I am in the final stages of completing my musical collaboration with Malene Sheppard Skaerved (Words) and Reed Thomas (conductor).  “A Richer Dust” is subtitled Symphony No.1 for Speaker & Wind Orchestra and is written and dedicated to Dr Reed Thomas and the Middle Tennessee State University Wind Ensemble. The work is just short of 50 minutes in duration and deals with the subject of mans inhumanity and bigotry to his fellow man – for me personally, this is a heartfelt project, poignant in an age of populist politics, xenophobia and negative-nationalism.


Here are several of the opening lines from Malene Sheppard Skaerved’s powerful words:

maimed civilians
killed, murdered
unknown numbers
soldiers missing too

horror      terror      violence      war


if only it was someone else’s son –

mother screams

listen to me –

war is the health of the state

dirtied      bloodied      stinking




Malene & Nigel look through the 1st draft of `A Richer Dust’


The title `A Richer Dust’ comes from a line in Rupert Brooke’s famous poem `The Soldier’`In that rich earth a richer dust concealed’. .

“A Richer Dust” will receive its world premiere in the spring of 2015 in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA.



Malene’s sketches for `A Richer Dust’