Site Search


Other Resources
News Archive






Ian Wilson Interview

Posted on 02 February 2006. © Copyright 2004-2020 Composition:Today


C:T talks to Ian Wilson, one of the rising stars of Irish contemporary music. Ian has just signed a new publishing deal with Ricordi.

Ian Wilson
Tell us something about your background.

I grew up just north of Belfast, in Carrickfergus, started studying violin
aged 8 and then piano from 13. I studied music at the University of Ulster and started composing then, although I was also involved with a band I played in and wrote songs for at that time. The band fell by the wayside when I got more and more into composing. After my BA I stayed on to do a PhD, which was a useful experience both in terms of being able to really spend time writing and investigating what I was doing and where I was going, and also in that it gave me a taste for 'full-time' composing which afterwards was something I always aspired to.



How did you start composing?

I had wanted just to write something for a while and ended up setting a poem by a minor Irish poet for soprano and piano. Ugh! After that effort I used a pared-down serial technique for a year or two before I felt confident enough in my own ear to abandon that and rely more on my harmonic intuition. My first quartet, 'Winter's edge' (1992) is the piece I consider my first 'complete' work, not because it's flawless (far from it) but rather because it married technique with purpose, something which I felt my music had been lacking up to that point (with one or two exceptions). I feel I was both a late and a slow starter compositionally, but things moved on gradually during and after my PhD studies, and I began picking up commissions (from 1990 on). For 8 years I was an instrumental teacher (piano, stringed instruments) and occasional lecturer at various places, but gave everything up to concentrate on composing in 1998, since at that point I was doing mostly that anyway.


Who or what has influenced your style?

The two composers I normally mention in relation to this are Feldman and Shostakovich - the former for his wonderful ear for colour, and sense of balance for sonorities and the unfolding of events; the latter for his ability to communicate on an affective level with his listener. These are two qualities I aspire to in my own music. Having said that, I also remember specific occasions when I have heard a composer's work for the first time and been really transformed by it, from composers such as Reich and Tavener to Lachenmann and Ruzicka.

Where do your ideas come from?

Everything from geographical landscapes to the Bible, but above all, visual art from the last century - works by Klee, Miro, Newman, Arp, Munch, Rothko, Pollock, Twombly and Giacometti have all been inspirations for me. Life, too, is an inspiration - our common existence, rather than something particularly biographical (although I've mined that seam now and then, too). In the last few years I have returned to the notion of abstraction as an inspiration in itself, letting a particular instrumentation or musical gesture generate a whole piece.

Do you have particular techniques - ones you come back to again and again? Tell us a bit about them.

Not really - I try and come to the manuscript 'new' every time and hate the notion of 'style' as a required compositional personality trait. Having said that, I have been writing a linked series of works recently which share the same format and some aural characteristics, but that's an unavoidable short-term consequence of this particular project.

What advice would you give to a young composer just starting out?

Experiment a lot but ultimately try and write the kind of music you want to
listen to.

What are you working on at the moment

I'm in the middle of my 2nd chamber opera, 'Minsk', to a libretto by the English poet and novelist, and my long-time collaborator, Lavinia Greenlaw. It's for the Feldkirch Festival in Austria for premiere in may 2007. I'm also working on a piece for the National Chamber Choir of Ireland and the Rascher Saxophone Quartet 'in between scenes'.

Do you have a routine? A place that's special

I try and write every day between 10am and 2.30 or 3pm. The rest of the day I spend on admin or taking care of other things like the Sligo New Music Festival (of which I'm the director). I write in my study, at the piano, which is ideal compared to some of the places in which I have had to write in the
past (school assembly halls, arts centres). I also try and do my domestic share - helping with the homework, bedtime stories, that kind of thing (and dishes! I actually enjoy washing up because it's really the only time I get to
listen to music, everything from jazz to indie rock and classical).

Do you do other work as well as composing?

Not really - I'm involved in concert promotion in Sligo on the west coast of Ireland where I live, but that's out of interest more than anything else.

What are your plans for the future?

There is a series of works I'd like to write, including a clarinet concerto for Carol McGonnell in New York and an 80-minute piano work for British pianist Matthew Schellhorn.

You recently moved to Ricordi from Universal Edition. Could you tell us something about the reasons behind the move and what you hope to gain out of your relationship with Ricordi.

Well, without wanting to go into details, lets just say that it was time to move on, and Ricordi London were enthusiastic about me joining them. I'm pleased to be with a company which has been growing in a good way over the last 5 years and am hopeful that my work will find an appreciative home.


How can people find out more about you?

http://www.ianwilson.org.uk
http://www.ricordi.co.uk
http://www.universaledition.com
http://www.cmc.ie


Interview by Composition:Today © Copyright 2004-2020

Comments by other Members


Posted by :  Hal at 05:03 on 29 June 2006
I liked very much this interview.It is always inspiring for us composers, at least for me, to hear the voices of older composers. And for me specially, to see the work room of composers gives me a very good feeling. I have the sensation of expanding my own room into theirs and viceversa. I always wander: how others put their tables, papers, etc...? Please, make a section for work rooms only. Remember the impression Strawinsky´s room and stuff gave to others. Thank you.
Posted by :  Hal at 05:04 on 29 June 2006
I liked very much this interview.It is always inspiring for us composers, at least for me, to hear the voices of older composers. And for me specially, to see the work room of composers gives me a very good feeling. I have the sensation of expanding my own room into theirs and viceversa. I always wander: how others put their tables, papers, etc...? Please, make a section for work rooms only. Remember the impression Strawinsky´s room and stuff gave to others. Thank you.
Posted by :  KonnorRhett at 06:24 on 02 March 2020
Robin Holloway is an excellent composer, and listening to his songs with my https://assignmentman.co.uk/buy-assignment/ mates was a great time. I hope that more people will listen to his music, and appreciate it.
Posted by :  AdamKennon at 00:26 on 05 May 2020
[url=https://www.google.com]google[/url]
Posted by :  AdamKennon at 00:27 on 05 May 2020
https://www.google.com/
google
Posted by :  raymondkhatri at 06:29 on 04 June 2020
I am happy to find your distinguished way of writing the post. Now you make it easy for me to understand and implement the concept. Thank you for the post. [url=https://coinwill.net/]파워볼게임사이트[/url]
Posted by :  raymondkhatri at 11:57 on 05 June 2020
If you don"t mind proceed with this extraordinary work and I anticipate a greater amount of your magnificent blog entries. 
Les Privat SIMAK UI Jakarta http://lesprivatutbk.com
Posted by :  jamsebond0 at 13:55 on 15 June 2020
I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. <a href="https://hytaleonlineservers.com/hytale-server-hosting">hytale server list</a>
Posted by :  jamsebond0 at 18:25 on 15 June 2020
Extremely pleasant article, I appreciated perusing your post, exceptionally decent share, I need to twit this to my adherents. Much appreciated!.  hytale server list https://hytaleonlineservers.com/


Posted by :  jamsebond0 at 17:22 on 23 June 2020
Particular interviews furnish firsthand message on mart size, industry trends, ontogeny trends, capitalist landscape and outlook, etc. 우리카지노 https://sdec.co.kr/?p=2115/


Posted by :  jamsebond0 at 17:25 on 24 June 2020
You make so many great points here that I read your article a couple of times. Your views are in accordance with my own for the most part. This is great content for your readers. youtube downloader http://inyoutubedownloader.com/


Posted by :  jamsebond0 at 15:49 on 25 June 2020
I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. Bay Area process servers http://protectiveorder.com/get-in-touch/


Posted by :  jamsebond0 at 14:39 on 27 June 2020
I needed to thank you for this phenomenal read!! I unquestionably adored each and every piece of it. I have you bookmarked your site to look at the new stuff you post.pegasus uçak bileti https://www.rotaradar.com/pegasus-ucak-bileti


Posted by :  jamsebond0 at 14:39 on 27 June 2020
I needed to thank you for this phenomenal read!! I unquestionably adored each and every piece of it. I have you bookmarked your site to look at the new stuff you post.pegasus uçak bileti https://www.rotaradar.com/pegasus-ucak-bileti


Posted by :  jamsebond0 at 13:05 on 01 July 2020
I have added and shared your site to my social media accounts to send people back to your site because I am sure they will find it extremely helpful too. faux leather https://walterychina.com/what-is-faux-leather/


Posted by :  jamsebond0 at 16:04 on 01 July 2020
This is a great high resolution screen which you have shared for the users. Making a website is not an easy task but managing a good website is really a hard work. As far as this website is concerned, I am very happy. Room decor https://meandmyroom.co/


Posted by :  jamsebond0 at 19:14 on 01 July 2020
Extremely pleasant article, I appreciated perusing your post, exceptionally decent share, I need to twit this to my adherents. Much appreciated!.  TxtCart http://www.txtcartapp.com/


Posted by :  jamsebond0 at 10:10 on 03 July 2020
I found so many interesting stuff in your blog especially its discussion. Really its great article. Keep it up. how much does a laser hair removal machine cost http://www.prettylasers.com/products/diode-laser-epilation-machine/


Posted by :  romandavis at 07:39 on 04 July 2020
Ian Wilson is a great writer but now He is giving an interview in which he is telling us about his past life that is very interesting events. I am very impressed to know about his childhood and youth.
https://www.theacademicpapers.co.uk/dissertation-writing-services-uk.php
Posted by :  romandavis at 07:40 on 04 July 2020
Ian Wilson is a great writer but now He is giving an interview in which he is telling us about his past life that is very interesting events. I am very impressed to know about his childhood and youth.
[url=https://www.theacademicpapers.co.uk/dissertation-writing-services-uk.php]Dissertation Writing Service uk[/url]
Posted by :  jamseales0 at 07:56 on 04 July 2020
I have added and shared your site to my social media accounts to send people back to your site because I am sure they will find it extremely helpful too.
practice valuations http://arizonamedicalbrokers.com/
Posted by :  jamsebond0 at 02:50 on 05 July 2020
I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work appliance repair http://www.appliancerepairo.com/


Posted by :  jamsebond0 at 03:26 on 05 July 2020
I needed to thank you for this incredible read!! I unquestionably adored each and every piece of it. I have you bookmarked your site to look at the new stuff you post. FIFA 21 free coins https://fifa21-hacks.com/


Posted by :  jamsebond0 at 18:10 on 06 July 2020
I genuinely believed you would probably have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you can fix if you were not too busy looking for attention. After all, I know it was my choice to read.. Garden design Gloucestershire http://www.bespokelandscapedesign.co.uk/


Posted by :  jamsebond0 at 19:35 on 06 July 2020
Thanks for Nice and Informative Post. This article is really contains lot more information about This Topic.  Leather Wallets https://zanefashion.com/


Posted by :  jamsebond0 at 10:57 on 07 July 2020
This was a shocking post. It has some look at here fundamental data on this subject. garden http://www.bloominggardener.com/


Posted by :  jamsebond0 at 17:24 on 07 July 2020
I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. pegasus bilet sorgulama https://www.rotaradar.com/pegasus-bilet-sorgulama


Posted by :  jamsebond0 at 17:24 on 07 July 2020
I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work. pegasus bilet sorgulama https://www.rotaradar.com/pegasus-bilet-sorgulama


Posted by :  jamsebond0 at 10:21 on 08 July 2020
definately enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff of your blog a must read blog! kıbrıs uçak biletleri https://www.rotaradar.com/kibris-ucak-bileti


To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .