Lawrence Reed biography

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Lawrence Reed's distinctive contemporary music derives from a classical training distilled with other musical influences from his past including: punk, folk, progressive rock, new wave and jazz. He strives to create strong melodic and rhythmic frameworks in tension with complex harmonic explorations and experimental approaches. A strong narrative often defines the works. The aim is distinctive, accessible music with some challenges and a contemporary twist. For more information, news and to hear more of Lawrence’s work visit www.lawrencereed.com

Lawrence Reed's distinctive contemporary music derives from a classical training distilled with other musical influences from his past including: punk, folk, progressive rock, new wave and jazz. He strives to create strong melodic and rhythmic frameworks in tension with complex harmonic explorations and experimental approaches. A strong narrative often defines the works. The aim is distinctive, accessible music with some challenges and a contemporary twist.

Much of Lawrence’s work has been focused on composition for acoustic and classical guitars. But his recent MA in composition at Bath Spa University has been influential in developing his distinctiveness, using new approaches, expanding the scope of the works and writing for new instruments and ensembles.

World premieres have been with Kreutzer Quartet, New London Chamber Ensemble, plus-minus ensemble and ensemblebash. On the commercial front 2103 saw Lawrence writing several soundtracks the most significant of which was for Broken Pieces, a Gary Morecambe production which was aired on Sky Arts and his music for the play Safe in Numbers which had a successful two-week run at the Edinburgh fringe 2009. He has worked with such famous artists as Roger Heaton (Clarinet), Gary Ryan (Guitar), Bruno Shrecker (Cello), and Christopher Redgate (Oboe).

Lawrence's compositions are not restricted to the concert hall and he is currently researching and composing works that involve whole communities and can create a lasting sonic event over generations. In the summer of 2009 he created a 'monumental' music  event ‘the ebb of acrophobia’ in Trafalgar Square.

For more information, news and to hear more of Lawrence’s work visit www.lawrencereed.com

Lawrence Reed's distinctive contemporary music derives from a classical training distilled with other musical influences from his past including: punk, folk, progressive rock, new wave and jazz. This creates strong melodic and rhythmic frameworks in tension with complex harmonic explorations and experimental approaches. A strong narrative often defines the works. The result is distinctive, accessible music with some challenges and a contemporary twist.

A special feature of Lawrence's style is that he likes to communicate and fully engage with performers learning his work, answer queries and enter into dialogue.

Lawrence’s early work was predominately for guitar using distinctive right hand patters derive from influences like Davy Graham, Bert Jansch, John Martyn and Stephen Grossman gained while he was playing on the London pub folk scene. Around that time he also began his 3 years studying classical guitar and music theory at The Watford School of Music under Tom Hartman and Carl Shavitz. Then, still writing predominantly for steel strung guitar, this classical influence added a new dimension and was later to become a dominant direction.

Punk burst on the scene Lawrence found this irresistible, changed direction, and ‘dumbed down’ his playing for ‘three chord wonder’ songs. When the New Wave scene was firmly established. He composed and played in a number of bands most notably fronting the 3 piece band "State of Play" and as guitarist for the more reggae influenced "The Flats". State of Play released two singles under the independent record label "Shooting Star" both receiving favorable reviews in the NME: "A lively and enjoyable debut single from the London three piece band." Meanwhile, the Flats played regularly across London's pub and club circuit of the time including Ronnie Scott's, The Marquee, The 100 club and The Rock Garden with residencies at the lesser know Stapleton Arms (Finsbury Park... now a trendy wine bar!) and Chats Palace (Hackney).

All composing energies were put into writing for both these bands until, frustrated by the direction of popular music, he quit both bands and rediscovered solo guitar. The influence of this period clearly remains in much of Lawrence's work particularly evidenced by clear melodic phrases and rhythms.

In 2001 Lawrence started an important collaboration with Graham Sims. This culminated in the world premiere in November 2001 at The Michael Tippet Centre of two major works Soundtrack 1 and The Fairground. The works were well received: "Substantial pieces... with many effective ideas" (Bath Chronicle). Graham went on to record both pieces on "The Fairground" an early CD of Lawrence’s music for solo guitar along with three pieces played by himself on steel strung guitar.

Between 2004 and 2007 Lawrence began a major collaboration with Graham Sims and Kevin Byrne. This involved the composition of the Fanfarria suite. Fanfarria II was premiered by Graham to great reviews at the Assembly Rooms in Bath.

In 2006 the more expansive duet Fanfarria I and prelude were premiered by Graham and Kevin on their UK tour including the Tippet Centre and the Bolivar Hall, London. With one and a half years in the writing the resultant piece is one that ambitiously tries to expand the guitar’s repertoire.

In 2005/2006 Lawrence worked with Gary Ryan on designing a revolutionary online guitar tutorial which included many original compositions for Icanplayit.com.

www.icanplayit.com/free/beginnerguitarlesson1

In that same year he also wrote for Matt Bormann.

Lawrence's recent MA in composition at Bath Spa University has been influential in developing his distinctiveness, using new approaches, expanding the scope of the works and writing for new instruments and ensembles.

World premieres have been with Kreutzer Quartet, New London Chamber Ensemble, plus-minus ensemble and ensemblebash. On the commercial front 2103 saw Lawrence writing several soundtracks the most significant of which was for Broken Pieces, a Gary Morecambe production which was aired on Sky Arts and his music for the play Safe in Numbers which had a successful two-week run at the Edinburgh fringe 2009. He has worked with such famous artists as Roger Heaton (Clarinet), Gary Ryan (Guitar), Bruno Shrecker (Cello), and Christopher Redgate (Oboe).

Lawrence's compositions are not restricted to the concert hall and he is currently researching and composing works that involve whole communities and can create a lasting sonic event over generations. In the summer of 2009 he created a 'monumental' music event the ebb of acrophobia in Trafalgar Square.

He is also actively involved in the Larkhall Festival developing original community music events and music workshops in the surrounding schools.

For more information, news and to hear more examples of Lawrence’s work go to www.lawrencereed.com

Lawrence Reed's distinctive contemporary guitar music derives from a classical training distilled with other musical influences from his past including: folk, progressive rock, punk, new wave and jazz. This creates strong melodic and rhythmic frameworks in tension with complex harmonic explorations and experimental approaches. A strong narrative often defines the works. The result is distinctive, accessible guitar music with some challenges and a contemporary twist.

As an able guitarist himself he fully explores the techniques and range of the instrument. He has worked with many excellent guitarists including: Matt Borgmann, Graham Sims, Kevin Byrne and Gary Ryan across a range of styles and is a founder member of The Guitar Circle, a community dedicated to promoting guitar music.

Distinctive right hand patters derive from influences like Davy Graham, Bert Jansch, John Martyn and Stephen Grossman gained while he was playing on the London pub folk scene in the mid seventies. Around that time he also began his 3 years studying classical guitar and music theory at The Watford School of Music under Tom Hartman and Carl Shavitz. Then, still writing predominantly for steel strung guitar this classical influence added a new dimension and was later to become a dominant direction.

Punk burst on the scene Lawrence found this irresistible, changed direction, and ‘dumbed down’ his playing for ‘three chord wonder’ songs. When the New Wave scene was firmly established. He composed and played in a number of bands most notably fronting the 3 piece band "State of Play" and as guitarist for the more reggae influenced "The Flats". State of Play released two singles under the independent record label "Shooting Star" both receiving favorable reviews in the NME: "A lively and enjoyable debut single from the London three piece band." Meanwhile, the Flats played regularly across London's pub and club circuit of the time including Ronnie Scott's, The Marquee, The 100 club and The Rock Garden with residencies at the lesser know Stapleton Arms (Finsbury Park... now a trendy wine bar!) and Chats Palace (Hackney).

All his early composing energies were put into writing for both these bands until, frustrated by the direction of popular music, he quit both bands and rediscovered solo guitar. The influence of this period clearly remains in much of Lawrence's work particularly evidenced by clear melodic phrases and rhythms.

To date he has composed over 50 pieces for solo guitar. A special feature of Lawrence's style is that he likes to communicate and fully engage with performers learning his work, answer queries and enter into dialogue.

In 2001 Lawrence started an important collaboration with Graham Sims. This culminated in the world premiere in November 2001 at The Michael Tippet Centre of two major works Soundtrack 1 and The Fairground. The works were well received: "Substantial pieces... with many effective ideas" (Bath Chronicle).

Graham went on to record both pieces on "The Fairground" an early CD of Lawrence music for solo guitar along with three pieces played by himself on steel strung guitar.

Between 2003 and 2006 Lawrence began a major collaboration with Graham Sims and Kevin Byrne. This involved the composition of the Fanfarria suite. Fanfarria II was premiered by Graham to great reviews at the Assembly Rooms in Bath.

In 2006 the more expansive duet Fanfarria I and prelude were premiered by Graham and Kevin on their UK tour including the Tippet Centre and the Bolivar Hall, London. With one and a half years in the writing, help and motivation came from Hayley Savage. The resultant piece is one that ambitiously tries to expand the guitar’s repertoire.

In 2005/2006 Lawrence worked with Gary Ryan on designing a revolutionary online guitar tutorial which included many original compositions for Icanplayit.com.

www.icanplayit.co/free/beginnerlesson1

Lawrence is currently working on recording his own compositions for solo acoustic guitar.

His recent MA in composition at Bath Spa University has been influential in developing his distinctiveness and expanding the scope of the works beyond guitar.

Recent world premieres have been with Kreutzer Quartet, New London Chamber Ensemble, Plus Minus and Bash Ensemble and his music for theatre Safe in Numbers which had a successful two-week run at the Edinburgh fringe 2009. Away from guitar he has worked with such famous artists as Roger Heaton (Clarinet), Bruno Shrecker (Cello), and Chris Redgate (Oboe).

Lawrence's compositions are not restricted to the concert hall and he is currently researching and composing works that involve whole communities and can create a lasting sonic event over generations. In the summer of 2009 he created a 'monumental' music  event entitled ebb of acrophobia in Trafalgar Square. He is also actively involved in the Larkhall Festival developing original community music events and music workshops in the surrounding schools.

For more information, news and to hear more examples of Lawrence’s work go to www.lawrencereed.com

Lawrence Reed's distinctive contemporary community projects derive from a classical training distilled with other musical influences from his past including: punk, folk, progressive rock, new wave and jazz. He aims to create strong melodic and rhythmic frameworks in tension with complex harmonic explorations, experimental approaches and use of improvisation.

The structure of Lawrence’s community music projects are often ingenious frameworks which allow for a great deal of interpretation by the performers. His recent successful projects include 'the ebb of acrophobia' in Trafalgar Square and Larkhall Festival. The result is bringing communities together to make distinctive, accessible music with some challenges and a contemporary twist. Above all his projects are about having fun. For more information, news and to hear more examples of Lawrence’s work go to www.lawrencereed.com

Lawrence Reed's distinctive contemporary community projects derive from a classical training distilled with other musical influences from his past including: punk, folk, progressive rock, new wave and jazz. This influence often creates strong melodic and rhythmic frameworks in tension with complex harmonic explorations, experimental approaches and use of improvisation.

The structure of Lawrence’s community music projects are often ingenious frameworks which allow for a great deal of interpretation by the performers. The result is bringing communities together to make distinctive, accessible music with some challenges and a contemporary twist. Above all, his projects are about having fun.

Without a conscious direction Lawrence has always been involved in community music. Early years were spent in church and school choirs and, when he took up guitar at 14, it was only 3 years before he was teaching in the local arts and community centres and frequently performing at the centre and in various North London folk clubs.

He was involved in the Hackney musicians collective and, more recently was a founder member of the guitar community The Guitar Circle.

Much of Lawrence’s recent work has been focused on composition for acoustic and classical guitars and ensemble music. But his recent MA in composition has been influential in developing his distinctiveness, using new approaches, expanding the scope of the works and writing for new instruments and ensembles.

During his MA in music composition at bath Spa University Lawrence’s main project was community music.

He recently conducted over 50 musicians in performing an experimental piece the ebb of acrophobia from the 4th plinth in Trafalgar Square and has been involved in community festival projects such as the Larkhall Festival with a wide engagement of the local schools and communities and using experimental and improvisational workshop techniques.

He is currently researching and composing works that involve whole communities and can create a lasting sonic event over generations.

For more information, news and to hear more examples of Lawrence’s work go to www.lawrencereed.com

© lawrence reed 2017