Lyell Cresswell talks to Gordon Burt
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Gordon Burt interviews composer Lyell Cresswell.
Lyell Cresswell speaks about his career since graduating from Wellington's Victoria University in 1968. He spent a year in Canada on a Commonwealth scholarship at the University of Toronto, where he studied topics in music and composition. He then returned to New Zealand, where he spent some time in Dunedin as a postman. From Dunedin he went to the university in Aberdeen to work further on composition, then to Glasgow to teach contemporary music at the university there.
He left Glasgow only two weeks prior to this interview, and is currently in Cardiff having taken up a position in an arts centre, where he works with the musical department. He speaks about the role, and his continuing work as a composer.
He then speaks about what type of composer he is. He says he is a "human" composer, interested in creating music to communicate his ideas to other people. When he composes music, he does it with an audience in mind - hoping to find common ground. He then compares this approach to that of avant-garde composers.
There is discussion about folk music - the ideas behind it, and structures. He uses the example of a piece of his own music written for skinheads, which he based on a chant he heard at a demonstration in Athens. He regards this as one form of folk music, one used to communicate political ideas. A number of his pieces were influenced by Scottish folk music - he speaks about his influences for these.
The interview concludes with Cresswell commenting on the future and his current role, which is for a minimum of two years. He also has more composition commissions to write.
Reference number 12774
Media type AUDIO
Collection Sound Collection
Interviews (Sound recordings)
BURT, Gordon, Interviewer
Cresswell, Lyell (b.1944), Interviewee
Concert FM, Broadcaster
Date 10 Jul 1978