compositions

Charles composes music for percussion and computer with a focus on ensembles. He writes music from young beginner to professional level. These compositions are available as digital downloads including a recording of each piece.

Works for iPad Ensemble

Correspondences for iPad/Percussion Ensemble

Correspondences is a study in gesture across iPad screens and small percussion instruments. Written for an ensemble of flexible size performing in unison, each player chooses a set of four small percussion instruments to contrast with a musical iPad app that is common to the whole ensemble.

This work introduces three touch-screen gestures for interacting with the iPads inspired by percussion: tap, swipe, and swirl. With one hand dedicated to the iPad screen and the other performing on the percussion instruments, this work asks performers to examine the commonalities of gesture that are possible between percussion and computer instruments.

Duration: 6’30”

Correspondences was composed for Ensemble Metatone, a group dedicated to exploring performance with percussion and iPads. The premiere took place in August 2014 at the Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra, Australia as part of their Colour Music exhibition.

Gesture Study No. 1

Gesture Study No. 1 is an open-ended exploration of touch-screen gestures for an iPad ensemble of flexible size. The first notated iPad work written for Ensemble Metatone, it was premiered at the You Are Here festival, Canberra in March 2014 with an expanded ensemble of seven players.

Performance Notes:

  • Duration: 10′
  • Each bar should be repeated approximately 8 times (around 30”).
  • Each performer should choose their own number of repeats.
  • The notes give an idea of what should be performed in each bar and should be treated as approximate.
  • This piece is designed to be used with the PhaseRings app: metatone.net/phaserings

Pitches:

Approximate pitches are given around the three lines (high, middle, and low). You might like to advance setup at each rehearsal mark. If using, Metatone Classifier the setups should advance automatically in response to the different gestures.

Dynamics:

For swirls, the speed of the swirling changes the dynamics. For taps, you can play more loudly with a broader touch point (try finger tips for quiet, flat fingers for loud). For more dynamic contrast, try using the iPad volume control.

Gestures:

The iPad parts are written with three articulations to represent three touch-screen gestures. Staccato denotes a short tap, tenuto denotes a swipe for the duration of the note and a circle denotes a continuous swirling gesture. Where swirled notes coincide with tapped notes, one hand should swirl while the other hand taps.

Gesture Study No. 2

Gesture Study No. 2 is a written for 3+ iPad performers using Metatone iPad apps. This short piece contrasts the sounds of different gestural techniques on touch screens with shifting rhythmic cells.

This piece was first performed at the ANU School of Music Open Day 2014 and this new version has been prepared especially for the “iPads in Percussion Ensemble” session at PASIC 2014.

It’s free so try it out!

Advanced Solos and Ensemble Music

Nordlig Vinter Solo Suite

Digital download of PDF scores for “Ice Drum”, “Clusters”, and “Snow Bells” for vibraphone and the “Nordlig Vinter” iOS app. These pieces are semi-improvised and require an iPhone or iPad running the app for performance.

Contents:

  • Ice Drum (vibraphone and digital effects)
  • Clusters (vibraphone and digital effects)
  • Snow Bells (vibraphone and digital effects)

Even the Trees are Frozen

Digital download of PDF score to “Even the Trees are Frozen” from Nordlig Vinter, a duo for vibraphone and marimba.

This score is fully realised and ready to perform but includes chord changes in the parts so that players can loop sections and add solos as required!

This work was composed in April 2011 in Piteå, Northern Sweden. Having made it through a long cold winter, the days were getting really long and I used the extra time for recording new music at the marimba in our studio. I premiered this work with Christina Hopgood at Electrofringe 2011 in Australia, but have recently performed an updated version in Boston with Maria Finkelmeier - here’s the video

Walk on a White Path (duo + sextet)

Digital download of PDF score to “Walk on a White Path” from Nordlig Vinter. This includes both the duo version for vibraphone and marimba and the sextet version (vibes, 2 marimbas glockenspiel, xylophone, drumset).

This score is fully realised and ready to perform but includes chord changes in the parts so that players can loop sections and add solos as required!

Educational Music

Rebel Rock

An easy but exciting piece for seven or more junior percussionists in a classic pop-punk style. With a real song structure but only quarter and eighth notes, this work helps young percussionists get a handle on reading musical structure without causing their eyes to glaze over. The catchy tune will have them asking to practice it again!

Includes synthesised recording of the piece for reference and practice.