A note on : working with Robert Reid Allan w/ the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

Over the last few months I’ve had the pleasure to work with composer Robert Reid Allan for a new piece he is making with the BCMG, entitled Physical Education, as part of their apprentice composer in residence programme. The final piece he is making is performed in June:

https://www.bcmg.org.uk/Event/physical-education  A new work by BCMG Apprentice Composer-in-Residence Robert Reid Allan - Friday 21 June 2019, 7.30pm - CBSO Centre, Birmingham

Physical Education is a new work by BCMG Apprentice Composer in Residence 2018-19 Robert Reid Allan, in collaboration with filmmaker Sasha Balmazi-Owen and actor/dancer Richard Court.

My role is beautifully amorphous, and I hope all the more useful for that fact (certainly it is for me, I’ve learned considerably from Robert and the process, building on contemporary music work I’ve done with Philip Venables, Diamanda Dramm, et al). What Robert has been doing extends beyond his considerable work in composition and into text, poetry, language arts, and their fusion, with music, to themes of violence, cruelty, the adolescent body and institutional aftershocks (school in this case), and this is something I’ve been thinking / writing about for years. So it’s been a serious exploration between us, often about concepts and ideas, and pivotally, also about methodologies, about what music and poetry actually do, together and alone. I’ll have the chance to visit Birmingham for the performance and watch the final version of something I’ve had the privilege to watch gestate throughout 2019. http://www.robertallanmusic.com/