Each of these pieces makes use of non-standard notation. This means that much of my preparation was time spent in my studio both alone and in collaboration with the composers (by means of recording, Skype, telephone and face-to-face sessions) learning, imagining and inventing (notating) new ways of representing the sounds that we each wanted to hear. The scrutinizing work in developing performance access to this sound world, to the gestural vocabulary and to the notation systems — it all had a massive effect on the success of transmitting the music in concert. It allowed me to get inside and “underneath” the surface of the written pages that were so excessively covered with musical instruction, to bring out in each piece the vitality of the individual ideas and the resulting larger forms, and to offer a potent, vibrant and resonating delivery to the audience. The process was invaluable to me, both as a performer and as a composer — as a creative musician. Improvisation is always a part of my work in learning any programme and here was no exception. However in the specific works of The Virtuosity of Excess creative playing was not simply a tool used to develop my interpretation of the scores but was also, in the case of my own piece and that of Steenhuisen, a practical technique upon which the compositions themselves were based.