Marc Yeats’ music is performed, commissioned and broadcast worldwide. Transduction, complex surface relationships, asynchronous alignments, contextual, harmonic and temporal ambiguities, polarised intensities and a visceral joy of sound are all primary concerns.
….‘how sour sweet music is,
When time is broke and no proportion kept!’….
(William Shakespeare: Richard II, 5.5.42-9)
Marc Yeats is a composer and visual artist. His intense music has received performances and broadcast around the world including The Edinburgh String Quartet (UK), the Chamber Group of Scotland (UK), Psappha (UK), Richard Casey, Stephen Combes, the London Sinfonietta (UK), the Endymion Ensemble (UK), Lonba (Argentina), Paragon Ensemble (UK), the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (UK), illegal harmony (UK), 175 East (N.Z.), Sarah Watts, SCAW (UK), Sarah Nicolls, Federico Mondelci, the Commonwealth Sinfonietta (UK), Contempo Ensemble (Italy), Rarescale (UK), The Scottish Clarinet Quartet (UK), Symposia (UK), the New York Miniaturists Ensemble (USA), Trio IAMA (Greece), The International Concert Brass Soloists (Switzerland), Dirk Amrein (Germany) Expatrio (UK), Chroma (UK), Kokoro (UK), Consortium5 (UK), Ensemble Amorpha (UK) the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (UK), the Hallé Orchestra and Chorus (UK) conducted by Sir Mark Elder, Tokyo City Philharmonic (Japan) and Gewandhaus Radio Orchestra (Germany), with broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland as well as German, EU, Hawaiian, Japanese and New Zealand radio.
Marc Yeats is Composer-in-Association with Chamber Cartel [Atlanta US], Manchester Pride [UK] and SATSYMPH [UK]
He is also Chair of DIVAcontemporary
Marc is proud to be a Sound and Music Composer Curator for the 2014/15 season.
What others have said about Yeats’ work:
“Marc Yeats’ musical voice is quite unlike anything else; the music is challenging to both performers and audiences, and very communicative. He produces extraordinary compositions that not only look and sound good, but demonstrate a very high level of academic learning, while being breathtakingly original.” Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
“Yeats’ instrumental roles are demanding, pushing every player to extremes of agility. The intensities of expression are not empty extravagances, however, but the comment of an expressionist drama that exudes the passion and life-energy of their creator.” Piers Helliwell
“Refreshingly unfettered in concept – it’s something of a tour de force” Lynne Walker, The Independent on The Round and Square Art of Memory
“He uses his orchestra resourcefully; fresh and intriguing colours, but he uses his musical time even more resourcefully, never allowing the ear to lose track of the changing and evolving ideas.” The Scotsman on The Round and Square Art of Memory
“Yeats has a strikingly individual feel for the texture of an orchestra, yet it’s never in all-purpose avant-garde alienated tones. But this is the second fabulous piece I’ve heard from this emerging composer, and if there’s more where that came from we have a major new British talent on our hands.” David Fanning, The Telegraph on The Round and Square Art of Memory
“That Yeats has something to say in the wild shrieking music is beyond question. He hurls himself at the sound with an admirably pure and savage impressionism.” The Scotsman on The Anatomy of Air
“… he unleashes every shade on the palette, and continually pushes instruments, textures and dynamics to extremes. “The Herald on The Anatomy of Air”
“The orchestral work ‘I See Blue’, is startlingly original in its structure and orchestration, using brass and bass drum to unexpected and powerful effect, with dazzling combinations of string and wind colour.” Sally Beamish
“Marc Yeats is one of the most exciting composers I have encountered in recent years. His ability to use maximum with all timbres of the instrument, whilst never sacrificing the very heart of the music, gives the musician many challenges which are exhilarating to discover.” Kathryn Stott
“The sheer noise of the percussion section through which Kathryn Stott somehow managed to make the piano audible set a new decibel level for this hall. Yet one felt an original creative mind at work, not just a bruiser but a maverick with some kind of purpose.” Michael Kennedy on The Round and Square Art of Memory
VOX review: Sarah Watts, Park Lane Group Young Artist Concerts, Purcell Room, South Bank Centre, London: “VOX was premiered by and written for Sarah (Watts), with the intention of depicting as many voices as the instrument is capable of. In Sarah’s hands the instrument spat, grumbled, screamed and sang throughout. Making use of the altissimo range of the instrument at every turn, this has to be one of the most demanding yet effective works in the repertoire, both musically and technically.” Sarah James, Clarinet and Saxophone Magazine
Yeats is largely self-taught, though he has received support and encouragement from Maxwell Davies after attending his composition summer school on Hoy some years ago. He is also a painter, and the possibility that the audio and visual aspects of his creative imagination are linked in some way should not be ruled out. Yeats is an experimental composer in his own highly individual manner, and this is reflected in almost all his recent scores. ‘a waiting ghost in the blue sky’ was the most ‘advanced’ music on offer at this year’s Festival, yet the confidence with which Yeats deployed his material ensured a warm reception. John Warnsby – Festival Review: St Magnus Festival – 16 – 21 June 2000
Part of the Coastal Voices Project in Dorset and east Devon, sturzstrom has no famous participants. It’s a vocal work I stumbled across while reading the blog 5against4.com and is one that expresses – in the words of the composer, Marc Yeats – “the formation and geology of the Jurassic coast concentrating on the phenomina of landslips, mudslides and coastal erosion”. I’m sure we can all agree it’s been a while since we heard one of those. The piece was made using nothing but vocals from community choirs and pebbles for percussion but it was no simple affair. Geologists were offered creative input, while – not wanting to limit the music to conventional notation – Yeats created a variety of signs and symbols for the vocalists to learn and interpret (looking at the score feels more like a maths exam than a piece of music). It certainly sounds different: the volley of shrieks and bellows have a feral quality to them and create genuine excitment. At the same time, crescendos can disappear into whispers just as quickly.
Tim Jonze On Shuffle … Experimental music | The Guardian | 30th June 2012
“Marc Yeats’ music is perhaps the only music I know of personally that is truly making sense of the 5th empirical quality of sound – spatiality.
I mean it. Amongst everything else, e.g.Black Root or A Theft of Cold Moisture manage most amazingly to work (as the subject of this work, not the object) the space around the performance from which they ring out. Differently as in e.g. Xenakis, You don’t displace the performers, as in spacing them apart from each other but not changing the projection dimensions fundamentally, You not only manage to realise (again, as the agents of said activity, not object) the spatial attributes of sound, by the very particular handling of dynamics, but also literally within the timbres themselves (the latter would hold true even when all notes would be played in identical dynamics, without any emphasis or else; I know, I tried it)! To be able to shape the spatiality inherent in timbres, and to do so in a solo piece (!), is unique.”
Markus Wenninger | Clarinettist and musician [Germany] | 12th November 2013 Facebook Thread
and: “Never ever before I have encountered such brilliance & unrelenting insistence in the densest & most massive material structures as with Marc Yeats’ work, every single work is as written by an extreme expert for the instrument chosen, & at the very same time free & open & pushing me to wherever I cannot go on my own. I’m very grateful to meet such a mind & soul, such a physicality”. Facebook open post 1.12.2014
Markus Wenninger | Clarinettist and musician [Germany] | 1st. December 2014 Facebook Thread
“I admire your work…you have a unique gift and you create magic with your ability to relay complex concepts with ease and simplicity to performers. It’s a talent missing from most composers; I use you as a model in talks I conduct because it is such an important element for aspiring composers…and let’s also make a key point…your music is profoundly innovative. I’ll always be a fan.”
Bill Smith | Composer / Teacher [US]| 25th April 2014 Facebook open post
“Today, received “Streaming” for Kingma System quartertone alto flute by Marc Yeats. A massive 20< minute energy field. What a terrifying talent this man has. Effortless. Unreal.”
and “Such exceptional music. Effortless talent. Marc is such a monster. So much shit and so many impostors/posers out there. You have no idea how refreshing it is.”
Carlton Vickers | Specialist Contemporary Flute Virtuoso [US] | 25th April / 1st. July 2014 Facebook open post
“Streaming” presents a serene array of pools, each containing suspended quantities of crystalline particles. Global tempo composites equate to relative fluid motion, influencing local activity, while arrangement is held in stasis”.
Carlton Vickers | Specialist Contemporary Flute Virtuoso [US] | 10th October 2014 Facebook message
“These concerts [Sonic Coast Concert Series [1-5] / Sound and Music Composer Curator] are curated by one of the UK’s most ceaselessly energetic and imaginative composers, Marc Yeats, on this occasion featuring flautist Carla Rees, oboist Paul Goodey and clarinettist Sarah Watts”.
Simon Cummings | Composer and music blogger 5against4 [UK] | 18th November 2014 5:4
Marc Yeats’s tracks