James Black (b. 1990) (DK)

James Black was born in 1990 in Devon, England, while his parents were on holiday. He grew up in Bristol, playing saxophone and clarinet in various bands and orchestras. After finishing a bachelors’ in music at the University of Oxford, specialising in saxophone performance, he decided to remain for an extra year to take a masters in composition and musicology. In 2013, he moved to Copenhagen to study at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. He is now in the first year of the soloist class programme.





The piece could be understood as an attempt to combine the vast timbral possibilities of the wind quintet with my own desire for melody and energetic form. I had not previously written music that contained so large an amount of extended techniques, because sometimes I am (perhaps wrongly) suspicious of them – I often (unfairly, uncharitably) find myself wondering why these strange techniques are being used at the expense of the beautiful sounds instruments are capable of and even made for making. I have attempted to use these techniques to create a language of sound – not an experiment in timbral possibilities, but instead opening up an entirely new (for me) but still clearly defined sonic space.

At night, walking shoes full of blood on the door was commissioned as the test piece for the second round of the 2015 Carl Nielsen International Chamber Music Competition