Update, May 2020
John Casken writes:
I’ve written a few new pieces in the past couple of months. From One Thread for solo viola (7’30”) is for the Royal Academy of Music’s celebration of its 200th anniversary in 2022 and will join a collection of pieces for solo instrument and solo voice by a wide range of composers to mark the occasion.
Tempus Plangendi for solo piano (2’30”) was written at the invitation of the pianist Duncan Honeybourne for a short piano piece as part of his fundraising project towards the Musicians’ Covid Hardship Fund. Duncan introduces and plays the piece on his YouTube video (recorded in his front room) and talks about his idea for the project (Contemporary Piano Soundbites/Tempus Plangendi/YouTube).
For some time I have been thinking about writing a second movement to my string quintet Inevitable Rifts (2009) and finally I have done this, revisiting some of the material of the existing single movement but approaching it in different ways in order to address some of the conflicts left unresolved at the end of that movement. Inevitable Rifts II (9’30”) now forms this second movement and it is my hope that from now on the whole work will be performed in its two-movement version.
Material for all three new pieces is available from the composer.
Another project that I have been putting off but now finally completed is a re-orchestration of my arrangement of Pérotin’s motet Viderunt omnes. The original arrangement is recorded on NMC (NMC D245) and while that arrangement is still available for performance, I have made an alternative version for a smaller ensemble, the same as that of The Dream of the Rood. Details of the instrumentation of both versions can be found in my list of works (Voices and Instruments), and both arrangements are available from Schott Music London.
Plans for the future include Light Into My Dark for mezzo-soprano, chorus and orchestra. The text is Part 4 of Kathleen Raine’s Northumbrian Sequence and the work has been commissioned by Manchester University Chorus and Symphony Orchestra for its premiere in the University’s Whitworth Hall in December 2021. My Piano Trio No.2 (provisional title) will be written for the Gould Piano Trio who last year recorded my first trio on the CD Stolen Airs (Prima Facie PFCD 115). There are plans also to collaborate with the Manchester-based ensemble Vonnegut Collective.