Opportunities like this don't come around too often. Sure there are countless call-for-scores, and innumerable competitions encouraging and supporting young composers, but what Sound and Music devised in partnership with NMC Recordings and hcmf offered much more. As part of Next Wave I have had the wonderful opportunity of collaborating with some great musicians (Sarah Nicolls, Sound Intermedia, Olly Lowe and Dan Halford), and look forward to the premiere at hcmf 2014. But for me, what made this project unique was the opportunity of having our music professionally recorded and released on the NMC label. Whilst numerous other prestigious composer schemes frustratingly restrict participants' public use of the resulting recordings, Next Wave through the NMC label embraced this aspect, allowing the works to reach a public far beyond the project itself.
My piece was quite an experiment. Inspired from the outset by the unusual capabilities of Sarah Nicoll's bizarre inside-out piano, with its dozens of motors, circuit-boards and bicycle wheels dangling from it, I formed my idea of a new work for inside-out piano, percussion and cassette players. The challenge was then to balance embracing the sounds of this unusual combination with creating a coherent piece of music. It also needed to work both as a theatrical performance and an audio track on a CD. With the helpful advice of the performers, and my hugely supportive mentor Alwynne Pritchard, this piece is something really new for me and I am really pleased with the outcome.
Next Wave has been such a rewarding experience, and I very much hope it continues for future years. I'm realising that this blog post reads like a rose-tinted advertisement, but for my own involvement it has genuinely been a hugely valuable experience.
Listen to an extract from Michael's I AM A STRANGE LOOP III
Interview with Michael
Michael's Top 10 Tracks
Explore Michael's Music Map
I AM A STRANGE LOOP III is available on the Next Wave album featuring all 12 new works from the Next Wave composers.
1. Weiwei Jin: Sterna Paradisaea, Returning
2. Maya Verlaak: All Verlaak's Music is Alouette
3. Eugene Birman: The winter desert of my silences
4. Edwin Hillier: hibeh
5. Ji Sun Yang: KAIROI
6. Georgia Rodgers: partial filter
7. Ben Gaunt: Filling Rubin's Vase
8. Michael Cutting: I AM A STRANGE LOOP III
9. Oliver Christophe Leith: hand coloured
10. Barnaby Hollington: Velvet Revolution
11. Paul McGuire: Panels
12. Ryan Latimer: Moby Dick
Artists: Loré Lixenberg, Sarah Nicolls, Oren Marshall, Sound Intermedia, London Sinfonietta, Garry Walker
Download the album here.