1OB to record the rasp of brass...

The 1st Old Boys Band is record the first work for the brass band medium by composer Anselm McDonnell.

  The composer's works are already featured on eight commercial recording releases

The 1st Old Boys Band (1OB) is to collaborate with composer Anselm McDonnell to record his first work 'Rasp' for the brass band medium.

Commissioned by New Music Dublin and 1OB, the original brass quintet received its world premiere at the New Music Dublin festival in 2022 and was subsequently scored for full brass band.

Now the opportunity has arisen to record it thanks to funding from the Help Musician's UK Recording Fund under the direction of newly appointed resident MD Philip Ferguson.

Creative projects

A band spokesperson told 4BR: "We are really looking to recording Anselm's work at Queen's University Belfast, Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC) and further creative projects.

It is a demanding and atmospheric work, but one that captures your attention form the work go."

Abrasive and compelling

Anselm McDonnell is a Belfast based composer who has written over eighty pieces for orchestra, chamber groups, choirs, soloists and electronics. His music has been performed worldwide by the likes of the London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, and the Crash Ensemble.

His output has featured on eight commercial CD recordings, and is described as having "an overall sense of anarchic freedom"and being, "abrasive and compelling".

His own second portrait album, 'Kraina', is scheduled for release in late 2023, and later this year he is to have a concert dedicated to his music performed in Bangkok.

The inspiration for the piece was an exploration of rough, rasping sounds on brass instruments and juxtaposing these with smoother effectscomposer, Anselm McDonnell


Speaking to 4BR he said: "The inspiration for the piece was an exploration of rough, rasping sounds on brass instruments and juxtaposing these with smoother effects.

It moves between sections of aggressive, spiky material and more gentle moments that combine rich chords with soaring melodies.

He added: "I had a clear idea in my head of the opening gesture, a descending growl in the trombone, and the material develops out of this moment, often returning to this gesture to launch the piece forward.

I'm grateful to Help Musician's UK for funding this recording project and delighted to be working with the band again, who have put so much dedication and detail into their realisation of the piece."

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