Summer Research / New Tempo Article

This summer I will be returning to the work of Éliane Radigue for a new article for TEMPO. I will be researching Éliane’s amazing work in the context of other practitioners—both composers and performers—who also work in an orally-transmitted compositional setting. Once again I will focus on interviews with performers to provide the majority of the content of the article. This will be published in Dec. 2019.

Hopefully alongside I will be working with at least one new soloist on a new living score. Word on the street is that I may be collaborating with the fabulous Liam Byrne (viola da gamba) and Émilie Girard-Charest (cello)… rumour has it there may even be a Bristol performance in the pipeline!

TENOR 2019 Conference

I am very pleased to announce that I will be presenting a new piece and paper at TENOR 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. In July 2019 I will be heading to Monash University to work with Decibel New Music Ensemble on a new piece. This will be another impossible roller coaster piece and, for the first time, I’ll be presenting some written research alongside it.

Algorithmic Roller Coaster Building

In a fantastic turn of events, I’m learning how I can export roller coaster track as CVS files. This means that I can effectively turn a roller coaster into data. This is quite fun, because it means that now I can manipulate numbers (in ways that are much more difficult in the hand-built nature of the editor) and import them back as track.

I’m currently experimenting with algorithmically generating roller coaster track. I guess my goal is to make an even more impossible track… something that defies all expectations. Below are a few examples of some initial attempts at building tracks using data manipulation rather than hand-building techniques.

This is a simple randomization of track within about 150 metres. I don’t think I’d want to ride this any time soon…
This is a little bit more elegant. Here, I take a simple element (a small hill) and repeat it. Each time it is repeated, I change the element’s values by a small randomized amount. The result is a more elegant flowing distortion of the original element. I lit it up all fancy, too.

Watch Online: Luke Nickel University of Oxford Lecture

Check out a recorded livestream of my University of Oxford lecture from November 2018.

Roller Coaster Research Continues!

I am very lucky to have received funding from the Canada Council for the Arts to continue my research on the intersection of impossible roller coasters and music. This will take the form of two projects. The first will be a work for TAK Ensemble. In this piece, I will create a roller coaster accompaniment to a piece of chamber music. In the second piece, written for Decibel New Music in Melbourne, I will create a video score for the ensemble.

I’m feeling very fortunate to be working on something that is essentially a childhood dream of mine!

Musicworks Issue 132: Article

I have been featured in Musicworks Issue 132 in a lovely piece written by Heather Roche. In her article, Heather discusses collaborating with me on an orally-transmitted composition entitled A Hushed Workshop. She really gets to the heart of working in a pretty unusual manner. The article also features a few excellent (heavily edited) photos by Sam Walton, as well as a gorgeous recording of the piece care of Simon Reynell (of Another Timbre).

String Trio #1: Norwegian Tour

James Saunders, Tim Parkinson, and Michael Duch will be touring a new piece I have created for them, String Trio #1. This piece is pretty similar to my String Quartet #1, except that it is a transcription of a piano, violin, and double bass trio (not exactly a string trio… but I like the continuity in names). Parkinson/Saunders/Duch will play the piece in a few different places. If you’re in Norway, be sure to check it out!

PIVOT scheme 2018/2019

Very pleased to announce that I’ll be joining the Canadian League of Composers‘ Pivot Scheme 2018/2019. This means that over the course of the next six months I’ll be writing a new piece for Continuum ensemble in Toronto, which will be performed once in Toronto and once in Montreal in Spring of 2019. I’ll also receive mentoring from an as-of-yet-unchosen composer throughout the year. I’m very excited about this… I’ve wanted to work with Continuum since I was a teenager! Stay tuned for updates and early research for the piece… all I can say is that right now I’m thinking theremins (though that might change!)

More information on the other fabulous Pivot participants here.

Lecture at University of Oxford

On Thursday, November 8th I will be lecturing at the University of Oxford about my recent music alongside Marco Donnarumma. It’s a huge honour to have been asked to deliver this lecture, and I’m looking forward to delving deep into the recent directions I’m heading in…

More information here.

SOCAN Foundation Award

Pleased to announce that my work String Quartet #1 won a 3rd prize in the SOCAN Foundation Awards for Young Composers. I had previously thought my work was maybe too strange to win awards anymore, but this has me reconsidering!

The rest of the winners can be found here.