Gareth Churchill is a composer, collaborative artist and music teacher based in Cardiff. He has won various awards including composition prizes at the Inter-collegiate and National Eisteddfods of Wales and the William Matthias Composition Prize (2011).
Having originally trained as an oboist, he turned to composition after becoming physically, cognitively and visually impaired aged 20. His unique experiences, as a disabled person, of the mechanical interacting with the organic have had a profound influence on shaping his musical voice. The tension and ebb and flow between these states now underpins a musical language which combines intrigue with impact.
In 2019 he joined Paraorchestra, as their first non-performing composer member and has been exploring and developing a burgeoning interest in collaboration and storytelling ever since. This reflects a deep-seated interest in giving voice to lived experience and empowering others to tell their stories through music.
Recent collaborations include Grey Matters, a dramatic song cycle giving voice to the experience of social distancing from the perspective of brain injury survivors and Grinding, a social commentary on the experience of using dating applications, created in association with South Wales Gay Men’s Chorus.
His first opera, The Bridge Between Breaths, was written in collaboration with Hafsah Bashir in response to a commission from formidAbility and the research and development for his second opera, an adaptation of Kaite O’Reilly’s performance text the 9 Fridas, has been commissioned by Unlimited.
In 2018 his choral music was recorded for inclusion on Only Breath: New Choral Music from Wales on the Ty Cerdd label and St David’s Hall Nightmusic commissioned Three for saxophonist Jess Gillam and friends. His string Quartet, Four, which was first heard at St Canna’s Ale House, Cardiff in 2019 was selected to represent Wales at the 2021 International Society for Contemporary Music.
Often composed in aesthetically related series, his instrumental solos have been widely performed internationally, reaching audiences in more than ten countries worldwide. Elemental Studies, a collection of etudes for the ‘doubling’ woodwind instruments, were first performed in London, Ghent, Cardiff and Chicago. These pieces, along with Compass Points, a collection of etudes for string instruments and Hors D’oeuvres, a set of piano miniatures written as birthday gifts for other composers, were all recorded and released, in 2020, as a portrait album of his work on the Ty Cerdd Label.