It’s Career Day at Little E’s school and I’m introducing the Reception class to the wonders of contemporary music and the work of a composer. For most of these children, I am the first composer they’ve met “for real life” and, surprisingly, also the only one they know. Their eager minds, free of the history-soaked stereotypes, listen with open ears as they imagine their older selfs in my shoes.

Explaining how you get into this line of work, I am reminded that I didn’t always wear composer pumps – in fact I was well on track to fill the century-old business-minded Kontz-clan shoes, in hindsight a much better fit for my brother’s disposition! Instead I jumped feet first into the London music scene, awash with shoegazing Generation X’ers sporting retro winklepickers, platforms à la Ginger Spice and neon brothel creepers. Twenty years on and I’m still walking in these boots.

Not Just Any Wellies – Bring Nokian Gumboots!

Kartenspiel, my pocket-sized domino-inspired work for solo violin will have its Finnish première performed by Eriikka Maalismaa at Pekka Kuusisto‘s exciting Meidän Festivaali on Tuesday 25th July at 5pm. I hope I can lure some of my Finnish friends away from their summer houses to join me at this festival on Lake Tuusula, north of Helsinki, where a community of artists, including Jean Sibelius, have settled since the 1890s.

Slippers VS Birkenstocks

A Certain Sense of Order – On the Poetry of Anne Sexton, a new pocket opera developed collaboratively with tick tock will have its world premiere at this year’s Tête-à-Tête Opera Festival at RADA Studios, London on 10th and 11th August, 8.15pm. It’s an intimate space, so secure your tickets now if you want to see it! Here is the trailer. More information here or phone RADA for tickets on 020 7908 4800.

Choose A Pair Of Negative Heels And Press Pause

Sit back and enjoy my recent Tea Break For Juliet as an online experience, also featured on I Care If You Listen TV. The work was originally commissioned as a tape piece and recorded by soprano Juliet Fraser in order to give her the opportunity to put her legs up for a little moment within a demanding solo program – and thus yield the limelight on stage to flowering tea. Listen with headphones or on a nice stereo to appreciate Husky Höskulds’ mix and let the sound of eight Juliets permeate your ear canals.

If you want the track in your music library, it is available to purchase on iTunes released on the new Dinner With Daisy off-shoot label, Now For Norbert. And finally, as an alternative to Juliet’s solo performance, a printed version of the score in eight parts suitable for live performances for small and large SA choirs and groups will be published in October by Noutefabrik and can be pre-ordered now.

Fancy A Run In My Shoes?

A Younger Theatre recently published my article Women in Opera: Is It All Skimpy Nighties, Or What? A holiday read for you perhaps?

Fact: The Boots That Neil Armstrong Wore On The Moon Are Still Floating Around In Space

I welcome you to my new website where you can discover my entire catalogue of works and all sorts of information which, as of today, will be floating around in cyberspace forevermore. This complete overhaul has been in the making for a good few months, and I am delighted that the website has now officially launched! So kick up your heels and click away!

For all I know, the Reception children have been left thinking that the field of composition is dominated by women like me. To be honest, I did drop a few names of male composers too. In Years 1 and 2, it appears that Bach, Beethoven and Mozart got to the kids first. Fair enough! The next day, I hear “Mummy, all my friends want to do your job when they grow up.” Oops. Long may it last! One clever clogs asked me perspicaciously how I manage to earn money with “this sort of thing” (his words, not mine). I guess this is where the shoe hurts. I like to think that I’m not trying to shoe the goose, but I do wish I had a pair of Theresa May’s legendary footwear which know the secret way to the magic money tree… But for all the hard work, I will soon be spending a few easy moments in the sun, totally barefoot!

’til next time,