Recent Projects - 2014
Alun was principal percusionist with the RCM Philharmonic at the RCM, London and the Langley Park Centre for the Performing Arts, South Eden Park Road, Beckenham, under the baton of Peter Stark. The programme included Richard Strauss's Rosenkavalier Suite; Schubert's Symphony no 8 in B minor D 759 'Unfinished', Keiko Abe's Prism Rhapsody (soloist - Humphrey Leung); and the world premiere of Alex Nikiporenko's Fields (conducted by Rowan Baker).
Alun performed Tchaikovsky's magical Nutcracker Suite with the Kantanti Ensemble in St Alphege Church, Greenwich and to a sell out audience at St John Sub Castro, Lewes.
Michael Gordon's Timber at the 2014 Huddersfield Festival of Contemporary Music and at the RCM. Alun again joined members of the Aurora Orchestra and percussionists at the Royal College of Music to perform Michael Gordon's hypnotic concert-length work Timber.
Alun performed with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales as a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Wales in a collaboration project. The concert, at St David's Hall, Cardiff, was a Halloween Spooktacular full of family favourites including pieces by Saint-Saëns, Dukas, Grieg and John Williams.
Alun performed with Box9 Drumline, supporting the NFL UK Fan Festival at Regent Street London, and on Wembley Way in the build up to the match between the Miami Dolphins and the Oakland Raiders.
In a special concert focussing on Steve Reich's music, Alun performed his work Double Sextet with other members of the RCM. This iconic piece won the Pulitzer Prize for Music in 2009.
The UK Premiere of Michael Gordon's Timber at the 2014 Kings Place Festival. Alun joined members of the Aurora Orchestra's percussion section and percussionists at the Royal College of Music to give the UK premiere performance of Michael Gordon's hypnotic concert-length work Timber.
Scored for six amplified wooden Simantras, traditionally a Greek liturgical percussion instrument but in effect planks of 2x4 hardwood cut into graduating lengths to produce varying pitch, Timber is a complex five-part work which through a shifting of dynamics and accents from one instrument to the next, produces seamless and unified descending or ascending harmonic patterns.
Through the positioning of the six percussionists, and by shifting the rhythmic emphasis between players, Gordon creates a sweeping sensation of sound moving around the room as different harmonics and overtones mix together.
Michael Gordon writes of the meditative quality of the piece; "I thought of composing this music as being like taking a trip out into the desert. I was counting on the stark palette and the challenge of survival to clear my brain and bring on visions."
Alun performed with the Cardiff County and the Vale of Glamorgan Youth Orchestra on their Summer Tour to Italy. The programme involved Fantasia on Welsh Nursery Songs by Grace Williams and Symphony no 3 by Rachmaninov under the baton of their musical director Eric Phillips MBE. Concerts were in the Piazza Mazzini, Bastia Umbra; the Santuario Madonna dell'Uliveto, Passignano sul Trasimeno and the Basilica di San Pietro as part of the Musica dal Mondo Festival in Perugia.
Alun toured the UK with the National Youth Orchestra of Wales, Jac Van Steen conducted. The programme included Chris Painter's Bugles Sang (New Commission); Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique; and Strauss's Tod und verklärung (Death and Transfiguration). Concerts were performed at St Davids Cathedral (as part of the annual Fishguard Festival), The Sage Gatehead; St Asaph Cathedral and St David's Hall, Cardiff
Alun was principal timpanist with the RCM Philharmonic under the baton of Graeme Jenkins. The exciting programme, rounding off the RCM's orchestral summer season, involved two contrasting orchestral works from Russian masters. The glorious Mediterranean colours of Rimsky-Korsakov's Capriccio espagnol op 34, and Tchaikovsky's turbulent yet unfailingly melodious Fourth Symphony in F minor op 36.
Alun played with the Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Mahler 7 under the baton of internationally renowned conductor Bernard Haitlink.
Alun performed the following programme as his BMUS year 3 Recital:
◊Tchik by Nicolas Martynciow The piece, written in 2003, is one of the longest solo works for snare drum and features many different sections that each show the snare drum in a unique light. The title, Tchik, is an onomatopoeic word, and can be heard throughout the piece in different forms.
◊Pools by Don Grolnick, was written for the jazz fusion group Steps in 1979 to feature vibraphonist Mike Mainieri.
◊Nearly Not Quite by Dave Stapleton This piece was written for Dave's quintet and recorded in 2006 on "When Life Was in Black and White". Alun introduced into this piece a drum kit solo originally conceived by Max Roach and later embellished by Steve Smith, titled For Big Sid.
May 2014: Alun appeared with Sinfonia Cymru in a set of popular classics specially arranged to accompany street acrobats and fireworks as part of Newport's Big Splash Festival.
March 2014: Alun appeared with Sinfonia Cymru in their 150th Anniversary celebration of Strauss. The programme included Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, Op. 60, conducted by Gareth Jones with narrations based on the original Molière play by Richard Harrington, star of the acclaimed Welsh detective series Y Gwyll/Hinterland. The concert was performed at The Memorial Hall Pontyberem, Dora Stoutzker Hall, RWCMD Cardiff and The Riverfront Newport.
February 2014: Alun supported Michael Hall School, Forest Row, in their production of the musical version of Dicken's Great Expectations. This is a new adaptation by Nick Ormerod and Declan Donnelan by arrangement with Nick Hern Books. Julian Broughton was the Musical Director and the play was directed by Virginia Westlake, and the production was supported by professional musicians.
February 2014: Alun performed with Box9 Drumline, supporting the pre Superbowl XLVlll entertainment at The Slug & Lettuce, Leicester Square, London.
January 2014: Alun played with the Royal College of Music Symphony Orchestra in the Memorial Concert for Michael Gough Matthews. The programme, under the baton of Sir Roger Norrington, involved an historical setting of Symphonie Fantastique by Berlioz.