Ben Gaunt (b. 1984) studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and Manchester Metropolitan University. He is now pursuing a PhD at the University of Sheffield, supervised by Dorothy Ker and George Nicholson. His music has been performed by Ensemble 10/10, Icarus Ensemble, Christopher Redgate, and Size Zero Opera. His work 'Seven Shrinking Machines' was performed at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2012, and is being published by University of York Music Press. Ben is the co-director of Sounds of the Engine House alongside fellow composers Steven Jackson and Eve Harrison. They are currently touring the North of England, supported by the Sound and Music Touring Programme.
Ben is currently composing a solo work for Copenhagen-based trombonist Heider Nasralla, supported by the Frances Chagrin Award, the Bliss Trust and PRSF Composer Bursary.
Ben’s doctoral research involves the perception of time, architectural proportion, dimensionality, the big bang, and the big crunch. His compositions have been described as ‘jazzy’ by Alfred Hickling of The Guardian (and this is true), but Ben also finds inspiration in the music Gérard Grisey, Trent Reznor, Harrison Birtwistle and Nick Drake.
Ben recently formed a piano duo (Hooleo Pianola) alongside Gary O’Shea, specialising in music written after the year 2000. Their inaugural concert featured premieres of Sheffield-based composers Tom Owen, Steven Jouanny, and Alex Gowan-Webster. Further concerts are planned for 2014.
Read Ben's blog for NMC here.
Photo: Stuart Leech