Percussionist Philip Howells discovers a love of arranging music during lockdown: “My arrangement will be printed soon for rehearsal and I’m looking forward to that!”
We gather you've been staying busy throughout the pandemic arranging music. Had you spent a lot of time doing this pre-pandemic?
Was there an initial project that sparked your renewed interested in arranging?
"A project I have been involved in during lockdown was Joby Burgess' Virtual Marimba Choir, a project that was created in spring 2020 as a direct response to the pandemic."
"Over 220+ percussionists participated in performing Eric Whitacre's Sleep on tuned percussion. That project alone helped spark my renewed interest in arranging again. At first, it was quite nerve-wracking because I’ve never submitted a video audition before in my life. It felt quite relieved to play a small part in something big."
Tell us about the other works you've revised? What instrumentation have you been writing for, is it all percussion?
"So far, I have managed to revise Warlock's Capriol Suite to be arranged for BSO Resound. That piece was one of three pieces I wanted to arrange and proposed to Lisa Tregale (who worked with the BSO at the time) and she was all for it. My arrangement will be printed soon for rehearsal and I’m looking forward to that!"
"I dabble in video game covers for my YouTube channel, which predominantly features percussion writing. My covers range from game franchises like Kingdom Hearts to indie games such as Hollow Knight, games that I absolutely enjoyed from my childhood and new games that I got addicted to. Playing video games is my form of research in providing the best arrangements that I can on YouTube."