RWCMD composition student Jasper Dommett has been nominated for one of the UK’s most prestigious music prizes at the Ivor Novello Awards.
An Ivor Novello Award, named after the legendary Welsh Composer, is recognised as the pinnacle of achievement, celebrating exceptional craft in music creation. Jasper Dommett, composition student at RWCMD, has been nominated in the Large Orchestral category of The Ivors Composer Awards 2020. His composition, Night Music, was premiered by the BBC NOW as part of their Composition: Wales 2020 showcase earlier this year. The awards presentation is due to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Tuesday December 1st.
As one of the youngest ever nominees, Dommett is in extremely good company: previous nominees have included such luminaries as Harrison Birtwistle, Helen Grime, Ken Hesketh and Raymond Yiu. “To have this nomination for a piece which I wrote for BBC NOW is very special to me”, said Dommett. “This orchestra has been integral to my development as a composer, not only by enabling me to have my music realised over the last two years, but also through their expansive programming: experiencing a diverse range of live music on a regular basis is a composer’s best education”. As well as crediting the BBC NOW, Dommett attributes his success in part to RWCMD, placing the conservatoire at the centre of his development. Expressing his gratitude to tutor Joseph Davies and Head of Composition John Hardy, he emphasises that it was only in the light of encouragement from his supervisors that he submitted the Night Music score to the BBC NOW for Composition: Wales 2020.
Describing the programmatic work as his emotional response to night time, Dommett explains that, for him, its juxtaposition of stillness with moments of energy conjures up images of creatures rustling around at night. He acknowledges, however, that others may experience and interpret the music in different ways. Night Music also has a deep personal connection for Dommett: dedicated to his late grandmother, Mary Dommett, he wrote the piece “not only as a celebration of her life, but also as a goodbye letter after a long illness”. Underpinning the whole work is a melody which articulates a whistle call used between himself and his grandmother when exploring. “I see this nomination as an appraisal to her, without whom I wouldn’t be where I am today”, he said.
An excerpt of Night Music is available to listen to on Soundcloud.