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sitting in rooms: interview with alvin lucier in analysis: poul ruders previews by stuart brown

new notes

features

06 09


Sitting in rooms an interview with Alvin Lucier American composer Alvin Lucier, best known for his seminal 1970 piece I am sitting in a room, will be in London this month for the Cut & Splice festival, whose theme is celebrating domestic sounds and spaces. SHOËL STADLEN asks him what to expect from the three pieces being performed and why he composes ‘as little as possible’...

Your website gives this description of your recent work: ‘sound waves are caused to spin through space by means of close tunings with pure tones.’ How does this work, and what ideas are behind the technique? When two or more sound waves are tuned very closely each of them occupies a specific geographical position in space, particularly if they are pure waves. Because their frequencies are nearly the same their wave fronts occupy nearly the same place in the room. They bump against each other and each one tries to gain prominence. Therefore their wave fronts seem to move across the room in the direction of the higher to the lower wave. (I have no clearer or more scientific explanation for this phenomenon.)

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At Cut & Splice Anthony Burr will be performing two of your pieces, Still Lives and In Memoriam Jon Higgins. Can you tell me about them? Still Lives is the result of an invitation from pianist Joseph Kubera to compose a work for him. I decided to write a suite of eight short movements. For the shape of each movement I simply looked around my house and selected images and objects that came into my line of vision, including the hammock strung between two trees in my back yard, a diamond of sunlight on the living room floor, a pair of chopsticks lying on the kitchen counter. I drew the shapes on paper, with precise timings and pitch information, and sent them to Bob Bielecki who programmed them on a computer and recorded the waves on

DAT tape and compact disk. I copied the shapes on music paper, then notated pitches for the piano that would cause audible beating: the nearunison, and, because of their strong overtones, the near-octave and -twelfth below the sounding waves. The piano tones are notated simultaneously with the waves against which they are to beat, but the pianist is free to anticipate or delay them, causing more varied forms of beating. In Memoriam Jon Higgins is written for clarinet and slow sweep pure wave oscillator. It was composed in 1985 for Thomas Ridenour, then a Visiting Teacher at Wesleyan. He was a wonderful player who had perfect control of his tone. I wanted to compose a piece for him. I simply scanned the range of the clarinet, three octaves, from a low D to a high


LOOKING TO THE FUTURE (PART 2): Dear new notes reader,

costs, we are moving to an online format.

Back in April I wrote a short introduction to our new publishing plans and to why we will be changing new notes into an online magazine for the Sound and Music membership.

We know that some people would prefer to read a printed magazine, while others have told us they prefer the versatility of the online format, which they can print out if they want. The online format has huge advantages to it: it allows us to publish more than the current two/three articles per issue and, with the inclusion of multimedia, meaning that you can listen to and watch the actual music as well as read features, news and commentary. We’re going to retain the look and feel of print initially, to help readers make the transition, and you’ll be able to print the whole magazine, or individual articles, whenever you wish.

If you missed it, here is a summary and an update: new notes has been primarily a listings magazine. As spnm, our relatively small public funding meant that in order to run our programme of activity, we had to generate income from all listings and make new notes a membersonly resource. However, in Sound and Music we want everyone to be able to list events and everyone to be able to find out what’s on. We have therefore made listings open access online at www.soundandmusic.org, with the ability to list events starting from free of charge (premium options are also available). You can visit right now to see the listings and upload your own. We hope that this basic and fundamental service will considerably increase access to new music and sound in the UK. With the listings hosted online (and delivered to members by email), we have space to develop more editorial content in a magazine. And to develop the content comprehensively, beyond the scope of the current 16/20 pages, and in order that membership donations go towards supporting new music and sound, rather than simply covering print

D. I borrowed Bob Bielecki's digital oscillator and set the sweep from the bottom of the clarinet range to the top at a rate of 30 seconds per semitone. It has to be slow enough so that you don’t hear it moving; that would be distracting. If you listen to the sweep by itself, you can hear the pure waves move across the room. As it rises in frequency (pitch), its wavelength gets shorter and the wave reflects off the walls in different places. Listeners have the impression that the volume is being raised and lowered, but it is simply that the troughs and

So this will be the last issue of new notes magazine. We’re currently developing its replacement. If you are currently an spnm member, we will transfer your membership to Sound and Music and you will receive the first issue by email in September. Meanwhile in July and August you will be able to enjoy Sound and Music’s fortnightly email publication, a preview of the next 14 days in new music and sound and a round-up of the nationwide event listings. I hope you enjoy the new publications. And because this is a new start, you can also help shape them – we’d love to hear your suggestions for content… Shoël Stadlen shoel.stadlen@soundandmusic.org

peaks-- the nodes and antinodes--of the pure wave are passing by them. Everyone in the room hears them at slightly different times. If you could see the meters on the amplifiers, you would see that they hold steady. There is no electronic manipulation whatsoever. The clarinetist sustains long tones

across the wave as it sweeps up, creating audible beating between its tones and those of the sweeping oscillator. The farther apart the tones are, the faster the beating. The closer, the slower. At unison, no beating occurs. If the player starts his tone

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above the rising wave the beating will begin at the speed of the difference between the two pitches, then slow down as the distance between them becomes smaller and smaller. When both tones are in unison there's no beating. As the oscillator continues sweeping above and beyond the fixed clarinet tone, the beating speeds up again as the distances become greater and greater. Tom could sustain long tones of one-minute duration. Astonishing! There are three basic gestures in In Memoriam Jon Higgins: (1) starting a semitone above the oscillator tone, the clarinet straddles the rising wave, causing the beating to slow down to zero, then speed up on the other side; (2) starting in unison with the oscillator tone, the beating simply speeds up; or (3) starting a whole tone above the sweeping wave, it gradually slows down and stops at unison. Composer Christopher Rouse said that he thought my music was too slow. I answered that the sweeps might be slow but the beating wasn’t. Remember, too, that as the oscillator sweeps up each octave, the beating doubles in speed. So even if the set of gestures is similar, the speeds of the beating are always changing. At the beginning, for example, the clarinetist sustains a low D (around 147 cycles per second) against the oscillator C#, a semitone below it (138 cps) creating 9 beats per second. It sustains this pitch until the oscillator tone rises through unison and stops a semitone D# above it (155 cps). Three octaves higher the beating buzzes at 72 cps. For performance the oscillator sweep is recorded on one channel of a CD, the clarinet on the other. They are separated so that the beating is as clear and as spatial as possible. In live performance I seat the player (unamplified) across the stage from a single loudspeaker. Sound engineers sometimes want to amplify the clarinet, but that would confuse the issue. You would hear the clarinet tones coming from two sources--the clarinet itself and its loudspeaker. Every once in a while you can hear combination tones. Those are phantom tones created when the difference in pitch is wide and fast enough to be a musical tone and not perceptible beating. The title refers to Jon Higgins, Director of the Center for the Arts at

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Wesleyan, who was killed by a drunken driver while out walking a couple of days before the first performance. As a rule, I don't make funeral pieces, but I did in this case. And what about the third piece, Bird and Person Dyning? Bird and Person Dyning is a piece from 1975, for a performer with microphones, amplifiers, loudspeakers and electric birdcall. During a performance of the piece a performer, wearing a pair of binaural microphones in his/her ears, slowly walks through the room. The mikes are routed through a pair of compressor-limiters and a mixer to 2 loudspeakers positioned on either side of the stage. As the volume levels on the amplifiers are raised strands of feedback are produced the pitches which are determined by the distance between the mikes and loudspeakers and the acoustics of the space. The sounds of an electronic birdcall flow from a separate loudspeaker. As the sounds of the birdcall and feedback interact heterodyning occurs creating phantom images of the birdcall, which seem to position themselves in various locations of the room. (Heterodyning is a phenomenon common in radio transmission during which 2 high frequencies sounding together produce a resultant tone within the range of hearing. These are called difference tones in musical acoustics. The acoustical mixture creates phantom twitters, including mirror images, above and below the originals. Due to the realistic properties of the binaural system, these phantoms would appear at various locations in space, often in and around a listener's head. A performance of Bird and Person Dyning is a live exploration of these phenomena. The title is meant as an accurate description of the activity. The works that are being presented at Cut & Splice involve the resonant possibilities of open, extended spaces. What type of spaces work best? I don’t have a preference, really. Each acoustic provides a different home for my works. Highly reflective is desirable for works such as Vespers, Silver Streetcar for the Orchestra, and Opera with Objects, pieces which produce vivid

echoes from the environment. You were a member of Sonic Art Union with Robert Ashley, Gordon Mumma and David Behrman. Do you think it’s likely you’ll ever perform together again? It is not too likely that the Sonic Arts Union will perform together. Each of our works takes up too much time. I can, however, foresee that a series of concerts or a small festival might be attractive for us. How narrow or eclectic are your tastes as a listener? Pretty eclectic, I guess. Robert Ashley’s operas; Christian Wolff’s instrumental pieces; Beethoven Op.101; Bach’s Goldberg Variations; Rock and Roll when I am driving my car. Frank Sinatra is a favorite, too. You’ve said in a previous interview: ‘I try to compose as little as possible but that means that I have to think about each piece a lot, to avoid any kind of pre-existing musical structures that would take away from the perception and focus of the sonic phenomenon in which I'm interested.’ What does ‘compose as little as possible’ mean? I don’t want to spoil the perception of the phenomenon I am working on by including structural ideas that have more to do with one’s ideas of composition than to simple perception of the phenomenon. I spend a lot of time thinking about what to do rather than doing something to get started. What music and sonic art created since 2000 excites you? Bob Ashley’s operas; Christian Wolff’s instrumental pieces. Ron Kuivila just installed a work in the bell tower at Wesleyan University in which electronically generated bell tones track the weather patterns in Middletown, Connecticut, for the past 100 years. The rests are beautiful and unexpected. Cut & Splice, co-produced by BBC Radio 3 and Sound and Music, is at Wilton’s Music Hall 19 & 20 June. www.cutandsplice.com http://alucier.web.wesleyan.edu


Example 1: Ruders, Piano Sonata no.2, III b.5-10

Ringing the Changes: Poul Ruders’ Second Piano Sonata The art of change-ringing is peculiar to the English, and, like most English peculiarities, unintelligible to the rest of the world. To the musical Belgian, for example, it appears that the proper thing to do with a carefully tuned ring of bells is to play a tune upon it. By the English campanologist, the playing of tunes is considered to be a childish game, only fit for foreigners; the proper use of bells is to work out mathematical permutations and combinations. Dorothy L. Sayers, The Nine Tailors (1934)

In Analysis is a space for brief, personal responses to the local detail of music and sound that you love.

In Analysis

Composition is about permutation and combination. Composers arrange and re-arrange notes in different patterns. That’s what they do.

In the twentieth century some methods of permutation became systematized and codified. One such, serialism, became for a time the central plank of art music composition. Others have provided creative well-springs for important composers: Stravinsky’s transpositionrotations, Nørgård’s infinity series and Maxwell Davies’ magic squares. All are organic processes of pitchgeneration with an appealing mathematical rightness. Poul Ruders found his inspiration in an unlikely place: the 1930s detective novel The Nine Tailors, by Dorothy L Sayers, a book with the lore of bellringing woven into its fabric. Ruders took the so-called ‘methods’ of traditional English bell-ringing and created a compositional technique which underpins much of his output. The third movement of his Second Piano Sonata exemplifies the method particularly clearly, as well having an agitated energy characteristic of Ruders’ music. It begins as a two-part toccata with a hint of Conlon Nancarrow’s studies for player piano, irregularly grouped quavers skipping over a lurching boogie-woogie bass (Ex.1, above). In change-ringing, the bells are treated Sodoku-style: in each cycle every bell appears once and only once, but in a different order each time. The progress of each bell is determined by an algorithm, and the peal is complete when the original order returns. Ex.2 shows the first six rows – Ruders’ ‘bells’ consist of either single notes, or two- or three-note motifs, and their path can be clearly traced.

Example 2: changes, rows 1-6 As the music develops the instability inherent in the opening is worked out: the lines cross over, the accompanying octaves are suddenly a melody, then fill out to become triumphant Ab major chords. The final bars hurtle through a dizzying ascent – before crashing head-on into the monumental, ossified finale. Ruders’ method, whilst dictating the pitch-order, does not predict the sound of the music. But there is something about the obsessive working-through of the process which translates into the music’s irresistible drive. Above all, this movement celebrates the giddy joy of the resounding of bells, as a coolly logical process is animated by a musical imagination into music in praise of music itself. The bells gave tongue: rioting and exulting high up in the dark tower, wide mouths rising and falling, huge wheels turning to the dance of the leaping ropes… Every bell in her place striking tuneably, hunting up, hunting down, dodging, snapping, laying her blows behind, making her thirds and fourths, working down to lead the dance again.

Bernard Hughes

june 2009

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Summer Sounds TIM SCUDDER rounds up some of the highlights of this summer’s festival season... From Aldeburgh’s celebration of Harrison Birtwistle to Supersonic’s eclectic mix of experimental noise and avant-folk, the summer will be filled with a rich variety of new music. Here’s a quick round-up of some of the things in store. ALDEBURGH FESTIVAL The 62nd Aldeburgh Festival celebrates the work of Harrison Birtwistle and features two new works from the composer performed by the London Sinfonietta, conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth – Semper Dowland, semper dolens and The Corridor, which freeze-frames the moment when Orpheus turns back to look at Eurydice as they leave the underworld, thus losing her forever. Other composers performed will include Julian Anderson, Elliott Carter, György Ligeti, Chris Mayo, Helen Grime and Thomas Ades, The London Sinfonietta will perform several events, while other performers include David Sheppard, Larry Goves

and the House of Bedlam, Exaudi vocal ensemble, pianists Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Rolf Hind and singers Claire Booth and Sarah Leonard. www.aldeburgh.co.uk BBC PROMS This year’s BBC Proms features newlycommissioned pieces by Tom Arthurs, Unsuk Chin, Ben Foskett, Detlev Glanert, Goldie, Michael Jarrell, John McCabe, Anna Meredith, Michael Nyman, Augusta Read Thomas and Ryan Wigglesworth. In addition there will be world, UK or London premieres by Louis Andriessen, Richard Rodney Bennett, Cornelis de Bondt, Peter Maxwell Davies, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, Heinz Holliger, Toshio Hosokawa, Oliver Knussen, John McCabe, Rebecca Saunders, Alfred Schnittke, Claude Vivier, Jörg Widmann and John Woolrich. www.bbc.co.uk/proms SUPERSONIC

Birmingham’s Supersonic festival offers a radically different experience to Aldeburgh. Operating at the nexus where metal, folk and noise meet, this year’s bill features the brutal riffs of Corrupted, the expansive drone-noise of Growing, stoner-psychedelia from Earthless and the wonderful folk voice of Nancy Wallace. www.capsule.org.uk/supersonic MANCHESTER INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL The third annual Manchester International Festival features a wide range of events across music, the visual arts, theatre and dance. The new music works specially created for the festival include the double bill of Steve Reich and electronic pioneers Kraftwerk, and Prima Donna, Rufus Wainwright’s opera debut. www.mif.co.uk CHELTENHAM MUSIC FESTIVAL This year’s Cheltenham Music Festival

Spitalfields Festival Artistic Director DIANA BURRELL talks about this summer’s line-up. My last festival! As always, I'm really looking forward to it. This year, when all around is penniless doom and gloom, we decided to stick two fingers up at the general financial mess of the world and commission a major full-length setting of the Passion story by Michael Finnissy – The Transgressive Gospel. Like many other musicians I know, I have long been an admirer of Michael's visionary and thrilling music, and this new work, which is two hours long, raw and hard-hitting yet warm and immensely moving, is a project I'm delighted to have as part of the festival. Its text is based on St. Mark's Gospel, interleaved with poems by George

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Herbert (set in 'blues' idiom) and it has a line-up of great performers – Richard Jackson, Kate Westbrook and IXION. I am confident that it will be one of the highlights not only of our festival but of the whole summer season in London. I am naturally also looking forward to the performance of my ow Concerto for Violin with Singer and 3 Ensembles given by David Alberman and Lore Lixenberg – two of my favourite performers. With no orchestra in a conventional sense, but 3 separate ensembles containing a heady mix of instruments such as harpsichord, piano, keyboard, percussion, guitar, a string quartet and electronics, the

singer first gets the attention of each group in turn, preparing the way for David who – like a protagonist in a staged drama – walks from group to group engaging in virtuosic dialogue with each. Christ Church is the ideal venue for this intense piece, which exploits a huge emotional range, from extreme pain and fear to tranquillity, the ending bringing everyone together in a burst of exultant joy. There is lots more in the festival, of course, including a new commission from Jonathan Dove for the muchloved musicians of the Schubert Ensemble. www.spitalfieldsfestival.org.uk


Harrison Birtwistle is celebrated at Aldeburgh.

Earthless perform at Supersonic

Cheltenham will feature new work by Steve Reich

Endymion: Sound Census Ryan Wigglesworth is showcased as composer and conductor at Aldeburgh and the Proms.

Kraftwerk perfrom at Manchester International Festival

offers a wide variety of new music events. These include Mantra, a exploration of Portuguese-Goan history, featuring Kuljit Bhamra and singer Shahid Khan, and An American Triptych for 4 July, featuring works by Philip Glass, Steve Reich and George Crumb. A film of Stockhausen’s Helicopter Quartet will be screened, while cellist Till Fellner, pianist Alfred Brendel and baritone Roderick Williams premiere Harrison Birtwistle’s Bogenstrich. Dobrinka Tabakova’s new jazz suite will be performed by a piano quartet made up of Radio 3 New Generation Artists, and Festival Academy concerts see performances of music by Judith Weir, Michael Zev Gordon, Huw Watkins and Sally Beamish. www.cheltenhamfestivals.com/music

Endymion are celebrating their 30th anniversary this summer with ‘Sound Census’, a week of concerts at Kings Place in London featuring works specially commissioned for the ensemble over the course of its history. Artistic Director PHILIP VENABLES tells us what to expect. You’ve written that the composers Endymion has commissioned over the last 30 years have not belonged to any school or movement. Does that reflect the diffuse directions of composition during this time? I think Endymion is very privileged in that many composers have grown up with us, from young, new starters to major voices in new British chamber music, just like our players who were only about 19 or 20 when we started out of the NYO. For example, some of our earliest commissions, in the early 80s, came from Dominic Muldowney, Vic Hoyland, Michael Nyman, Simon Bainbridge and Harrison Birtwistle. They were at formative stages in their careers then, but their music and their success has blossomed alongside ours for the last 30 years. It's not by design that we tried to reflect diffuse directions in composition over our history; we have done, and will continue to commission and perform composers whom we think have a strong, unique and passionate voice in new British chamber music. That's also why we've included a few younger composers in the Sound Census festival such as Joanna Bailie, Joe Duddell, James Weeks and Naomi Pinnock, to renew that pledge to

British music, and also, of course, why were are investing so much in composing education projects too. What are you looking forward to? I'm really looking forward to finding out how these composers have evolved since our first collaborations with them. I'm also really looking forward to the rare opportunity to hear Feldman's Crippled Symmetry on the Friday evening, and hearing the culmination of our primary schools project. What can we expect from Endymion in the next 30 years? I'd like to think that we'll still be championing contemporary chamber music, not just British but also from Europe, the Americas and Asia. There are some young composers we've got our eye on at the moment, so maybe they'll be the senior figures of British music in 30 year's time. If so, I'd like to think that Endymion has something to do with that success. I want to expand our work in opera and music theatre collaborations and to launch our own recordings label, and of course to continue performing romantic and 20th century chamber music. www.endymion.org.uk

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previews stuart brown Each month a guest artist selects events from the listings for preview. This month’s previews have been chosen by Stuart Brown, adventurous new music and film programmer in his role as Head of Events at BFI Southbank.

THE HOMEMADE ORCHESTRA: NONSENSE Thursday 4 June LEICESTER Stuart Brown: I remember discovering the poetry of Michael Rosen and Roger McGough whilst quite young and feeling excited that this funny and resonant thing somehow belonged to me and wasn't for adults. Michael took part in an education event at BFI quite recently and I was reminded what a genius he is, his words are laugh out loud funny, and he has a way of breaking some of the adult rules to make his audience feel complicitly naughty. What’s the relationship between his words and the music of the orchestra? Colin Riley (Homemade Orchestra): For this work, the Homemade Orchestra features a line-up of mainly jazz players. It’s called 'Nonsense', and the music is woven around Michael's inimitable delivery of his collection of nonsense poetry. The three composers for the project, myself, Tim Whitehead and Liam Noble all contribute musical settings and these have been organised to form a coherent narrative. Whilst in many instances the music follows his tempo and rhythm, at other times it is a counterpoint, offering other layers of meaning. 'Nonsense' has been created, (as much of Michael's work has in the field of poetry), to introduce young people to contemporary music. Stylistically the compositions cover a broad range, and allow each instrument to be featured clearly at some point. The music, in keeping with the texts, allows for much 'fooling around' and the presentation is aimed at both children (aged 6 upwards) and their families. Some audience participation inevitably occurs in some unexpected places.

ISLE OF ARRAN MUSIC SOCIETY Thursday 11 June ISLE OF ARRAN Stuart Brown: We recently premiered the awesome British Sea Power's new score to Robert Flaherty's proto documentary classic, 'Man of Arran'. It's an amazing film: you're left with a very powerful sense of the beauty and danger of the local landscape. Did you feel similarly inspired the island’s environment? Eddie McGuire (composer): Yes – I have for the past few years been playing with a Chinese folk ensemble. Two years ago, we performed for the Arran Music Society: our usual mix of traditional music and improvisations. The morning after, with the help of hill-walker Tom Furniss, I took the rest of the ensemble on a hill walk through Glen Rosa to the mountains and we were all astounded by the autumn landscape and the power of the colours. My new quintet for the Edinburgh String Quartet takes inspiration from this experience and couples it with an aborted attempt to get to Arran the year before when a great storm at sea prevented our sailing. I let the power of these two natural experiences propel the music forward. I had also just been reading The Silent Traveller by Chiang Yee (the first Chinese travel writer in Britain, in the 1930s) and I imagined what it might be like for him to return and be on that trek with our group of Chinese musicians.

ORNETTE COLEMAN: REFLECTIONS OF THE SHAPE OF JAZZ TO COME Friday 19 June LONDON

Ornette Coleman

Stuart Brown: 1959 was an extraordinary year for jazz. So many iconic recordings were made in that year - Miles Davis 'A Kind of Blue', John Coltrane 'Giant Steps', Charlie Mingus 'Mingus Ah Um', and Dave Brubeck 'Time Out', yet Ornette Coleman’s The Shape of Jazz To Come was arguably the most radical and influential. What should audiences expect from Ornette Coleman’s meltdown?

Glenn Max (Producer, Meltdown Festival): It's difficult to expect anything with a sense of assuredness when it comes to Ornette. He's spent a career confounding expectations. One may expect brilliance, a hyper-density of notes flying about like atomic particles and the sense of this being an important, perhaps, historic event. Where some tributes to great albums – such as Brian Wilson plays Pet Sounds or the Pretty Things play SF Sorrow – can be billed straight, with Ornette we needed to give him room to manoeuvre. So 'Reflections of…’ became the way to get the idea across. Special guest on the event will include Marc Ribot, one of the world's true guitar geniuses. Known mostly for his work with John Zorn, Tom Waits and recently Rober Plant and Alison Krauss, Marc will be united with UK saxophonist, composer and improviser Evan Parkerand drummer Han Bennink on June 14 in the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Also guesting with Ornette on this night is Bill Frissell, a uniquely voiced guitarist who's own projects are a testament to Ornette's pervasive influence.

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The Guest Artist Q&A A lot of interesting work is going on which brings film and music together in an experimental way, what kind of things are you finding most exciting? Stuart Brown: I think visual artists and musicians have always explored the interstices that exist between moving image and sound and music, some of the earliest work is still the most inspiring, Oscar Fischinger, Jordan Belson produced the most amazing optical poetry way back in the 1930s; but there’s no doubt that digital technologies have not only democratised the creative process but have also encouraged artists to think outside of one discipline or medium. It’s a really exciting time, and the amount of work that’s out there is sometimes bewildering, but personally the work I get really excited by is being produced by artists who are pushing the boundaries with live projects that investigate the nature of the technologies they are using. Ryoji Ikeda, Carsten Nicolai, Ryoichi Kurokawa, Takagi Masakatsu and Semiconductor are all particular favourites. I should reference United Visual Artists as well, I think they are making amazing work, they manage to combine a sophisticated, intelligent approach with a commitment to making the experience of their accessible. I also feel very excited by work that we’ve done that has united contemporary musicians with archive film. The BFI runs the National Film Archive, which holds over 700,000 separate items of film and television, and it’s one of our missions to introduce the collections to new audiences. We’ve collaborated with Ben Osborne’s Noise of Art on a number of different projects that have seen the likes of Laurent Garnier, Booka Shade and Nathan Fake, composing and performing new scores to 100 year old films. Theres something absorbing within the tension between a futuristic palette of sounds and the feel of these very early films. You’ve been holding performances in the main screen of the BFI. How does

this change things for the audience? We have four screens of varying sizes and some great social/public spaces to work with as well. This flexibility provides us with an opportunity to present a really wide range of performance from headline shows in the IMAX through to musical interventions in the main foyer. From an audience perspective the most unique experiences have been in the IMAX. We set up a festival of ‘visual music’, called ‘Optronica’, that we programmed and produced with AV maestros Addictive TV, that included a series of truly jaw dropping live performances from an array of artists including Plaid, Christian Fennesz, Charles Atlas, Peter Greenaway, Lemonjelly and DJ Spooky. There is something very exciting, and quite subversive, about staging quite specialised cultural content in an arena that’s designed for the most commercial end of the cultural spectrum, and I think that was tangible for the audience, I think we all understood that these gigs were special moments in time, and most definitely one offs. Tell us about the other music related work you’re doing at the BFI.

Birds Eye View Film Festival – over the years we’ve hosted some great artists, Joanna MacGregor, Imogen Heap, Zoe Rahman and this a very cool show with Natalie Clein. We also run a night called Roots and Shoots, with djs Nick Luscombe and Emma Pettit, whereby we present live shows with acts who are connecting to Cinema in a specific way. We’ve presented some memorable shows with Mara Carlyle, The Real Tuesday Weld and recently The Lightspeed Champion played a gig of Cat Stevens covers from the soundtrack to the cult Hal Ashby classic, ‘Harold and Maude’. That was pretty wild. Last year we were invited to get involved with the Big Chill festival, which was very exciting, I think we’re on a similar wavelength and working with them was a very positive experience. I put together a programme that was a blend of live AV, feature films, short film and music video. We worked with the Light Surgeons on a technically quite extravagant presentation of their ‘True Fictions’ show. It’s an incredibly impressive multi channel work that suggests a kind of cinema of the future, if you ever get a chance to see it, I recommend it highly, I felt very proud to be associated with it. What’s next for you and the BFI?

I’ve been developing a programme of live events for some times now, and have tried to vary the terrain as much as possible. I’m a huge fan of electronic music, and obviously we’ve presented a lot of pieces with electronic producers, but I’ve made a conscious effort to vary the terrain as much as possible. A couple of years back we commissioned Zbigniew Karkowski and Aleksander Kolkowski’s The Recording Angel Ensemble to create a new score to the quite surreal, labyrinthine forgotten Polish classic ‘The Saragossa Manuscript’. Stephan Mathieu was on electronics, I really like what he does. That was in partnership with Reality Film. We often work in partnership, and some of the best shows have come out of a very productive partnership with the

On 6 June we have the Ukelele Orchestra of Great Britain performing live to a selection of rare films from the Archive. Then in August we’ll be heading off to the Big Chill again, where we’re presenting the excellent British Sea Power’s live score to Man Of Arran and another cinema programme. And in September we're also going to be hosting the London leg of the 'Warp 20' tour - a series of events designed to celebrate Warps 20th anniversary, I can't say what we're doing yet, but trust me, its going to rock...

www.bfi.org.uk

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listings june 2009

Key: First names indicate living composers and composers of works written post–1960. *** World premiere ** UK premiere * London premiere

THIS ISN’T FOR YOU/ MUSIC AND MACHINES

8pm

Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N19AG Curated by Matt Fretton with Sarah Nicolls. Using as a start point the idea of the piano as a machine, this event will explore mechanical devices which produce sound in theatrical ways. Including performances by co-curator Sarah Nicolls; the evening will include intriguing installations and impressive feats of engineering entertainment. From £9.50 online 020 7520 1490 www.kingsplace.co.uk

Friday 29 May

SUBLIME FREQUENCIES TOUR

8pm

Thursday 4 June

NONSENSE

Tufnell Park Dome,1 Dartmouth Park Hill, London N19 5QQ Omar Souleyman Group Doueh Talks with Alan Bishop, Hisham Mayet and Mark Gergis Sublime Frequencies Films £10 www.wegotickets.com

7pm

De Montford Hall, Granville Rd, Leicester, LE1 7RU Michael Rosen Homemade Orchestra Part of the Spark Children's Festival £10 0116 233 3111 www.demontforthall.co.uk/events

Friday 5 June Saturday 30 May

SUBLIME FREQUENCIES TOUR

7pm

Unitarian Church Hall, 5 Emmanuel Road, Cambridge, CB1 1JW See 29 May listing for programme details. £10 www.fadedwords.co.uk

Sunday 31 May

7.30pm LONDON PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, London SE1 Mendelssohn Symphony 5 (Reformation) Mahler Totenfeier Torsten Rasch Mein Herz brennt** Vladimir Jurowski conductor René Pape bass Katharina Thalbach narrator Elisabeth Meister soprano £9-£55 (New Notes Offer: 20% off any ticket price) 020 7840 4242 www.lpo.org.uk

Tuesday 2 June

7.30pm CITY OF LONDON FESTIVAL/BRITTEN SINFONIA: PARTHENOGENESIS Mansion House, Walbrook, London EC4N 8BH Henning Kraggerud violin Britten Sinfonia Erik-Sven Tüür Action – Passion - Illusion Vivaldi The Four Seasons Einojuhani Rautavaara Fiddlers Esa-Pekka Salonen Stockholm Diary** £10–£30 0207 639 8891 www.colf.org/even

10 new notes • june 2009

CHAMBER MUSIC 2.30pm UNDER THE SPOTLIGHT Piano Gallery, Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Road, London NW1 An exploration of changing dynamics in chamber music rehearsal and performance in the piano trio, with Mine Dogantan, Philippa Mo and Pal Banda. Roderick Chadwick, Peter Sheppard Skærved and Neil Heyde discuss working on David Gorton’s Melting Forms with the composer. Free admission, no tickets required 020 7873 7300 www.ram.ac.uk/events

MUSIC FROM THE PENGUIN CAFÉ

Sunday 7 June

12pm SUNDAY COFFEE CONCERT: OSSIAN ENSEMBLE Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street, Cambridge CB3 0AQ Performing works from the Camberwell Composers’ Collective: Mark Bowden new work*** Emily Hall new work*** Chris Mayo new work*** Anna Meredith new work*** Charlie Piper new work*** £6 (£4) 01223 748100 www.kettlesyard.co.uk/newmusic

GEORGE FENTON WITH 7.30pm THE LSO Barbican Hall, Silk Street, London EC2 London Symphony Orchestra George Fenton conductor Programme includes: Cry Feedom, Stage Beauty, Dangerous Beauty, Shadowlands, Planet Earth The Blue Planet, Memphis Belle, Valiant, Mrs Henderson Presents, Land and Freedom, Cry Freedom, The Jewel in the Crown, Ever After £7–£32 020 7638 8891 www.barbican.org.uk

Monday 8 June

TAKEICHIRO HIRAI 7.30pm CELLO; MOTOKI HIRAI PIANO Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1 Hirai Fantasy for cello solo 'Hokusai' 3 Narayama from 'Lieder' £10–£22 020 7935 2141 www.wigmore-hall.co.uk

7.30pm

RNCM Theatre, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9RD The Penguin Cafe Orchestra, founded by the late, great Simon Jeffes, is acclaimed for its experimental classical music infused with exuberant folk. Signed to Brian Eno’s record label, the group enjoyed a cult status and to this day, their compositions are used in various film soundtracks and advertising campaigns. Now following in his father’s footsteps, Arthur Jeffes brings the next instalment of the concept, Music From The Penguin Cafe, to the RNCM. This performance will feature an array of exciting new compositions along with beloved tunes from his father’s celebrated repertoire such as Telephone and Rubber Band and Music For A Found Harmonium. £16–£20 0161 907 5200 www.rncm.ac.uk

ESBJERG ENSEMBLE AT THE ACADEMY

7.30pm

Duke's Hall, Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Road, London NW1 Christopher Austin conductor Programme to include new works by Charlie Piper, Laura Bowler, Nick Martin, Li-Ying Wu, Hafdis Bjarnadottir and Anders Monrad. £6 (£4) 020 7873 7300 www.am.ac.uk/events

Tuesday 9 June

CHRISTOPHER LANGDOWN PIANO

7.30pm

Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1 Langdown Deo Omnis Gloria £8–£15 020 7935 2141 www.wigmore-hall.co.uk


THE SOUND SOURCE: PLUNDERING ZIZEK AND SILENT DISCO

8pm

Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG Curated by Sound and Music. Celebrate the inspirational thoughts of idiosyncratic philosopher and cultural critic, Slavoj Zizek – ‘the Elvis of Cultural Studies’. Featuring music from pianocircus, Keyboard Choir, Federico Reuben and emerging artists, and films. The evening culminates with a Silent Disco. From £9.50 online 020 7520 1490 www.kingsplace.co.uk

Thursday 11 June

ISLE OF ARRAN MUSIC 7.30pm SOCIETY Corrie Church, Corrie, Brodick, Isle of Arran KA27 The Edinburgh Quartet Jessica Beeston viola Edward McGuire The Silent Traveller Returns*** Beethoven Quartet in C minor Mendelssohn String Quintet £6 01770 820655

PARTHENOGENESIS

8pm

Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, London, WC2E 9DD Amy Freston soprano Stephan Loges baritone James Macmillan composer Katie Mitchell director Michael Symmons Roberts libretto £9.50–£24 (£11) 020 7304 4000 www.roh.org.uk/whatson/production

Friday 12 June

7.30pm

Maida Vale Studios, Delaware Road, London W9 2LG Tito Ceccherini conductor BBC Symphony Orchestra Stefano Gervasoni Sensible Emanuele Casale A Victor Hugo Daza Salvatore Sciarrino I fuochi oltre la ragione Free admission 0370 901 1227 www.bbc.co.uk/tickets

SONG BOOK

7.30pm

David Josefowitz Recital Hall, Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Road, London NW1 Sarah Leonard soprano Robin Michael cello Songs by postgraduate composition students at the Royal Academy of Music Free admission, no tickets required 020 7873 7300 www.ram.ac.uk/events

SEMPER DOWLAND & THE CORRIDOR

8pm

Britten Studio, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk IP17 1SP Harrison Birtwistle music David Harsent libretto (The Corridor) Elizabeth Atherton soprano Mark Padmore tenor Peter Gill director London Sinfonietta Ryan Wigglesworth conductor Pre-performance talk, 7pm: David Harsent, Alison Chitty and Peter Gill discuss their collaborations with Harrison Birtwistle, free admission, booking required. £10–£28 (Under 27s half price) 01728 687100 www.aldeburgh.co.uk

Saturday 13 June

BRASS BAND WITH ELGAR HOWARTH

7pm

Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham B3 3HG Elgar Howarth conductor Richard Marshall cornet Part of Birmingham City University’s New Generation Arts Festival, this brass band concert will be conducted by Elgar Howarth. A former trumpeter and now active conductor, he has contributed many important works to the canon of modern brass band music, some of which will be heard in this concert, including his Sonatina for cornet and band. £6 (£4) / £4 (£2) with a ‘Big Picture Voucher ‘ www.bcu.ac.uk/events

EVERYTHING IN LIFE CAN BE MONTAGED

BBC SO AT MAIDA VALE

7.30pm

David Josefowitz Recital Hall, Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Road, London NW1 Matthew Coorey conductor Natalie Raybould soprano Lucy Railton, Oliver Coates cello Sarah Cresswell percussion Mosolov Four Newspaper Advertisments Alex Hills Everything in Life Can be Montaged £6 (£4) 020 7873 7300 www.ram.ac.uk/events

HARRISON’S CLOCKS: A 8pm PROMENADE THROUGH A NEW BUILDING Hoffmann Building, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk IP17 1SP Hidéki Nagano piano A collection of mechanical and electronic instruments Ligeti Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes Harrison Birtwistle Chronometer for 2 asynchronous 4-track tapes; Harrison’s Clocks, for solo piano Tickets £10 (Under 27s half price) 01728 687100 www.aldeburgh.co.uk

DAVID MURRAY & GWO-KA MASTERS

8pm

Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre, London SE1 Saxophonist and clarinet virtuoso David Murray performs with Guadeloupian percussionists Gwo-Ka Masters and free jazz bassist and Coleman collaborator Jamaaladeen Tacuma. £18–£20 0871 663 2501

Sunday 14 June

IMPROVISATIONS WITH MARC RIBOT

7.30pm

Queen Elizabeth Hall, South Bank Centre, London SE1 Guitarist and composer Marc Ribot collaborates with free jazz saxophonist Evan Parker and drummer Han Bennink in this unique improvised performance. £15–£20 0871 663 2501 www.southbankcentre.co.uk

Monday 15 June

SEMPER DOWLAND & THE CORRIDOR

4pm

Britten Studio, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk IP17 1SP See 12 June listing for programme details. £10–£28 (Under 27s half price) 01728 687100 www.aldeburgh.co.uk

Tuesday 16 June

SOUND REBOUND

12pm

Hoffmann Building, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk IP17 1SP An installation by David Sheppard, Larry Goves and the House of Bedlam. Since January, a series of Residencies have been used to explore the physicality of generating acoustic sound through both the creation of new acoustic instruments and digital modelling. The resulting installation, in part achieved through the involvement of groups of young people in the community working alongside the professional team, will be part graphic score, part instrument and part performance environment that blurs the boundaries between electronic and acoustic music. Free admission 01728 687100 www.aldeburgh.co.uk

ENGLISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

7.30am

Barbican Hall, Silk Street, London EC2 Clark Rundell conductor Mohamed Shams piano Tarek Ali Hassan Fanfare for the Opera Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a theme of Thomas Tallis Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini Nahla Mattar El-ain** Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet Suite The Al Farabi Concert Series showcases works of highly talented, yet little known, contemporary classical composers and artists from the Middle East, alongside established works by their Western counterparts. £8–£25 020 7638 8891 www.barbican.org.uk

www.southbankcentre.co.uk

june 2009 • new notes

11


7.30pm PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE SUMMER CONCERT

SEMPER DOWLAND & THE CORRIDOR

Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham B3 3HG Alonso Mendoza conductor Milhaud, arr. Soren Monrad Saudades do Brazil (5 mvmts) for 3 marimbas** Anthony di Sanza Concerto for Darabukka & Percussion Quartet** Carlos Chavez Toccata Plus afro-cuban music for percussion, including TimbaFunk trios** £5.50 (£3) Tickets available on the door from 6.30pm www.bcu.ac.uk/events

Britten Studio, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk IP17 1SP See 12 June listing for programme details. 01728 687100 £10–£28 (Under 27s half price) www.aldeburgh.co.uk

7.30pm

Friday 19 June

FILM: A LABYRINTH OF TIME

Britten Studio, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk IP17 1SP See 12 June listing for programme details. £10–£28 (Under 27s half price) 01728 687100 www.aldeburgh.co.uk

WIND & BRASS: 7pm ‘REFLECTIONS AND DANCES’

SLICE! AND FRIENDS AT THE ACADEMY

Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham B3 3HG Michael Harris & David Purser directors R Strauss Sonatina No 1 in F: ‘From an Invalid’s Workshop’ Liz Johnson Hildegard Reflections, 3 Pieces for Saxophones JS Bach, arr. RA Moulds St Matthew Passion Dowland, arr. Roger Harvey Airs and Dances £6 (£4) Tickets available on the door from 6.00pm. www.bcu.ac.uk/events

Duke's Hall, Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Road, London NW1 Daniel Bradley, Adam Clifford percussion Wayne Siegel 42nd Street Rondo Bartók arr. SLICE! Four movements from 44 duos for two violins Ravel arr. Safri Duo Alborada del Gracioso Philip Cashian Stroke Dave Maric Shapeshifter Mendelssohn arr. Davies/Yates Fugue in D Anders Koppel Toccata for Vibraphone and Marimba Piazzolla arr. SLICE! Tango no.1 from Tango Suite for Two Guitars Free admission, no tickets required 020 7873 7300 www.ram.ac.uk/events

SEMPER DOWLAND & THE CORRIDOR

6pm

Thursday 18 June

RADIUS

6pm

7.30pm

Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1 A celebration of Darwin, Change and Evolution. Boulez Domaines Cage Telephones and Birds (featuring extracts from Messiaen’s Catalogue d’oiseaux) Newland new work*** Benjamin A Dream of England*** £10–£16 020 7935 2141 www.wigmore-hall.co.uk

CONSERVATOIRE 7.30pm COMPOSERS’ ENSEMBLE Recital Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire Conservatoire students Samuel Bordoli conductor The final Composers’ Ensemble concert of this year features a wide mix of new works. Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht, conducted by final-year student Samuel Bordoli, is paired by a series of companion pieces commissioned from Conservatoire composers. Also includes a performance (with film) of new music theatre piece Ophelia: The Death Of, written by firstyear composer Luke Iveson. Part of the Birmingham City University’s New Generation Arts Festival. £3 www.bcu.ac.uk/events

12 new notes • june 2009

CUT & SPLICE

6.30pm

Wilton’s Music Hall, Graces Alley, Off Ensign Street, London E1 8JB Featuring CM von Hausswolff and John Duncan, The Domestic Appliance Audio Research Society, Tape That, Alvin Lucier, Aki Onda, John Lescalleet, Bob Levene, Felicity Ford, Mark Vernon, Erik Belgum’s ‘Bad Marriage Mantra’. Cut & Splice performances and exclusive artist interviews will be broadcast on Radio 3’s Hear and Now on 27 June. www.cutandsplice.com

MEGUMI FUJITA PIANO

Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, London SE1 Plus Bachir Attar & the Master Musicians of Jajouka. The Shape of Jazz to Come has influenced artists from John Coltrane through to Sonic Youth. Coleman plays material from this groundbreaking album and some of the music inspired by it, alongside special guests. £20–£40 www.southbankcentre.co.uk

11am

Aldeburgh Cinema, 51 High St, Aldeburgh, IP15 5AU A reflective documentary film on Elliott Carter’s life and music, including contributions from Pierre Boulez, Daniel Barenboim and Charles Rosen, among others. A lifelong citizen of New York, Carter has long used American innovation for his inspiration whilst still being firmly rooted in the European tradition. Filmed over 25 years by director Frank Scheffer, the film is a paean to 20th-century Modernism and a great composer, whose work and inspiration is as prolific as ever. £5 01728 687100 www.aldeburgh.co.uk

Wednesday 17 June

7.30pm ORNETTE COLEMAN: REFLECTIONS OF THE SHAPE OF JAZZ TO COME

7.30pm

Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1 Takemitsu Piano Pieces for Children: Breeze & Clouds £10–£20 020 7935 2141 www.wigmore-hall.co.uk

BBC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

7.30pm

Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk IP17 1SP BBC Symphony Orchestra George Benjamin conductor Pierre-Laurent Aimard piano Debussy Prélude a l’après-midi d’un faune Elliott Carter Three Occasions George Benjamin Duet for piano and orchestra•• Ravel Piano Concerto for the left hand £13–£30 (Under 27s half price) 01728 687100 www.aldeburgh.co.uk

Saturday 20 June

CARTER AND AIMARD

11am

Britten Studio, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk IP17 1SP Elliott Carter discusses his music, the new commission and explores his piano work Matribute with Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who recently gave its UK premiere. What follows is a short performance of some of Carter’s other music for the instrument, a rare and concentrated half-hour sequence highlighting this most eloquent and distinctive of musical voices. £10 01728 687100 www.aldeburgh.co.uk

CUT & SPLICE

6.30pm

Wilton’s Music Hall, Graces Alley, Off Ensign Street, London E1 8JB See 19 June listing for programme details. £10 (£18 including 19 June performance) 0844 847 2256 www.cutandsplice.com

MOSAIC

6.30pm

Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk IP17 1SP Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble Oliver Knussen Songs without Voices Chris Mayo new work*** Elliott Carter Mosaic £5 (Free for ticket-holders for 8pm listing, booking required) 01728 687100 www.aldeburgh.co.uk


ON CONVERSING WITH PARADISE

8pm

Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk IP17 1SP Birmingham Contemporary Music Group Royal Academy of Music Manson Ensemble Oliver Knussen conductor Leigh Melrose baritone Oliver Knussen Coursing Helen Grime new work*** Elliott Carter On Conversing with Paradise*** Stockhausen Tierkreis (Zodiac) for orchestra £10-£20 (Under 27s half price) 01728 687100 www.aldeburgh.co.uk

Sunday 21 June

COMA

BBC DISCOVERING MUSIC 3pm Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk IP17 1SP Stephen Johnson presenter London Sinfonietta Elgar Howarth conductor To complement Aldeburgh’s Birtwistle celebration, Stephen Johnson presents a coupling of concert works with their own sense of theatre. In both the sombre memorial Cortege and Secret Theatre’s dizzyingly virtuosic sequence of scenes, instrumentalists emerge as characters in a drama, declaiming upstage before stepping back out of the limelight into the ensemble. With a mixture of informal discussion, analysis and live music examples. Free admission, booking required 01728 687100 www.aldeburgh.co.uk

ROYAL COLLEGE OF 7.30pm MUSIC STRING SHOWCASE Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1 Natalie Clein cello Jennifer Strumm viola Esher Quartet Beethoven String Quartet in F minor Thomas Larcher Sonata for violoncello*** Fyfe Dangerfield new work* Brahms String Sextet in B-flat major £10–£18 020 7935 2141 www.wigmore-hall.org.uk

7.30pm ORNETTE COLEMAN: REFLECTIONS OF THIS IS OUR MUSIC Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, London SE1 Ornette Coleman plays a special concert celebrating his landmark album This is Our Music, which helped to define jazz for generations to come, with guest artists. £20–£40 www.southbankcentre.co.uk

8pm

Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk IP17 1SP Thomas Adès piano Steven Isserlis cello Anthony Marwood violin Fauré Cello Sonata No.2 Thomas Adès Lieux Retrouvés*** Janácek Violin Sonata Ravel Piano Trio £10–£24 (Under 27s half price) 01728 687100 www.aldeburgh.co.uk

ROYAL COLLEGE OF MUSIC RISING STARS

2pm

Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ Debussy Preludes (selection) Erick Flores The Last Rose of 1872 Vlad Maistorovici Transcent Ikuyo Kobayashi Stay Gold Prokofiev Sonata no 7 in B flat op 83 Shiva Feshareki new work*** Schnittke Improvisation and Fugue Gavin Higgins Urban Fairy Tales*** Ravel Gaspard de la nuit Includes the winning pieces from The Sound of Perfume composition competition. £5–£15 020 7591 4314 www.boxoffice.rcm.ac.uk

MAINLY NEW

12pm

Corsham Festival, The Pound Arts Centre, Pound Pill, Corsham, Wiltshire SN13 9HX CoMA London, directed by Gregory Rose, teams up with local musicians to help launch Cosham’s veru own CoMA ensemble. www.corshamfestival.blogspot.com

ADÈS, ISSERLIS AND MARWOOD

Monday 22 June

CITY OF LONDON FESTIVAL

7.30pm

Southwark Cathedral, London Bridge, SE1 Choir of King’s College, Cambridge Cambridge University Music Society Choir & Orchestra John Harle saxophone Christopher Gillett tenor Stephen Cleobury conductor Haydn The Creation: Representation of Chaos… and there was light Peter Maxwell Davies Solstice of Light John Harle City Solstice*** Peter Maxwell Davies/ Andrew Motion The Sorcerer’s Mirror* Commissioned by the City of London Corporation for the City of London Festival £10–£25 0845 120 7502 www.colf.org

MELODY IN THE HERE AND NOW

7.30pm

Recital Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham B3 3HG Conservatoire saxophonists Featuring an engaging mix of soloists, quartets and ensembles, Birmingham Conservatoire’s Saxophone Department celebrates the work of living composers with an evening of original works for saxophone. The core of the programme puts the emphasis on tonal, mellifluous music, including the exploration of several works by some of today’s most eminent composers, such as Jacob Ter Veldhuis, Takashi Yoshimatsu and Mark-Anthony Turnage. £3 Tickets available on the door from 6.30pm. www.bcu.ac.uk/events

Tuesday 23 June

VAUXHALL PLEASURE

12pm

Corsham Festival, The Pound Arts Centre, Pound Pill, Corsham, Wiltshire SN13 9HX Vauxhall Pleasure examines the past and present soundscape of Vauxhall Cross Gyratory. www.corshamfestival.blogspot.com

6pm

Duke's Hall, Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Road, London NW1 Royal Academy of Music student performers Tansy Davies Women in Love; Inside Out II; Grind Show (electric), Greenhouses; Dark Ground Xenakis Charisma Gerald Barry Triorchic Blues Free admission, no tickets required 020 7873 7300 www.ram.ac.uk/events

Wednesday 24 June

NONSENSE

3pm

St George's Hall, Great George St, Bristol, BS1 See 4 June listing for programme details. £10 (£7 under 18s). Family ticket: Buy four tickets and get the lowest priced one free. 0845 402 4001 www.stgeorgesbristol.co.uk

CITY OF LONDON FESTIVAL, 6PM SERIES

6pm

St Sepulchre-without-Newgate, 10 Giltspur Street, EC1 Andreas Brantelid cello Katrine Gislinge piano Schumann Adagio and Allegro Stefan Lindgren Scherzo** Chopin Cello Sonata in G minor £10 unreserved 0845 120 7502 www.colf.org

PRÉLUDES AND INTERLUDES

7.30pm

Recital Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham B3 3HG Debussy Préludes, Book 1 Stephen Goss Interludes The artist Brian Dunce has created paintings inspired by the Debussy Preludes. The composer Stephen Goss subsequently composed 9 Interludes inspired by the Debussy Preludes and the Dunce paintings. Brian Dunce will give an introductory talk on this creative collaboration and slides of his paintings will be shown during the performance. £6 (£4) www.bcu.ac.uk/events/88

june 2009 • new notes

13


RNCM BIG BAND WITH 7.30pm JOHN DANKWORTH RNCM Theatre, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9RD John Dankworth saxophone Mike Hall director For its final show of the season, the RNCM Big Band teams up with one of Britain's best-known jazz musicians, composers and commentators, John Dankworth. With a career spanning more than six decades, John's CV makes for impressive reading. He has shared the bill with the Duke Ellington Orchestra in its heyday and served as musical director for Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson and many others. Over the years he has also led his own modern jazz group Seven and Big Band (both featuring his wife Cleo Laine) and in 1993 formed the Generation Big Band with his son Alec. John continues to be a sax player of invention and fire and we're delighted to welcome him back to the College for our latest Big Band collaboration. £12–£16 0161 907 5200 www.rncm.ac.uk

Thursday 25 June

PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA

6pm

Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, London SE1 Richard Baker conductor Nathan Vale tenor Three new compositions inspired by Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder from leading graduate composition students. Hannah Kendall The Unreturning Evis Sammoutis Windy Nights Emma-Ruth Richards Night Free admission www.southbankcentre.co.uk

7.30pm CITY OF LONDON FESTIVAL: HEBRIDES ENSEMBLE Stationers’ Hall, Ave Maria Lane, EC4 Judith Weir Distance and Enchantment Haflidi Hallgrimsson Lcelandic Foldsongs* James MacMillan Kiss on Wood Peter Maxwell Davies String Trio* Sibelius String Trio in G minor Stravinsky Elegy Shostakovich Piano Trio no. 2 Commissioned jointly by the City of London and St Magnus Festivals and the Hebrides Ensemble £10–£20 (including complimentary glass of wine in the interval) 0845 120 7502 www.colf.org

MAHLER CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

7.30pm

Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk IP17 1SP Susanna Mälkki conductor Pierre-Laurent Aimard piano Haydn Symphony No.60 ‘Il Distratto’; Symphony no.101 ‘The Clock’ Ligeti Ramifications Birtwistle Slow Frieze for piano and ensemble £13–£30 (Under 27s half price) 01728 687100 www.aldeburgh.co.uk

14 new notes • june 2009

Friday 26 June

ADA GENTILE AND 10pm THE NEW MUSIC OF ITALY Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York, York YO10 5DD See 7.30pm listings for programme details. www.yorkconcerts.co.uk

BLACK HAIR

12pm

Corsham Festival, The Pound Arts Centre, Pound Pill, Corsham, Wiltshire SN13 9HX From delicate and secretive to raucous and confrontational, Black Hair (voice, clarinet, violin, cello, piano, percussion) explores the innate theatre of musical expression. www.corshamfestival.blogspot.com

ROYAL COLLEGE OF MUSIC SAXOPHONE ENSEMBLE

6pm

Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, Royal College of Music, London SW1 Kyle Horch director Gabrieli (arr. Frankton) Canzon Primi Toni Corelli (arr. Drury) Concerto Grosso no 1 Ian Stewart Calming Steve Reich New York Counterpoint Richard Ingham Mrs Malcolm, her Reel Free admission, tickets required 020 7591 4314 www.boxoffice.rcm.ac.uk

7.30pm ADA GENTILE AND THE NEW MUSIC OF ITALY Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York, York YO10 5DD The Chimera Ensemble Ada Gentile Bagmoyo; Del Profondo; Canzone Prima Donatoni Spiri for 10 instruments Dallapiccola Two Lyrics of Anacreon £6 (£3–£5) 01904 432439 www.yorkconcerts.co.uk

Saturday 27 June

FRACTURES OF THE FAMILIAR

10pm

Britten Studio, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk IP17 1SP Sarah Leonard soprano Rolf Hind piano Pierre-Laurent Aimard piano Schumann Gesänge der Frühe Helmut Lachenmann ... got lost ... [music for soprano and piano]** Stockhausen Gesang der Jünglinge £10 (Under 27s half price) 01728 687100 www.aldeburgh.co.uk

7.30pm MARIE MACLEOD CELLO; MARTIN STURFÄLT PIANO Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1 Watkins Cello Sonata £8–£13 020 7935 2141 www.wigmore-hall.co.uk

MAHLER CHAMBER ORCHESTRA II

7pm

Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk IP17 1SP Pierre-Laurent Aimard piano, director Haydn Symphony no.45 ‘Farewell’ Stockhausen Kontra-Punkte Beethoven Piano Concerto no.5 ‘Emperor’ Pre-performance talk, 6pm: Pierre-Laurent Aimard in conversation with Tom Service. Free admission, booking required. £13–£30 (Under 27s half price) 01728 687100 www.aldeburgh.co.uk

Sunday 28 June

BACH PLUS

4.30pm

Wyastone Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate Ltd, Wyastone Leys, Monmouth, NP25 3SR Alina Ibragimova, Jacqueline Shave violins, directors Maggie Cole harpsichord JS Bach Keyboard Concerto no. 5 in F minor, Violin Concerto no. 1 in A minor*, Art of Fugue (movements)*, Violin Concerto no. 2 in E* György Kurtág Signs, Games and Messages* Berg Lyric Suite 01291 330 020 www.wyevalleymusic.org.uk

CONCERT OF RECENT COMMISSIONS

6pm

St Giles' Cathedral, High St, Edinburgh EH1 1RE lluminati Wind Quartet Edward McGuire Winds at Sea*** Rory Boyle A Box of Chatter Gareth Williams How Oliver Searle Snowbirds £8 (under 16 free) 0131 226 0673

Monday 29 June

THE MONDAY PLATFORM

7.30pm

Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1 Laura Lucas flute Dominic John piano Brodowski Quartet Takemitsu Voice Liebermann Sonata for flute and piano £8–£15 www.wigmore-hall.co.uk

Wednesday 1 July

CITY OF LONDON FESTIVAL, 6PM SERIES

6pm

St. Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside, EC2 Shai Wosner piano Schubert German Dances, Sonata in D Peter Maxwell Davies Three Sanday Places*** £10 unreserved 0845 120 7502 www.colf.org


CITY OF LONDON FESTIVAL

7.30pm

Guildhall Great Hall, Gresham Street, EC2 Nordic Chamber Orchestra Christian Lindberg conductor, trombone Roman Moderato: Music for Royal Wedding: Little Drottningholm Music, Vivace, Allegro Purcell Chacony in G minor Arvo Pärt Fratres Grieg Holberg Suite Nielsen Little Suite for Strings Sibelius Impromptu in B minor Christian Lindberg Kundraan for trombone and strings** £10–£30 (including a complimentary glass of wine in the interval) 0845 120 7502 www.colf.org

25 BROOK STREET – A NEW ORATORIO

7pm

St. George's Church, Hanover Square, Mill Street, London W1S 1FX Brindley Sherratt bass Thomas Hobbs tenor Choir of St. George's Hanover Square London Handel Players 25 Brook Street is a brand new oratorio commissioned by Handel House Museum to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Handel’s death. The story follows Handel's writing of Jephtha, his final major work, which was interrupted by his failing sight. Music composed by Mark Bowden, Larry Goves, Chris Mayo and Charlie Piper. Original libretto written by Helen Cooper. £10 (£5) 020 7399 1953 www.handelhouse.org

Thursday 2 July

CITY OF LONDON 7.30pm FESTIVAL: BRITTEN SINFONIA Mansion House, City of London, Guildhall, PO Box 270, London EC2P 2EJ Henning Kraggerud violin Vivaldi The Four Seasons Erik-Sven Tüür Action – Passion – Illusion Einojuhani Rautavaara Fiddlers Esa-Pekka Salonen Stockholm Diary* £10–£30 (including a complimentary glass of wine in the interval) 0845 120 7502 www.colf.org

UBS SOUNDSCAPES: 8pm ECLECTICA - FROM AYRSHIRE LSO St Luke’s, 161 Old Street, London EC1V 9NG James MacMillan conductor Nicola Benedetti violin LSO Chamber Orchestra Mendelssohn Overture: The Hebrides James MacMillan A Meditation on Iona, From Ayrshire, Tryst Tchaikovsky (orch Glazunov) Souvenir d'un lieu cher £7–£21 020 7490 3939 www.lso.co.uk/lsostlukes

Friday 3 July

CITY OF LONDON FESTIVAL 2009

6pm

St Giles, Cripplegate, Fore Street, London EC2Y 8DA BBC Singers James Morgan conductor Sir Peter Maxwell Davies Westerlings James Macmillan So Deep, The Gallant Weaver Kaija Saariaho Nuits, adieux Bernard Hughes The Death of Balder *** Free admission, no ticket required www.colf.org

SAARIAHO'S L'AMOUR 7.30pm DE LOIN (LOVE FROM AFAR) English National Opera, London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 4ES Roderick Williams, Joan Rodgers, Faith Sherman singers Edward Gardner conductor Daniele Finzi Pasca (Cirque Eloize's Rain) directs this transfixing blend of physical theatre, acrobatics and live music follows a medieval prince's search for idealized love. ENO's Olivier Award-winning Music Director Edward Gardner brings his passion for Saariaho's music to conducting the rich, sensual score. £20–£50 0871 911 0200 www.eno.org

BIRMINGHAM

CONSERVATOIRE

CALL FOR ENTRIES

2009 New Millennium Composition Competition Prize: £3,000 Applications Deadline: Friday 28 August 2009

Reflecting our ongoing commitment to the commissioning of new work, we are pleased to invite applications for the 2009 New Millennium Composition Competition, an annual competition that provides a platform for talented composers working in the UK. Previous winners include Joe Cutler, Geoff Hannan, Tom Ingoldsby, Saed Haddad, Tazul Tajuddin, Fumiko Miyachi, Edward Top and Paul Newland. To enter, you must have been a resident in the UK on 1 March 2009. You will need to submit two previous works (scores, preferably accompanied by CD recordings), together with a proposal of the work to be written, your CV and other relevant supporting material. Proposals for ensemble works of about 15-20 minutes’ duration are encouraged. The work should be suited to our performing resources and scoring should not exceed the size of a large chamber ensemble.

The winning composition will be performed during our 2010/11 concert season. Detailed information is available on www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk or by writing to: Dr Joe Cutler, Head of Composition c/o Sophie Carter, Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham City University, Paradise Place, Birmingham B3 3HG, UK

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new music opportunities

We advise you to contact the organisers of advertised opportunities before applying. spnm is not responsible for external opportunities advertised.

TRAINEE ANIMATEUR POSITION AT WIGMORE HALL

INTERNATIONAL MUSIC PRIZES FOR COMPOSITION

Deadline: 6 June 2009 Wigmore Hall in London is looking for a performer or composer with an interest in chamber music and song, who wants to develop his/her education and workshop skills. Candidates are sought who already have some workshop leading experience and who will benefit from developing his/her skills further. The post will operate for three days per week from September 2009 - July 2010. Bursary available. Applications with CV to: John Gilhooly, Director, Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1U 2BP. More info: www.wigmore-hall.org.uk/jobs

Deadline: 18 September 2009 The National Academy of Music, Colorado (USA) and the Conservatories of Neapolis and Sykies (Greece), invite composers to submit scores for its annual International Music Prizes for Composition. www.MusicPrizes.gr

MAX/MSP SUMMER COURSES AT GOLDSMITHS ELECTRONIC MUSIC STUDIOS Courses run at Goldsmiths College in London in July. See www.goldsmiths.ac.uk/ems/courses.php for full details.

INTERNATIONAL SOLO HARP COMPOSITION COMPETITION 2009 – CALL FOR WORKS Deadline: 1 December 2009 This is call for composers to submit works for solo harp. Open to all composers. Pieces should last between 6-8 minutes. Submitted works must be unpublished, unawarded and must not have been commercially recorded. Frst prize: $2,000. www.usaihc.org

NYO’S WRITE HERE, RIGHT NOW 2009 NEW MILLENNIUM COMPOSITION COMPETITION Deadline: 28 August 2009 Prize: £3,000 + premiere The Competition is open to composers who are resident in the UK. Applicants should submit two previous works (scores, preferably accompanied by CD recordings), together with a detailed proposal of up to 500 words as to the work to be written. We wish to encourage proposals for ensemble works of about 15-20 minutes’ duration, suited to our performing resources. Scoring should not exceed the size of a large chamber ensemble. For further information, visit www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk or email sophie.carter@bcu.ac.uk.

Deadline: 1 July 2009 An opportunity for teenage composers to write for the musicians of the National Youth Orchestra. See ad, p.16 and www.nyo.org.uk.

UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN OGSTON POSTGRADUATE MUSIC SCHOLARSHIP Deadline: 1 July 2009 Applications are invited from graduates with a 1st or 2.1 Honours degree in Music, or an equivalent qualification, who plan to undertake postgraduate studies at the University of Aberdeen in any area of music beginning in 2009-10. The scholarship is worth £1,000 per year. www.abdn.ac.uk/cass/prospective/ogston.php

news WINNERS OF NCEM COMPOSERS AWARD ANNOUNCED

BIRTWISTLE AND BENJAMIN WIN RPS AWARDS

16 year-old Elizabeth Edwards and 23 year-old Michael Perrett have won this year’s NCEM Composers Awards. 50 entries were made to the competition, which was broken into two catgories: under 18 years, and 19–25 years. The winning pieces will be performed as part of this year’s York Early Music Festival by the Tallis Singers. www.ncem.co.uk

The winners for this year’s RPS Music Awards were announced and broadcast by BBC Radio 3 on Tuesday 12 May: they ranged from Sir Harrison Birtwistle to 3000 Hackney school children. The new music winners were:

GABRIEL JACKSON TAKES POST WITH BBC SINGERS Gabriel Jackson has been appointed as BBC Singers’ new Associate Composer. He will take the position at the start of 2010. www.bbc.co.uk/singers

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new notes

june 2009

Audience Development: Streetwise Opera: My Secret Heart Chamber Music: Britten Sinfonia Lunchtime Series Chamber Scale Composition: Harrison Birtwistle: The Tree of Strings Education: Hackney Music Development Trust: Confucius Says Large Scale Composition: George Benjamin: Into the Little Hill


sound and music this month

An evening of live music/cinema curated by London based project space no.w.here. Lam projector performances, curates avant-garde archivist. His performances teeter on the bri expectations we might have of film/art/perfo unfixed, improvisatory and playful approach artist, performer and audience. The evening performance, including a collaboration betw maverick musicians; Korean cellist/improvis improvisor Steve Beresf instrumentalist/free Our new contact details: trumpeter/composer/improvisor Peter Evans Sound and Music Somerset House Third Floor, South Wing Strand London WC2R 1LA +44 (0) 20 7759 1800 info@soundandmusic.org www.soundandmusic.org

Sound and Music chair, Sonita Alleyne

The new team at Sound and Music is:

Executive Director, Matthew Greenall

OPEN FOR BUSINESS AS SOUND AND MUSIC We have now opened for business as Sound and Music and are settling into our new home in Somerset House. We held an opening party for the industry and press on 18 May and you can now reach us via the contact details to the right.

19-20 June Wilton’s Music Hall, London Cut & Splice: Living Rooms A two-day festival of performance, installation, video, broadcast and discussion that explores the beauty, memory and identity of sound in domestic environments. Artists include Alvin Lucier, Brandon LaBelle, Carl Michael von Hausswolff & John Duncan.

Matthew Greenall: Executive Director Johnny Gibson: Head of Marketing and Audience Development Becca Laurence: Head of Learning and Creative Resources Ian Parlane: Finance Director Nicole Rochman: Learning Producer David Rogerson: Digital and New Media Manager Shoël Stadlen: Marketing and Audience Development Manager Richard Thomas: Information and Resources Coordinator Emma Welton: Producer Richard Whitelaw: Producer Jonathan Webb: Assistant Producer Mark Willetts: Company Administrator Chris Wright: Finance Manager

WEBSITE GOES LIVE We have launched our website www.soundandmusic.org. It brings together a large amount of information and resources, including open-access UK event listings, our Collection of over 40,000 scores and recordings, blogs, podcasts and more. And we want more content from you – do visit, register and upload your own profile and listings.

OUR UPCOMING EVENTS: 9 June Kings Place, London The Sound Source: Plundering Zizek and Silent Disco An evening inspired by the idiosyncratic philosopher and cultural critic, Slavoj Zizek, featuring performances from pianocircus and Keyboard Choir, music composed by Duncan MacLeod, Colin Riley, Federico Reuben and Conlon Nancarrow, an Open Source platform for emerging artists and a Silent Disco.

21, 23 & 26 June Cutting Edge Tour Corsham Festival Performances by CoMA London ensemble, Anna Best and Paul Whitty, and Black Hair, featuring composers including Andrew Poppy, Paul Whitty, Roger Marsh and Georges Aperghis. 20 & 21 July Apollo Science Museum, London Icebreaker premiere an arrangement of Brian Eno’s 1983 album Apollo by composer Jun Lee, plus performances by Scanner, Douglas Benford and Iris Garrelfs. PLUS: We are also partners in Manchester International Festival’s premiere production of singersongwriter Rufus Wainright’s first opera, Prima Donna (10-19 July), and the Supersonic festival in Birmingham (24 - 26 July).

The format for staff email addresses is: name.surname@soundandmusic.org

Ogston Postgraduate Music Scholarship Applications are invited from graduates with a 1st or 2.1 Honours degree in Music, or an equivalent qualification, who plan to undertake postgraduate studies at the University of Aberdeen in any area of music (i.e. composition or musicology) beginning in session 2009-10. The scholarship is worth £1,000/annum. It may be held for up to three years, subject to satisfactory progress. For further details, please visit www.abdn.ac.uk/cass/prospective/ogston.php

Closing Date: 1 July 2009

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Hear and Now

Saturday nights at 10.30pm on BBC Radio 3

Saturday 6 June: Louis Andriessen portrait

To mark the 70th birthday of Louis Andriessen, Zoë Martlew interviews the Dutch composer at his home in Amsterdam to discover the driving forces behind his music and the background to the two works featured in tonight's programme, De Stijl and De Staat.The Schoenberg Ensemble with Asko Ensemble, conducted by Reinbert de Leeuw and with Gertrude Thoma (voice), perform: Louis Andriessen De Stijl; De Staat.

Saturday 13 June: Sounds New Festival 1 of 2

In the first of two programmes recorded at the Canterbury Sounds New Festival, Ivan Hewett is joined by composer Joe Cutler to discuss its mainly Polish theme: M a r t a Pt a s zyns k a Space Model [1971-75] (Nicholas Reed - percussion, plus prerecorded tape); Samantha Fernando Frozen Reflections (after Szymanowski's Piano Etude no.3)*** (Aurora Orchestra, Nicholas Collon - conductor); Agata Zubel Obciàzenie dopuszczalne (Nicholas Reed - percussion, electronics); György Ligeti Chamber Concerto (Aurora Orchestra, Nicholas Collon - conductor); Witold Lutoslawski Chain 1 (Aurora Orchestra, Nicholas Collon - conductor).

Saturday 20 June: Sounds New Festival 2 of 2

In the second of two programmes recorded at the Canterbury Sounds New Festival, Ivan Hewett is joined by composer Joe Cutler to discuss its mainly Polish theme: Joe Cutler Buckley’s Hot Licks (Rolf Hind - piano & voice); Tadeusz Wielecki Collage Tango** (Rolf Hind - piano); Henryk Gó r ecki Concerto Op.11 (Aurora Orchestra, Nicholas Collon - conductor); Zygmunt Krauze Five Unistic Pieces (Rolf Hind - piano); Hanna Kulenty Drive Blues (Rolf Hind - piano); Krzysztof Penderecki Sextet** (Aurora Orchestra, Nicholas Collon - conductor).

Saturday 27 June: Cut & Splice ‘09 - ‘Living Rooms’

Robert Worby reports from Hear And Now’s annual festival of live electronic music and sound ar t, co-produced with Sound and Music. This year’s theme is the domestic environment, and the artists include Alvin Lucier (famed for his explorations of the sonic environment of rooms), C a r l - M i c h a e l v o n Hausswolff, John Duncan, Jason Lescalleet, the Domestic Appliance Audio Research Society and Tape That.


new notes - June 2009