New Piece: This is happening

In 2022 – 2023 I wrote a new piece for Kathryn Williams, flute, and Sonia Allori, Electronic Wind Instrument (EWI): This is happening. The piece premiered on Friday 3 February at RNCM Concert Hall in Manchester, UK.

Both performers have long-term health conditions that they are interested in exploring through music, and I took the opportunity to explore my psychosis through sound. This is happening consists of a text-graphic score for flute with a pitch set and creative captions for EWI. The text-graphic score represents my auditory hallucinations, Kathryn recorded this part and we sent it to Sonia and a creative captioner, Karen Pritchard. Sonia then received the creative captions, which eloquently describe Kathryn’s recording of the score, and recorded a response, which was then arranged with the flute.

This is happening acts as a sort of game of Telephone: I describe sounds to Kathryn -> Kathryn interprets these sounds on the flute -> Karen interprets these sounds in text -> Sonia interprets the text on the EWI. Each layer of interpretation is valid and represents a different reality. Each person brings their own experiences to the piece and performs based on their abilities.

Zakiya Leeming also documented the creation of the piece through filming and interviews with myself, Sonia and Kathryn, ‘Forward: This is happening’

This is happening was created as part of my PhD in Composition at Royal Northern College of Music in association with Drake Music. My project is practice-based research into placing accessibility at the start of the creative process.

Listen to This is happening

Watch the documentary, Forward: This is happening

Take a look at a preview of the score for This is happening

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