Patrick Nunn

Patrick Nunn

Patrick Nunn studied with Frank Denyer at Dartington College of Arts and with Gary Carpenter at the Welsh College of Music and Drama returning once again to Dartington in 1995 to study with the Dutch composer Louis Andriessen. He is currently studying with Professor Simon Bainbridge on a doctoral course in composition at the Royal Academy of Music supported by a 2007 PRS Foundation Scholarship. He also studies with Jonathan Harvey, and Tod Machover.

Nunn's work is often collaborative-based working with a broad spectrum of disciplines including film, theatre, dance, sculpture and performance art. He has been commissioned by diverse performers as Ballet Rambert, Icebreaker, Piano Circus, The Gogmagogs, Mark Simpson, The New London Children's Choir, PM Ensemble, Ephyra, Sub Divo and Charlie Barber & Band to name just a few. His work has gained many prestigious awards including the RCM Rarescale award 2004 for Into My Burning Veins a Poison, the Composing for Children prize as part of the BBC's Fairest Isle festival in 1995 for Songs of our Generation, the Gregynog Award 94 for Colour Cycle, and more recently the British Composers Award 2006 in the solo/duet category for Mercurial Sparks, Volatile Shadows. His work Gaia Sketches was nominated for the British Composers Awards 2006 in the new media category and his work Escape Velocity for accordion and string quartet has been nominated for the chamber category for 2007.

Nunn’s latest work investigates the meeting points between sonic worlds such as in Läuten (commissioned as part of the South Bank Nono Festival conducted under Diego Masson). In this work, the analysis of inharmonic tones of bells from Cologne Cathedral are realized acoustically through microtonal pitches within the instrumentation. His work Escape Velocity for accordion and string quartet similarly explores the concept of transference through the converging and exchanging of musical and timbral properties between the different instruments. The work was premiered at the Royal Academy of Music, London and was followed by a performance at the Queens Hall ‘Diamanten’, Copenhagen where it was recorded live for Danish radio. His work Gaia Sketches for solo cello and live electronics incorporates the extraordinary Hyperbow developed by Diana Young at MIT affording new possibilities of intuitive and musical connection between the performer and the live electronics.

Other works that follow a similar approach with electro-acoustic elements include his Coalescence for solo clarinet with electronics and Gonk for solo bassoon and tape (competition piece for the Florence Woodbridge Bassoon Prize at the Royal Academy of Music). His miniatures Music of the Spheres for piano and planets incorporate a backing track of audibly adapted ion-acoustic waves taken by the NASA spacecraft Voyager. Written for Thalia Myers, their success led to the commissioning of a new work for violin and backing track and will be published by the ABRSM as part of their spectrum series next year. Forthcoming work include a new commission for Mark Simpson (BBC Young Musician/Composer 2006), a new work for orchestra and a work for harp and electronics exploring spatial transformations based upon swarm intelligence and features as part of the British premiere of Nono’s Prometeo (South Bank, May 08). He has recently been selected as part of the BMIC's New Voices scheme for young composers.

Selected Compositions

* "Lullaby", (1987, Rev.1998) for children's choir (ss) and piano
* "Sonata", 1990 for flute and piano
* "Polychrome Musique" (1991) for large ensemble
* "Colour Cycle" (1994) for violin and piano
* "Merry Go Round" (1994) for large ensemble
* "Songs of our Generation" (1995) for children's choir and orchestra
* "Man Made" (1995) for large amplified ensemble
* "Bakers Dozen" (1995) for flute and guitar
* "Rents" (1996) for counter tenor and guitar (electric/acoustic)
* "Screw" (1996) for large amplified ensemble
* "Down In the Underpass" (1998) for children's choir and small ensemble
* "Raw Fuse" (1998) for large amplified ensemble
* "Cruise" (1998 rev. 2007) for small ensemble
* "Un Chant D'amour" (1998) for chamber ensemble
* "Sprite" (1998) for solo piccolo
* "Hell Bent inside the Be Oven" (1999) for large ensemble
* "The Oxen" (2000) for children's choir and small ensemble
* "String of Pearls" (2000) for clarinet, violin and piano
* "Black Strokes 1" (2000) for violin and piano
* "Eid Milaad Saeed" (2000) for solo clarinet
* "21st Century Junkie" (2001) for six pianos
* "Hextych" (2001) for small ensemble
* "Sleek Silver Symbols" (2001) for soprano saxophone, electric guitar, bass guitar and percussion
* "Maqamat" (2002) for quarter-tone alto flute
* "Un Chant d'amour" (2003) for Piano - 4 hands
* "Into my burning veins a poison" (2004) for quarter-tone alto flute, piano and tape
* "Gonk" (2004) for bassoon and tape
* "Shest Bulgarski Pesni za Detstvoto" (2005) for children's choir and small ensemble
* "Music of the Spheres" (2006) for piano and planets
* "Gaia Sketches" (2005) for cello with Hyperbow and live electronics
* "Escape Velocity" (2006) for accordion and string quartet
* "Mercurial Sparks, Volatile Shadows" (2006) for alto flute and piano
* "Coalescence" (2006) for clarinet, live electronics and movement sensors
* "Transillient Fragments" (2007) for violin and piano
* "Fata Morgana" (2007) for cello with Hyperbow, ensemble and live electronics
* "Lauten" (2007) for small ensemble
* "Prism" (2008) for bassett clarinet and piano
* "Shoaling" (2008) for harp, live electronics and movement sensors


*Gregynog, Wales (1994)
*BBC Radio 3 Composing for Children, UK (1995)
*Rarescale, Royal College of Music, London UK (2004)
*British Composers Award (Solo/Duet), UK (2006)
*Alan Bush Award, Royal Academy of Music, London UK (2008)


* [ Webpage]


* [ Composing for Hyperbow - NIME 2006, Nunn, Vassiliev, Young]

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