Monday, 26 September 2011

GORDON McPHERSON - COMPOSER

From the plettie to the plateau - so is the story of Gordon McPherson.
Gordon was born in Dundee in 1965 and studied composition at the University of York in the 80's.
His particular take on composition isn't the kind of cliched material you'd normally associate with in the world of classical music. No highbrow themes such as Greek mythology cropping up in his work, instead, Gordon prefers to have his compositions reflect ordinary real life experiences, or as he puts it - "Never write about Brazil if you've never been to Brazil". So as a consequence, his works are based around subjects such as cars, computers, getting drunk, relationships, and so on. Musically he can be inspired by such diverse sounds as country & western, Bavarian herding calls, punk, chamber music, all sorts of genres of music absorbed. This mixture of ingredients filtering through into his compositions has the end product as much humorous as they are discordant. You can get an idea perhaps from some of his titles - "Handguns" - "On E" - "Impersonal Stereo" - "Cash"....to name just a few. They don't exactly conjure up a comfy night out at the Proms!
Gordon's music is often heard in Scotland, with his work performed on his home turf too. For example, some local references - he composed the music to celebrate the 200th anniversary of The Battle of Camperdown. He also wrote the music for the opening of the DCA. There have been collaborations with other Dundonians such as for Don Paterson's play "The Land Of Cakes" at the Rep, and with guitarist Allan Neave, for the Dundee International Guitar Festival.
Then there are the commissions from the BBC, festivals and ensembles all around Europe, and if that's not enough, he also teaches at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama, as well as lectures at St Andrews University.
That brief insight into Gordon McPherson, I think confirms, that he is indeed, on a higher plane!

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