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Composers’ Digest Winter 2011/12


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CONTENTS

WELCOME

Welcome

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Scottish Music Centre Composition Marathon

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YMI Training and CPD Fund and Scottish Opera appoints first Composer in Residence 6 David Paul Jones wins Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Award for Music 8 William Sweeney wins British Composer Award

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SATSYMPH: GPS-triggered immersive soundworld app for smartphones 10 Thomas Wilson Prize for Composition

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New Music 20x12

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Winter Podcast

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Performance Details

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SMC Christmas Campaign

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Cryptic – 2011 at a glance

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SMC Mobile and Online

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Next Issue

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It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Winter 2011/12 edition of our Composers’ Digest which not only reflects on the astounding success and achievements of our friends and colleagues, but also details the many exciting opportunities and projects we have to look forward to in the year ahead. These of course include our Composition Marathon inspired by Bang on a Can, the recently launched Thomas Wilson Prize for Composition and PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music 20x12 which features the work of Sally Beamish, Anna Meredith, Aidan O’Rourke and Oliver Searle. As you will read later on, we ran our first Christmas Campaign this year to raise increased awareness of our membership and their countless triumphs; however, I would like to take the opportunity of this introduction to highlight and applaud the unending hard work of my colleagues Gill Maxwell, Alasdair Pettinger, David Simpson, Keith Beattie, Jamie Gilmour, Kristin Johnson, Sandra Craig, Fiona Grant and Scottish Music Centre Chair, Oliver Searle. Without their continual support, many, if not all of the new incentives we have introduced to benefit our membership would not have been possible! I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and look forward to a productive, rewarding and creatively fulfilling 2012! Seasons Greetings! Christopher Glasgow Communications Officer .


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SCOTTISH MUSIC CENTRE COMPOSITION MARATHON

would wish to gain from the experience - all creative ideas and suggestions are welcome!

In March 2012 Bang on a Can are coming to Scotland for Glasgow Concert Halls’ Minimal: Extreme and to mark this occasion, the Scottish Music Centre are launching a unique project, a Composition Marathon inspired by the organisation’s iconic performance festivals. The aim of this project is to challenge composers to create a brand new work in the Scottish Music Centre over the course of 8-12 hours on Saturday 24th March. The marathon will commence with each composer being partnered with the ensemble* who will be performing their work and it is requested that they remain on hand throughout the day to workshop and rehearse. Additionally, guidance and support will be offered by members of Bang on a Can.

Applicants will be notified of their selection (or not) by Wednesday 22nd February and those who are successful will be invited to attend a welcome reception in the centre. Please note that the minimum age requirement is 18, however, there is no upper limit. * Successful applicants will be paired with ensembles who are best suited to their compositional style and most likely to realise their ideas. For more information or to submit an application, please contact Christopher Glasgow, Communications Officer: chris.glasgow@scottishmusiccentre.com

th

Following this, on Sunday 25 March, performers will rehearse the completed scores, culminating in a final performance in the Old Fruitmarket from 3pm.

http://bit.ly/uhkd5W http://bangonacan.org

Essential supplies including manuscript, stationery, computers and notation software, printing and binding will be available for all involved in the project. Furthermore, all scores produced will be stored and made available as part of the Scottish Music Centre library and archive. This is an excellent opportunity, offering Scottish composers the chance to work with some of the world’s greatest innovators in contemporary music and of course to receive a performance of their work in Glasgow’s spectacular Old Fruitmarket. To apply for the marathon, composers are invited to submit their CV with accompanying covering letter detailing what they could bring to this project and what they

Featured Ensemble: Bang on a Can


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YMI TRAINING AND CPD FUND

develop an evidence-based music therapy programme.

The Youth Music Initiative Training and Continuing Professional Development Fund opened for applications in July 2011. It is provided by the Youth Music Initiative and is now administered on their behalf by the Scottish Music Centre.

Scottish Opera’s Alex Reedijk said: I see the development of Scotland’s artists as an integral part of our responsibility as a national opera company and creating a composer in residence programme is the logical next step by which to extend this process. The Emerging Artists programme has been so successful and it’s great to be able provide the right environment and opportunities for artists to grow and flourish in their professional careers. I can’t wait to see what Gareth will bring to the table, and where this might lead us in the future.

This fund is specifically aimed at supporting the Training and Continuing Professional Development of individuals and organisations working with children and young people in the informal sector. Awards to individuals will generally be within the range of £100 to £750, while the range for organisations will normally fall between £500 and £5,000. For application forms and full details of the eligibility criteria, please visit: http://www.scottishmusiccentre.com/ymitraining

SCOTTISH OPERA APPOINTS FIRST COMPOSER IN RESIDENCE Scottish Opera has appointed Scottish Music Centre Board Member Gareth Williams as its first ever composer in residence. The post, which will sit within the Company’s already wellestablished Emerging Artists Programme, will last two years and provides a fantastic development opportunity for upand-coming composers. Gareth is already working on a number of projects including a community and schools opera, a piece that will feature in the Opera Highlights tour in January 2012, a chamber opera that will tour Scotland in Autumn 2012, and a pilot project to

Gareth created two short operas for Five:15 Operas Made in Scotland, is a lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and has composed works for the Hebrides Ensemble, the Paragon Ensemble, Symposia, the Black Hair Ensemble, and the London Sinfionetta. He was the winner of the British Conservatoire Composers Forum 2000, and in 2004 won the Dinah Wolf prize for composition. His work has also been featured in the Edinburgh Festival, the St Magnus Festival, Opera to Go, and the York Late Music Festival. Closer to home, Gareth recently worked with NOISE to create the site-specific The Sloans Project, based on the history and characters of the local landmark. Gareth said: This is a great chance not only to spend time developing my composition skills, but to do it in an exciting artistic environment. Working with Scottish Opera means unlimited access to some of the best musicians, singers, directors, designers, and music educators in the opera world, as well as access to rehearsals, administrative and creative support. Possibly most importantly, it allows me free rein in terms of creativity. Most composer in residence programmes only last a year, but the length of this appointment means I’ll have a lot of time to continue honing my craft and produce some great work for Scottish Opera.


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A pianist, singer and composer of immense lyrical talent and depth. The Scotsman He comes to song-writing from a background of contemporary classical composing; one with a flair for evocative language and an imagination crammed with perceptive insights and abidingly wishful thinking. The Herald Featured Composer: Gareth Williams

http://www.davidpauljones.com/

DAVID PAUL JONES WINS GLENFIDDICH SPIRIT OF SCOTLAND AWARD FOR MUSIC Scottish Music Centre composer member and musician David Paul Jones was nominated for and won the prestigious Glenfiddich Spirit Of Scotland Award for Music on Tuesday 29th November. The other music finalists were King Creosote, Primal Scream and Emeli Sande. This triumph celebrates David’s contribution to the music and theatre industry in Scotland, highlighting his multi award-winning soundtracks and performances for some of the country’s major theatre companies including Grid Iron, Catherine Wheels and National Theatre Of Scotland. David has been composing for over 20 years and his catalogue consists of a prolific series of theatre soundtracks, which have received numerous nominations in the CATS Awards. His scores and publications include songs, choral works and instrumental pieces written over the last twenty years for his own solo performances and for other artists including soprano Lisa Milne, Alyth McCormack and the National Youth Choir Of Scotland. His acclaimed album Something There is released on Linn Records.

Featured Event: Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards

WILLIAM SWEENEY WINS BRITISH COMPOSER AWARD The 2011 British Composer Awards took place on Wednesday 30th November at Stationers Hall, London. The Awards celebrate the music of today’s composers living and working in the United Kingdom and also UK premières of work by composers from outside the UK. The keynote address was given by renowned composer and broadcaster Michael Berkeley, who also presented the winners with their awards. We are delighted to announce that long standing composer member William Sweeney’s Sonata for Cello & Piano won the title for Intsrumental Solo or Duo. Alongside Sweeney, eleven awardees were presented across 13 categories: Anthony Payne, Huw Watkins, Michael Zev Gordon, Lucy


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Pankhurst, Julian Anderson, Orlando Gough, Tommy Evans, John Barber, Richard Bullen, Bent Sørensen and Graham Fitkin.

Together they use leading edge software to create GPStriggered immersive soundworld apps for smartphones.

We would also like to acknowledge composer members Anna Meredith and Martin Suckling who received nominations. Sarah Rodgers, Chair of BASCA and the BCAs, said: The British Composer Awards juries are consistently looking for contemporary classical music which shows flair, originality and power of communication. The outcome of their deliberations is never predictable and this year’s results give accolades to a wonderfully wide sweep of British and international talent. http://www.britishcomposerawards.com

Featured Composer: William Sweeney

SATSYMPH: GPS-TRIGGERED IMMERSIVE SOUNDWORLD APP FOR SMARTPHONES SATSYMPH LLP comes from composer and artist Marc Yeats; poet, writer and context-aware media director and producer, Ralph Hoyte; and coder, composer and audio engineer Phill Phelps.

Why have they chosen to use this technology? Because this emerging platform interesting characteristics:

has

three

very

1.) It is locational, that is to say, it responds to the actual physical location of an individual with a smartphone. 2.) Delivery is personalised. 3.) It is a very challenging compositional environment with immense potential. The technology creates intense, evocative personal experiences in actual physical locations, which are userdirected. You are at one in the real world and at the same time, are completely immersed in a virtual soundworld, which responds to your movements. Trials have shown that this is an utterly compelling experience. SATSYMPH have the in-house know-how and experience to create very sophisticated contemporary music and contemporary poetry soundworlds as well as to engage with artistically rich dramatised heritage interpretive projects. SATSYMPH are currently in receipt of a major Arts Council England Grants for the Arts Award along with financial support from the PRS for Music Foundation and PVA MediaLab/labculture ltd., to realise their next major work, On a Theme of Hermes which will launch in late May 2012. http://satsymph.co.uk http://marc-yeats.co.uk/


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THOMAS WILSON PRIZE FOR COMPOSITION

NEW MUSIC 20X12

To mark the tenth anniversary of the death of Scottish Music Centre composer member Thomas Wilson, a composition prize has been inaugurated in association with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

January marks the beginning of an eventful and inspirational year for Britain with the arrival of the London 2012 Olympic Games, however, this sporting event signals even greater excitement and triumph for Scotland thanks to the outstanding achievements of three of our composer members, Sally Beamish, Anna Meredith and Oliver Searle, who were selected for PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music 20x12, a UK-wide commissioning programme consisting of twenty new pieces of music, each of 12 minutes in length, celebrating the talent and imagination of the UK’s musical community as part of the Cultural Olympiad.

Composers will be invited to choose a theme from six incidental works commissioned from Wilson by the BBC. The Thomas Wilson Prize for Composition is intended for composers of 25 years of age or younger. Works have to be written for solo guitar and should last between six and ten minutes. A jury will select a shortlist of three entries to be played by students from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland during the PLUG Festival in April 2012. The jury will then select a winner to be awarded the prize of £500. For an application pack with full terms and conditions of the prize please apply to: The Thomas Wilson Trust, c/o David Griffith, 146 Niddrie Road 3/2, GLASGOW G42 8QB. Incidental musical excerpts can be downloaded from the Thomas Wilson website: http://www.thomaswilsoncomposer.co.uk

Sally Beamish's new work, Spinal Chords, for the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, sets a text by Melanie Reid who broke her neck and back in a horse-riding accident in April 2010, ultimately leaving her paralysed. Melanie's weekly Spinal Column in The Times is an inspirational account of how she deals with raised and dashed hopes of recovery and how she in turn has been inspired by the many young people on her ward injured in sporting activities. Sally's piece therefore, reflects the positive spirit of Melanie and the many other people, including Paralympians, who display such a life-affirming attitude in the face of adversity. This is a commission that has made me think quite differently. Melanie Reid’s title idea – Spinal Chords – brings to mind the function of chords within a structure – the importance of harmony as the backbone of a piece. The link to sport, and the Olympics, has opened up all sorts of possibilities and exposed me to a world I know little of. Sally Beamish Anna Meredith's HandsFree enables the National Youth


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Orchestra, in groups of 16 to 160, to share their thrilling musicianship and creative inventiveness without their instruments, through clapping and beatboxing. Set for flashmob style performances in cities nationwide and as a surprise opener/encore to NYO concerts, Anna shaped HandsFree through workshops with members of the orchestra.

sound like, but part of the fascination of being a composer, for me, is working in a way I have not considered before, being out of my comfort zone and being uncertain as to what the result of the process may be.

I'm getting more and more into the immersive and curated side of the music I'm writing. This is a brilliant chance to try something out on a big scale and also a challenge in terms of what's possible for the players to memorise that still sounds exciting and unexpected. I've been lucky enough to tutor the amazing composers of NYO during their 3 annual courses for a couple of years now so I know first hand how jaw-droppingly good the performers are. I've been itching to get my compositional hands on the orchestra! Anna Meredith Oliver Searle’s Microscopic Dances, part of the Technophonia project, was written for a new kind of ensemble bringing together cutting edge music interfaces used by Drake Music Scotland - Soundbeam, Brainfingers with Notion software and the newly developed Skoog played by young disabled musicians and a group of their peers on more conventional orchestral and electronic instruments. His music challenges and inspires the young musicians to combine their individual talents to achieve a unique team performance, a 12-minute musical event that will stir their audience and stimulate them to think again about what is possible, as well as how we define musical instruments and performing musicians. I am extremely excited to be involved in such an unusual, but far-reaching project such as Technophonia. I was unsure as to what the final outcome of the project might

Music psychologists tell us regularly about the fantastically complex series of procedures that your brain goes through on its way to performing music. We must interpret pitches, rhythms, dynamics and articulations from a page of music, itself a type of complex language, then begin to realise these through a number of miniscule muscle movements, making decisions about the attack and sustain of each individual note, before moving to the next one. With or without sheet music, we are looking at others around us, perhaps focusing on a conductor/director, using our ears to decide when to join in with other musicians, altering our pitch by the smallest of microtonal increments and balancing our sound to produce a musical performance. These tiny movements and processes (many of which are only barely noticeable, or often completely invisible to the human eye) seem to me to be a number of microscopic dances between our neural processes and motor skills. Oliver Searle Fiddler and composer Aidan O’Rourke is also flying the flag for Scotland with his work TAT-1, commissioned by An Tobar – The Tobermory Arts Centre. Renowned both as a founder member of Blazin' Fiddles and Lau (3 times winners of the Best Live Act at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards), and for his superb solo releases Sirius and An Tobar, he has also featured on more than 80 albums by other artists, most recently guesting on the latest solo album by Idelwild's Roddy Woomble. Starting from the loose theme of bringing the world closer together, as the Olympics does, his new piece is inspired by the first transatlantic telephone cable which ran from Oban


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(Aidan's home town) on the west coast of Scotland to Newfoundland. For many years this cable carried the "hotline" between Washington and Moscow! This opportunity opens my composition work to a much wider audience. Until now this work has been heard mainly within Scotland. I will be creating most of the new material on the remote west coast of Scotland and am excited by the juxtaposition of it then being performed in London during such a major international event. Aidan O’Rourke For more information about New Music 20x12, performance listings and details of all 20 composers involved, please visit: http://www.prsformusicfoundation.com

WINTER PODCAST Following his inspirational Concept Session, delivered to 30 secondary school music students this December, we invited Alex Smoke, successful music producer and composer to feature as the next guest in our Exposed Melodies podcast series. Tune into this fascinating interview and access all of our recordings to date: http://www.scottishmusiccentre.com/exposed_melodies/

Profile: Alex Smoke is a new breed of electronic music producer. While his music may reside on the dancefloor along with his renowned live sets, it also resonates so much further than this. With a production style drawn from a myriad of influences that blur the boundaries between Electronica, Techno, Classical and Hip Hop, Alex Smoke's music evolves in new directions with every new project he undertakes, musically consistently fulfilling, regardless of the listener's preferred genre.

PRS New Music 20x12 Composers

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Alex's proficiency in multi-faceted electronic-beat-making is founded securely on a lifetime of classical training, nurtured not least by his mother, by profession a music teacher. At a young age, Alex received a coveted scholarship for Durham Cathedral Choir School, where he excelled on the cello, piano and drums. In fact, the very same voice that adorns his techno tracks, was once heard in Durham Cathedral Choir, albeit an octave higher. After a brief glitch, studying marine biology, Alex soon got back on track, wisely using his student loan to buy his first Apple Mac computer and simple software, giving his imagination the necessary tools to begin producing.


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It didn't take long. After his first release in 2002 on local Glasgow label S.U.D., Alex was soon snapped up by the legendary dance music label, Soma Records, on which he released his seminal first album, Incommunicado to critical acclaim in 2004. This deeply emotive release utilised cutting edge production techniques to give birth to a beguiling new style, which was lauded throughout the house and techno community. Tracks, such as the anthemic Chicca Wappa and his own vocal masterpiece Don't See The Point, announced the arrival of an already accomplished newcomer amongst the heavyweights in the scene. Upcoming Berlin indie label Vakant immediately recognised this young producer's extraordinary talent and provided a platform for a series of EP releases that continued to tantalise enthusiasts not only within the techno-driven German capital, until the keenly anticipated arrival in 2006 of album no. 2, Paradolia, back on Soma.

through eclectic genres and subgenres, from Burial to Basic Channel through to Model 500.

Paradolia is defined as the human ability to creatively perceive coherent images in randomness; an unusual word by anyone's standard, but then Mr Smoke is an artist very far from the ordinary. A Rorschach test this was not, more a sonic experiment that explores the parameters of Alex Smoke's potent psyche. Paradolia is swollen with ingenuity and experimentation perfectly suspended in an intoxicating symmetry of melancholy and melody. This release, like its predecessor, welds the influence of disparate genres into one homogeneous opus. In Prima Materia Alex unites for example two early influences in Chicago House and Classical, detonating a symphonic explosion, unlike any before. 2006 also saw Alex join the elite wall of fame of Soma's mix compilation series, Sci.Fi.Hi.Fi. Following in the footsteps of Ewan Pearson and Luciano, Alex was also given the opportunity to portray influences past, present and future on one release with no prescribed genre-related parameters to his selection. Naturally, the Smoke release is a rich journey

Throughout his career Alex has become an in-demand remixer, with remixes for Steve Reich, Depeche Mode, Mylo, Junior Boys, Funk D’Void, Radio 4, Jay Haze and Envoy under his discography belt, to mention but a few. His dynamic live set has, since the first Soma release, been consistently in demand, leaving almost no country on the world map unvisited, nor unimpressed for that matter. In 2008 Alex had the opportunity to fully realise his love of classical music when he was commissioned by Dundee City Council to compose an entirely orchestral work which was performed by the prestigious Scottish Ensemble for their Designs For Life project. March 2010 saw the release of Lux, his third album on his own label Hum+Haw, garnering more plaudits along the way. He continues to tour globally with his live set, featuring vocals, drum machine and synth. Faust is his second foray into classical composition, a full score written to accompany F.W.Murnau’s seminal 1926 silent film of the same name, and again written to be played by the Scottish Ensemble, and premièred at the Glasgow Film Festival in February 2011. It is written for string quintet, backed with a large electronic and sound design element, interwoven with hidden references to various Faustian pacts of our times, from our devotion to consumerism to Aleister Crowley to Middle East politics. 2011 will see Alex return with a new, more vocal-oriented, synth-led project under the name of Wraetlic, a project that has so far just seen a few teaser moments on remixes for Sei A and the Lux Remix EP. The album is already nearing completion and will be airing later in the year. He was also commissioned by Glasgow Concert Halls to write a piece


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inspired by Terry Riley's early minimalist classic In C, which was performed with Craig Armstrong and AGF in September 2011.

Saturday 3rd December; St Martin’s Church, Salisbury

As for 2012 he will continue working on projects fusing his love for classical instruments and electronics as well as new Alex Smoke material. Expect the unexpected… http://gostimirovic.com

Onyx Brass, Simon Hogan and Daniel Cook Featured Composer: Rory Boyle Work: Tallis’s Light Saturday 10th December; Borough Blues Club, Pontypool Buzz Records present Devil’s Left Hand Tour Featured Compser: Dave Arcari Saturday 10th December; Stevenson Hall, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Junior Conservatoire Orchestra Featured Compser: Edward McGuire Works: Chinese Airs & Dances and The Fiddler’s Farewell Monday 12th December; Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh

Featured Composer: Alex Smoke

PERFORMANCE DETAILS

Hebrides Ensemble present A Chemistry of Music Featured Compser: Julian Wagstaff Work: A Persistent Illusion

Thursday 1 December; British Film Institute, London

Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th January; St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow and St Cuthbert’s Church, Edinburgh

Ensemble Amorpha present Shots_Amorpha Featured Composer: Marc Yeats Work: farben studie

Caledonian Voices conducted by Andrew McTaggart Featured Compser: Rory Boyle Work: Les Deux Adieux de Marie

Thursday 1st and Sunday 4th December; Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh

Tuesday 10th January; Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Featured Composer: John Maxwell Geddes Work: Fanfare for The Gallery

Flutes en route Featured Compser: Rory Boyle Work: Fl(ut)ing

st


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SMC CHRISTMAS CAMPAIGN

My own compositional highlight was having a motet performed first by Stirling University Choir and then by Glasgow University Choir. I set a poem called ‘The Call’ by George Herbert (17th c. metaphysical poet). You learn when you hear your stuff performed live. Robin Downie

In celebration and to raise awareness of our members’ many achievements, we asked everyone to contribute their 2011 highlights for a daily Christmas campaign run via our social networks. Read them all here: One of my many highlights of 2011 came early in the year with a live session for Cerys Matthews on BBC 6 Music. Dave Arcari This has been my year for honouring the great Indian writer Tagore. A one-hour multi-media piece including settings of and commentaries on Tagore poetry, called ‘Éanlaith Strae / Stray Birds’, was premièred in Letterkenny on 14th May by the Donegal Chamber Orchestra, who gave it a second performance on 22nd October in the RDS Simmonscourt Centre in Dublin. Derek Ball My Two Serenades for Violin, Clarinet, Cello and Piano have just appeared as part of a multiple CD release that marks the culmination of the London Schubert Players' ‘Invitation to Composers’ project which also included performances at last year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Romanian Embassy in Paris, and in Norway (Namsos). Marcus Blunt I produced a bumper crop of music in 2011 - in the spring for Plutôt La Vie's new show ‘By The Seat of Your Pants’ (about 45 min of music for Clarinet, Piano and Double Bass), and in the autumn for Confab's new musical ‘Miss Smith’ (some 20 songs for chorus, soloists and 4-piece band). Both shows are set to return in the new year. Andrew Cruickshank

My 2011 highlights include four new works written and performed in celebration of my 70th Birthday, ‘Waka’ and ‘Folksong Suite’, both written for Wind Quintet, ‘Irlandaise’ for Violin and Cello, and ‘Domenico’s Chapel’ for Viol Consort. Performances took place at the St Magnus International Festival, the Mendelssohn International Festival and Tage der neue Musik. John Maxwell Geddes My highlight would be having my piece performed by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Symphony Orchestra, and working with Christian Kluxen on the project! They did an incredible job with the piece, called ‘Ridge A’. Richard Greer It was a great privilege to be asked by the veterans of the Upper Clydeside Shipbuilders work-in of 1971 to compose a new piece to mark the 40th anniversary of the event. It became 'Work-In at UCS: A Celebration Suite' and was premièred by The Whistlebinkies, Alba Brass and Sax Ecosse at a sold-out concert on 1st October in the Mitchell Theatre, Glasgow. The good news is that we have been invited to present it again on the final night of Celtic Connections festival on 5th February in the Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow. Edward McGuire My personal highlights for 2011 would firstly be the concert which ecat mounted in the Queen's Hall, Edinburgh in April which featured two major works of mine. Robin Michael (Cello) and Peter Evans (Piano) gave a stunning première of my new piece 'The Song of Leda' and Joby Burgess was the virtuosic soloist (complete with costume and mask)


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playing and singing his way through my little Chinese opera 'Thrashing the Sea God' - a real 'tour de force' which earned 5 stars in The Herald (4 stars in The Scotsman). Also, Irene Drummond (Soprano) accompanied by Iain Burnside released their recording 'The Shadow Side' (Delphian Records) of songs with a Scottish connection including my own '3 Poems of Irina Ratushinskaya'. A great CD! John McLeod The highlight of my year was playing a new piece for electric violin, ring modulator and tape that I had composed especially for performance on 7th July at Phipps Concert Hall, Huddersfield (in homage to Kagel’s 1st string quartet I played the violin with rubber gloves and a knitting needle). Peter de Moncey-Conegliano There have been many musical/compositional highlights during 2011 for me; as well as my busy teaching schedule at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, I went on tour with the Scottish Reed Trio, who performed my work, ‘Dalriada’, around Argyll, in March. I was also on tour with my own new-music group, SYMPOSiA (6 musicians and 2 actors), who performed ‘The Farmer's Cheese’ (a music theatre work for deaf children, for which I had written the music), around the UK and in Boston and Chicago in the summer. In June, I travelled to Verona to hear a work for 15 pianos that I had written, ‘Catch’, and began writing my piece for the PRS New Music 20x12 project, with Drake Music Scotland. Oliver Searle My personal highlight for 2011 was the Hebrides Ensembles’ recent première of my latest work, ‘A Persistent Illusion’, written in celebration of the International Year of Chemistry and performed at Canongate Kirk, Edinburgh. The concert received 4 stars from The Scotsman. Julian Wagstaff

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CRYPTIC – 2011 AT A GLANCE Cryptic Nights continued to flourish with sell-out performances at CCA, Glasgow. In May Robbie Thomson, Jack Wrigley and Sarah Milne presented their kinetic sculpture Inducer, July saw Cagoule Production’s popular dance and film fusion Inhabitants and in September, Outland Productions presented the intriguing Joyride by Sven Werner. In September, Cryptic Nights also made its London début at Kings Place, with Oliver Coates performing pieces by Laurence Crane, Larry Groves and David Lang for a celebration of solo cello as part of Out-hear. In November Cryptic presented the first ever full staging of David Lang’s Pulitzer-winning music work, Little Match Girl Passion and his solo cello piece world to come. Directed by Josh Armstrong, the production was presented at The Tron Theatre, Glasgow and at The Traverse, Edinburgh. Due to popular demand, Orlando returned to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to critical acclaim and the production was also invited to perform at the inaugural International Theatre Festival Hector Azaar in Puebla, Mexico in December. http://www.cryptic.org.uk http://crypticnights.org.uk/

Featured Performance: Cryptic’s Little Match Girl Passion


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SCOTTISH MUSIC CENTRE MOBILE

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NEXT ISSUE

February 2012

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Composers' Digest - Winter 2011/12