Michael Parsons - Patterns of Connection: Instrumental Music 1962-2017

Philip Thomas (Performer)

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products


This release is the first major survey of the music of Michael Parsons. Spread across two discs, Patterns of Connection features chamber and solo music dating from 1962, whilst Parsons was still a student at the Royal College of Music, to the present day. The music presented here spans a wide range of writing - tonal and chromatic, simple and complex - but always coheres to the rigorous ordering principles underlying the music, while displaying a striking sensitivity for sound, line and texture. Parsons has composed for, and worked with, the members of Apartment House for the past 20 years, and this album reflects their long-standing, deep engagement with this inquisitive and bold music.

The co-founder of the Scratch Orchestra, alongside Cornelius Cardew and Howard Skempton, British experimentalist Michael Parsons focused his compositional energies following the dissolution of the group on developing work influences by systems and constructivist principles. Parsons' work is characterised by rational approaches to pitch ordering and rhythmic procedures, influenced by the conceptual underpinning of visual artists such as David Saunders and Jeffrey Steele. Since the mid-1990s, Parsons has combined these interests with techniques rooted in the experimental music of the 1950s and 60s, resulting in pieces that explore a unique openess in instrumentation, pitch and rhythm.

Chamber music performed by Apartment House, with a number of piano solo performed by Philip Thomas
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHuddersfield, UK
PublisherHuddersfield Contemporary Records
Media of outputCD
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2017


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