Prof Camden Reeves

Professor of Music

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Research interests

I am a composer of concert music. I have written for orchestral, chamber and vocal forces. In recent years I have become particularly associated with the piano. Many of my scores are published by Edition Peters and much is available in the form of commercial recordings.

My musical influences stem initially from that of European and American Modernism. In my early 20s I sought to combine the intricate rhythmic processes of Ligeti, Birtwistle and Carter with the post-serial harmonic approaches of Boulez and Lutoslawski. From my late 20s onwards I became concerned with large-scale formal strategies and with counterpoint. My acquaintance with the music of Sibelius, whilst studying at the Sibelius Academy in 2001-2002, was a turning point. From Sibelius I developed an interest in organically unfolding structural processes and a dynamic relationship between foreground and background. This later inspiredan exploration of complex counterpoint (things moving in different layers and at different rates) which I began to relate to a growing interest in the music of Nancarrow. In parallel with this, has been an interest in modern jazz (especially Bill Evans) and blues-based rock.

Extra-musically, I tend to seek inspiration from nature: both organic and inorganic. I have written many pieces inspired by aquatic organisms, jellyfish and squid in particular. But in recent years, a growing interest in cosmology has led to a relationship between music and nature that is more abstract and even philosophical.  In the dimensions of space you can stay relatively still, move forwards, backwards, up or down or sideways, and at different speeds. Things are not quite the same with time - we have so little freedom there. And it is music's relationship with time that fascinates me. Music is more inextricably bound to time than any other art form; it dictates what you experience, when you experience it and for how long. My recent work confronts music's relationship with time quite directly: from the relationship of pitches (which is how we experience relative periodic frequencies in time) to the timing of events across large-scale structures.


Research and projects

No current projects are available for public display