|Gillian Stevens studied Music at York University. She then combined a career as a free-lance viola da gamba player with bringing up five children. In 1989 she trained as a music therapist and the experience of responding in clinical improvisation to the musical expression of people with various difficulties has had a profound effect on her musical creation in improvisation and in composition.|
Recent performances include:-
A Strand in the Web of Life;
for childrens' and adult choirs, soloists, harp, tubular bells and viols. This 40 minute piece was a response to the urgent need for us to tune into our connection with one another and the earth. It was commissioned by the Unicorn singers and received an Arts Council grant. The soloists were Gothic voices. The first performance received a standing ovation and many of the audience were in tears. Local demand led to a second performance in the Crickhowell Dragon Gateway Festival in 2007. The piece explored the deployment of musical forces within a particular space. The musicians moved around or played from different spaces within the building.
Sounds from Silence
Performed in St Luke's London in September 2008 by an orchestra of music therapists (who are all also professional players). It was commissioned for the 50th anniversary of the British Society for Music Therapy. It started with an improvisation on voice and sounding bowls. Like A Strand in the Web of Life, it explored different placements of sound within the acoustic space.
Sounds from Solitude: concerto for kantele and strings,
Performed in Mikkeli Finland in October 2009, by the Mikkeli String orchestra with Timo Vaananen, conducted by Jani Telaranta. This concerto was in 7 movements and lasted just over 30 minutes. The soloist is mainly an improvising player and the challenge was to write a piece for a conventional string group allowing space for the soloist to improvise around set parameters. Timo and Gillian worked together over the course of a year to develop the music with two meetings and many e-mails and Sibelius files! The initial inspiration for the music came while Gillian was taking a month long silent retreat.