Where I Live is Shite / Where I Live is Posh


Loré Lixenberg gave the first performance of these with Tony Gray at the 2002 Gaudeamus Music Week in Amsterdam, Holland. I came across Roger McGough’s poems “Shite” and “Posh” from the collection The Way Things Are on someone’s bookshelf. I knew instantly that these villanelles would work well as songs, partly because of the twin refrains which gave me a ready-made structure, and partly because of the polarisation of subject-matter. The hyperbole of “Shite” is balanced by the musical hyperbole of my setting of “Posh”. The piano part contains a number of quotations and references which are obscured by the vocal writing. I was hoping to complement the strange mix of faux social realism and stylistic whimsy in McGough’s poetry with my own musical sense of the absurd. The compositional challenge was to how to approach and deviate from the refrains from as many different perspectives as possible.  Read the lyrics

Geoff Hannan UK

Geoff Hannan was born in London in 1972 and began composing at the age of fourteen. Geoff studied composition privately with Michael Finnissy for three years starting in 1987 before reading Music at Manchester University; he also participated in Brian Ferneyhough's composition course at Royaumont Abbey in 1994 and 1995. In 1998 he was awarded the Gaudeamus International Composition Prize (Netherlands), and in 2007 the 5th International Composition Prize "Romualdo Marenco" (Italy). Geoff's music has been performed in concert and at festivals by, among others, the London Sinfonietta, IXION, Continuum (Canada), Accroche Note, Tegenwind and the Ives Ensemble, and broadcast on British, French and Dutch radio. Recordings of several of his works are now commercially available, and Bubblegum (2001) will be released on the NMC label in November 2010. World Cinema (2001-8), an orchestral commission from the Birmingham Conservatoire, is due to receive its first performance in late 2011. In 2009 Geoff won a scholarship to the UK's National Film and Television School to study film music composition, and while there has composed for fiction films, animations and documentaries; film composer Mychael Danna is an important source of inspiration.

Geoff Hannan