Howard Skempton (b. 1947) — Nature’s Fire (1994) for organ
“Nature’s Fire” (1994) was commissioned by the Warwick Arts Society with funds from the Warwick Arts Foundation to commemorate the tercentenary of the Great Fire of Warwick. The catastrophic 1694 fire was influential on future developments in architecture and fire safety.
English composer Howard Skempton (b. 1947) was born in Cheshire and was a protégé of Cornelius Cardew with whom he studied privately and at Morley College. Skempton was one of the co-founders of the Scratch Orchestra, an ensemble devoted to the performance of experimental music of the late 1960s and early 1970s. In addition to an extensive compositional output, Skempton has worked as a music editor and a performer (piano and accordion). His musical style draws on an economy of means in both its material and realization. While many of his works were miniatures, over the decades his language grew to accommodate larger structures, while maintaining his careful focus on sonority and non-developmental forms. His orchestral work “Lento” (1990) won wide acclaim and placed him within the mainstream of contemporary British composers.
Published by Oxford University Press