Pike and Shot

2008 listen

Pike and Shot refers to a military formation used from the Italian wars of the late fifteenth century until the adoption of the bayonet in the seventeenth century. A mixed formation of “pike” and “shot” allows the musketeers to inflict casualties from a distance while the pikemen protected them from enemy cavalry. Pike and Shot was written for Lionel Handy and Nigel Clayton in 2008 and has since been performed by Oliver Coates and Danny Driver.

- Christopher Mayo


Christopher Mayo CA

Christopher Mayo (b. 1980) is a Toronto-based composer of orchestral, chamber, vocal and electronic music. His work, variously described as “cogent, haunting and…desperately poignant” (The Times) and “a steampunk collection of gnarly machine-like noises, flashy timbres, and explosive rhythms” (Classical Voice North America), is characterized by its distinctive rhythmic language and wide range of diverse and eclectic inspirations.

Christopher’s symphonic works have been performed by leading ensembles worldwide, including London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Victoria Symphony, Esprit Orchestra and Manchester Camerata where he served as Composer-in-Residence from 2012-2013. Christopher’s music has been conducted by Susanna Mälkki, François-Xavier Roth, Gábor Takács-Nagy, Nicholas Collon, Bramwell Tovey, Alan Pierson, Tania Miller, Jurjen Hempel and Andrew Gourlay, among others.

Christopher’s chamber music has been commissioned by London Sinfonietta, Crash Ensemble, MATA Festival, Nouvel Ensemble Moderne, Ensemble contemporain de Montreal +, Motion Ensemble, Arraymusic, NMC Recordings, Aldeburgh Festival and the Royal Philharmonic Society. His works have additionally been performed by ensembles including ACME, L’arsenale, Aurora Orchestra, Aventa and Land’s End Ensemble, at festivals including the Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival, the Cheltenham Festival and the Marrakech Biennale and at venues ranging from Le Poisson Rouge to Wigmore Hall.

Based in the UK from 2003-2014, Christopher holds a Master’s degree from the Royal College of Music, where he studied with Julian Anderson and a PhD from the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied with Philip Cashian.

For more information about Christopher Mayo, click here.