We've updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

Composition No. 30

by Simon H. Fell

  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    1998 double CD release, in jewel box with 8-page booklet.
    [Shipping prices are for airmail/priority delivery]

    Also includes immediate download of 15-track album in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.
    ships out within 2 days
    edition of 1500 

      €8 EUR or more 


  • Streaming + Download

    Immediate download of 15-track album (125 mins.) in your choice of 320k mp3, FLAC, or just about any other format you could possibly desire.

    You can preview the first 3 tracks of this album by using the player above (or clicking on the titles below). Please note that the previews that you can listen to on this page are 128k mp3s, so downloading the album will give you access to all tracks at a much higher quality level.

    The download includes a pdf file of the original artwork for the CD version 8-page booklet, inlay and discs.
    Purchasable with gift card

      €9 EUR  or more


  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    The same as the CD version above, but without the jewel box.
    If you have no need of the somewhat unloved and increasingly old-fashioned jewel box, we will send you the discs and all paper parts from the CD, without the plastic box.
    The price is the same (we don't really need any more empty jewel boxes!), but it should offer you significant savings on shipping, especially if you order several discs and/or are outside Europe.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Composition No. 30 via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    ships out within 2 days

      €8 EUR or more 


  • Full Digital Discography

    Get all 66 Bruce's Fingers releases available on Bandcamp and save 50%.

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Seven Compositions (Limoges), Virtual Company, Reconstructed Fragments, Arcaics II, Harmonic 2011, Limoges, Trois Jeux (Pour Daniel), 323[1], and 58 more. , and , .

    Excludes subscriber-only releases.

    Purchasable with gift card

      €203.13 EUR or more (50% OFF)


  • full score: Compilation III



A large-scale composition for improvisers, big band & chamber ensemble. Big is beautiful in this instance....

---------- selected press quotes ----------

"The lifetime masterpiece by a major contemporary musician - except, of course, Fell is hopefully going to be delivering much more music to us yet. ****" THE PENGUIN GUIDE TO JAZZ ON CD

"Two hours of music, 42 musicians, one mad genius at its centre. I am starting to believe that Simon H. Fell is one of the most important composers alive, and releases like this just make the case more cut-and-dried by the minute." Richard Cochrane RESONANCE

"Composition No.30, which represents Fell's third 'Compilation' for large ensemble, is, in my view, an important monument in the history of late 20th Century music. In this single piece one finds not only Ives, Webern, Cage, Ligeti, Partch, and Boulez, but also Ellington, Mingus, Sousa, Sun Ra, and even a little urban blues. It's as if all of Braxton's varied and copious output were microscoped into one audacious work for large ensemble. Fell seems to me to have created a piece of music on the level of Boulez' Pli Selon Pli and Ives' Holidays Symphony. It's what Bernstein and Berio may have been trying (unsuccessfully) to do with their Mass and Sinfonia (respectively), and what Ornette Coleman and Butch Morris are striving for in Skies of America and in countless large ensemble "conductions." Fell's Composition No.30 for Improvisers, Big Band and Chamber Ensemble is nothing less than a summing up and distillation of the experimental strains of Western music at the end of the millennium. It's a resounding success. I'm inclined to think that Fell has exaggerated the import of adherence to ex ante mathematical prescriptions in this work. Fell may be too humble to believe it, but the credit lies not in the numbers or even the stars, but in himself (and a few of his wonderful colleagues): together they have produced a modern masterpiece. Composition No. 30 should not only be considered as one of the top ten recordings of the year, but (move over all you Cardews, Birtwistles and Ferneyhoughs!) as one of the most important musical works to come out of Britain since the Sixties." Walter Horn CADENCE

"Listening to this music, I feel as if it is an inexhaustible document - that there is more substance, more happening than I could ever take in. Even in the most abstract of sections, there is an underlying sense of logic. This is truly a land-mark recording in contemporary music" Tom Pratt SIGNAL TO NOISE

A Cadence record of the year (1998)

to see full press quotes/reviews for this album, visit www.brucesfingers.co.uk/catalogue/bf27reviews.html


released July 15, 1998

Nikki Dyer: piccolo, flute
Sam Koczy: oboe
Becky Smith: clarinet
Charles Wharf: contrabass clarinet
Jeremy Webster: bassoon
Jon Halton: contrabassoon
John Butcher: soprano sax, tenor sax
Carl Raven: soprano sax, clarinet
Simon Willescroft: alto sax
Hayley Cornick: alto sax, flute
Mick Beck, Katy Hird: tenor saxes
Alan Wilkinson: baritone sax
Jo Luckhurst: baritone sax, bass clarinet
Gary Farr, Tom Rees-Roberts, Joanne Baker: trumpets
David Tollington, Tim Page: french horns
Paul Wright, Carol Jarvis, Matthew Harrison: trombones
Andrew M. Oliver: tuba
Irene Lifke: violin
Mark Wastell, Matthew Wilkes, Kate Hurst: 'cellos
Justin Quinn: acoustic guitar
Stefan Jaworzyn, Colin Medlock, Damien Bowskill, Andrew Stuart: electric guitars
Rhodri Davies: harp
Thanea Stevens: dulcichord
Fardijah Freedman: harpsichord
Guy Avern: piano, bass guitar
James Cuthill: prepared piano
Orphy Robinson: vibes
John Preston: double bass
Simon H. Fell: harpsichord, prepared piano, double bass
Paul Hession: drumset
Mark Sanders: drums, percussion

1998 (125 mins.) in jewel box
© Bruce's Fingers 1998

full track listing:
01. Part 1: Prelude, Swing & Variations [12:55]
02. Part 2: Klangfarbenmelodie [12:05]
03. Part 3: Blues [09:27]
04. Construct 1 [03:25]
05. Construct 2 [01:27]
06. Quartet [06:30]
07. Construct 3 [08:51]
08. Part 4: Rhythm [11:16]
09. Interlude [03:50]
10. Part 5: Guitar [07:01]
11. Construct 4 [06:46]
12. Construct 5 [10:14]
13. Construct 6 [07:10]
14. Trio [03:14]
15. Part 6: Chord Progression [22:35]

This musical work was conceived as an album, and is available here as such. However, if you wish to download individual tracks, you can do so at Diogenes, iTunes or Juno.


all rights reserved



Bruce's Fingers Saint Dizier Leyrenne, France

Bruce's Fingers is a record label founded in 1983 by bassist, composer & improviser Simon H. Fell.
The label's publications (which also include books and scores) are centred around free / contemporary jazz, improvised music & contemporary / experimental composition.
Initially focussed on Fell's own work, the BF project has since expanded to include many other things besides...
... more


contact / help

Contact Bruce's Fingers

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code

Report this album or account

Bruce's Fingers recommends:

If you like Composition No. 30, you may also like: