Frank Denyer’s music is relatively little known, but deeply loved by those who know it. His music has a deeply personal intimacy, with a focus on musical and acoustic intricacies, gently inviting rapt attention from listeners. Alongside this warmth, the large scale of The Fish that Became the Sun also encompasses moments of loud extraversion, quirky humour, bleak darkness, and golden brightness.
In the 1970s, Denyer lived, worked and studied music in West Asia, Ahmedabad (India) and in Nairobi. His musical thought is profoundly influenced by other cultures, although his output is in no sense a fusion of East and West. From 1981 he taught at Dartington College of Arts, where he was Professor of Composition until 2010. Denyer co-founded the Barton Workshop with James Fulkerson in 1990, and their recordings of American Experimental music, as well as Denyer’s own compositions, have met with international acclaim.
Photo: Graham Hardy
Recently, Denyer’s music has begun to be recognized in more mainstream circles, with acclaimed titles on the Another Timbre record label. As well as The Fish that Became the Sun, 2019 saw a second disc released The Boundaries of Intimacy. In addition, Denyer’s book In the Margins of Composition was published that year, and later in 2020, Suhail Merchant’s full-length film about Denyer and his work will receive its premiere.