Morag Galloway

PhD Composition

Morag Galloway is a composer, performer, director, lecturer, workshop leader and photographer, living in York. She has recently completed her composition PhD with Roger Marsh, has an MMus in Composition from Goldsmiths College, where she studied with Sadie Harrison and Roger Redgate and a First Class BA in Music from the University of York.

Morag is a collaborator with a highly performer and relationship-led process. Her love of the theatre, dance and visual arts has led to her work becoming a multi-faceted experience. Her desire to mix media and explore the space in between disciplines has lead to the creation of a distinctive compositional style which fuses spoken and sung word, dance, gesture, visuals and sound. Her pieces often have three specific starting points: a desire to communicate a personal experience; a desire to explore ideas encountered in key psychological texts (often read to make sense of the accompanying personal experience); and a desire to work with a specific performer or group of performers. The resulting pieces are presented as contemporary music theatre and are equally comfortable in the theatre or the concert hall.

At the beginning of the compositional process the involvement of the performer is crucial as everything about them is taken into consideration when writing. Their musical ability, their personality, physical appearance, ideas, desires and where they are in their lives are all elements that help shape the composition. The performer/fellow collaborator as compositional element is central to Morag’s work. Morag believes this research to be important as it contextualises the composer’s role in a specific musical community. It also creates music that uses the experiences of the performers, as well as the composer; thus presenting a commentary on life that is rooted in a first-hand experience that is as undiluted as possible. The result of this is a performance that is authenticated in every moment it unfolds and is immediate, meaningful and lasting, as a result.

Morag is currently working on a variety of post-PhD collaborative projects with: cellist Charlotte Bishop; pianist Kate Ledger and composer James Williamson; actor Margaret Hillier and BBC Singers Tenor Christopher Bowen and the PhD Performance candidate recorder player Carmen Troncoso.

Supervisor Prof. Roger Marsh