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Joseph Hillyard

In our Christmas concert 2014 we performed a newly commissioned piece - the "Garden Village Suite" by local composer Joseph Hillyard. The following is taken from the programme for that concert:

"Joseph Hillyard, born and raised in West Kirby, Wirral, is a current PhD candidate at Cardiff University writing music to evoke natural landscape seen via painting, photography or one's memory. He achieved distinction in 2012 for a Masters degree in Composition from the same university.

Joseph enjoys using his strong Wirral connection in his music, most notably writing A View Across the Estuary for Wirral Festival of Firsts in 2013. He has also collaborated with Liverpool based new music champions Inmix Ensemble and unique guitar band Ex-Easter Island Head. Outside Wirral Joseph is currently involved in the Berkeley Ensemble's New Cobbett Prize and was part of Cheltenham Music Festival's Composer Academy in July 2014.

The composer writes about the movements of his composition:

1: Christ Church

The hymn Rex Gloriae is the basis for this movement as it was written the same year Port Sunlight was founded, though I have added a pastoral flavour. Two important musical features of Christ Church are its organ and its bells (the lowest of which is tuned to F, hence the movement's key being F major). I attempt to capture the warm, yet variable sounds of the organ before combining its grandeur with the tolling bells for the end.

2: The Dell

Again, a pastoral feeling is present throughout this movement. However, lush, colourful orchestration dominates with a pinch of whimsy shining through.

3: The Art Gallery

For the final movement I wanted to recreate the impression of walking around the Lady Lever Art Gallery. You can pace slowly and softly around spacious rooms taking in the details of many different paintings, the impressions of which can vary dramatically. For this reason I have written a kind of collage with a drone to tie it all together. The atmosphere of this movement is predominantly sparse, which imitates a large, quiet room.

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