Profile:Stuart Henderson

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Stuart is a composer from the UK. He composes in a wide range of styles, but prefers writing orchestral and piano solo music. He has played the piano for 10 years and is currently writing an original musical entitled "The Undertakers".

Compositional Style

Many of his compositions are extremely complex, and include polymeter, counterpoint and dissonance. Electronic instruments are included in some of his orchestral works, and are treated with the same respect as standard orchestral instruments.

When writing music he often starts with a relatively simple melody, and harmonizes it simply. He then writes countermelodies and an accompaniment, and harmonizes all the chords again making changes when necessary.

He has written music in many styles, including: Classical, Minimalist, Electronic, Ambient, Jazz, Choral, Reggae, and Rock, and has written Solo pieces for Piano, Trumpet, and Flute. He makes frequent use of the pan-flute, as it has "an ethereal, yet ethnic quality".

The Undertakers

Early last year the Undertakers was thought up, as an original concept musical. It tells the story of how two 19th century Undertakers become involved in a mass murdering attempt to secure higher profits for their business, and the unlikely love affair of their young daughter and their pall boy. The musical can be performed as an opera, as there is very little actual spoken dialogue. The songs incorporate counterpoint very often as, "I don't see why two people should ever sing the same thing. It's like a conversation, you aren't going to know what the other person has said until they say it. That's what I have done with the Undertakers. I have had characters repeating lines after one another, and on occasion saying similar things at the same time, but never singing the same thing at the same time. I have steered away from choral writing in this musical, for exactly the same reason. The only time a choir is used, is in a scene where they are singing a pastiche song in a church.".