Solo composer to piano soloist

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A glimpse of something new: the music of pianist Alexander Chapman-Campbell

Talented pianist and composer Alexander Chapman-Campbell will be giving a piano recital at St John the Baptist church, Wittersham, on Saturday November 15. The pieces he will be performing are his own compositions.

Chapman-Campbell’s debut album for solo piano, Sketches of Light, has launched him from solitary composing into the spotlight and, he hopes, reflects the “ephemeral and unbound” nature of his music. The album was recorded in 2012 at St George’s Bristol, a Greek revivalist church known for its fantastic acoustics, and produced by the award-winning classical engineer and producer Philip Hobbs.

The following autumn, the recording was discovered and championed by Classic FM, where the CD became “CD of the week”, with pieces from it played each afternoon.  The young musician went on to sign a deal with Decca Records in the spring of this year and his music – which has been described as “maybe a glimpse of something new” – has appeared  across radio and TV, including during the BBC’s coverage of Wimbledon and the Commonwealth Games.

Born in Guernsey in 1988 into a family of artists, Chapman-Campbell moved at the age of seven to the hills above Dunblane in Scotland.  At 12 he started improvising on the piano, working original passages into the standard exam pieces set by his teacher. His own music was always a secret: “In sixth form I’d be doing my Bach harmonies,” he says, “but still writing privately behind the scenes.  I never wanted to mix the two.  I didn’t like the thought of my music being marked or measured in some way.”

Although Sketches of Light were written as individual pieces, the effect is of a single work divided into 12 movements.  The 12-song cycle functions like a movie of the mind, or a wordless animation – each arpeggio and tonal shift triggering a subtle change in mood.

The Wittersham church choir will also be singing extracts from Karl Jenkins’s The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace.

Tickets, £10, from Rev Judy Darkins (01797 270227), Gillian Kirk (email) or at the door. The programme starts at 7.30pm and drinks and nibbles will be available during the interval.

201411AlexPianist