recent work and current projects
John has long appreciated and been inspired by the work of internationally renowned composer Terry Riley. In 1964 Terry composed a seminal work which he titled ‘In C’. In preparation for an Arts Live performance with the theme of ‘Sea Songs’, John developed a grid set of 53 five line poems that he has styled ‘poettes’, inspired by the seascape and coastline, titled ‘IN SEA’. This is performed by a number of readers using a tape loop of recorded sea sounds to set the tempo – a form that drew its structural reference point from ‘In C’ and Terry’s pioneering ways of working. The piece had its public debut performance by John and Arts Live colleagues at the St. Ives Literary Festival, Cornwall in May 2018 and was very well received. John continues to develop the piece, exploring its variations and possibilities. Working with Al Heslop of Creative Control Studios and employing the voice talents of Hilary Harwood, Chris Lyne, Fiona Coffey, Maggie Robson and Clare Fleet, John has recorded several versions of ‘IN SEA’ which are available through his YouTube channel.
“John, I am happy that my work has been meaningful for you. Thanks for sharing this poem with me. It is great. It must be exciting to hear it read by different performers.“ – Terry Riley
If you’re inspired by ‘IN SEA’ to find out more about Terry Riley and his 1960’s contemporaries and collaborators a great place to start is Charles Hazlewood’s excellent ‘Tones, Drones and Arpeggios – the Magic of Minimalism’ series first broadcast on BBC TV. Go to charleshazlewood.com and follow the links.