Countdown to Higgins Composition

Posted on September 20, 2010

Young composer Gavin Higgins blogs about his premier of `While Time Quietly Kills Them’ with Manchester Camerata on Saturday 25 September 2010.

 Composer Gavin Higgins   “The premiere of my new work for the Manchester Camerata is just around the corner and as usual I am starting to get nervous. It’s a strange process writing a piece of music. For weeks and months it becomes your life; The first thing you think when you wake up is the ‘new piece’, the last thing you think about when you go to sleep is the ‘new piece’, sometimes you even dream about the ‘new piece’. It’s all-consuming to the point of obsession. And then at the very end, contrary to popular belief, there is no celebration at its completion – I actually find it all a little sad. This thing that you have been obsessing over for the last few months of your life is ready to ‘leave home’.

You give your baby over to the professionals and they change the dots into real music. I’m always surprised to hear what’s been in my head for so long actually performed by living musicians, it’s like your baby has grown up!

The other concerning aspect of a premiere is you never really know how well the piece is going to sound. Sure, you have been living with these sounds in your head for weeks now and have tried your best to clearly and accurately transfer them onto manuscript paper for others to read , but the questions and nagging concerns still linger; have you made the right decisions? should you not have taken out that Piccolo solo? Will the Contra Bassoon sound menacing enough? Will the world stop spinning when they play the first chord?

The great thing about living in the UK is that the standard of music making is incredibly high. In fact one could safely say that the UK is the centre of the artistic world at the moment, so all my concerns and worries are somewhat unsubstantiated. With the quality players in the Manchester Camerata I am convinced the premiere will be a success.”

Read more about Manchester Camerata’s Mozart and Prague concert on Saturday 25 September