Thursday, 16 April 2009

Welcome to my new site!

Welcome to my new website! I hope you'll enjoy the new features which include a more comprehensive audio section, this interactive 'news' page and a paypal facility for the purchase of signed CDs and scores. There is also more information about my work for film and television, and the facility now exists for regular updates to the news and information pages. So, do watch this space...

The end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009 has been very exciting for me. It has just been confirmed that I am to complete The Highgrove Suite for HRH The Prince of Wales. This began as a single work for harp and string orchestra and was performed on the Prince's 60th birthday at the Floral Hall, Covent Garden. The harp part was written specially for the Royal Harpist Claire Jones who has not only become a great friend but also plays the harp with such finesse and artistry. My thanks go to Owain Arwel Hughes and the Philharmonia strings for supporting Claire on that occasion. The piece I wrote was inspired by the gardens at Highgrove and is called Goddess of the Woods. It depicts that part of the garden known as the The Stumpery which is pervaded by such a feeling of magic and mystery, and the statue of the Goddess of the Woods seems to emanate warmth and majesty to the garden in its entirety. It is a great honour to have the opportunity to write pieces about three other parts of the garden, though I still have to decide exactly which these will be.

My choir Conventus has joined forces again with The English Chamber Orchestra for the recording of our latest album Song of Songs. The choir is now five years old and, with the help of its new manager Rob Johnston, is going from strength to strength. This time, we asked the stunning soprano Elin Manahan Thomas to join us. Elin's voice is so pure and rich and seems to perfectly match the clean textures of the music. She interpreted my brother's words with real integrity and emotion and I'm sure you will all be delighted with her performance. Most of the new album was recorded in December at St. Gile's Cripplegate (next to the Barbican) and then we moved to Rochester to work with Roger Sayer who is organist of the Cathedral. We spent four hours on a Friday evening listening to Roger make that mighty instrument talk, drawing out so many colours and effortlessly providing the first definitive recording of the Toccata. This piece means so much to me since I wrote it in the weeks following my father's death and it really does seem to capture something of his exuberant and fun-loving personality. Mike Hatch and the team at Floating Earth did a sterling job in capturing the sound of the two buildings, and my thanks goes out to them for their commitment, expertise and advice. I'd also like to thank Steve Long and the two Matts at Signum records and Alex Van Ingen for his outstanding work as producer. Like me, he is painstaking in his efforts to make sure everything is correctly in place and that we have drawn the very best out of our gifted players and singers. His input has been invaluable.

Some of you will have been present at last year's premiere of Lazarus Requiem at the Cadogan Hall. A recording of this work is planned for later this year and we are offering supporters of my music the chance to invest in the recording. See LAZARUS REQUIEM for more details. An album entitled The Essential Patrick Hawes is also underway for release in November. This contains some of my film music and two pieces performed by Julian Lloyd Webber. The first, Gloriette was premiered at Leeds Castle last year and the second is a new arrangement of Reflexionem which you may remember from my first album Blue in Blue. There are also new pieces featuring the saxophonist Christian Forshaw, the tenor Thomas Walker and, of course, Elin Manahan Thomas. More details about The Essential Patrick Hawes will be available in the summer.

It only remains for me to thank my family, my friends and you my supporters for all the encouragement you give me. A composer is nothing without his audience and, for me, the audience will always come first. I also want to thank Pauline Gilbertson at the English Chamber Orchestra, my manager Paul Wing and Rod Steele for creating this great new site for me.

Happy listening!