Hugh Shrapnel (b. 1947) — Meditation No. 1 (2001) for organ
English composer Hugh Shrapnel (b. 1947) was born in Birmingham and educated at the Royal Academy of Music where he studied with Norman Demuth and Cornelius Cardew. In the late 60s and early 70s, under the influence of Cardew, Shrapnel became engaged in the experimental music tradition. He was part of the first performances in England of iconic works by Terry Riley and La Monte Young and was an active member of Cardew’s Scratch Orchestra as well as other experimental groups such as the Promenade Theatre Orchestra. From the mid-1970s on Shrapnel became increasingly drawn to various popular musical traditions both from the British Isles and abroad; these included rural folk music, music hall and jazz which have made an indelible mark on his music ever since. Over the years Shrapnel has sought to combine these influences with aspects of the experimental tradition in many different ways in his music. Throughout the 1970s, Shrapnel taught music in secondary schools in Birmingham and London. In the 1980s he taught composition and song writing in evening classes at Goldsmiths College, London and Sutton College, Surrey.