Biography

 
 





I am a Scottish composer of chamber, orchestral and choral works based in Canterbury. I studied in York and Stuttgart, the latter leading to a keen interest in German contemporary music.


I am also active as a flautist with new music group Dark Inventions, and as a reviewer and musicologist.


When starting a piece, I rarely begin with the musical material. Instead I am increasingly interested in the structural and architectural possibilities of sound, so that sound is a means of experiencing some kind of larger shape.


This has led to a particular interest in multiple experiences of pulse and rhythm, as well as intersections between physics and composition, and the use of large-scale musical processes.


In 2012 I won first prize in the Acht Brücken Composition Competition with Gravitation, which was played by Schlagquartett Köln and broadcast on WDR 3. My orchestral work, Habitus, was also broadcast in a performance by the WDR Symphony Orchestra.


Recently, I took part in the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Young Composers’ Programme and the RSNO Composers’ Hub.


















Performances of Neil’s Work


Major performances include: a percussion quartet, Gravitation, which won first prize in the Acht Brücken young composers’ award after a performance by Schlagquartett Köln; a short chamber opera Passive/Aggressive which was performed at the Wilhelmspalais in Stuttgart; and the orchestral work Habitus which was performed by the WDR Sinfonieorchester in Cologne in 2013.


Both Gravitation and Habitus were subsequently broadcast on West German Radio. Recently he has written pieces for the Twelfth Day duo, Dark Inventions clarinetist Jonathan Sage, all of which were performed at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.


I have also been involved in a number of film projects, particularly with director Tom Chick. Chick's Through My Brother's Window was made in 2009, while The Fisherman's Daughter was shown at the Edinburgh International Film Festival in 2011.


Death in a Nut - the latest collaboration with Chick as well as Digicult, Glasgow - was completed at the end of 2011.