COMPOSED BY MATTHEW OLYVER AND JACOB BRIGHT
Here’s a small sample of this magnificent score which took 3 years to complete.
I have written for numerous orchestras, ensembles and individuals including the Slovak National Symphony Orchestra, the Heath Quartet, CHROMA ensemble, CoMA London Ensemble, Ensemble Mirage, pianist Joseph Havlat, and recorder player Tabea Debus.
My piece for viola and piano, Altair, will shortly be performed by Timothy Ridout at the Gasteig in Munich and will broadcast live on German Radio. My music has been played in festivals in the UK such as the Dartington International Summer Music Festival, The Spitalfields Music Festival and the Colchester Lightbulb Festival.
My role as composer for Iris Warriors took me on a journey through the colourful universe that Roydon had created for the ballet which formed the basis for Don’s screenplay. Everything I did started with one overarching goal – to write music that responded with absolute precision to the events in the script, while retaining clear, accessible and recognizable character based themes.
Writing this score has helped me to conceive and realise a score that could tell the story of an often-complex narrative with complete clarity for virtually any audience. The incredible scale of imagination and passion within the project will influence everything I ever write in my life.
I first fell in love with music – real music – when I was taken to a jazz club in Harlem during a holiday to New York. It was the first time I’d seen a double bass and it had a lasting impression. The size of it was overwhelming and it seemed so much more interesting than, say, the violin or piano. Once we got back to the UK I started learning how to play.
At university I played with a jazz sextet and produced records, and started specialising in composition in my second year. By my third I was joint majoring in writing and studio work, and later completed an MA in Composition. I’ve subsequently worked on projects for Channel 4, BBC, BT Sport, and a had short stint working for the Top Gear franchise.
Working on Iris Warriors tested me both as a writer and a producer. The chance to work on a piece of this length and complexity is rare indeed, as was the awareness that our music would inform the entire performance. Apart from the script, the score was the first thing to be written, and was used by everyone from the choreographers and dancers to the costume department as part of their template for their work. To see the dancers bring the music to life was an experience I will never forget.