Luz Mala

for 4 Kingma alto flutes (2021)


Luz Mala (Bad Light) is a well-known folkloric myth of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay. It consists of the nocturnal appearance of a bright light that hovers low above the ground and is mainly seen in the countryside. It may remain motionless, move, or in some stories, chase the terrified observer at high speed, emitting a scream of pain and terror. Legends say that these luminescent lights are souls in pain who are wandering the earth for having suffered a violent death and in demand of justice. There is also the belief among countrymen that when a bad light chases a person, it is a death omen for the persecuted.

Sea Tangle

for 8 voices (2018)


Yea, let the Sea with all therein, with joy both roar and swell: The earth likewise
let it begin with all that therein dwell
Psalm 98

Tangle and hair, I weave ye,
Fast to the rock, I weave ye,
Tangle and gold, I weave ye,
Fast to the rock, I weave ye,
Tangle and gold, tangle and gold,
Gold unto gold, I weave ye,
Fast to the rock, I leave thee 
Traditional Hebridean song

I wanted to write a piece that displays the influences of traditional Gaelic Psalm singing from the Hebrides of Scotland. I find the use of a free heterophonic texture creates a sound word that is strangely hypnotic, relaxing, unsettling and otherworldly. I wanted to compose a similar atmosphere for Sea Tangle.

A Contract with the Earth 

for tenor and bass clarinet (2014) 


It is not true 
That we came to live on the earth 
We came here only to dream 
We came here only to sleep. 
Our real home lies in the Land of the Fleshless 
Giving life for life 
A contract with the Earth 

My heart rises 
I fix my eyes upon you 
O Giver of Life! 
My life shall revive 
My heart will be refreshed! 
Giving life for life 
A contract with the Earth 

My life shall revive 
My heart will be refreshed! 
Giving life for life 
A contract with the Earth 

(Text compiled from 14-16th century Aztec codices)


for string quartet (2017)


The concept of the Magnum Opus is the alchemical process of turning base metals into gold, but can also be an allegory for spiritual transformation, self-realisation and fulfilment of purpose. I was interested in how this alchemical transition has been used as a symbolic representation of the individuation process: complex process of synthesis of the Self which consists mainly of the union of the unconscious with the conscious. 

This alchemical process originally had four phases, with a different colour representing each transformation. I found the changes of colour an interesting theme to try and depict musically and felt that the string quartet would be well-suited to illustrate this, as it can vary from homogeneity to heterogeneity. I also believed that this concept would benefit from being a large one-movement work to explore the gradual change in colours and texture. In Jungian psychology these divisions are important stages in the individuation process, which I will describe below, along with notes I wrote while structuring the movements. 

Nigredo (a blackening) 

Description: putrefaction, decomposition, chaos, melancholia and spiritual death. "The darkest time, the time of despair, disillusionment, envious attacks; the time when Eros and Superego are at daggers drawn, and there seems no way forward."

Section 1: bars 1 - 56 

String techniques: multiple stops, Bartok pizzicato, trilling, tremolo 

Texture: homorhythmic, dense, dissonant, violent, frequent tempo changes, unpredictable, unison. 

Albedo (a whitening) 

Description: the washing away of impurities. The goal of this portion of the process is to regain the original purity and receptivity of the soul. It is a phase where "insights into shadow projections are realized and inflated ego and unneeded conceptualizations are removed from the psyche." 

Section 2: bars 57 - 122 

String techniques: senza vibrato, glissando 

Texture: pure, delicate, simple, distant, otherworldly, homophonic, pedal 

Citrinitas (a yellowing) 

Description: "yellowing of the lunar consciousness, dawning of the solar light inherent in one's being." Multi-coloured. Rebirth. Carl Jung likened this to the archetype of a wise old man. 

Section 3: bars 123 - 154 

String techniques: pizzicato, glissando pizzicato, Bartok pizzicato 

Texture: building in colour, increasing in density, mosaic, optimistic, kaleidoscopic, polyrhythmic. 

Rubedo (a reddening) 

Description: alchemical success and the end of the great work. Rubedo represents the culmination of the four stages and the merging of ego and Self. "Consciousness and unconsciousness have unified and an individual discovers their true nature." 

Section 4: bars 155 - 206 

String techniques: Harmonics, sul pont 

Texture: broken chords 

The Boat of a Million Years

for orchestra (2018)


In ancient Egyptian mythology, the Sun God Ra was believed to traverse the sky each day and night in two solar barques. His journey began at sunrise on the 'Mandjet' boat (The Boat of a Million Years) which was described as 'glorious in its trappings, with colours of amethyst, emerald, jasper, turquoise, lazuli and the lustre of gold.'1 Ra journeyed on the 'Mesektet' boat from midday, and in the darkest of hours descended into the 'Duat'2 (Underworld) where he encountered the snake God 'Apep' and a battle ensued. The defeat of Apep by Ra allows the sun to rise the next day, and Ra once again begins his journey at Sunrise on the Mandjet boat for the cycle to continue perpetually.