Morgan Hayes’ delicate yet manic Violin Concerto forms the centrepiece to this debut release on NMC showcasing his instrumental and ensemble music. Included are his transcription of Squarepusher’s Port Rhombus, commissioned for the South Bank Centre’s 2003 Ether Festival, which captures the beauty and fragility of this experimental drum’n’bass work from 1996; Lucky’s Speech for solo violin, inspired by a character from Beckett’s Waiting for Godot; a collection of piano miniatures Strides Book I & II; and the dramatic solo piano work Puppet Theatre, which refers to the title of the painting by Paul Klee, featured on the front cover of this release.
"This elegant showcase comprises nine works, of which the largest is the 18-minute, single-movement, chamber-scaled Violin Concerto, written in 2006 (and revised in 2009) for the present fine soloist. The piece moves with vigour and colour washes comfortably between avant-garde jaggedness and a sort of nostalgia for the traditionally violinistic. ... Powell is soloist on the densely expressionistic Slippage (1999), for piano and ensemble, and by himself plays four typically pungent works ... Hayes’s version of Squarepusher’s Port Rhombus makes a striking overture."
The Sunday Times