Howard Skempton (b. 1947) — Recessional (1983) for organ
English composer, pianist, and accordionist Howard Skempton (b. 1947) has been active since the 1960s, beginning his work in experimental music through his association with the Scratch Orchestra (which he founded with Cornelius Carew and Michael Parsons). The ensemble performed experimental works by American composers (such as La Monte Young, John Cage, and Terry Riley) alongside works written by the members. Skempton’s music is generally characterized by an extreme economy of means, with a concentration on sonority and harmony. The construction processes are usually drawn from the experimental tradition (and chance procedures), though the musical result is most melodic, consonant, and often radiantly triadic. Skempton has cited influences from Satie, Cage, and Feldman. Beginning in the 1980s, he is written increasingly for traditional forces, and his orchestra work “Lento” (commissioned by the BBC in 1990) won him wide acclaim.