Alexander Blustin

Alexander Blustin has particular interests in sacred, early and international music and music theatre. His compositional activity has so far focussed on works for the liturgy – two of his Masses have been premiered at the London Festival of Contemporary Church Music – and on new works for early and unusual instruments.

From 2012-2019 Blustin was Administrator of Colchester New Music, and is currently involved with a range of musical projects including Colchester’s Moot Hall Organ and the Erasmus Chamber Choir and Ensemble. Blustin turned his focus to musical activities after initially training as a astronomer and working for a few years in research, science operations and instrumentation projects.

List of works

Choral: liturgical

Canticles I: Magnificat – Nunc Dimittis (2020), SATB (with divisi)+organ, English text

Nunc Dimittis for upper voices (2020), SSA, Latin text

Mass II (2018), SSATB (Kyrie – Gloria – Sanctus – Agnus Dei), Latin text. Premiere: 19 May 2019, London Festival of Contemporary Church Music (LFCCM) 2019, St Magnus-the-Martyr, London, dir. Lottie Bagnall [Greenhow], Listen here: KyrieGloriaSanctusAgnus Dei

Mass I (2014 rev. 2017), SATB (Kyrie – Gloria – Sanctus – Agnus Dei), Latin text. Premiere: 15 May 2014, LFCCM 2014, St Pancras Parish Church, London, dir. Christopher Batchelor

Choral: introits, anthems and motets

I am risen (2021), SAB, English text [Easter Day introit]

Behold, O God (2021), ATB, English text [Protector noster]

All the Earth shall worship thee (2021), ATB, English text [Omnis terra]

Thou hast mercy (2020), ATB, English text [Ash Wednesday]

Ye men of Galilee (2020), SATB, English text [Viri Galilaei]

Unto thee, O Lord (2020), ATB, English text [Ad te levavi]

Give peace, O Lord (2020), ATB, English text [Da pacem]

Choral: Advent and Christmas works

O Oriens (2020), ATB, Latin [Advent antiphon]

There is no rose (2020), SATB; text: Anon, medieval

Jesus Christ the apple tree (2019), SATB; text: Anon, 18th Century

Snowflakes (2014/2020), unison voices+piano; text: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Journey Carol (2012), SATB+organ; text: Alexander Blustin Premiere: 16 Dec 2012; St Andrew’s Swavesey; Swavesey Community Choir; Chris Jessop, conductor

Thaw (2011/2020), SATB; text: Alexander Blustin

Hymn of Winter (2010 and 2020 versions), SATB; text: Alexander Blustin Premiere: 16 Dec 2010; Cottenham Village College; Cottenham VC staff choir, listen here (2010 version)

Keyboard(s) (+ one instrument)

Where’s all this going? (2020), clavietta; selected for the 20 Seconds of 2020 Project; David Bohn’s recording posted on YouTube, January 2021. listen here

The grand circling of the cat-turkey (2019), suite for solo clavichord: La Gallopavo – Monsieur Donaldo – La du Christine; complete premiere 9 Mar 2019; Pavilion Room, Hughes Hall, Cambridge; Francis Knights, clavichord

A little Syracuse prelude (2019), toy piano; selected for the 100-note Toy Piano Project; David Bohn‘s recording posted on YouTube, September 2019. Listen here

Idle thoughts of owls (2017/2019), for two harpsichords/clavichords Premiere (harpsichords): 28 Apr 2018; Old House Barn, Pimlott Foundation, Colchester; Knights-Tidhar Duo; (clavichord version) 27 Jul 2019; Fitzwilliam College Chapel, Cambridge; Francis Knights and Pablo Padilla; for harpsichord+viola da gamba (2019), Premiere: 12 Oct 2019; Adams Road Commune, Cambridge; Talitha Annan, gamba; Dan Tidhar, harpsichord; for solo clavichord (2019), Premiere: 29 Feb 2020; Fitzwilliam College Chapel, Cambridge; Francis Knights

The children on the lawn (2014), two harpsichords Premiere: 27 Feb 2015; Robinson College Chapel, Cambridge; Knights-Tidhar Duo

Snowflakes (2014), piano Premiere: 23 Oct 2014; Swinburne Hall, Colchester Institute; Stephanie Lim, piano

Piccadilly Circus (2014), organ Premiere: 14 Sep 2014; St Peter’s North Hill, Colchester; Richard Lawn, organ

Thaw (2014), organ Premiere: 14 Sep 2014; St Peter’s North Hill, Colchester; Richard Lawn, organ

Libretto and other verse

High Tea (2020), libretto for an afternoon tea cantata in the form of JS Bach/Picander’s Coffee Cantata, for three singers + ensemble

The Lion of Essex (2018), libretto for a cantata for soprano + harpsichord

Other verse

Bibliography

Secrets of the gargoyles, Blustin, A. J. (August 2021) Cathedral Voice 34 11

New music for two harpsichords: the CNM call for scores and beyond, Blustin, A. J. (2019) Sounding Board (magazine of the British Harpsichord Society) 13 3 (A longer version first appeared as New music for two harpsichords: why, who and how, Blustin, A. J. (2018) NEMA (National Early Music Association) Newsletter ii/2 63)

Beaks and Quills re-invented, Blustin, A. J. (2017) NEMA Newsletter i/1 16

Printmaking: portfolio and bibliography

Astronomy: in peer-reviewed journals; various non-refereed

Projects

  • Cambridge Festival of Ideas: external co-ordinator for the following events:
    • CFI 2019: Dances, dirges and devotions: old and new music for early instruments concert in Fitzwilliam College Auditorium, 15 Oct 2019
    • CFI 2018: Buxtehude’s Lost Planets early music and astronomy lecture-recital with Francis Knights (harpsichord) and Simon Mitton (narrator), Fitzwilliam College Auditorium, 16 Oct 2018
    • CFI 2013: Cambridge School poetry and the frontiers of meaning; Drew Milne, Ian Heames, Justin Katko (poets), CB1 Cafe, 27 Oct 2013
  • Cambridge Poetry Stall weekly on Cambridge Market, Oct 2012-Jul 2014; it stocked new publications from local publishers and poets, plus review books and new/second-hand poetry magazines: founder and proprietor
  • Moving Tone Promotions Ltd.
    • Gibb Rishes Monologue experimental music theatre show tour, 2010-2011: production/stage manager, publicity designer
  • Freelance admin support for various clients including the Academy of Ancient Music; harpsichordist Dan Tidhar; Moot Hall Organ; London Composers Forum; Moving Tone Promotions.

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