State 1 – Tennessee
Nigel travelled recently with writer Malene Sheppard Skærved to Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA to work with Dr Reed Thomas and the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) Wind Ensemble on `A Richer Dust’ (Symphony No 1) for Speaker and Symphonic Wind Orchestra. ‘A Richer Dust’ explores what it means to live with violence and extremism, the constant companions of human history. The intertwined text and music, ideas and images, weave together voices ranging from those of historically significant figures through to the voiceless, ordinary people living in extraordinary times. For Nigel this was an exhilarating experience witnessing his 50 minute plus epic come to life combined with Malene’s powerful words. H Stephen Smith lent his voice a dramatic reading of the text.
During their stay at MTSU the University recorded `A Richer Dust’ for future CD release. The recording engineers led by Zak Denham made themselves available throughout our visit, taking notes on how best to capture the piece that presented several large issues.
Reed Thomas said publicly on social media:
Nigel with Paul Christopher (Cello professor at Northwestern State University)
Paul gave a wonderful rendition of Nigel’s solo cello work `Spectroscope’ during his stay.
Nigel holding Jeffrey Matthews extra-large score of `Earthrise’
An short extract of Harmen Vanhoorne (Cornet) giving the premiere of Nigel Clarke’s `Mysteries of the Horizon’ (IV. The Discovery of Fire) with the University of St Thomas Wind Ensemble under the baton of Matthew J George on 17th May 2015.
Harmen Vanhoorne recording a short section from my concerto `Mysteries of the Horizon’ (I. The Menaced Assassin) under the baton of Matthew J George with the University of St Thomas Wind Ensemble
Harmen Vanhoorne recording a short section from my concerto `Mysteries of the Horizon’ (III. The Flavour of Tears) under the baton of Matthew J George with the University of St Thomas Wind Ensemble