solo | duos | chamber (instrumental) | ensemble with voice(s) | orchestra / large ensemble

chronological listing | solo/ensemble type listing

Solo works

3 pieces for solo flute (1973, rev.1978) Duration: 8'

Solo flute

First performance (revised version): Anna Noakes (flute), Royal Northern College of Music, 13 February 1978


2 Songs for unaccompanied voice (1976)

Solo countertenor

Texts: I 'Snowdrop' by Ted Hughes; II 'Stylite', Louis MacNeice

No known performance


Music of Wood and Strings (1978) Duration: 10'

Solo violin

First performance: Ola Rudner (violin), Wigmore Hall, London, 25 June 1978

Awarded Worshipful Company of Musicians Silver Medal 1978


Towards Happisburgh (1987–8) Duration: 17'

Tape electronics

First performance: Birmingham Polytechnic (now Birmingham City University), 12 March 1988


Duo: In Memory of Bill Hopkins (1981; extended 1984) Duration: 10'

Guitar duo

First performance (1981 version): Aguado Guitar Duo: Peter Batchelar and Kenneth Heggie (guitars), Royal Northern College of Music, 8 April 1981. Other performances include Purcell Room, London, 9 October 1983.

First performance (1984 version): Aguado Guitar Duo: Peter Batchelar and Kenneth Heggie (guitars), Norwich 11 February 1984. 12 performances as part of 1984 Regional Contemporary Music Circuit tour by the Aguado Guitar Duo. Commissioned by the Aguado Guitar Duo with funds from North West Arts. As part of British Council sponsored tour in 1985, the Duo has also received performances in Australia, Hong-Kong, India and Syria.


Dialogues (1992) 10'

Guitar duo

Details unknown (Performance materials not located since composer's death)

No known performance


A Field of Scarecrows (1998) Duration: c25'

Trombone (alto/tenor-bass) and pianoforte [trombonist reads spoken word]

Text: Taken from The Ruin, Old English Verse (translated by Michael Alexander)

First performance: John Kenny (trombones) and George Nicholson (piano) Napier University, Edinburgh, 17 November 1998. Numerous performances across the UK, Europe and America. Broadcast in December 2002 on BBC Radio 3 Hear and Now.

Commissioned by John Kenny with funds from the Scottish Arts Council.

Score available for purchase at Warwick Music.

CD available for purchase at Carnyx & Co.

Instrumental Chamber works

Movement for Jane (1993) Duration: c1'30"

Version 1: Flute, violin, 'cello, vibraphone, harp

Version 2: Clarinet, violin, 'cello, pianoforte

First performance (version 1): (Musicians unknown) Demarco Art Gallery, Edinburgh, 10 February 1994

First performance (version 2): (Musicians unknown) The Maltings Arts Centre, Berwick-upon-Tweed, 2 December 1994


Cloudscapes (1996) Duration: 10–14'

Clarinet, violin, 'cello and pianoforte

First performance of movements 1-II-III-4-coda: Chamber Group of Scotland, Aberdeen at a Society for the Promotion of New Music promoted concert, 27 October 1996

First complete performance: Lawrence Gill (clarinet), Katie Hull (violin), Su-a Lee ('cello), Peter Evans (piano), Reid Hall, Edinburgh University 23 June 1998.

This performance was recorded and filmed by Lightyears Films for inclusion in a thirty minute documentary television programme about Paul Keenan broadcast on Border TV (ITV) 15 October 1998

Programme note by Paul Griffiths


I quattro libri dell'architettura (2000) Duration: c28'

String quartet and electronics

First performance: Edinburgh String Quartet, John Kenny (conductor), Paul Keenan (sound diffusion), Paxton House, Scottish Borders, 11 July 2000.

Commissioned by Music-Makers for Summer Music at Paxton House with funds from Scottish Borders Council and The Scottish Arts Council. Click here for reviews.

Ensemble with voice(s)

The Ruin (1976–9) Duration: 25'

Soprano, countertenor and ensemble

Scoring:––pno.cel/org/hpd–perc(2):mar,vib,crot(chromatic octave),t.bells,tam-t(large),3gongs(high-medium-low),susp.cym(large),4bongos,conga drum,wdbl,2claves,3cowbells(pitched)–S.CT–string quartet(

Text: Taken from The Ruin, Old English Verse (translated by Michael Alexander)

First performance: New Music Forum Ensemble, David Fanning (conductor), Royal Northern College of Music, 27 February 1980

"...words almost fail me when it comes to (student?) Paul Keenan's "The Ruin" , apparently inspired by the opening section of an Anglo-Saxon poem..." Paul Dewhirst, The Daily Telegraph. Click here for full review.

Composer's programme note


Palimpsest (1992–5) Duration: c45'

Soprano, ensemble, livr and tape electronics

Scoring: 0.1(=ob,corA).1.0––pno–perc(1):vib,glsp,3tam-t(high-medium-low)–S–string quartet(–tape electronics

Text: Riddles taken from 'The First Poems in English', Old English Verse (translated by Michael Alexander)

First performance: ECAT Ensemble, Julie Moffat (soprano) and John Kenny (conductor), Morningside Baptist Church, Edinburgh, 28 January 2005

Performance broadcast on BBC Radio 3 Hear and Now, 7 May 2005. Click here for reviews.

Composer's programme note


Squaring xlvii (1996–7) Duration: 30'

Soprano, trombone (alto/tenor-bass), percussion (1 or 3), live and tape electronics

Text: 'Squaring xlvii' from Seamas Heaney's Seeing Things (1991), used with the poet's kind permission.

First performance: Clan Donald Centre, Isle of Skye, October 1997. Followed by 10 performances in the Highlands and Islands.

Commissioned by The Gathering (Frances Lynch, John Kenny, Bassam Abdul-Salem, John Whiting) with funds from the Scottish Arts Council. (Click here for reviews)

The commissioned composition was performed with one percussionist and multi-tracked percussion on DAT. It is possible to perform Squaring with 3 live percussionists.

Orchestra / large ensemble

Concerto for Groups of Instruments (1974–6) Duration: 25'

Scoring: 2(I=picc,II=afl).1.1.1––pft.elec org–

First performance: Timothy Reynish (conductor), Royal Northern College of Music, 14 October 1977

Performance by BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra with Garry Walker (conductor) recorded at Broadcasting House, Glasgow, 28 March 2004 for broadcast on BBC Radio 3 Hear and Now, 17 April 2004

Awarded Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize 1977

Composer's programme note


Comet Hale-Bopp (1997–8) Duration: 23'

43 musicians in three groups and tape electronics

Scoring: 6(III=fl,picc;IV=afl;V=afl;VI=bfl).2(I=ob;II=corA).1.0––perc(5):vib,2glsp,claves,6tam-t,2hand-held crot(high,medium),3 tuned Balinese gongs,tuned Chinese gong,crot,BD,tongue-drum(8-slot),6gongs,marimba,small bell,maracas(high,low)–2harps–pft––tape electronics

Not yet performed

Composed with the award of a bursary from the Scottish Arts Council and shortlisted by the Society for the Promotion of New Music (1999)

Composer's programme note


back to top of page