Blogs and thoughts

I am only an Arrow 


‘You that give life to this planet. You that transcends logic, come, I am only an arrow.’- RUMI

In 2022 I wrote a piece for the BBC Proms called 'A Thought on Futures'. The Proms asked the question, ‘What will happen to humanity over the next 100 years?’

I felt that if we speak to truth, we know there is a need for change, in all aspects of our lives. It is within each one of us to see the future and to find our way back home.

The piece moves between life on earth today with all the issues we face as humanity with the possibility of a better way forward as we move towards 2122.

It was premiered at the  BBC Proms on 30th July, 2022 by the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Alice Farnham with Zoe Brookshaw, Soprano.

The Words for 'A Thought on Futures'.

Speak the truth, Light the way, Onward, You and I, Find the way

Create a soul, Speak to truth, Find the way, Going back home, Silence is broken, You and I, Going back home

Speak the truth, You and I, Going back home

I came across the poet and painter Etel Adnan. I loved her prose for the Serpentine Gallery, London 2020 - focused on their fiftieth-anniversary event looking at the future of the earth. I feel it gives a similar message, and would definitely recommend a read!

'I wish we could get back the natural rhythms of the world. We live by natural lights. We can rise just when the birds start to sing. Then go to bed with the sun. Sink into our dreams. If we need more time, use candles, like Plato must have done in his philosopher's cave. Back to earth may well mean back to shadows. Follow with our eyes the flickering of shadows on the walls. We will need more bees than electric planets. I will root for candle lights and sunshine. That will be a good start.

A More than Human World 


Should we look at nature as something that lives alongside us, rather than simply for us?

Recently I've had to travel along main highways in the UK which are having major upgrades. I've seen mile upon mile of diggers ploughing up the fields & trees to make way for more concrete.

It reminds me of a verse by Blake

'The Tree, which moves some to tears of joy, is in the eyes of others, only a green thing which stands in the way. As a man is, so he sees.' William Blake. 

All humans and even corporations have rights. But what about the landscape, the trees, the hills, and the lakes that are being destroyed to make even more highways, airports, hotels, retail parks, etc?

In 1972, Christopher Stone, a professor of law published an essay, 'Should Trees Have Standing?'. He argued that if corporations can have personhood, why not natural entities? 

His students laughed at him, but I can't help but think that he must be right in at least a partial sense. 

We all know of special places - a hilltop, a certain tree, a certain landscape. It's time we reframe our relationships with these places and the way we perceive them. 

A Piece for the Duchess of Kent's 90th Birthday 





Video and Press Release: 


Charity founded by Duchess of Kent releases film of memories to celebrate her 90th birthday 

Wednesday 22nd February

The charity Future Talent has today released a video to celebrate the 90th anniversary of The Duchess of Kent, capturing memories of her work with the charity since she co- founded it in 2004. 

The video is set to a piece of music entitled Beauty will save the world, dedicated to the Duchess in honour of her birthday by young composer, pianist, and harpist Maddy Chassar-Hesketh (17) from Shropshire. Future Talent has supported Maddy for three years, and with their help she has been able to study at Purcell School of Music and the Royal College of Music. Her music has since been performed at Wigmore Hall, Maida Vale Studios, and the BBC Proms among many others. 

Future Talent’s mission is to unlock the potential of young musicians from low-income backgrounds across the UK. The Duchess of Kent was inspired to set up the charity because of the children and young people she met while working as a music teacher for 13 years at a primary school in Hull. 

The newly released film includes audio of her explaining the story behind the charity in her own words, “The start of Future Talent initially was all about these children... wonderfully talented children with the ability to get right to the top in their career and no options open for them whatsoever. Somebody had to find those stepping-stones... that pathway, climbing that wall and onto something. If they believe in themselves, they can do it and we will help them do it.” 

Composer Maddy Chassar-Hesketh said, “Happy Birthday to HRH The Duchess of Kent. Thank you for your work for the musicians of tomorrow. I hope you like my piece. The advice and help of Future Talent has made a huge difference in my music making.” 

Nicholas Robinson, Future Talent Chair, who co-founded the charity with the Duchess of Kent said, 

“On behalf of the Trustees, I send Katharine all our love and very best wishes for a happy birthday. Your passion for music and helping young people has touched so many lives over the years and you are an inspiration - thank you!” 

New Moon of the Seasons Live BBC Concert Orchestra Watford Colesseum 



Commissioned by the BBC for the BBC Concert Orchestra

The first performance of What We See in the Stars was given by the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Hugh Brunt, at Watford Colosseum, on 13th April 2021. The piece follows the cycle of the Moon through the seasons. The Moon is associated with the ebb and flow of both the physical and non-physical. 

I wanted to create this sense of gradual energy change in the piece through the long-sustained chords that reach out to silence... And then return. The cycle starts and ends with the Winter Moon. During the piece, the music travels through the 4 seasons. 

The Little Stretch of Purest Sky 



This is from my 2022 album 'From Galaxies to Cells & other tales from Across the Universe' 

Album Notes... 

‘I have gone out into the wilderness, fleeing from the works of men, to recover the sense of eternal beauty. What contentment there lies in this free abandonment of the voice of nature? Do you find the external, the world of experience in which you move, confirming the needs of your soul? Or do you see the darkness, the horror and the smoke only, and not the little stretch of the purest sky? Then revolt and again revolt until beauty spreads across your horizon’. 

Beauty Will Save the World 



This is taken from my 2022 album 'Galaxies to Cells & other tales from across the Universe'. 

Album notes; 

‘This was the religion of the poet and the artist, so must it be ours. That it was now left to the creative arts to stand at the frontiers of life; to guard its happiness, and to preserve its sanctuary. Beauty precedes Freedom. Beauty will save the world.’ 

Rainbow over Mountain 



This was a winner at the BBC Radio 3, 30 Second Composition Competition in 2020.

It's a meditational piece for solo harp 

The beginning and end of the piece evoke the raindrops falling out of rhythm as the shower slows to a halt.

The middle section hopefully evokes a sense of wonder in the listener. I feel the harp lends itself perfect to the depiction of raindrops. 

It was inspired by a rainbow in the Welsh Hills. 

There is a version also played by Louise Martin, Harpist with the BBC Symphony Orchestra below:  - Louise Martin – Harp, BBC Symphony Orchestra

All Roads Lead to the Sea 



This piano motive I wrote aged 13 - this recording is the original.

The stream was outside our house - that's the stream in the background along with the birds in the valley.

All the streams of Wales are heading towards to sea - in their own way!

I think I will use this riff in a piece at some point :) 

The Light in Dark Clouds 


There is always light - even behind the darkest clouds.

I wrote 'The Light in Dark Clouds' in 2019 whilst still at Birmingham Conservatoire.

It's a meditative sound journey to all those who look to the sky.

For Piano, Harp, Percussion and up to 8 cellos (or a combination of violins, violas and cellos).

It's been great recently to revise and explore this piece again- hopefully, I'll be able to hear it performed at some point!