WELCOME TO JOHN DEW - COMPOSITION

Composer, Arranger, Performer..

Working to bring a new light to contemporary traditional music and contemporary classical music!

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ABOUT JOHN DEW - COMPOSITION

John Dew

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.

Biography

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.

John has since released his new E.P. 'The High Bridge Walk' which is available for purchase both as a CD and Digital Download.

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'.

 
 

Works

- 'A Tale of a River in Perthshire' for Chamber Orchestra

- A Prelude for String Orchestra, Harp and Bodhran

- '3-4-2' A piece for 9 Highland Pipers and Orchestra (Preview Score here: Movement III)

- 'Terra Firma' a piece for 1 live piper and 4 pre-recorded pipers (Preview Score here: Movement III)

- String Quartet no 1 in D Major (Preview Score here: Movement II)

String Quartet no 2 in E minor (Preview Score here: Movement IV)

- 'The Grim King of the Ghosts' Theme and 6 Variations for String Ensemble and Brass section.

- A Scottish Orchestral Fanfare

- '5-6-7' for Bagpipe Trio in A minor (Preview Score here: Movement I)

- 'Rotations' Overture for Orchestra

- Bagpipe quartet No 1 in D

'The Home of the Great Selkie' for String Ensemble and Timpani

- 'The High Bridge Walk' - Extended Play Record

- 2 Orchestral Piobaireachd Preludes

 

On-Going Projects

- 12 Preludes and Fugues for piano based on Traditional and Neo-traditional tunes. (View 'Prelude and Fugue in F sample score here)

- 3 Piobaireachd for mixed ensemble

- A collection of Neo-traditional Clarsach pieces. (View 'Best Efforts' Sample Score here)

- A series of String Quartets

- A Series of bagpipe duos, trios and quartets.

- A traditional/classical fused suite for folk ensemble and classical ensemble

- A collection of dances for multiple whistles. (View 'Cloud 18' sample score here)

- A series of through composed Suites for pipe band. (View 'The Fever Suite' here, and 'Pipeline' here.)

 

Listen

John is has completed a number of projects as part of a larger series of works. These include several tunes:

'The Sights of Aviemore' - Performed by SIMMITRI

The Sights of Aviemore

'Sunset on Loch Morlich' - Performed by The DROCHAID Quintet

Sunset on Loch Morlich

'Dead Cactus Jigs' - Performed by John Dew

Dead Cactus Jigs

'A' Caoidh' - Performed by the 'Beasts' Soundtrack ensemble.

A' Caoidh

As well as some larger works (note Sibelius 7 sounds)

'Rotations' for Orchestra

Rotations

String Quartet no 2 in E minor - 4th Movement

String Quartet no 2 Mvnt 4

A Prelude for String Orchestra, Harp and Bodhran'

A Prelude for String Orchestra, Harp and Bodhran

'New Arrivals' for Low Whistle, Harp and String Orchestra

New Arrivals

'The Home of the Great Selkie' for String Ensemble and Timpani

The Home of the Great Selkie

'Prelude for Cor Anglais, Harp and String Orchestra: 'Lament for

Donald Doughall MacKay'

Piobaireachd Prelude for Cor Anglais, Le

The High Bridge Walk - E.P.

'The High Bridge Walk' is John's debut E.P. 

This E.P. features 2 Solo bagpipe tracks, 1 multi-tracked bagpipe track and 2 multi-tracked whistle tracks.

Purchase the Compact disc here for £6.49, or digital download for £5.99. Look out for sheet music purchases too!

 

Film Soundtracks

'The Subtle Art of French Cooking', a short film by Henry Schwittay.

'Going Equipped', a short film by Mondo Love

3 RTS award winning 'What Separates us from the Beasts' by Sedona May Tubbs.

'What Separates Us from the Beasts' is a short film set in Scotland by Sedona May Tubbs. This story follows a young child who is finding ways to cope with her fathers illness. She seeks comfort in her story books and uses them to cope with the struggles of her fathers declining health. She sees her father as one of the fictional characters she reads about and is inspired to continue in the footsteps of her father when he moves to a better place.

 

String Quartet Arrangements

More coming soon..

 
 

DROCHAID

More coming soon..

 

SIMMITRI

SIMMITRI comprises of John Dew on Pipes/Whistles and Helena Rose on Clarsach. Together they create a unique sound with this unorthodox combination and play traditional and neo-traditional tunes that draws from their folk and classical background.

This duet has performed all over the country in both artistic and corporate events. They have performed at Conservatoire concerts, Piping Live! and various folkclubs around Scotland. They have performed for high members of society including First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, Lady Ivory and H.R.H Prince Charles at his Scotland residence of Dumfries House.

The Roses of Upper Inverroy 1
Live From Falkirk Folk Club - Berkeley Street
Tall Pine Croft

To hire SIMMITRI for your corporate event click here to get in contact or email simmitri@hotmail.com for a quote.

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Commission a piece?

Would you like to have a piece composed for that special someone, occasion or ceremony? Browse the various pieces you like and feel free to inquire about commissioning John to compose something new specially for you. Here are some testimonials for the simpler compositions:

"In preparation for our festival to mark the part that Balfron Redicals played in the Scottish Insurrection our group approached John Dew to create a piece commemorating  the ill-fated 'Battle of Bonnymuir'. John was fastidious in his research and meticulous in his composing as well as being flexible and very easy to work with. This resulted in an extremely moving piece of music and we would not hesitate to contact this talented young composer again" - Jim Thomson, PP Balfron Heritage Group.

"We commissioned a tune from John for a family member’s first birthday. He wrote the tune well before the deadline, and the tune that he wrote was fantastic, and far exceeded all of our expectations" - Connor Jardine

For a quote on your commission please contact John Dew here.

Larger arrangements

John is also an experienced arranger, taking known tunes and adding orchestrations or re-arranging them for other solo instruments.

Jigs 'Donella Beaton' by George Johnstone, 'Sharig' by Brian Finnigan and 'The Famous Baravan' by Gordon Duncan, arranged for folk group, brass and percussion

Jig Set with Brass and percussion

'A Night in that Land' by Johnny Cunningham, arranged for Pipe Band and String Ensemble

A Night in that Land for Pipe band and Strings

'Fiona and Gareth' by Paul Ritchie, 'A Nusa Wedding' by Rory Campbell and 'Dr MacPhail's Reel' by Andrew Bain, arranged for Bagpipe Quartet, String Orchestra, Harp and Bodhran.

Reels for Pipe Band, Strings, Harp and Bodhran
 
 

Yoker Piper

Piper for hire!

Are you needing a piper for a wedding, funeral, function or special occasion?

Look no further, you can hire Yoker Piper for any occasion. John Dew is Yoker Piper but is also 2 time World Pipe Band Championship winning piper as well as the winner of the National MOD 2019. Hire your world class, experienced events piper now. Click here to get a quote.

To commission a brand new piece of music for a loved one or occasion click here for a quote and click here for sample works and testimonials.

 

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