About me

I was born in 1971 in Mönchengladbach and grew up in Niederkrüchten, a small German village on the Dutch border. After working as a care worker in a children's home and a runner at several theatres in Germany and England I studied Applied Theatre Studies at Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany and Composition with Patric Standford and Christopher Fox in Huddersfield (BA, MA) and with Vic Hoyland in Birmingham (PhD).

My conceptually driven approach has made me specialise in creating bespoke large scale and smaller performances and events for specific occasions, on my own and in collaboration with other people.

New Guide to Opera: Grosse Mengen Bach (Huge Amounts of Bach)

My works have been performed at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the ISCM World Music Days in Manchester (with Isobel Bowler), Spitalfields Festival (with Isobel Bowler), the Barbican Centre, Birmingham Symphony Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, Whitechapel Art Gallery, Tate Liverpool and various other concert halls, festivals, supermarkets, art galleries, shoe shops, theatres, banks, opera houses, in cafes, on beaches, in cinemas, on the radio, on TV; in the UK, Germany, lots of other European places, in Russia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada.

Wir sehen und morgen wieder
New Guide to Opera: Wir sehen und morgen wieder

I have maintained the position of an "other" in the world of contemporary music with works which deconstruct, question and queer the traditional concert situation inside and outside the concert hall. I have written music for traditional ensembles like Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and like to challenge conventional set-ups and concert rituals. This has resulted in pieces with unusual instrumentations (like my twelve-minute-long opera The Voyage, produced with theatre company Stan's Cafe for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad written for mezzo-soprano, eleven recorders and double bass), performances in unusual places (wahnsinnig wichtig on ice took place on and around an ice rink) or projects of unusual duration (my Spring Symphony: The Joy of Life is the shortest symphony in the world and lasts around 17 seconds while the performance of Wir sehen uns morgen wieder lasted for a month). I strongly believe that the idea of a work is the single most important element in the creation of an art work. It informs the concept and drives all artistic decisions. One of the major influences on my music was the work of American performance artist Laurie Anderson in the 1980s. I especially admire Anderson's ability to use multiple artistic genres to create highly effective and moving performance situations, where – in her typical postmodern way – she tells stories while highlighting the fact that she is telling stories.

Collaboration with Stan's Cafe: The Voyage

From 2003-2012 I was a founding member of interdisciplinary art collective New Guide to Opera, creating ambitious work for international venues and festivals.

I have worked in close relationship with composer and artist Paul Norman since 2015.

Since 2009 I have been Deputy Head of Composition at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

New Guide to Opera in collaboration with the BBC News Team: BBCFour World News Today


AMAECHI - film out now

Oli Clark's film of Amaechi, Seán Clancy's and my piece for the Commonwealth Games 2022 for basketball players, singers, percussionists and an electronic musician, is out now. You can find it here.

Online premiere: Three perfect chords

Chord 1: Friday 27 August 7pm UK time: https://youtu.be/xwoqsdZ18VM

Chord 2: Saturday 28 August 7pm UK time:https://youtu.be/InFKZJtXVr8

Chord 3: Sunday 29 August 7pm UK time: https://youtu.be/SsVWBDd2jsg

Listening, watching, reading

'Aria Cuntata and the Black Holes

Watch stuff on YouTube or in the VIDEO section below.

Buy albums on the NMC website.

Listen to stuff Soundcloud and Bandcamp.

Listen to some of my Difficult Listening playlists 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 on Spotify.

If you'd like to look at a score, please contact me through the website.

A few highlights:

  1. Oli Clark's fantastic video of my There are more of them than us - A Queer Concerto for 9 Saxophones and Orchestra. Performed by Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Saxophone Department and Symphony Orchestra.
  2. is on a new Birmingham Record Company/NMC album by Cobalt Piano duo, which you can purchase here from 24 April 2020. You can also watch the video.
  3. Watch excerpts of Difficult Listening's concert installation She plays angel music (where people might die).
  4. Paul Norman and I performed Lucy Harvey's "Sorgen" as part of FLUID Festival of Queer Music in September 2017. There is a lovely little trailer lovely little trailer by Oli.
  5. My full-length opera Ava's Wedding with a libretto by Alexandra Taylor was performed by Birmingham Conservatoire in February 2015 at the Crescent Theatre in Birmingham. The full HD video (with subtitles) is available to watch here. More info on the opera here.

Telemann for Everyone

A new piece for people to read/perform at home in times of a lockdown and beyond.

Telemann for Everyone

Coming up:

We'll see. Most stuff has been cancelled for now. You should definitely check out my work partner Paul Norman's website with lots of fun stuff.


Catalogue d'Emojis: my first album together with Paul Norman as Difficult Listening, also on Spotify.

Danserye: music for the dance piece by Sebastian Matthias, also on Spotify.

Kathryn und Peter durchqueren die Antarktis: my collected music for recorders and ensemble, also on Spotify.

Requiem: version for solo bass clarinet and electronics, also on Spotify .

New Guide to Opera's three radio plays

Kathryn und Peter durchqueren die Antarktis

Mit offenem Mund

Sing, Sing!

Birmingham Record Company

Our website is LIVE. You can get up to date info on new releases, what's coming up etc on BirminghamRecordCompany.

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