1:10pm - 2pm
Wednesday 18 May 2022

Lunchtime Recital: Samantha Muir

Samantha Muir, classical ukulele


PATS Studio One
PATS Building
University of Surrey
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Meditations on a Small Scale

• 3 Branles Adrian Le Roy (1520 - 1598)
Adrian Le Roy was a French musician, composer and music publisher who produced some of the earliest
known music for the Renaissance four-course guitar. Christopher Page, who has written extensively about
the social history of this instrument (The Guitar in Tudor England CUP, 2015), draws a parallel between it
and the ukulele. Both instruments are small guitars with just four strings and, although widely popular, both
have often been cast as musical rogues. As written by Page, in 1554, the Masters of the Merchant
Adventurers at Newcastle berated their apprentices for debauched behaviour which included drinking,
dancing, embracing loose women and ‘playing gitterns by nyght’.
A branle (also bransle, brangle, brawl, and bran) is a type of French dance first made popular in the 16th
century. The word stems from the French verb branler meaning to shake, wave, sway and swagger. The
perfect music for the tavern!
• A Conspiracy of Ravens Samantha Muir (b.1965)
1. White Raven
2. Blue Raven
3. Black Raven

A Conspiracy of Ravens comprises 3 pairs of pieces based on the old English ballad The Three Ravens, first
published in Thomas Ravenscoft’s Melismata of 1611. The melody is arranged in campanella style.
Campanella (small bell), a technique first used by Baroque guitar composers, places each note on a
different string to create novel over-ringing effects. The melody, which is stated 3 times in 3 different keys, is
followed by a variation. The work seeks to unite old techniques with new ideas. It was published by Les
Productions D’Oz in 2020.

• Blinter Samantha Muir (b.1965)
Blinter is a Northern Scots word described by Robert Macfarlane (The Lost Words) as ‘a cold dazzle…the
radiance of winter stars on a cold night’. The piece was commissioned by Giovanni Albini (Conservatory
Antonio Vivaldi, Alessandria) for the HighScore Festival 2021 and has been recorded by Da Vinci Classics.
• Meditations on a Small Scale (i & ii) Dimitri van Halderen (b.1973)
Dimitri van Halderen is a classical guitarist well known for his diverse repertoire and interest in both solo and
chamber works. He is currently a chamber music teacher and head of studies at the Conservatory of Music
in Salamanca, Spain. He has contributed an article on guitar technique to Soundboard magazine and was
invited to present a paper at the launch of the International Guitar Research Centre in the University of
Surrey (UK). Meditations on a Small Scale, his first work for ukulele, was composed for Sam in 2018 and is
published by Les Productions D’Oz.

• In Every Heart David John Roche
British-Welsh David John Roche is one of the most exciting composers of his generation. He was the first
person to read for a PhD in composition at the University of Cambridge and continues to build an
impressive portfolio of competition wins including first place in the 2021 Dante 700 Composition
Competition for Orchestra and second prize in the 2020 Tour Takemitsu Composition Competition. His
music is either bright, driven and celebratory or manic, detailed and harsh. In Every Heart, his first major
work for ukulele, was composed for Sam in 2020 and is published by Ukulele Modern.

• Parting Voices James Else
James Else is a composer, filmmaker and lecturer. He studied music at the University of Glasgow and
King’s College London, before completing a PhD in composition at the University of York with Nicola
LeFanu. He is active as a freelance composer including recent performances by the BBC Philharmonic (as
part of their Red Brick Sessions), Cuatro Puntos, Delta Saxophone Quartet, Ligeti String Quartet, Jeremy
Huw Williams and Ian Pace. James has had his music performed across the UK and Ireland, broadcast on
BBC Radio 3, and he also regularly composes television music for BBC Scotland.
This is the first performance of Parting Voices, commissioned by Donald Bousted (1957 - 2021).

Admission Free