this process but much of the most concentrated
work was done in a series of Piano Studies. He has now gone on to test
the vigour and versatility of these techniques by exploring how various
traditional forms and compositional processes are re-invented when translated
into this language. Fugue is the most significant example of this
to date. His current project is a large-scale wind quintet that explores
techniques of harmonic and rhythmic resolution. He is actively seeking
a commission for this piece.
When Degree is Shaked for unaccompanied choir was awarded a prize
at the Concorso Internazionale di Composizione "Guido dArezzo"
held in Arezzo, Italy (1992).
A workshop production of part of his opera The White Swan was given
at the Drill Hall Theatre in London, where it was very enthusiastically
The Dance of the Maenades - flute, oboe, clarinet, violin, cello,
percussion, piano was premiered by the Contemporary Music Ensemble ALEA
III at The University of Boston, USA (1995).
The Hall of Mirrors for solo piano was written for the Austrian
pianist Isabel Ettenauer and premiered at her Spiegelbilder concert at
the London College of Music and Media in March 2000.
We Do Not Dream in Words, a piece inspired by the sculptures
of Tony Cragg, for clarinet, violin, violoncello and piano was written
for Nicholas Cox and 10:10, the contemporary music ensemble of the Royal
Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and was premiered in the Tate Gallery
Liverpool in May 2000.
The Judgement of Theodora, a chamber opera, was commissioned
by the English National Opera Studio. For four soloists: soprano, mezzo
soprano, tenor and baritone. It was given a workshop production in September
Great Pan Is Dead for bass flute and piano was written for Nancy
Ruffer and Helen Crayford, and premiered at The Warehouse in October 2000.
A Guilt-free Zone is a choral work for Dominic McGonigal and COMA
voices (SATB) about the joys and sorrows of gossip, to be premiered in
their first concert of 2001.
Work in progress
C4K - Composing for Kids. A commission as part for a five year project
to create a repertoire of new music for primary school children which,
though simple, does not involve any compromise in the composers
Millennium Bridge for Gregory Rose and the COMA orchestra. A piece
inspired by the structures and beauty in the Millennium bridge across
the Thames in London.
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