“Music has always been around me in some form or another, so it was natural for me to study it. I began by studying classical guitar at the Welsh College of Music and Drama, and freelanced for several years after gaining performing diplomas before studying for my undergraduate degree at Cardiff University. My interest in composing was sparked off by a memorable concert of Boulez’ “Le Marteau sans Maitre” while I was there. However, my most important compositional influence was through attending Dartington Summer School at the time in the 1970s, when Sir Peter Maxwell Davies taught there. This showed me the depth, rigour, creativity and professionalism which was required of such artistic endeavors. It was after this that I began to have pieces performed.
I continued with a Master’s degree from Goldsmith’s College in London and during this time received performances of my music from ensembles such as Singcircle, Lontano, Hilliard Ensemble, Music Projects London, both in south Wales and in the London area. Another important influence for me was attending a weekend composition course at the Aldeburgh School of Advanced Musical Studies when Sir Harrison Birtwistle was tutor.
I have learned and understood the language of music, but it took some time for me to be certain of my own style and artistic viewpoint, and this was because I had always felt a need to be expressive of those normal human emotions that had been present in so much music of the past, and which most often attracts us to music in the first place. At the same time however, I felt that modernism had thrown out many important musical characteristics that were of great value, and particularly the excitement of the rhythmic complexities that can be found in twentieth century music, and also its rich harmonic palette. But it was the narrative element of this time-based art, that seemed so important to much of the music of previous composers, and that continued to attract me, so I seem to have tried to build upon the past rather than reject it, and incorporate an expressiveness into music within a contemporary language. This, to me, is one of the challenges that faces us today, together with the familiar problem of making music relevant to listeners and to move them musically in some way; to draw them into the world that the music creates, and appeal to their intellect through their emotions.”