Composer: Christopher Mayo
Object: R.J. Mitchell Slate Statue/Flight Gallery
Work Title: Supermarine
'As a composer who has always been inspired by engineering, mathematics and all forms of science, it's an extremely exciting prospect to be invited to engage with the exhibitions at the Science Museum. The opportunity to present a work to an audience who are surrounded by the objects and ideas which have inspired the work creates a framework for a real, meaningful dialogue between my music, the audience and the objects in the museum. This unique event will allow the audience to make some of the same connections that I have made on the journey from idea to inspiration to composition to performance. The piece that's created will hopefully also benefit from being written for such a unique presentation, and have a life beyond the project that is facilitated by this vital link to its inspiration.'
- Christopher Mayo
© Science Museum/Science & Society Picture Library
About Christopher Mayo
Christopher Mayo is a composer of “poignant” and “persuasive” music (The Independent), whose “attractive and intelligent compositional voice” (Musicworks Magazine) has brought him recognition not only in his native Canada, but also across Europe and the United States. Mayo is the 2012-13 Composer in Residence with the Manchester Camerata for whom he will compose several new works, including a piece for the orchestra's final concert of the season at Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.
Finding inspiration in diverse and eclectic sources, Mayo's music has been called "robust, lively, witty, colourful but never light" (Radio Canada). Mayo’s Death on Three-Mile Creek, premiered at Carnegie Hall in 2011, “resourcefully evoked Appalachian folk styles, New Orleans funeral marches and the shifting pulses of drum 'n' bass electronica in setting aphoristic eulogies by Jonathan Williams” (The New York Times). Also in 2011, The New York Times described Mayo’s MATA Festival commission Of Trees & Fields & Men as “lovely”, while the New Jersey Star-Ledger said the work “captivated with a shifting kaleidoscope of sound worlds”. In 2012 Mayo’s workThe Window, written for Rambert Dance Company, was cited as “thematically ambitious and sophisticatedly realised” by The Stage. Further recent commissions have included the Marrakech Biennale, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal +, TRANSIT and Motion Ensemble.
Mayo’s music has been performed by orchestras and ensembles such as the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta, ACME, the Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, the Esprit Orchestra and Aventa and by performers including Michael Collins, Huw Watkins, Oliver Coates and Danny Driver. Festivals which have featured Mayo’s music include the Cheltenham Festival, the Aldeburgh Festival, Faster than Sound and the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival. Future projects include commissions for the London Symphony Orchestra and Aldeburgh Youth Music as well as a BBC National Orchestra of Wales portrait concert featuring the music of the Camberwell Composers Collective, of which Mayo is a member.
Mayo has collaborated with a range of artists including Matthew Herbert on his One Day project for the London Sinfonietta and Turner Prize-nominated artist Spartacus Chetwynd on a performance art piece for the Gasworks Gallery. Mayo also appeared in the BBC 2 television documentary Classic Goldie where he assisted English drum and bass star Goldie on a commission for the BBC Proms.
Born in Toronto in 1980, and currently living in London UK, Mayo holds a Master’s degree from the Royal College of Music, where he studied with Julian Anderson and a PhD from the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied with Philip Cashian. Mayo is a winner of a SOCAN award for Young Composers and the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize.