Paul Archbold

Paul Archbold

Archbold’s delicate tendrils of sound evoke a haunted, fragile landscape that lingers in the mind long after the piece has finished
(Michael Stewart, Gramophone, November 2000).

Stewart’s insightful comments refer to Paul Archbold’s music on the CD Wind Up (available Divine Art MSVCD 92042), released on the Metier label in 2000 and later accorded a Critic’s Choice in Gramophone. The disc includes Archbold’s Études en mouvement for solo piano, Of Crossed Destinies for solo harp and Pas de Deux for viola and piano, all of which build upon the success of his orchestral work, and the unseen eyebeam crossed… performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in the finals of the IBM/RSNO Composition Competition in 1993.

Since the release of Wind Up Archbold’s output has included two string quartets: Impacts and Fractures for the Kreutzer String Quartet, which has been performed extensively in the UK and Europe, and Nine Memos for the Arditti String Quartet, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and filmed by Optic Nerve. More recently, he has collaborated with the oboist Christopher Redgate, composing two works specifically for the Howarth-Redgate oboe: Zechstein and Two pieces for oboe and piano. Such collaboration with performers is a hallmark of Archbold’s approach to composition, enabling him to explore the detailed intricacies of microtones and multiphonics and meaningfully integrate them into his musical language This interest in the structure of sound also translates into a fascination with live electronics, which is incorporated into several of his works such as Fluxions and A Little Night Music.

Archbold’s music has seen increasing international exposure with a composer’s profile concert in the Klangspuren series in Munich, performances at Kotor Festival, Montenegro, RADAR Festival, Mexico, Transit New Music Festival, Leuven, musikprotokoll, Graz, and concerts at MOMA, New York and in St. Petersburg.

Paul Archbold studied composition at the Royal Academy of Music with Richard Stoker and Malcolm Hill, privately with Philip Grange, and gained a doctorate from the University of Durham following studies with John Casken, Peter Manning and Sohrab Uduman. He has held composition lectureships at the universities of Huddersfield and Durham and was appointed Reader in Music at Kingston University. He was Director of the Institute of Musical Research in the School of Advanced Study, University of London from 2011-15 and currently teaches at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

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