David Charles Martin


for six pianos

duration: 43 minutes

Fugue is both traditional and completely new.

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 final bars.

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 Queen’s 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:

Jack’s Visit
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 hearts ad

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 d’Arezzo" 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 received (1995).

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 2000.

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 composer’s style.

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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