Geek: for Symphony Orchestra

Research output: Performances, compositions and other non-textual formsComposition



‘Geek’ was commissioned in 2011 by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for performance as part of the closing concert of the BBC ‘Tectonics Glasgow’ new music festival on 12th May 2013, with a live recording of the performance subsequently broadcast on Radio 3’s Hear and Now on June 1 2013. Conductor and contemporary music specialist Ilan Volkov instigated the commission, describing it in a pre-concert interview with The Herald as “quite unlike other new music”.

Mindful of the context of the festival, and understanding the types of music that would be showcased, De Simone could not resist the idea of examining the prevalent cultural tropes of orchestral music in mass media and commoditized contemporary music, connecting this with the opportunity the commission presented to write a large orchestral work fully utilising its conventional forces and the technical and expressive skills of the players. The researcher writes: ‘I am, whether I wanted to be one or not, a participant in [today’s] culture – my young life defined from the blockbuster films and home electronics of the early 80s, my internal narrative framed from within a universe of heroes, villains and star ships.’ De Simone therefore encapsulates his compositional intentions and process in Geek with the question ‘how does one maintain authenticity through writing for an ensemble that is by its nature a museum of archetypes?’


Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished or Performed - 10 May 2013