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Be nice to see you

8 mins, string quartet and recorded sound

"an intriguing yet strange work, and somewhat disturbing"
    -- Planet Hugill

Summer 2019 I recorded my phone calls with my parents and wrote music around their voices. The result was a 7 minute piece for string quartet, recorded voices, and field recordings made around my London and Hartlepool homes.

Mixing personal phone calls, real-world sounds and composed music, Be nice to see you is a portrait of nostalgia and family, playing out through the voices of my parents.

Originally intended as a more general look at Hartlepuddlian speech and story-telling, Be Nice To See You gradually became a more personal project as it developed, concentrating just on the phone calls with my parents. Revealing only the parents’ side of the conversation, and fragmenting that speech, the listener is left to concentrate on the creative turns of phrase, and the musicality of the voices as they interact with the instrumental music.

Be nice to see you celebrates the skill and creativity to be found in day-to-day speech, expressing homesickness, and the desire to renew connections with where you’re from.

The string quartet was Ligeti Quartet, and the piece was written for New Creatives North. New Creatives is supported by Arts Council England and BBC Arts. Listen to it now on BBC Sounds.

The piece has also been recorded by The Solem Quartet on their debut disc. Listen here.

 

William Marsey: Be Nice to See You by William Marsey on Scribd

 

Past performances
  1. The Frankland Quartet are playing Be nice to see you, live and on livestream. Tickets here.

  2. The Frankland Quartet plays 'Be nice to see you' at Berwick Music Series.

  3. Available on BBC Sounds, listen here

News

    Sep 2021

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    Solem Quartet Four Quarters out now!

    Solem Quartet's new album is out today. It's fantastic and I'm very glad to be included: my track setting phone calls home is on alongside stuff from Thomas Ades, Cassandra Miller, Purcell, Kate Bush. Happy company. Listen / buy here. 

    Sep 2021

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    Solem Quartet album out soon

    The Solem Quartet have programmed my Be nice to see you on their debut album, out in a week. The album is structured around Thomas Adès' great The Four Quarters, and I'm up alongside some of my fav composers. Check it out, pre-order here.

    Nov 2020

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    Be nice to see you on BBC Radio 6 Music

    My piece for string quartet and my parents' voices was broadcast on BBC Radio 6 alongside other works from the New Creatives programme. You can listen to it here until 22 December 2020.

    Jan 2020

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    'Be nice to see you' out now on the BBC

    My short piece for string quartet and recorded sound just went live on the BBC Sounds website. 

    This was written for New Creatives North, played by the Ligeti Quartet, with phone and field recordings by me.

    Listen now on BBC Sounds. Or, find out more about the piece here.

    Sep 2019

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    New Creatives North commission

    After recording string parts with the Ligeti Quartet earlier this week, and mixing a final draft on Tuesday, I've finished a piece called Ee well for the New Creatives North scheme, incorporating field recordings, new music for string quartet, and a load of illicitly recorded phone conversations with my parents. Online soon.

    Aug 2019

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    Listenpony #19, new piece for Ligeti Quartet

    Looking forward to this great lineup - Joseph Havlat, Ligeti Quartet and Ana Silvera! I'll be writing a piece for Ligeti Quartet, and there'll also be music from Freya Waley-Cohen and Josephine Stephenson, and new pieces from Egidija Medekšaitė, Rūta Vitkauskaitė and Joseph Howard. Tickets here.

    Jan 2019

    ·

    Listenpony 2019

    Listenpony's 2019 is pretty much fully formed: 28 Jan, 29 May, and 26 Sep. We're working with some exciting people this year -- check it out at listenpony.com.