Crossing 2

Crossing 2 sees the development of the composition Crossing written for the Polaris Duo and electronics, premiered in July 2019, commissioned by the Uppermill Summer Music Festival and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Crossing 2 continues the exploration of the theme of borders and how and when to cross them through composed and improvised music, imaginative staging, and by bringing in spoken texts extracted from Thomas Nail’s 2016 philosophical book Theory of the Border.

The texts were performed by 3 RNCM vocalists in a musical setting of the Polaris Duo (saxophone and harp), three ensemble harps, percussion and live electronics, conducted by myself. We used the full potential of the performance space, including resonant percussionist instruments placed on the balcony above the audience, played by the vocalists when they got up from their seats and went out on a patrol into the public spaces of the conservatoire, a kind of ‘border in motion’ inspired by Nail’s theory.

Immediately after the performance there was a lively audience discussion where I and the performers discussed the themes of the project, Nail’s text and the performers’ experience, hosted by RNCM Senior Lecturer, Dr Adam Swayne.

Audience responses from the performance comment on the piece being highly imaginative and creative, inspiring and uplifting.

Duration of performance: 35 minutes.

Date of première: 1st November, 2019. Royal Northern College of Music. Manchester, United Kingdom.


Polaris Duo: Gillian Blair and Elinor Nicholson

Vocalists: Lucy Farrimond, Georgie Malcolm, Philip O’Connor

Ensemble: Alice Roberts, Jess Hughes, Kathryn Mason, Amy Chan

Conductor and live electronics: Gavin Wayte

Composer: Gavin Wayte

Crossing 2 is supported through Research Funding from the Royal Northern College of Music

Text extracts from Thomas Nail’s Theory of the Border (Copyright OUP, 2016) are reproduced with permission of the Licensor through PLS.