First Rituals

David Holland, DMU

In this piece I wanted to explore the relationship between the sounds of ordinary or ‘miscellaneous’ rituals and routines (represented by objects such as pans and a wine bottle) and ‘sacred’ rituals (represented by objects such as a prayer bowl). I was interested in how these everyday sounds can transcend their origins to suggest associations with rituals that carry more meaning or significance. At times in the piece these sounds move towards purity, harmony and even the suggestion of voice, while at other moments they become layered, noisy textures that circle and envelope the space.


David Holland is an internationally performed composer and researcher with a particular interest in music technology and education. In 2017 he was awarded a PhD in the field of Music, Technology and Innovation from DMU, which was sponsored by the Midlands3Cities Doctoral Training Partnership. His research has focused on widening access to new forms of music and the powerful role that creativity can play in this. He received the Rolf Gehlhaar Award for Electronic Music Composition from Coventry University (UK) in 2010 and was a finalist in the 2014 Bangor Dylan Thomas Prize for Electroacoustic Composition at Bangor University (UK). His work has recently been broadcast on Czech (Vitava – Radiocustica) and Dutch (Concertzender) radio. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow at De Montfort University (DMU) (Leicester, UK) on the Creative Economy Engagement Programme funded by the Midlands4Cities partnership. He also works as a part-time lecturer at DMU and a researcher on the EU Interfaces project concerned with bringing new music to new audiences.

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