Marc Harris Music
Marc's fascination and engagement with music stems back to the concerts he was taken to as a small child. He was keen to play the piano from a very young age, and continued to play in bars and restaurants through university and beyond. He brings a lifetime of ranging musical interests to his own compositions, and these references ripple throughout all his works.
Time to compose was an unexpected gift from the dark heart of lockdown; having dedicated his working life to running a successful safari business, he had had little time for much else, but continued playing keyboards for a number of different bands around town. When COVID struck Marc suddenly found time to write the music he had been dreaming of for decades. With the office to himself & with nothing but a couple of keyboards and no one but speakers for company, the music began to flow...
With invaluable guidance and advice from his mentor, Jo Reeves, Marc began developing and expanding his musical ambitions. From a small score the work became a fully-conceived symphony for a full orchestra and 2 dozen singers; Symphony No.1 - Shifting Sands. Jo gathered musicians from the Guildhall and Royal College of Music to perform the work in London to great acclaim in June 2021, and Marc went on to record a version with the Northern Film Orchestra later that year.
Symphony No.1 - Shifting Sands won 2nd prize at the 2022 Petrichor International Music Competition
the Grand Prize at the Vivaldi International music competition,and an assortment of other awards & prizes
Symphony No.2 'Aurora Nova', co-written with Jo, premiered in London in July 2023 and will be available shortly on Spotify.
Meanwhile, Marc continues to play a heady mix of Latin, Funk and Blues on keyboards. He has played for a huge number of different bands over the years, and particularly enjoys gigging with his own band, Patchwork.
He holds an MA from University of Cambridge and is an associate of the London Symphony Orchestra’s Soundhub.
He lives in Southwest London with his wife Annie, 2 children and arguably too many keyboards...
"The music of Marc Harris has a clear tonal basis, a great melodic & thematic richness and a wonderful sense of form & architecture – his three-movement work is one, great cohesive whole, with a great contrast of moods & emotion, and is brilliantly and effectively orchestrated. The Northern Film Orchestra, under the direction of Melvin Tay, and the Choir, conducted by Anna Beresford, give a superb performance of this work - deeply expressive and with a great balance and clarity of lines."
"Symphony No. 1 – Shifting Sands from composer Marc Harris is a powerful work of great expression from an exciting voice in contemporary music."
" Marc has skilfully woven together many different musical elements, paying reference to some of the great composers of the past whilst also delivering a sound with a modern, cinematic edge, taking inspiration from film scores. The symphony is composed for a full orchestra plus choir and church organ, allowing for a large difference in use of dynamics between the different moments of the piece. There is also a strong Arabic and middle eastern flavour running through the symphony in its use of harmony, which combined with the choir gives the piece a slightly timeless and ancient quality.
Overall, the listener is treated to an epic musical landscape which ebbs and flows like rolling sand dunes in the desert."
Jack Hughes, Northern Film Orchestra
“I hear 1932 -2011: John Barry, John Williams and Max X Steiner (KONG!) very Korsakov-like and at the end of 3rd movement I hear Glass, (as in KOYANIQATSI, different instrumentation of course), good clarinets and their usage alongside the bottom strings in a Tango/Milonga habanera type suggestion, very rhapsodic with the chorus-definitely cinematic and impressionistic; Phrygian and arabesque… Love the woodwinds swirling around the brass like eels."
Tontxi Vazquez, Director, Producer and Screenwriter
COMPETITIONS AND PRIZES
CATALOGUE OF WORKS
Symphony No. 1 'Shifting Sands'
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WATCH THE LIVE PERFORMANCE ON YOUTUBE
Shifting Sands is a classical symphony for the new millennium, conceived during the darkest days of the pandemic. As the dust settles and the world seeks balance again, this music continues to spin us from the shifting sands of Arabia to the endless plains of the Serengeti, the wild steppes of Asia to the rainforests of Central and South America, howling back in rage at the powers of creation.
To buy a signed physical CD or USB please email
Symphony No.2 premiered in St Mary's Church, London SW15 on July 2nd 2023
We are working hard to get the full video of teh performance reacy for distribution, however, in the meantime some video clips below and the full recording is downloadable here
NEW DAWN, St Mary's Church June 2022
SYMPHONY No.2 'Aurora Nova', St Mary's Church July 2023
SYMPHONY NO.2 - Aurora Nova
Programme notes, Lyrics & Translation
Please feel free to get in touch !
Tel (UK): +44 (0) 7734 159588