Ned Bigham (Composer)
Ned Bigham is an eclectic composer whose career encompasses orchestral, chamber, choral and electronica. Recent commissions include a setting of 'The Jumblies' by Edward Lear for the South Bank Sinfonia and Surrey school choirs, performed at Grange Park Opera.
In August 2017 the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra performed Ned’s piece Staffa at the 70th Anniversary Celebration Concert of the Edinburgh International Festival, attended by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. This was a collaboration with BAFTA award-winning visual artist Gerry Fox: three huge screens were hung above the Usher Hall stage showing remarkable drone footage of the island, whilst Martyn Brabbins conducted the orchestra, also broadcast on BBC Radio 3. Supported by Creative Scotland, Staffa concurrently took place as an installation in the National Library of Scotland, with score recorded by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. It was experienced there by an audience of more than five thousand over ten days, and was chosen by Radio Scotland and various press as Pick of the Festival ('charming', Ivan Hewett, Daily Telegraph).
Shortly afterwards Ned’s second orchestral CD Staffa was released and reached 13 in the Classical Specialist Charts, the highest position for a living composer that week. It has received airplay on Radio 3 and Radio Scotland ‘Classics Unwrapped’ and Ned was interviewed about it and the performances by Sean Rafferty on Radio 3 In Tune.
Other recent commissions include a choral setting of Shakespeare’s Sonnet VIII for the massed choirs of Chichester, Salisbury and Winchester Cathedrals at the Southern Cathedrals’ Festival. Also Heaven Shall Call Her from this Cloud of Darkness for the Brodsky Quartet at the Petworth Festival (Champs Hill and St Mary's). His previous orchestral/chamber CD Culebra reached 11 in the UK Specialist Classical Charts and was described by Gramophone magazine as 'meltingly lovely'. It included The Nairne Ballads, a commission for the Scottish Ensemble, which has received performances across Scotland and England, together with contributions from the RSNO and Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to performances of concert music at classical festivals across the UK, his surround sound/multi-screen collaborations with Gerry Fox have been staged at international art shows including the Venice Biennale. Favela Descending, at the Shoreditch Concrete and Glass Festival, was described by Channel 4 as 'haunting, beautiful and mind-blowing'. Ned’s sonic installation Octarama, for two sopranos, flute, clarinet and MPC2000 through eight loudspeakers in a circle, was installed at the ICA and won the John Halford Composition Prize.
Ned studied at Balliol College, Oxford and under Daryl Runswick, John Ashton Thomas and Mike Garrick at Trinity College of Music, London. He worked as a session player to begin with, drumming for Neneh Cherry, after which he co-founded the seminal Acid Jazz band D-Influence. Sampling classical recordings and then reversing, pitch-shifting, combining and splitting the results became a hallmark of his electronic experimentation project Anti Atlas. The album Between Voices, with Radiohead producer Chris Hufford, was chosen as Sunday Times CD of the week and interviews included The Independent, which you can read here. He co-wrote and co-produced Asian artist Amar’s album Outside, with Sade/Everything But The Girl producer Robin Millar CBE, drawing from classical Indian ragas and receiving acclaim across the British and Asian press.
He has written and produced songs for artists including folk singer Cara Dillon, Amy Winehouse and Leona Lewis, and his collaborations with Miami DJ Robbie Rivera have twice reached the top of the American Club Charts. Recent releases, under the name Raflo, have climbed high in the UK and international club charts, broadcast on BBC radio.
He is published by Faber Music.