I’m a Scottish composer, pianist and activist currently based in East London. I’m interested in developing radically interdisciplinary creative methodologies in my work, and my compositional practice often draws on techniques in the fields of documentary theatre, film, sociology, and investigative journalism to examine real events, lives and stories.
Previous and current collaborators include writer-director Gareth Mattey; videographer Sasha Balmazi-Owen; actor-dancer Richard Court; Ensemble Modern; Royal Scottish National Orchestra; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Psappha Ensemble; EXAUDI; Red Note Ensemble; Nevis Ensemble; trumpeter Elisabeth Lusche; and pianist Rolf Hind. I hold degrees from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Recent projects include Physical Education, a work for actor, video and ensemble developed as Birmingham Contemporary Music Group‘s Apprentice Composer-in-Residence 2018-19, which explores the violence, patriarchy and homophobia implicit in the high school gym class experience, which was nominated for the ISM Collaboration Prize at the Scottish Awards for New Music 2019; Terry Helenson’s Revolutionary Dreams, a cantata commissioned by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group to commemorate Karl Marx’s 200th anniversary; Anthems for Queer Youth, an interdisciplinary project exploring the meaning and importance of queerness to historical and contemporary artmaking; and Bermondsey, 1983, an ongoing documentary opera project examining the events surrounding the 1983 Bermondsey by-election, which saw the closeted bisexual Simon Hughes gain the seat following a bitter, violent and deeply homophobic campaign run against the openly gay Labour candidate Peter Tatchell.
I’m currently undertaking doctoral research at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, exploring documentary compositional practice, and working with some incredible interdisciplinary artists from around the world on the Sundance Institute’s Art of Practice Fellowship.
© Robert Reid Allan 2021. Not to be reproduced without permission.