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Orlando Gough (1953-    )

Orlando Gough, composerOrlando Gough has been writing music ever since he gave up being a math teacher. Starting with the bands The Lost Jockey and Man Jumping, he moved on to compose operas for TV (including The Empress, 1992) and music for theatre and dance productions (Rambert, Royal Ballet, Siobhan Davies Dance Company, Shobana Jeyasingh Dance Company, Dutch National Ballet, Second Stride), and more recently to choral music. Unusually, he also writes music with other composers; in fact all of his work is collaborative in nature. The Shout – the vocal ‘big band’ that he and Richard Chew founded in 1999 – is unique, consisting of singers from a very wide spectrum of musical styles. Each singer explores his or her own individual timbre, which leaps out from the ‘band’ in featured solo moments. The usual forms of choral homogeneity are not for them, though their ensemble is perfection. Orlando is a paid-up patron of the un-bland: constantly delighting his listeners with angular tunes, unexpected harmonies and funky rhythms. It was after the Artangel-commissioned Because I Sing, which took place in the Roundhouse in 2001, using large numbers of non-professional singers – that Gough became interested in the participatory crowd in his pieces. When ENO Baylis (English National Opera’s education and outreach team) commissioned a piece – For the Public Good – for the reopening of the London Coliseum in 2004, Orlando and his librettist Tamsin Collison unearthed wonderful tales from the theatre’s glittering past. A choir of 500, sitting in the stalls, sang (a cappella and from memory!) about the Coliseum’s former glories: about the vaudeville shows which ranged from recreating Derby Day, (complete with horses!), the first demonstration of television and Winston Churchill’s speeches, right up to ENO’s occupation of the building in 1968.
-  Mary King/BBC

COMPOSITIONS                                                            Gough Links     ~ ~ ~     Works by Genre
[under construction]

WORKS BY GENRE                                                            Gough Links     ~ top of page ~
[under construction]
The Empress, TV opera (1992)
A Ring a Lamp a Thing, opera, soprano and live electronics (2009-10) [libretto: Caryl Churchill]
Hey! Come on Out!, film opera (2010) [libretto: Shinishi Hoshi]

Savage Water, dance piece (1989)
Saeta, dance piece, chamber ensemble [fl, tpt, hn, trom, pf, voices] (1992) [text: Lorca]
Earth Bound, dance piece (1994)
Currulao, dance piece (1995)
Late, dance piece, chamber ensemble (1995)
Touch Your Coolness To My Fevered Brow, ballet (1995)
Escape at Sea, dance piece (1996)
Sleeping With Audrey, ballet, string ensemble and sampler (1996)
Badenheim, dance piece (1997) ["Badenheim 1939"]
Room of Cooks, ballet (1997)
Goes Without Saying, dance piece (1998)
When We Stop Talking, dance piece (1998)
This House Will Burn, ballet (2000) [for Ashley Page]

The Air Shouts, [violin, bass guitar, harp, percusion and string orchestra?] (1991)
Mungo Dances, string orchestra (1998)
Fortune Cookies, string septet (or string orchestra) (1999; arr. for str orch 2010)

Chorus w/Orchestra
We Turned on the Light, chorus and orchestra (2006) [text: Caryl Churchill] [arr. 2008 for chorus and brass band]
Blackbird, chorus and chamber orchestra (fp. 2007)
On The Rim Of The World, children's voices, chorus and chamber orchestra (2008-09) [text: Jehane Markham]

Silence, chorus (????)
Towers of Silence, chorus (????)
Ariel Songs, chorus (1997?) [text: Shakespeare] [originally for RSO production of "The Tempest"]
Axaxaxas Mlo, 5 solo voices (1997)
Pierrot: A Biography, 13 solo voices (1997)
The Shouting Fence (1998) [written with Richard Chew]
And The Days Are Not Full Enough, chorus (1999) [text: Ezra Pound]
Taking Leave of a Friend, chorus (1999)
Tall Stories, chorus (1999)
Why Do You Sing?, chorus (1999)
Because I Sing, 16 amateur choirs and chorus (2001)
High Hopes, chorus (2002?)
For the Public Good, massed choir (2004)
Shift, chorus and percussion quartet (2004)
Open, 2 solo voices and massed choirs (2006)
city:zen, theatre music for tape (2007) [collaboration w/Shizuka Hariu, lighting]
The Spell, soprano, mezzo, countertenor, tenor, baritone and bass soloists (2010) [text: Timothy Knapman, after Tasso]
Common Wealth, chorus (2012) [text: Carol Ann Duffy]

String Quartet No. 1 (1993)
Banya, string quartet and tape (1996)
Birds on Fire, 6 viols (1997)
Malouf, 13 players [bass cl; sopr sax; tpt; trom; str qt; db; 2 perc; pf; hp] (1997)
Dead White European Male, chamber ensemble [alto sax, tenor sax, str qt, db, tpr, trom, trumpet, pf, perc]  (1999)
Fortune Cookies, string septet (or string orchestra) (1999; arr. for str orch 2010)

Solo Instrument
In Exile, violin (1997)

Staring Into The Abyss, piano (1998)

Alligator Train, 1 singer, 1 speaker (optional) and ensemble [cl; 2 hn; 2 tpt; 2 trom; tuba; perc] (2008)

1993 Duets with Automobiles (TV short)
1995 People's Century: 1900-1999 (TV series documentary)
– Killing Fields
Hotel: Eight Rooms, incidental music (1997)
Hotel: Two Nights, incidental music (1997)
1998 The Wisdom of Crocodiles
1999 Split Second (TV movie)
2001 Tojo's War (TV documentary)
2003 The First World War (TV mini-series documentary)
– Blockade (2003)
– Breaking the Deadlock (2003)
– Germany's Last Gamble (2003)
– Revolution (2003)
– Shackled to a Corpse (2003)
2005 Bombay Jungle (documentary)
2005 Made in China (documentary)
2005 Het nieuwe zilver (documentary)
2005 De prijs van katoen (documentary)
2005 The Tunnel and Other Lies (documentary)
2007 China from the Inside (TV series documentary)
– Power and the People (2007)
– Women of the Country (2007)


GOUGH  LINKS                                                            Works by Genre      ~ top of page ~
[under construction]
Music for a Virtual Life (Andrew Clark,

Composer website (@ Boosey & Hawkes)   . . .   contact Orlando Gough:  here

Gough @ Wikipedia
Gough @ Audiophile Audition (via Google Advanced Search)
Gough @ Boosey & Hawkes
Gough @ ClassicsToday (via Google Advanced Search)
Gough @ composition:today
Gough @ Facebook
Gough @ IMDb (Internet Movie Database)
Gough @ LinkedIn
Gough @ MusicWeb International
Gough @ The New York Times
Gough @ PRS for Music Foundation
Gough @ The Shout
Gough @ Sound and Music/The British Music Collection

Gough @ Boosey & Hawkes
Gough @ Sound and Music/The British Music Collection

Streaming Audio
Gough @

Gough @
Gough @ ArkivMusic
Gough @ CD Universe
Gough @ Discogs
Gough @ itunes

Gough @ YouTube
Gough @ Google Video
Gough @ Vimeo (via Google Advanced Search)
                                                                                                                                                                                ~ top of page ~
Gough on Gough: A Chat with Orlando Gough/Citizens Theatre (VIDEO)

Gough on Gough: An Interview/Royal Opera House (VIDEO)

. . . and check out more    Composers Speak on the Web    at Pytheas


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