Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures

School of Music

Marc Yeats

PhD Candidate in Composition

Crewkerne, Somerset

Composer

I am a self employed composer of abstract contemporary classical music and visual artist with a catalogue of 180+ works, many published through Alexander Street Press and 29 years experience with commissions, performances and broadcasts internationally including the BBC Philharmonic, Tokyo City Philharmonic, Gerwaudhaus Radio Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and BBC Radio. I also work as a GPS-triggered, user-mediated mobile app designer, installation producer, workshop leader and project manager with SATSYMPH LLP, have been an artistic assessor for Arts Council England, and have an interest in maintaining and promoting mental health and wellbeing, especially through active participation in the arts.

I am represented for worldwide management as a composer by Noel Music Management.

Biography

Marc Yeats is an internationally respected composer and visual artist whose compositions have been performed by the most noted of orchestras and ensembles across the globe. These include UK companies such as The London Sinfonietta and The Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Philharmonic and the Halle Orchestra and Chorus. Further afield, Marc’s work has also been performed by the Tokyo City Philharmonic, the Atlanta-based, Chamber Cartel, and many others. His compositions have gained great acclaim through many radio broadcasts for the BBC and also been broadcast in many other countries including the US, Germany and New Zealand.

Marc’s relationship with the BBC is both strong and enduring, starting with a BBC Scotland performance by the Edinburgh String Quartet more than 20 years ago. His first orchestral work – I See Blue – conducted by Martin Brabbins, received much acclaim when first performed around the same time. This led to specific BBC commissions, including a piano concerto to open Piano 2000 in Manchester, with Kathryn Stott as soloist, and a solo harpsichord piece Rhema, performed by Mahan Esfahani and broadcast in 2010 by BBC Radio 3 from the Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall in Leeds.

Selection as one of just 10 to attend the legendary Hoy Summer School in 1994 brought Marc into contact with the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. At the completion of the course, Max was keen to support and promote Marc’s work, and conducted his first commission with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra at the St. Magnus Festival in 1997. He and Marc continued to share ideas, and Max took a great interest in Marc’s visual art and compositional work with mobile technologies and a range of asynchronous structural approaches to composition.

Marc is excited to have recently been appointed composer-in-residence to Yeovil District and Dorchester County Hospitals, a position he has also held with other UK and US organisations. Work such as My Blood Is As Red As Yours (an orchestral and choral piece commissioned by the Halle to celebrate World Aids Day in 2008 and performed at the Bridgewater Hall) and recent work, such as shapeshifter and the observation quartets continues to enhance his reputation as a leading contemporary composer.

Marc is now managed by Noel Music Management, and his many works continue to be performed and broadcast to enthusiastic worldwide audiences.

Research Interests

Current research:

The Sum Of The Parts: Building a game-changing methodology for composing and performing conductor-less, scoreless, asynchronous music for orchestra.

Total asynchronous music for orchestra is conductor-less and scoreless with musicians performing simultaneously independent material at different speeds. Without the conductor, the composer forms a uniquely direct relationship with the musicians, enabling the composition of music that is tailored for each individual orchestral voice with new possibilities in writing dense, multi-tempi, multi-layered music that redefines current orchestral practice and rebalances expressive rigour, structural coherence and flux in complex orchestral music. Working in collaboration with the newly formed Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra, my research will build and test new methodologies and repertoire in this undeveloped area of composition.

Asynchronous composition: My current interests in composition involve creating fluid music that simultaneously brings together fully notated musical lines in differing tempi, fixed against time code, that enable performers to reference their relative positions during performance. This asynchronous compositional approach explores the relationships between control and flexibility, as well as virtuosity and structural cohesion, resulting in performances that are always iterations of my compositional intention. They also produce a slightly ‘out of focus image’ that whilst being recognisable, shifts in its material contextual relationships, yielding results that are always similar but slightly different as each iteration becomes a fixed rendition of the piece in its own right. As such, my practice has developed through an interest in delivering complex musical structures without a conductor, in part, through giving players the freedom to approach technically challenging ensemble music within an achievable, understandable, flexible and expressive time code performance format. In this context I have found that time code supported flexibility allows me to reach a satisfactory compromise between my desire for exact structural control and what is humanly possible without a conductor, to achieve a desirable musical outcome with minimal structural drift that fulfils my creative intentions.

Potential research overlaps and collaborations include:

  • western classical performance practice,
  • orchestral hierarchies and orchestral culture,
  • the orchestral player as soloist, the role of the score and conductor in orchestral performance,
  • performance and the perpetual iteration,
  • asynchronous music notation software development,
  • asynchronous modeling,
  • managing flux,
  • structure and control,
  • the observation and modeling of animal behaviours such as swarming, shoaling and flocking, as compositional elements in an asynchronous performance environment.

 

 

Research Projects & Grants

A comprehensive list of commissions, grants and awards can be found here: http://marc-yeats.co.uk/blog/awards-prizes-commissions-and-memberships/

 

Professional Practice

A full list of compositional works can be accessed here: http://marc-yeats.co.uk/works/

Examples of recent compositions [publications/research]:

Publications: Sheet Music:

Recordings:

  • Yeats, Marc, CD: stillness in movement, An Tuireann Art Centre, Portree, (2004)
    Yeats, Marc CD recording track on compilation album, Mad canary Solo Piccolo, Mosaic Chrisina Ledford, DC Baby, US (2008) https://www.amazon.com/Mosaic-Cristina-Ledford/dp/B001F5I8EO
  • Yeats, marc CD Recording track on compilation album: Child to the Black Faced Night (2014)– Bass clarinet and piano – SCAW – Timeless Shades https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?ie=UTF8&field-artist=Marc+Yeats&search-alias=music
  • Yeats, Marc, Dedicated CD: The Shape Distance, (2015) Chamber Cartel , Atlanta US  https://chambercartel.bandcamp.com/album/the-shape-distance
  • Yeats, Marc CD Recording track on compilation album: Dark Gravity (2016) for Reed Trio and Percussion – Gelachter Trio with Caleb Herron – Tailwind Oboe Classics: CC2032 Presto Classics http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Oboe+Classics/CC2032
    http://www.prestoclassical.co.uk/r/Oboe+Classics/CC2032
  • Yeats, Marc, CD: The Anatomy of Melancholy (2017) Marc Yeats/Prima Facie Records UK, (2017)

A comprehensive list of commissions and awards can be found here: http://marc-yeats.co.uk/blog/awards-prizes-commissions-and-memberships/

Links

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