ABOUT JOHN DEW - COMPOSITION
John Dew is a composer and arranger whose work is informed by Scotland's musical traditions and folklore. His background in traditional music has influenced him to combine folk melodies and modes with classical idioms.
John's music has been played by a number of artists such as UR: The Future of Our Past, Inveraray and District Pipe Band and The Glasgow Caledonian Fiddle Orchestra. His music has been performed at a variety of venues such as Perth Concert hall, The Glasgow Royal Concert hall, The CCA in Glasgow, Celtic Colours in Cape Breton.
As an arranger, John works closely with string ensembles of varied sizes. He works to accompany folk groups, such as SIMMITRI and Inveraray and District Pipe Band, as well as pop artists like Robbie Hutton and Blair Davie.
A film music enthusiast, John has composed music for three short films. In 2019, one of these films won three RTS awards for Best Drama and Best Sound Design. John continues to compose music for TV and FIlm.
John has a profound love of classical music and the life that idiom conjures. Bringing out the very heart of our Scottish roots through music can be magnified by enriching those traditions with a blend of classical timbres. He believes that subtly blending these two genres can release a powerful range of emotions within the human spirit and give a great sense of pride in our culture. This rarely explored cave holds a new found treasure of expressing Scottish traditions and can enrich our identity.
John Dew, hailing from Perthshire, is strongly rooted in the folk music of Scotland. He learned to play the Bagpipes at school and soon after picked up the Irish Whistle. From an early age he began composing melodies for various folk instruments and ensembles. During secondary school John studied classical music at GCSE and A-Level and fell in love with composing in these years. During his A-levels he composed a piece titled 'A Tale of a River', a short Symphonic Poem for Chamber Orchestra, inspired by scenes and settings of the River Earn in the heart of Perthshire. This piece earned him a 100% grade in the Composition module. The following year he composed a short Ballet Suite titled 'Noah's Zoo'. Since then he has been encouraged to expand his compositional ambition.
In 2016, John enrolled on the BMus Performance degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In 2020 he graduated with a First Class Honours Degree. Over the course of his studies John continued to compose, completing a series of tunes for various folk instruments and ensembles, a series of chamber works, including two string quartets and several short pieces for mixed ensemble, and began exploring the combination of folk instruments and orchestral idioms, drawing from the works of Donald Grant, Donald Shaw and John Ashton Thomas. From this, John Orchestrated a short pipe band concert program for two performances in his final year at the RCS. These featured a small Pipe Band, String Orchestra, Harp and Folk Group. Sadly these concerts were discontinued due to COVID - 19. He also studied the works of other 20th and 21st Century composers such as Shostakovitch, Vaughan-Williams, Ligeti and Penderecki and John Metcalfe, Craig Armstrong and Brain Eno which have informed his instrumental writings and arrangements.
John is also a film music enthusiast, and whilst at the RCS, he composed the music for three short film scores. The second of these, 'What Separates us from the Beasts', is a short drama based in Scotland. John scored the music for this film, and in 2019, it won three Royal Television Society Awards, two for 'Best Drama' and one for 'Best Sound Design'. More recently, John has been commissioned to compose pipe music for formal and informal occasions. Additionally, he has taken up arranging songs of various genres for string quartets.
Residing in Glasgow John continues to produce traditional/classical fused music in various ways. To see/hear completed works head to 'Works' and for an insight to John's future projects head to 'On-Going Projects'.
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