GORDON MCPHERSON (b 1965 )
Gordon McPherson studied composition with John Paynter and David Blake at York University (1983-86, 1988-91). He is currently Head of Composition at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.'Study in moto perpetuo: Brevity can save the nation' is from his Angel Suite, a set of four studies, partially exploring the guitar’s technical and musical capabilities. The ‘study’ element is in the restless demands on the player’s fingers. The second part of the title arose through McPherson’s conversation with a composition student who shares his interest in more overtly popular musical culture. While discussing what was happening in various clubs, and who were the new groups seeking fame both locally and in wider fields, McPherson asked how they, as composers with diverse influences, might resolve this conundrum whilst producing works for an essentially ‘classical’ audience. The student replied ironically that, given the short concentration span of ‘popular’ audiences, they might begin by writing shorter pieces. Though he did not entirely agree with the argument, McPherson was sufficiently amused by it to add the subtitle to this work, which, whether or not it displays non-classical influences, is one of the shortest pieces he has written for a long time.