Jan’s opus (GWV) explores the world of chromaticism and endless changes in melody, harmony and counterpoint. He is rarely repetitive and his works are often testing the abilities performers and instruments, seeking the line between possible and impossible.
Jan Gorjanc has been composing since the age of seven, three years before his official musical education started. Up until 2012 his works were in ‘neo’-styles with a contemporary twist or a musical joke. He composed pieces for harp, orchestra, organ, songs for voice and piano and even a concerto for harp and orchestra. After coming to RCM he started developing his own musical language. On the borderline between his old and new voice might be his chamber opera APAXNH for amplified clavichord, male voice, choir and other instruments, marked as GWV 0.
LVI, GWV 10:
Premiere on 13th of June 2017, Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, RCM, London
A short song for tenor and piano, based on Catullus' 56th poem. Dynamic, vivid and narrative with explicit Latin text.
Julka in Janez, GWV 9:
Premiered on 19th of January 2017, Slovenian National Opera, Ljubljana
Opera in 8 scenes for mezzo-soprano and tenor voice, dancer, tape and chamber orchestra. Commissioned by Slovenian National Opera in Ljubljana, based on libretto by Svetlana Slapšak, which explores the themes of feminism and sexual ethics - based on a biographical story from 1920's.
Waves, GWV 8:
Premiered on 15th of April, Bloomsbury Church, London, Soprano F. Haynes, RCM Ensemble
Dramatic piece for soprano, narrator and ensemble sets words of Charles Kaye into music. It was written for a charity concert, helping the refugees from Syria, which is the theme of the composition - war, peace, life, death, the meaning of everything we believe in and fight for.
Pale Dew Drops, GWV 7:
Recorded in March 2016, premiered in May 2016 with Fiona Haynes and the composer.
Waka by Lady Kasa, 8th century Japanese poetess was set in music, reflecting Japanese mode with the choice of the pentatonic scale and the sounds produced on the harp.
Ode to Oud, GWV 6:
Premiered on 14th of May, St. James’s Church, Sussex Gdns. W2 3UD, Piano: N. Jala, A.Kraunaitis
This piece is in a form of a prelude and a continuous fugue for 8 voices and has been inspired by and written as an hommage to one of the most opulent, rich and sensual scents, masterfully captured in a truly divine fragrance 'Amber Aoudh' by Master Parfumer Roja Dove. The prelude is a memory of the scent, a glimpse of the bottle, while the fugue represents the continuous development of the perfume on the skin, its increasing in complexity and sensuality.
Profundus, GWV 5:
Musical tableau for harp and orchestra isa symphonic work, based on omnipresent ostinato. It grows organically from the simple and low bass line into several climaxes with an extend harp cadenza in the middle. Rhythmically and harmonically complex work with extended use of the 'surround' sound in the orchestra.
Die Hilflose Hand, GWV 4:
Premiered on 14th of May 2015, St. James’s Church, Sussex Gdns. W2 3UD, Singing F. Haynes and J. Davies
Short opera Die Hilflose Hand (The Helpless Hand) is scored for big ensemble, baritone and soprano. It concerns a dement wife and her husband, the pain and relief of forgetting. A miniature opera with dramatic climaxes and moments of hope and tranquility.
Étude Pédalogique, GWV 3:
Partially premiered on 20th of October 2014 in Slovenian National Opera, Harp: Eva Tomsic
A concert study ‘pour la harpe à pédales’ is in three movements, written for harpists eager for challenge, as with approximately two pedal changes per note it might be the most chromatic piece ever written (and performable) for the pedal harp. It explores the complete register of the instrument, extending the technique of playing the pedals and finding new sounds produced mainly by the mechanism. It is not only audible but also a visual spectacle, a dramatic journey through accidentals, so often avoided in harp music. The piece is dedicated to my friend Sylvana Labeyrie, who has inspired me withher brilliant playing to write such a piece.
Lamentationes, GWV 2:
A cappella piece for SSATB, two per each part, may be performed by a chamber choir of 10 singers with lyrics taken from Jeremiah’s Lamentationes. The music explores some extended techniques of singing, features polyphonic and very chromatic writing, supporting the text in every aspect - from tranquility to great distress. It is considered appropriate for use at the Christian ceremonies.
Tragedy in Venice, GWV 1:
Premiered on 8th of February 2014 in RCM, London, Piano: Oven Saldanha
A minute long piano piece featuring a musical riddle was composed for the concert of the RCM Junior Department, therefore it’s demands for great virtuosity are inexistent. Despite it’s brevity it is highly dramatic and meditative at the same time. There is also GWV 1-H, which is TiV transcribed for harp.
APAXNH, GWV 0:
Premiered on 25th of April 2014 in Cadogan Hall, London, Direction, Management, Costumes, Choreography: Jan Gorjanc , Starring: James Newby and Miklos Veszpremi
Chamber opera Arachne is written for amplified clavichord, male voice, female choir, brass, percussion and lights. It is written in 2 acts and includes expressive ballet, dramatic lighting and grand musical effects. The plot is based on the Greek myth Arachne, which explores the deeper meaning to ones own transformation and selfish desires in different phases of life - career, relationships and daily activities. There is an element of surprise, contrast and continuous movement in the performance.