Jill Elliott (fiddles) performs and composes in a range of genres, including modern classical, classical, folk, and experimental.
I play the violin, viola and octave fiddle in numerous ensembles, including Oxford Improvisers. Whilst I have a music degree and have taught both class music and the violin at times, I am not currently doing so. Music, particularly playing, takes up much of my leisure time.
As a composer, my concerns are with exploiting the technical and expressive strengths of the performers, To this end I am always trying to simplify and clarify performance instructions, whether or not they are presented in traditional score notation. My compositions are always created for specific people and ensembles, and are tailored to their particular expertise and interests. Because of this, all my pieces have been realised by the dedicatees, but not all have been performed in public. (A list of public performances can be found below.)
In creating the content and form of my compositions, my focus has changed over the years. Serialism, minimalism and blatant pastiche have played their part, but I am increasingly drawn to creating soundworlds that are complex and varied whilst being built from simple motifs, not necessarily of musical origin. A spoken phrase, for example, has rhythm and pitch, but staff notation of this would be extremely complicated. Working with Oxford Improvisers allows me to incorporate chunks of wonderful music from people operating at the height of their invention and musicality, and use this material as part of the collage, within the form and general statement that I have conceived and specified to the performers.
In the spring of 2014 I worked with Anne L Ryan and the Butoh Dance group, Café Reason in the later stages of their preparation of a unique new work , inspired by the medieval French tapestries depicting a lady and a unicorn. Incorporating dance, soundscapes created by the dancers themselves, and live music, the finished piece, the Heart’s Desire, was performed at the Old Fire Station Arts Centre, Oxford, in June.
Public Performances of my compositions (most recent first)
November 2014. Stone. Fractofusus at St.Michael at the North Gate
November 2014. Tingewick. Radcliffe Orchestra at Oxford Town Hall
October 2013 Swn Fractofusus at Wolvercote Baptist Church
December 2012 Advent Calendar Fractofusus at St. Michael at the Northgate, Oxford.
October 2012 Swn Oxford Improvisers, in Vocal Explosion, which formed the October event in Oxford Improvisers’ series of monthly gigs at The Old Fire Station Arts Centre in Oxford.
November 2011 Breakthrough Oxford Improvisers and Rising Voices, as part of Boundaries, the third event in Cohesion 5 Festival, Jacqueline du Pré Music Room, Oxford.
October 2011 Airtime Oxford Improvisers and friends Warneford Chapel, Oxford.
June 2011 Airtime Oxford Improvisers and friends St. Michael at the Northgate, Oxford.
Text piece with structured improvisation from 3 instrumentalists.
This is my own recording, taken from behind the band. There is a better recording, but I don’t own it.
March, 2010 Swn Oxford Improvisers and friends St. Michael at the Northgate, Text piece
March, 2008 Swn Oxford Improvisers St. Helen’s Church, Abingdon. Text piece. You tube link is on the main page.
March 2008 Bonn Pictures Radcliffe Orchestra Tingewick Hall, Oxford
February, 2006 Punishing Schedule Oxford Improvisers Magdalen College School, Oxford.
June 2002 Radcliffe Fanfare Radcliffe Orchestra Tingewick Hall, Oxford (commissioned by the Radcliffe Orchestra)
November 2000 Bonn Pictures Radcliffe Orchestra Tingewick Hall, Oxford
April 1997 Bonn Pictures St. Giles Orchestra St. Andrew’s Church, Oxford
1984 Songs and Dances Oxford Pro Musica wind soloists with Richard Leigh Harris BMIC, London
June 1981 Iceberg 1 St. Giles Orchestra Merton College Chapel, Oxford
1981 Flute Quintet Soundpool Holywell Music Room, Oxford
March 1980 La Guitarra Soundpool Holywell Music Room, Oxford
1972 Flute Quintet Northern Sinfonia string principals with Julie Stephenson Faculty of Music, Durham
In addition, Bassoonery has received a number of public performances in the UK and abroad, but I do not have the concert details. Much of my music is written for friends to perform privately, so does not feature on the above list.
Link to my scores available online