David Pennant's Compositions

I always wanted to compose music, but I allowed two things to discourage me. One was that nobody played what I wrote, so what was the point of writing it?

Secondly, when I was in my twenties, compositions had to be avant-garde to be acceptable, it seemed, and as I did not feel comfortable writing grunts and whistles, I felt that disqualified me. So I wrote virtually nothing for thirty years.

A few years ago, I unexpectedly became a trustee for the Robin Milford Trust. Robin was elder brother to my aunt's husband. He has left around 180 compositions, which is remarkable, since at the time of writing (1920s to 1950s), his traditional style was mercilessly slated by the critics. However, he kept at it despite the discouragement, and now his music is being rescued from library vaults and revived. The moral of that is, never give up!

So I started writing again. In 2010 I set myself to write 250 pieces for piano over a ten year period in the hope that one of them might be a good one. I managed 170 pieces, ranging from easy to difficult, and from very short up to twenty-two minutes in length. Fun! The one I am most pleased with is Cycling (video) (audio) from On the Move for Piano.

Various other pieces for instruments and voices have emerged along the way. Meanwhile, I give piano lessons in Woking although lockdown nearly killed it.

Sir John Stainer, who composed The Crucifixion was my great-grandfather. Somebody said that because his piece ends with Jesus on the cross, there should be a sequel, so I composed The Resurrection.

Recently I created Wokingmusic.net to encourage music across our borough. Instruments for sale, lists of local teachers, diary, news etc.

Thank you for your interest.