Compositions - Catalogue of Works

MUSIC BY JANE WELLS

 

ORCHESTRAL

 

Two Wings and a Prayer (2015) for string orchestra (minimum 4,4,3,2,1) AND a concertante solo string quartet (each part of the concertante may be doubled so that this forms and octet). Commissioned by the King's Lynn Festival for performance by the European Union Chamber Orchestra with young string soloists from the Norfolk County Youth Orchestra.  Further performances in the UK in 2015 and 2016 as part of Orchestras Live: 'Beyond The Preimere' series.  Duration c.10 mins.

 

Playing The Game (2004) for symphony orchestra, (3,2,3,2 with doublings; 4,3,2,1; minimum 10,10,8, 8,4; and 3 percussionists - 1 doubling sound sampler playback), performed by Essex Symphony Orchestra/Antoine Mitchell in Chelmsford. Dur.c16 mins. Commissioned by Making Music.

 

 

“…a fascinating exploration of the games of children – and grown-ups – play. Sampled playground shouts and laughter were woven into the fabric and the children’s voices also inspired the rhythms and the intervals of the music…” - Chelmsford Weekly News

 

Sea Change (1995) for chamber orchestra incorporating the instruments of a rock band (2,2,2,0; 0,1,1,0; 4,4,4,2; tenor sax, electric gtr, electric bass and 2 perc - 1 on kit). Arts Council bursary-funded. Dur.c15 mins

 

In These Places (1988) for alto saxophone and symphony orchestra (alto saxophone+3,3,3,3; 4,4,4,1; full strings; percussion/3 players), performed by John Harle/Norfolk County Youth Orchestra/Adrian Brown in St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich. Dur.c15 mins.

 

 

CHORAL

 

Air Kissing** (2000), for alto solo, male speaker, around 30-strong mixed chorus (ideally mixed ‘music-reading’ and ‘by ear’ singers), 3 saxophones and several mobile phones. Words by poet George Szirtes. Dur.c40 mins

 

To The Turning Of The Millenium (1990) for baritone solo, childrens choir and ensemble (2 cl, vln, pno, perc, tape) performed by Geoffrey Davidson/80 children/Ensemble X at Norwich Arts Centre. Subsequently performed in the King’s Lynn Festival. Dur.c22 mins.

 

………… AND pieces for adult singing groups where all parts are learnt ‘by ear’:

 

Stormy Nights/Spring Rain (2008), two short companion pieces in two parts. Settings of a child’s poem and translated Japanese haiku. First performed by the Big Heart & Soul choir. Dur.c3 mins.

 

Crossing The Line (2008), in three parts. Lyrics by Sarah Retallack. Performed as part of Norfolk Music Works’ ‘swimming pool’ project of the same name. Dur.c4 mins.

 

The Singing (2006) in four parts with violin. (Revision from 1989 piece of same name). Words by Siegfried Sassoon. Dur.c4 mins. First performed at a singing day with violinist Stephen Bingham.

 

Sneezing Song (2000), in three parts. Traditional lyrics. Various performances by singing groups in East Anglia. Dur.c3 mins.

 

Driving Slow (1996), in four parts. Lyrics by Sarah Retallack. Various performances by singing groups in East Anglia. Dur.c3 mins.

 

Just Sitting (1996), in three parts. Lyrics by Sarah Retallack. Dur.c3 mins

 

 

MUSIC-THEATRE

 

Here’s What I Saw (1997) for soprano, actor/singer, double bass/speaker, dancer, Bb/bass clarinet, ‘cello. Performed as half of a double bill by Intermedia East at Stamford Arts Centre as part of the Year of Opera and Musical Theatre. Text by Tony Baker. Dur.c45 mins.

 

 

SOLO VOCAL

 

Sometimes (1983) for soprano, performed by Eva Bruun Hansen at The Place, London. Dur.c4 mins.

 

 

VOCAL WITH INSTRUMENTS

 

Time Song*** (2008) for counter-tenor, recorders (treble/tenor) and ‘cello. Written for Nicholas Clapton, John Turner and Jonathan Price with funds provided by the RVW Trust. Part of Elis Pehkonen’s ‘Pied Piper’ CD recording project. Dur.c8mins.

 

Mondays Child* (1998) for soprano, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, viola, ‘cello, double bass and percussion. Dur.c12 mins.

 

One To Another * (1992) for soprano, clarinet, bass clarinet, viola, ‘cello, double bass. Written for Mary Wiegold and the Composers’ Ensemble as part of her song book. Lyrics by composer. Dur. c4 mins.

 

The Singing (1989) for soprano, clarinet, alto saxophone and audience voices. Performed by Mary Wiegold and instrumentalists at the Wells Arts Centre, Norfolk, and at Dartington Summer School. Words by Siegfried Sassoon. Dur.c5 mins.

 

Artemis (1986) for soprano, flute, guitar and piano/woodblock. Performed by Primavera at The Place, London. Dur.c4 mins. Also available in a revised instrumentation (2009) for soprano doubling woodblock, recorder and harpsichord performed in Theberton, Suffolk.

 

On And Off The Maps (1984) commissioned by Intermedia for soprano, Bb/bass clarinet, guitar, trombone and double bass with two video tape playback. First performed in the 2nd Festival of Performance at South Hill Park Arts Centre, Bracknell. Subsequent performance in the Brighton Festival. Made in collaboration with video artist, Steve Hawley. Dur.c24 mins.

 

There Is A Light (1981) for soprano and piano duet performed by Alison Horriben at the British Music Information Centre. Dur.c6 mins.

 

Under The Redwood Tree (1979) for soprano, 2 clarinets, ‘cello, double bass and percussion. Performed in the ICA MusICA series by Karen Jensen/Lontano/Odaline de la Martinez. Words by Elizabeth Smart. Dur.c15 mins.

 

sturdily put together and logically proportioned........” New Statesman

 

Reflection (1977) for 3 voices (soprano, mezzo, alto), flute, Bb clarinet, cor anglais, violin, viola, ‘cello, percussion. Performed at the Guildhall School of Music, London by the Park Lane Music Players/John Carewe. Words by Thomas Hardy. Dur.c9 mins.

 

 

INSTRUMENTAL

 

Edging The Rounds (2015) for double bass and piano. Commissioned by the Ida Carroll Trust for performance in Manchester by Alex and David Jones.  Duration c.4 mins. 


Relay (2012): 5 related short pieces for string quartet, brass quartet, brass duo, violin and tabla duo, and 'cello solo commissioned for performance by musicians from the Britten Sinfonia in five central Norwich heritage buildings on the day of the arrival of the Olympic torch in the city. Duration of the whole c.15 mins.

 

About (2012) for flute, saxophone, trombone and piano for Sounds Positive.  Duration c.6 mins. 

 

The Speaker Is Drowned Out (2011) for trombone and percussion (suspended cymbal, two toms, 2 temple/jam blocks, chromatic glock, bass drum, small gong/pan, football rattles). Dur.c4 mins. Composed for Hoofbeat Streetband.

 

Occasional Dancing (2009) for treble recorder, commissioned by John Turner for inclusion in a Grade 8 level publication of solo recorder pieces. Dur.c4 mins. First performed by John Turner in Aldeburgh, Suffolk.

 

Five Storyteller Studies (2009) for solo oboe. Extracted from music for The Storyteller film (see below). Dur.c3 mins.

 

On The Hoof (2008) for soprano and alto saxophones, accordion, trombone and percussion. Composed for Hoofbeat Streetband. First performed in the Dereham Festival, Norfolk. Dur.c2’.

 

Recline (2008) for two trombones, extracted from the dance work of the same name (see below). Dur.c4 mins

 

Mathmatrix (2007) for saxophone quartet. Written for the Regis Saxophone Quartet. Dur.c6 mins.

 

In Search of the Perfect Third (2006) for violin and electronic ‘effects’. Written for Stephen Bingham. Dur.c4 mins.

 

Air Field (2005) for soprano/alto saxophones (1 player), electronic ‘effects’ and recorded sound playback. Commissioned for, and performed at, Seething Air Field, Norfolk by the composer as part of a multi-art form project. Further Halesworth Festival 2007 performance with choreography by Caroline Mummery. Dur.c18 mins.

 

Choose Me** (2003) for 2 soprano saxophones featuring approximate quarter-tone tunings. Also a version for 1 soprano saxophone and recorded playback performed by the composer at The Loft, North London. Dur.c6 mins.

 

Above and Below (2002) for soprano saxophone, ‘cello and keyboard (featuring quarter-tone tunings) composed to be played alongside the showing of mixed media artwork by Bob Billington. Performed by On The Edge Ensemble in a concert at Salthouse Church, North Norfolk. Dur. c9 mins.

 

Times Be Fragile (2001) for six or seven performers playing violin, guitar or viola and cello, double bass, piano or keyboard, tuned and untuned percussion. Performed by Original Signature in a Rural Arts East tour, Norfolk, as part of the Year of the Artist. Dur.c10 mins.

 

People and Places* (1995) for a flexible trio eg flute, viola, ‘cello or violin, viola, ’cello. Commissioned by the East of England Orchestra for use in their education programme (the three movements can be played separately - c3 mins/5 mins/4 mins). Whole work dur.c12 mins.

 

Ultramarine* (1991) for alto saxophone and electronic ’effects’ (‘echo’ plus modest stereo sound system). Performed by Original Signature as part its Rural Arts East tour (see Times Be Fragile above). Dur.c6 mins.

 

Wherever Next *(1990) for flexible trio eg soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone and piano (or trumpet, bass clarinet and piano, or oboe, basson and piano). First performed by Sounds Positive at the Purcell Room, London. Dur.c4 mins.

 

Take It In Turns (1982) for four clarinets with doublings. Commissioned by The Entertainers Clarinet Quartet and performed at Goldsmith’s College, London. Dur.c12 mins.

 

The piece explores the potential of the instruments imaginatively” Music&Musicians

 

Composition (1980) for clarinet quintet commissioned by the Worfield Charity Concert

Trust . Performed on a number of occasions including at the Norwich Festival, and in BBC Radio 3 broadcasts by Ian Mitchell with the Amphion String Quartet. Dur.c13 mins.

 

Duet (1979) for piano duet. Performed at the October Gallery in London by Michael

Finnissy and Peter Lawson in an SPNM Forum and Recording. Dur.c8 mins.

 

none of the pieces proved less than thoroughly accomplished....” Telegraph

 

Jack-In-The Box (1978) for flute, clarinet, viola and ‘cello. Performed in the Purcell Room by

Gemini/Peter Wiegold as part of an SPNM concert. Dur.c14 mins.

 

there was an intriguing semi-theatrical piece by Jane Wells....” Guardian

 

 

CHILDREN: CHORAL AND INSTRUMENTAL

 

Sneezing Song (2000) see CHORAL.ADULT SINGING GROUPS above. Commissioned by West Walton Primary School in Norfolk for their senior choir of children and adults. Dur.c3 mins.

 

Spirit of the Castle (1994) for voices and piano. Written as a framework song for a creative project involving over 100 children at Norwich Castle Museum. Lyrics by the composer. Dur. c4 mins.

 

World Round (1988) for voices, keyboard, bass guitar and drumkit. Commissioned by Litcham Primary Schools Federation. Words by Sandy Wilson. Dur.c4 mins.

 

Music for Recorders and Percussion (1987) for variable sized descant/treble/tenor recorder ensemble and drum/cymbal (I player). Commissioned by the Kings Lynn Saturday morning school. Dur.c4 mins.

 

 

MUSIC COMPOSED AS PART OF THEATRE, FILM, DANCE AND PUPPETRY PRODUCTIONS

 

Psyche Open the Box (2013 revision of earlier work) for saxophone, small percussion and effects for a film written and directed by Meg Amsden for Nutmeg Puppets 

 

Invisible Cities (2011 revision of earlier work). Collaged soundtrack (of old 78rpm recordings and found sounds) for an adult puppet show devised and performed by Meg Amsden.

 

I See You See I See Me (2010) music for soprano and alto saxophones and keyboard. Commissioned by DanceEast for JS Youth Dance Company and choreographer, Caroline Mummery. Dur.c8’.

 

John Knowlittle (2007) music (voices and violin) and soundtrack for a puppet show toured extensively to an elderly audience by Nutmeg Puppets. Puppets by Meg Amsden.

 

Don Quixote (2002), incidental music (singers, guitar, lute, keyboard and percussion) for a full evening play directed by John Harrison with the Open Stage Company and performed at the Auden Theatre, Holt, Norfolk.

 

The specially composed music was wonderfully evocative and beautifully played...” EDP

 

Electra (2001), music (saxophones, metal percussion and electronic ‘effects’ unit) closely integrated into a small-scale full evening production directed by Andy Naylor of the classic play. Performed River Studios, Westacre, Norfolk.

 

A Butterfly Rover (1998), music (live voice and recorded percussive score) for a puppet show toured extensively to an elderly audience by Nutmeg Puppets. Puppets by Meg Amsden, script/direction by Boris Howarth.


The Storyteller (1993), music (oboe and found sounds) for a short film shown in Anglia TV’s First Take series, first screened 1994 Cambridge Film Festival. Written/directed by Kate Polak.

 

Haughmond Dances (1990), music (soprano, baritone, adult and child choirs, brass quartet, keyboard, percussion) composed with dance/overall direction by Rosemary Lee. Performed as an out-of-doors, site-specific event in Shrewsbury with a cast of over 200.

 

H.U.P. (1987), music (soprano/tenor saxophone, viola, ‘cello, keyboard) devised in collaboration with choreographer, Sue MacLennan, and visual artist, David Ward. Half-evening work performed by Sue MacLennan’s Occasional Dance Co at the Bluecoat, Liverpool, on tour and at Riverside Studios, London.

 

Ideas.....were the inspiration of the choreographer and the composer. They have both come up with contributions which are strange but attractive, quirky and lively. These
build from tiny units, a gesture or a note, into sequences which each explore individual moods or themes, and which shape themselves into a cohesive, convincing and
pleasing whole” The Times.

 

The Scattering Matrix (1985), music (saxophones, keyboard, tape) composed in collaboration with musician, Edward Pillinger, choreographer, Sue MacLennan and video artist, Peter Anderson. Commissioned by Intermedia and performed as a whole evening’s work at the ICA, London, in a Dance Umbrella Festival. Word extracts from Virginia Woolf and Fritjof Capra.

 

The music of Jane Wells and Edward Pillinger was outstanding.....” New Dance Mag

 

Recline (1984), music (tape of vocal, instrumental, and ‘found’ sounds) composed for choreographer, Shelley Lee and Basic Space Dance Theatre. First performed at the Edinburgh Festival as part of a full evening’s dance programme, then on tour.

 

Working It Out (1983), music (performed live by one player doubling C/Bb/bass clarinets, soprano/alto saxophones with tape) commissioned by Ludus Dance-in-Education Company and first performed in Wigan by musician, Edward Pillinger, then on tour in GB and abroad.

 

De Gas (1981), music (oboe and tape) commissioned by choreographer, Ian Spink, for his company and played by Christopher Redgate. Broadcast on Channel 4 TV, toured in Great Britain, performed in New York and later taken into the repertoires of Second Stride and Basic Space Dance Theatre.

 

Jane Wells’ score, for recorded tape and on-stage oboist, is equally good; Christopher Redgate’s happy participation in the action reinforces the effect of his playing” The Times

...set to a witty score for oboe and dripping water.....” New York Times

 

Five Sided Figure (1980), music (small percussion) composed in collaboration with Mark Turner and Peter Wiegold. Commissioned by the Rosemary Butcher Dance Company and performed by the composers at Riverside Studios, London. Part of a full evening of dance.

 

Dances For Different Spaces (1979), music (electronic tape of treated voice) commissioned by the Rosemary Butcher Dance Company and first performed in a church in Paris. Part of a full evening of dance.

 

 

*Metier label MSV CD92043 Occasional Music / Composers Ensemble / Peter Wiegold

 

**promotional CD Three composers living in East Anglia

 

***Campion Cameo label CAMEO 2082 Pied Piper / John Turner and Ensemble