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snapshot of the uk in song matthew bourne: new voices for old pianos previews by nicola lefanu
Snapshot of the UK in song
Images from left: Colin Riley and Claire Booth; Michael Chance and Lucy Wakeford Photos: Jamie Campbell
To celebrate its 20th anniversary, NMC Recordings has commissioned almost 100 British composers to compose new songs for a celebratory new release, The NMC Songbook. BAYAN NORTHCOTT introduces us to the sound of the UK in song...
collective songbook from a range of British composers, neither she, nor any of the Board had much idea of how vastly varied and, at times, positively contrary a response this would invoke. Morley’s treatise remains a landmark, nonetheless, not only for what it tells us about the many genres of vocal music practised in his own time, but because its appearance coincided with a publication that has come to be recognized as marking the emergence of a distinctively English tradition of solo song: John Dowland’s First Booke of Songes or Ayres.
Rules to be Observed in Dittying ...it followeth to show you how to dispose your music according to the nature of the words which you are therein to express, as whatsoever matter it be which you have in hand such a kind of music must you frame to it. You must therefore, if you have a grave matter, apply a grave kind of music to it; if a merry subject you must make your music also merry, for it will be a great absurdity to use a sad harmony to a merry matter or a merry harmony to a sad, lamentable, or tragical ditty. Thomas Morley, A Plaine and Easie Introduction to Practicall Musicke, 1597
The idea of an anthology of songs is hardly new, of course. John Dowland’s son Robert gathered a selection of lutesongs by a number of composers under the title A Musicall Banquet as early as 1610; while 18 composers were specifically commissioned to set poems of James Joyce for The Joyce Book (1933) – of which Joyce himself apparently liked the settings by Arthur Bliss and Arnold Bax best. And NMC early released a selection from Mary Wiegold’s Songbook (NMC D003) – a collection of over 100 songs requested in the late 1980s by John Woolrich from an international array of composers for the soprano Mary Wiegold.
Times change, of course, and doubtless the first instinct of a properly modern composer would be, precisely to set a tragical text to a merry harmony – so much more ironic, critical, significant! When NMC’s Business and Development manager, Anne Rushton, suggested celebrating the Label’s 20th anniversary by commissioning a
But whereas The Joyce Book was a published tribute to a single author and Mary Wiegold’s Songbook an archive for a single performer and a prescribed accompanying ensemble, The NMC Songbook was conceived from the start as a recording project encompassing not only a variety of composers, but of singers and accompanists as well.
Some constraints seemed unavoidable if the thing was to be manageable. It was decided from the start that songs should be for solo voice, or two voices in duet, and just one accompanist on either piano, harp, guitar, harpsichord or percussion. Since NMC is a charity for the recording of contemporary British music, it also seemed reasonable to ask that composers set English texts, preferably with some bearing on British life, history, landscape, or whatever. And, in order to accommodate as many songs as possible, composers were requested to keep their contributions to within three minutes duration. Then there was the copyright problem if composers chose to set texts written within the last 70 years; since NMC had neither the time nor the resources to negotiate and clear copyrights with a whole succession of living writers or writers’ estates, it was required that composers or their publishers must do this. Nor had NMC the resources to commission songs for the going rate – only enough to offer the honorarium of a bottle of bubbly per song. Given these various limitations, it was envisaged, when the invitations went out in November 2007, that maybe only half or two thirds of those asked might accept – perhaps sufficient to fill two CDs. In fact the response proved so overwhelmingly positive that the scope of the project seem to expand of its own accord. The initial invitation list had been based upon composers who had already been recorded by NMC, but it was unthinkable not also to ask certain established figures,
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE: A GUIDE TO READING THIS MONTH’S ISSUE Dear new notes reader, You will notice (from page 4 onwards) that this issue looks a bit different from previous issues, with text underlined. The reason for this is that we’ve created an online version of this issue, which you can find at www.spnm.org.uk, and the formatting you’ll find in the printed issue refers to links in the online issue – links to music, video and other web pages – which enhance the magazine by making it a richer and more interactive reading experience. Why have we created an online version? We’ve been planning the work of Sound and Music in detail over the last year and have exciting plans for publications. new notes has been first and foremost a listings magazine, and over time we have grown the number of listings in the magazine by lowering the costs of advertising. The aim has always been to achieve free listings, but, because spnm has had to supplement its public funding with income from other sources in order to run its programme of work, this has not been possible. With the start of our new organisation, Sound and Music, we want to offer people the opportunity both to list their events and to find out what’s happening in the UK free of charge. We hope that this basic and fundamental service will considerably raise the profile of – and increase access to – new music and sound in the UK. Free listings hopefully mean more listings, and to cope with the volume and keep them up to date, we will need to move
such as Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, who had not appeared on the label, plus a number of rising younger talents who had yet to achieve recording. A handful of composers NMC would very much have liked to include – amongst them Brian Ferneyhough, Oliver Knussen, Dominic Muldowney, Steve Martland, Richard Barrett, George Benjamin – were reluctantly obliged to decline owing to pressure of work; while Harrison Birtwistle's circumstances only allowed for the arrangement of a pre-existing song. One or two promised songs also failed, in the event, to turn up – including, alas, a setting by Sir Richard Rodney Bennett that vanished somewhere between his desk and his publisher’s office. But of the 100-plus composers to receive an invitation, only one failed ever to answer.
them online. Users will be able to upload and manage their own listings, allowing the online listings to be comprehensive and up to date. Basic listings will be free of charge, while a premium listings subscription (to which all current new notes listings subscribers will be transferred) will be available to those who wish to have enhanced listings, including multimedia and inclusion on direct emails to target audiences. Listings will therefore be hosted online and sent out by email. Taking the listings out of new notes raises the question of the magazine’s future, but it was felt that it was crucial to retain and develop a magazine for new music. We have decided to move to an online magazine, which will allow us to develop far more editorial coverage of the UK’s new music scene than we are able to in print. Many people prefer reading hard copy, and I’m sure many, will initially be cautious, as I myself was, about moving to an online format. However, we will be moving to a format which will allow you to print off the magazine if you prefer, and which will retain the look and feel of print, as well as the coherence and integrity of a magazine issue. The crucial factors for us are that the online format will allow us to include five to eight articles and features per month, compared to the current two to four, and will allow you to hear and see new music rather than just read about it. So, to give you an idea of the possibilities and the new interactivity that the online format will allow, we’ve created an online version of this issue. Do have a look at the online version at www.spnm.org.uk. I hope you enjoy it – we’ll have more news about future publications next month. Shoël Stadlen
As the scores poured in, the focus shifted to getting them recorded. Clearly with almost 100 songs, there were more for soprano, more for tenor, and so on, than any one singer of each voice type could be reasonably expected to learn. Iain Burnside had been advising the project from the start, but here his unrivalled knowledge of current singers proved crucial in finding NMC the right voices for the right songs. Of course, there were complications; several composers expressed strong preferences for particular singers, while Gerald Barry, Errollyn Wallen and Roderick Williams preferred to sing their own songs. With so many songs scored for piano, it was helpful to have those distinguished composer-pianists, Michael Finnissy and Jonathan Powell to accompany their own items; the remainder being shared
new notes info: ISSN: 1350-8989 Published by: spnm, Sound and Music, 4th Floor, 18–20 Southwark St, London SE1 1TJ. www.spnm.org.uk Editor: Shoël Stadlen Deputy Editor: Tim Scudder Editorial Assistant: Jacob Thompson spnm tel: 020 7407 1640 fax: 020 7403 7652 email: email@example.com Editorial advisors: Christopher Fox, Julia Winterson, Andrew Kurowski The opinions expressed in new notes are those of the authors and not necessarily those of new notes or spnm. Copyright of all articles is held by spnm and the contributors. Unauthorised reproduction of any item is forbidden.
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contined on page 4 >> march 2009
between the tireless Iain Burnside, Andrew Ball and Huw Watkins, along with contributions from Andrew Plant and Andrew West. Happily, the virtuoso harpist Lucy Wakeford was available to undertake all eleven of the songs with harp and the dexterous Owen Gunnell the nine with various percussion accompaniments. The rising young Greek artist Antonis Hatzinikolaou took on the five songs with guitar and the versatile Jane Chapman the two with harpsichord – these players also adding their layers to the variable version of a Thomas Morley galliard arranged by Colin Matthews as a periodic interlude between the songs. So what does The NMC Songbook reveal about British music now? Certain simple things; certain more complex implications. Evidently, if regrettably, the deep bass voice is currently unpopular, since not a single composer chose to write for it. Evidently, if perhaps more surprisingly, the piano seems to hold much of its traditional dominance as accompanying instrument, where one might have expected more hard-line modernists to prefer a mix of percussion, and composers with more folkloristic or populist leanings to gravitate to the guitar. Where choices of texts from precopyright days are concerned, many of the more favoured old poets still appeal: there are highly contrasted Shakespeare settings by Simon Bainbridge, Alison Bauld, Gordon Crosse and Alexander Goehr, for instance; Blake is tackled by Martin Butler, Richard Causton, James Dillon, Jonathan Harvey and Stephen Montague; Shelley by Christopher Mayo and Jonathan Powell; John Clare by Tansy Davies, Brian Elias and Anthony Gilbert. Yet the fashion for Medieval verse established by Holst and Britten decades back seems to have declined somewhat, apart from settings by Stuart MacRae, Nicholas Sackman and Peter Wiegold. And the pre-Romantic 18th century is, as ever, neglected, aside from Donnacha Dennehy’s defiant setting of Swift’s ‘Epitaph’ and Chris Dench’s intricate treatment of lines from Sterne’s Tristram Shandy. That most musical of Victorian poets, Tennyson, is, sadly, avoided altogether, while A E Housman, the poet of choice 80 or 90 years ago, is set solely by Anthony Powers. Evidently the Shropshire lad has
since lost ground to Thomas Hardy, tackled by Helen Grime, Giles Swayne and the present writer; and, especially, to Edward Thomas, variously set by Philip Grange, John McCabe, Colin Matthews and David Sawer. Fortunately the copyright problem dissuaded fewer composers from setting more up-to-date writing than was feared. Some persuaded poets’ estates to permit use, as with Joseph Phibbs’s setting of Belloc and Jeremy Dale Roberts’s of Ursula Vaughan Williams. Others, such as Richard Baker, David Blake, Diana Burrell, Gary Carpenter, Ben Foskett, Emily Hall, Emily Howard, David Matthews and Anna Meredith managed to induce living writers to waive rights or write specially for them – including members of their own families in the instances of Joe Cutler and Edwin Roxburgh. Quite a few decided to emulate Campion, Tom Moore and Ivor Gurney by writing their own texts: from Michael Berkeley, Bryn Harrison, Simon Holt, Jordan Hunt and Jonathan Lloyd, to Claudia Molitor, Anthony Payne, Geoffrey Poole, Robert Saxton and Errollyn Wallen. And three composers evaded the text problem altogether: Jonathan Cole by setting a pattern of abstract phonemes, Luke Stoneham by electronically treating virtually inaudible voices, and Rupert Bawden by composing a textless vocalise. As for the musical approaches encompassed by The NMC Songbook, these would seem almost beyond summary: ranging from the labyrinthine convolutions of James Dillon’s Blake song to a haunting Jonathan Lloyd number that would mesmerize any folk club. Yet in his setting of Horatio Brown, Michael Finnissy somehow contrives to suggest a strange meeting of the New Complexity with Gerald Finzi. Quite a few contributions, indeed, sound like conscious attempts to carry forward the central 20thcentury English song tradition of Bridge, Ireland, Warlock, Tippett and Britten: from Hugh Wood’s ecstatic George Herbert setting to Helen Grime’s darkly troubled response to Thomas Hardy; from David Matthews’ lightsome setting of words by the contemporary poet Robin Leanse, to Robert Keeley’s finely balanced response to a
Click the links below to download 30second mp3 extracts, which will open in your computer’s media player.
sonnet of Sir Philip Sidney – indeed, Robin Holloway has described his setting of Edmund Waller’s ‘Go, lovely Rose’ as sounding like ‘cubist Quilter’. In the same way one may sense the spirit of Warlock somewhere behind Sadie Harrison’s uproarious William Barnes setting or the unquiet ghost of Britten behind Martin Butler’s ominous response to Blake’s ‘London’. A number of other composers seem to have taken more from the permutational games and (apparent) naiveté of the Anglo-American experimental tradition, as John White’s Lord Berners-esque tribute to the National Trust; Howard Skempton’s patterned setting of Libby Travassos Valdez; Gerald Barry’s deadpan Oscar Wilde scena. Still others – Nicola LeFanu, Judith Weir, Stuart MacRae – seem, more or less directly, to echo folk tradition. There are some particularly resourceful items for unaccompanied voice: Brian Elias’s sinuous Clare setting; Simon Holt’s flamboyantly rhetorical character-monologue; Geoffrey Poole’s outrageous send-up of folksiness. Yet scattered through the Songbook are equally striking one-offs: Nicholas Sackman’s fusion of Medieval hocketting with Afro-Caribbean percussion; Dai Fujikura’s startling treatment of demotic English by Harry Ross; a bleak haiku from the reclusive Bláar Kindsdottir. And still half the composers in the Songbook – some eminent, some fast-rising – have gone unmentioned. How generally representative of the current scene the songs as a body may be, and how many of them have the potential to endure in the repertoire, is for performers and listeners to judge. But, as it attains its 20th anniversary, NMC at least feels it has earned the right to ask in its turn: would any other company or media outlet today even attempt such a project? The NMC Songbook is launched through a series of concerts at Kings Place on 1 - 4 April and officially released on 6 April. www.nmcrec.co.uk
Walking Music: Kevin Volans’ Hunting: Gathering Andante: always the most perplexing and unhelpful of markings. ‘At a walking pace’ – meaning what, precisely? How fast I walk depends on where I’m going and how late I’m running. But then there is the even more opaque Andantino. Or Beethoven’s baffling Più andante – more ‘walkingly’! Is that faster or slower? To me, Andante betrays a composer unable to make up his mind. It is essentially an embarrassed sort of ‘no comment’.
In Analysis is a space for brief, personal responses to the local detail of music and sound that you love.
There is only one piece I know which truly deserves to be marked Andante but in fact it has only the terse instruction: crotchet=132 SEMPRE SENZA VIBRATO. Kevin Volans’ String Quartet no.2 Hunting: Gathering is walking music to its marrow, tuned in to the very essence of the experience of walking. But this is not walking in a British sense of a gentle afternoon perambulation or a brisk constitutional. This is an expedition across a bleached landscape, with
only a vague, distant destination in mind. The walk itself, the journey, is the point. It starts at a measured trudge, a pizzicato chord repeated fifty times; this crotchet pulse underpins the whole piece, and the repetition establishes a formal spaciousness. The string sound is monochrome, senza vibrato, conjuring a flat, colourless panorama. The effect is like an endlessly looping background in a cheap cartoon.
Example 1: b.1-3
Volans acknowledges as sources for the piece various native southern African musics, as well ‘private references to Scarlatti, Handel, Stravinsky and my own earlier work’. But these eclectic sources are leached of their individuality, neutered into inscrutable, unchanging motivic capsules. And so this walking music proceeds: sometimes with a lilt, sometimes a lurch, a hobble, a stride or an infinitely patient stroll. There are moments of pleasure, companionship, weariness, tedium and reverie. But the music does not admit emotion or wit, whimsy, yearning or excitement. Unflinching but never forbidding, the music invites you to walk with it, but your presence does not alter its demeanour or course.
The steady, sometimes weary, tread of the walk is interrupted by short melodic phrases, stark against the blank backdrop, like conversational gambits thrown out by the walkers: the viola motif in ex.1, with its speechlike inflexion, or the upside-down sigh of ex.2, sardonic and quizzical. But the subsequent exact repetitions of these phrases make it clear they do not have the ebb and flow of true conversation, but are habitual remarks, a catechism, a way to pass the time.
Walking music, then – but perhaps not truly an Andante, with that term’s whiff of Italianate mimsy. Hunting: Gathering is not cultured or even acculturated: it is ineluctably other. It
Example 2: b.9-10 (reduction)
Example 3: b.581-5 (violins only) is without artifice or sophistry. Not until after 580 bars is vibrato – the signifier in western music of sophisticated string technique – first used, and then only for the last fifteen bars, in the violins (ex.3). The music of these bars presents a sequence, but a sequence of the most literal, naïve sort, doggedly up then down, like a talentless teenager imitating Telemann. And then the music – rather than ending – just stops; just as we can cease walking, although our journey never finishes.
New voices for old pianos Leeds-based pianist MATTHEW BOURNE has masterminded the discovery of disused and forgotten pianos in Yorkshire for use in his Songs from a Lost Piano tour. We took the opportunity to ask him about the tour and his music...
be making music and realising ideas if I stopped my activities as a musician and became a full-time farmer (which is something I’ve never felt too distant from). So in that sense I think that the separate worlds of whatever music is being made will always exist outside that of what is being heard on records or reported by journalists in various publications.
You’ve been described – probably not uniquely(!) – as ‘one of the most unclassifiable musicians in the world’. How would you describe what you do and why you’re doing it?
The only contemporary music scenes I have any direct involvement in are the various provincial DIY scenes in the UK. These consist of mainly Leeds based organisations such as LIMA (Leeds Improvised Music Association), Stench of Muscle, British Wildlife and Chinchilla. There is also Kammer Klang and the SPATCHCOCK warehouse scene in London (SPATCHCOCK is in partnership with the Gravid Hands Record Label). Aside from some aspects of LIMA these organisations generally have very little to do with jazz and I would urge anyone interested in contemporary music to seek out their nearest DIY scene, go to their concerts and LISTEN. Things I would be happy to do without: The vain attempts to homogenise, paraphrase and dilute the individuality and scope of the work of creative musicians by certain monopolistic organisations in the UK.
I’m honoured! Anyway, I guess I just try to realise the ideas that I visualise in my head… Staying with description and categorisation, you’ve been described as being ‘lumped in with a jazz crowd that bares little or no resemblance to the pianist’s freestyled, avantgarde way of doing things.’ Do you agree? Do you feel closer to the jazz world than to other scenes – experimental, contemporary classical? And do these separate worlds still exist outside the arts pages and record labels? I do agree, but I don’t think that’s anyone’s fault. I don’t really feel that attached to the jazz world (certainly not in the UK, anyway) and have never had the pleasure of performing under the auspices of any contemporary classical music settings. I would argue that, for anyone creating their own work – especially music that is deemed to be on the margins of this that or the other – it is the creating and existence of the music that is important, even in the absence of opportunities to record, perform or to be exposed. I would still
What do you think of the various contemporary music scenes in the UK? What’s exciting and what would you be happy to do without?
A fair amount of your music seems to combine the use of samples with improvisation. What do you particularly like about the combination? How much do you fix in advance and in what ways are you responding to the samples through your improvisations? These are results of mental ‘pictures’, if you like, that I visualise in my head. Using samples is the quickest way to realise them, without having to filter
the inspiration through a traditional compositional framework or style of music. I just put the samples into the machine and hope for the best. I never practice using the samples alongside playing the piano. Ever. Only on the gig are they brought together. I usually have some idea about what I am going to start and end with, but on the gig this might (and often does) change. For example, the combination of the sexual abuse scene from ‘Deliverence’ and ‘Give a Little Whistle’ from ‘Pinnocchio’, is something that just works for me. I can’t really explain why or where ideas such as these come from - they just resonate… Reviews cite Cecil Taylor, Keith Jarrett, John Zorn and Michael Finnissy as influences on you. What music inspires you? I own one Cecil Taylor record and I only listened to it once (when I first bought it about 10 years ago!!). I’ve made no conscious or philosophical attempt to avoid his work, only I just haven’t got round to listening to it yet. I must have got sidetracked by my Bob Hope and David Ackles obsessions… I think the single most important inspiration for me at the end of the day is the library. I could have never have envisaged that when I went to Leeds College of Music I’d come out at the other end making the music I do now! I blame the college library – full of twentieth-century scores, recordings and all of the hidden gems found in the ‘Reserved Stock’ section were all for the taking. John Zorn was also a very important influence on me whilst I was at college. I purchased Zorn’s orchestral, solo and chamber scores from Carl Fischer and studied them to see how they worked – especially the piano writing in Aporias. It was the gateway to exploring the work of Ligeti, Xenakis, Berio, Stockhausen, Sorabji and Feldman – and how I could
Click here to listen to extracts of music by Matthew Bourne
Photos by Benjamin McMahon
THE PIANOS: Junk Shop piano (upright), Otley Discovered in an Otley junk shop, hidden, covered in books, videos and dvds, this piano possesses a peculiar sound. Made in 1908 by Philip Loher, of London. Glasshouses Wesleyan Methodist Chapel This sad looking grand piano was found way up the top of Nidderdale, in North Yorkshire, in a chapel undergoing refurbishment, with two motorbikes leant up against it. No legs or lid, keys don’t move, and strings are protruding like a bowl of manic spaghetti! Was originally housed in the ballroom of the mid-17th century Cockmill Hall near Whitby.
translate all of these influences into my own improvisational language. It’s hard to say what exactly inspires me about the people I listen to – sometimes it might just be one note or collection of chords that draws me in. Sometimes it’s a bit more intangible – like listening to David Jacobs’s show on Radio 2 on a Sunday evening. It’s my trade secret… There seems to be a wave of experimental pianists who want to give the instrument a new lease of life – by creating new instruments, new tunings, making it part of a much larger electronic soundscape, etc. How do you feel about the instrument, and how does the Songs From a Lost Piano project fit in?
Elsie Smiths’ Piano (upright), Sepcote village Bought brand new in the early 1900s, passed down through the family. Elsie, the current owner is 92, and was given the piano on her 21st birthday by her mother who was given it on her 21st. The piano was a focal point for many occasions in the life of the village: weddings, funerals, birthdays and carol services (where some carols were particular only to the local area.
area of Halifax, during the 1960s and 70s. Champion Jack influenced many blues musicians including Fats Domino.
Champion Jack Dupree (upright) Discovered, covered in small props and costumes, languishing in a corner, back stage, in the drama department at Calderdale College, Halifax. The piano was used by the New Orleans born blues pianist and singer when he lived in the Ovenden
The White Grand at Besbrode (grand) Not a great deal known about this piano’s history at present – it’s very large, very white and used to adorn a cocktail lounge. This was unearthed in a piano undertakers room at Besbrode’s Pianos. Leeds. It has a sound that would break anyone’s heart.
I think the ‘wave’ you’re talking about is fantastic. One of the things I’m most excited about is the invention of the world’s first Fluid Piano by Geoff Smith. He’ll be showcasing it in the next few months – so look out for it! Songs from a Lost Piano has allowed me to realise a passion for playing those instruments that are considered beyond service or repair for what they are, and not to impose any conventional piano techniques upon them. Each instrument has its own identity and produces sounds that are unlike any other piano. This is what makes them special – they have acquired new colours, new depths and unique timbres that deserve to be heard and listened to. How do the pianos and their stories influence the music that
The Failsworth Mystery (upright) Found in a large mill near the Lancashire / Yorkshire border, in a place full of bizarre curios. According to Matthew: ‘It’s bloody great, the case is in good nick, but the sound…!’
people will hear? Essentially, all of the instruments are respected for what they are – whether or not their histories are well documented. It is the sound of these instruments that is important, and sitting amongst them, listening to them and letting them speak is a key part of the process for this project.
Songs From a Lost Piano visits Leeds, London and Bexhill from 27 February to 3 March.
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new music opportunities NOTTING HILL MAYFEST CALL FOR WORKS Deadline: 15 March 2009 (postmark) Composers of any age and nationality are invited to submit pieces of up to 10 minutes’ duration, either for solo violin or the violin with 1 to 4 of the following instruments: piano, flute, clarinet, cello, double-bass, percussion, electronics. The pieces entered should be inspired by art. More than one work may be submitted. Pieces should not have been recorded or performed previously. The shortlisted pieces will be workshopped and later performed as part of the Notting Hill MayFest. Application fee: £20.
CITY OF LONDON SINFONIA AND OLD MUTUAL: YOUNG COMPOSER PRIZE 2009 Deadline: 13 March 2009 This new competition offers young composers the chance to win a commission worth £5000 to write an original piece for performance at the Orchestra’s annual Gala Concert on 24th June 2009. Composers under the age of 30 and currently resident in the UK are invited to submit an existing composition to be assessed by a judging panel.
SONIC ART RESEARCH UNIT CALL FOR WORKS Deadline: 15 March 2009 This is a call for electroacoustic works, computer music and sound art for Sonic Art Oxford Jukebox. Works should be no more than five minutes in duration. The event will take place at the Jacqueline Du Pre Music Building, Oxford and will include concerts of Electrocacoustic Music, alongside concerts and workshops by Jos Zwaanenburg and Okeanos.
We advise you to contact the organisers of advertised opportunities before applying. spnm is not responsible for external opportunities advertised.
EYEMUSIC/RAWSTHORN COMMISSION FUND Deadline: 31 March 2009 This new commission fund will be awarded for a new performance at the annual Colourscape Music Festival. Proposals may be for any form of musical performance and should display a working knowledge of Colourscape. The final commission fee will reflect the scope of the proposal.
UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER MusM and PhD BURSARIES IN ELECTROACOUSTIC COMPOSITION 2009-10 Deadline: 1 April 2009 NOVARS Research Centre, University of Manchester, is offering three MusM bursaries (£3,400 each) in Electroacoustic Composition. For course details, see: www.novars.manchester.ac.uk/index.html The School also offers two PhD awards for overseas students, paying the difference between Overseas and Home/EU fees, to candidates of exceptional merit. To apply for either bursary, it is essential to make contact with David Berezan, Senior Lecturer, Director of the Electroacoustic Music Studios: firstname.lastname@example.org.
CALL FOR SCORES: PILGRIM’S WALK Deadline: 1 May 2009 Kalvfestivalen is requesting works for solo, handheld, nonamplified instruments. Each work should be performable on a variety of instruments. Works should be of 2–3 minutes duration. Composers of any age and nationality are invited to submit a maximum of three scores. Seven selected works will be performed and recorded at the festival. In addition, free board and lodging will be offered to composers attending the festival. www.kalvfestival.se
FROM WORD TO SOUND CALL FOR SCORES Deadline: 23 March 2009 This is a call for scores of c.10 minutes for mezzo-soprano, piano, bassoon and percussion. 'From Word to Sound' is a new series of contemporary music concerts to be held annually at the Magdalen auditorium, Oxford University. The works must set or make use of the poetry of one of the ancient Greek lyrics. For more information, email email@example.com Scores, and recordings should be submitted to: Costas Kafouros, Flat 6 Lloyd Villas, London SE4 1US
UNCAGED TOY PIANO CALL FOR SCORES
NEW SOLLER FESTIVAL COMPETITION FOR WORKS FOR PIANO AND CHOIR
QUEEN ELISABETH INTERNATIONAL COMPOSITION COMPETITION 2009
Deadline: 31 March 2009 The New Soller Festival invites entries for piano and choir, inspired by the 200th anniversary of Mendelssohn’s birth. Works should be written for piano and standard SATB choir and should not exceed 10 minutes. Composers born on or after 31.03.1974 are eligible. Entry fee: ¤20. Prize: ¤350. For further details and an application form, contact Mike Watts: 00 34 971 631 834 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline: 7 November 2009 Applicants are invited to submit works lasting c.10 minutes for piano and symphony orchestra. The world premiere of the winning work will take place in the main concert hall of the Brussels Centre for Fine Arts (Palais des Beaux-Arts) on 24 May 2010. www.cmireb.be
Deadline: 1 June 2009 UnCaged Toy Piano is seeking unique and challenging new works written specifically for the toy piano. The 3-octave instrument is made of plywood, plastic hammers and metal rods. Pieces must be written for one toy piano with optional electronics. Pieces may be of any length. Phyllis Chen will perform winning pieces in Autumn 2009 in New York City. Prize: $1000. www.phyllischen.net
APPOINTMENTS Oliver Knussen is to become the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s new Artist in
Northumbrian pipes player Kathryn Tickell has been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Medal for Music. The award was formally announced by Master of the Queen’s Music, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, at a ceremony at The Sage Gateshead on Monday 26 January. Kathryn performed in spnm’s Folk From Here tour earlier this year, performing new works by four composers from the spnm Shortlist. www.kathryntickell.com
photo: Graham Oliver
AWARDS Oliver Knussen, photo: Clive Barda
Percussionist and one of the pioneers of sound installations Max Neuhaus died on 3 February at the age of 69. As a young performer, Neuhaus was a leading interpreter of the works of Boulez, Cage and Stockhausen. By 1968, however, he was creating his own installation works. Josef Helfenstein, director of the Menil Collection, said about Neuhaus: ‘He is really part of that generation who changed art in the 1960s. What he did is very radical… He managed to define space with sound.’ To read about his work in his own words, visit www.max-neuhaus.info and for an obituary, see www.nytimes.com. Lukas Foss, American composer, conductor and pianist, has also died, aged 86. Foss wrote more than 100 works, ranging stylistically from neoclassical to twelve-tone, electronic, chance and other techniques. Amongst his best-known works are Time Cycle; Baroque Variations; Echoi; his operas, The Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Griffelkin; and Renaissance Concerto for flute and orchestra. He succeeded Arnold Schoenberg as head of composition at UCLA. For an obituary, see http://articles.latimes.com.
Association in July. The arrangement will last for three years through his 60th birthday year in 2012. www.bbc.co.uk/symphonyorchestra Meanwhile James MacMillan has been appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie for three seasons, starting in September 2010. His replacement as Composer/Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic is the fascinating and quirky Austrian composer, HK Gruber, who takes up the role in September 2009 and makes his Bridgewater Hall debut with the BBC Philharmonic in February 2010. www.bbc.co.uk/philharmonic
DEATHS: MAX NEUHAUS, LUKAS FOSS
previews nicola lefanu Each month a guest artist selects events from the listings for preview. This month’s previews have been chosen by composer Nicola LeFanu.
The Ascending Shaman by Barry Truax
Barry Truax (cello): In a musical world dominated by the commercial music industry, we should recognize the great contribution that publicly funded universities give us by presenting non-commercial alternatives, such as electroacoustic music, that receive little other support. However, the presenters at these institutions need to provide an aural and musical experience that is accessible in every sense, and one that offers an enhanced experience to what can be enjoyed at home. The multi-channel diffusion format is ideal for this purpose as the immersive experience is attractive for all listeners, and soundscape composition among other forms also has proved to be widely accessible.
Thursday 19 March Friday 20 March
Friday 3 April
Edward Armitage (JAM founder): We’ve commissioned Steve Martland to write our headline commission for 2009. 2009 is an important Darwinian year – it’s 200 years since his birth and 150 since On the Origin of Species was published. Steve has set the last section of Darwin’s masterpiece and an emotional letter from Darwin’s wife to her husband. The latter details his move away from religion, brought on by his own discoveries; millions of years of development rather than God’s seven days! Musically there are few links between the diverse pieces in this programme, other than that they have all been written for JAM’s forces: chorus, brass and organ.
Jessica Burroughs (cello)
John Taylor (piano): After 30 years of making music together in many different settings, Kenny and I have established a mutual understanding of our musical likes and dislikes. We have also gained an appreciation and respect for each other’s improvising and composing skills. Our work methods have been influenced by our individual and joint experiences in less familiar groupings – often without the customary jazz rhythm section. Consequently it has been necessary to devise new rhythmic approaches and accompaniment techniques in our duo setting. We give much thought to the arrangement of the pieces: how they are musically introduced, what form the improvisations should take, who will play the melody in a particular piece, how we can use the space within the music, and so on.
CARICATURES & MINITURES
Nicola LeFanu: How does this programme relate to Charles Darwin? And what musical links are there between the diverse composers?
Nicola LeFanu: As a duo of performer/composers, what is your working method? How has your music evolved or changed over the many years you have played together?
JAM: CHANGES ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES
LONDON / MANCHESTER
HUDDERSFIELD / MANCHESTER
Nicola LeFanu: In the UK, electroacoustic music is most frequently showcased at Universities. Is this an advantage or a limitation? Does it draw an audience from outside academia?
KENNY WHEELER & JOHN TAYLOR Saturday 7 March
BARRY TRUAX AND OTHERS AT GEMDAYS AND MANTIS FESTIVAL Thursday 5 March Saturday 7 March
LONDON Nicola LeFanu: This concert has some unusual repertoire; how did you discover it and get hold of it?
Christina Athinodorou (composer/ curator): This event is a collaboration between the composers Bushra El-Turk, Simon Speare and me. Our intention is to create a programme which describes how the origins of the musics spread from the UK to Europe and reached the eastern edges of the Mediterranean. The programme will comprise of pieces rarely performed in London – ranging from solo to trio. Some of our own compositions will be performed alongside works by composers who are significant to us personally. We have also obviously looked for scores that matched the given instrumentation (clarinet, cello, piano) of the chamber ensemble Liquid Architecture, who will be perfoming with the pianist, Helen Reid.
The Guest Artist Q&A Composer Nicola LeFanu discusses her life in music: as a student, teacher, composer and listener.
Your work as a composer has focussed mainly on acoustic work: would this now be a viable route for a new composer to take? I don’t experience boundaries between ‘acoustic’ and other music. In my twenties, I learnt a lot about music from composing electro-acoustic studies, as I also learnt from being a member of an improvisation group. I knew, though, that these activities were ancillary, not central, to the musical journey I was on. In any generation a composer must follow whatever path the imagination demands. The route is viable if the composer comes up with the goods. What have you listened to recently and found interesting and surprising? Harrisoon Birtwistle’s The Minotaur remains head and shoulders above anything else – though ‘interesting and surprising’ wouldn’t be the words I’d use for it! And I have been moved by new works of Grainne Mulvey and Christian Mason – two of the most strikingly original composers of their respective generations. And what music do you find most enjoyable to listen to? Cds that have engrossed me lately: music of Julian Anderson, of Gillian Whitehead, and the new recording by Mark Knoop of the complete Lumsdaine solo piano music. I don’t listen a lot though; I’d rather play: Bach, perennial, but if my son were at home we’d be playing Mozart and Schubert. I go to concerts of new or newish music as much as I can because I need to hear live music, I feel parched without it. I like mixed programmes – a new quartet alongside late Beethoven– but ‘immersion’ concerts can be good
too, like artists’ retrospectives. Can you tell me about your piece for the forthcoming NMC Songbook collection? I wrote for soprano and harp, a setting of ‘The Bourne’ by Christina Rossetti. I don’t usually set nineteenth century verse – most of the texts I choose are either living poets or very ancient ones – but I loved setting this. Rossetti can be very subtle in her use of metre and she has such vivid imagery. I went on and made seven Rossetti settings for womens’ choir. Has your being married to a fellow composer affected your appreciation of the craft? Of course – being able to share the musical discoveries of someone you are very close to is an extraordinary benison. Last year saw you retire from teaching: can you actually teach composition? What’s been your approach (and were you instructed in the same way)? I saw my task as helping people to develop their ‘inner ear’ and to build their confidence; the more gifted someone is, the more they need the confidence to be self -critical and independent; to be courageous in finding their own technique to express their ideas. I was not a model student, I tended to leave my teachers after a few lessons because I wanted to find out things for myself and not be told how to do them. But I was lucky in that my first teacher, Jeremy Dale Roberts, and my last, Earl Kim, were both inspirational; they believed in my work, which enabled me to become more self critical and also more fearless. So yes, composition can be taught. At a basic level it’s encouraging people to come to music from the inside outwards, as something alive and malleable. Composition and performance need to
Nicola LeFanu Photo: David Lumsdaine
How would you describe your own music? Sometimes it’s like Guinness and sometimes it’s like champagne.
develop hand in hand. I’ve always loved directing composers’ workshops: first the spnm Composers’ weekends, then the Irish Composition Summer school, workshops with Gemini for children or for university students – its very rewarding. What are you interested in outside of music? Being outdoors and somewhere quiet. Walking, botanising, bird-watching… if I’m pruning raspberries in my allotment, it empties my mind. And then the music can come back in. What are you planning on doing next? My next opera (my seventh!). I’m working with the poet John Fuller, whose words I've enjoyed setting before. This new libretto is about the Corsican mazzere – women with 'second sight', whose dreams had the prescience of death. Its a small scale chamber opera commissioned by the Mornington Trust. Nicola LeFanu: www.editionpeters.com/london
new notes 11
listings march 2009
Key: First names indicate living composers and composers of works written post–1960. *** World premiere ** UK premiere * London premiere
Tuesday 26 February
PHILIP THOMAS AND THE MOOG BAR
Phipps Concert Hall, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH Celebrating the new Phipps Concert Hall, new concert piano, and the acquisition of the 'Moog Piano Bar' midi interface. Free admission 01484 223 200 www.hud.ac.uk/mh/music
MATTHEW BOURNE: 7.30pm SONGS FROM A LOST PIANO Bush Hall, 310 Uxbridge Road, London W12 7LJ See 27 February for programme details. £12 (£8) 08700 600 100 www.bushhallmusic.co.uk
25 BROOK STREET
8pm BMIC CUTTING EDGE TOUR: THE SMITH QUARTET Artix, School Drive, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 1AX Philip Glass String Quartet No 2 ‘Company’ Howard Skempton Tendrils Joe Cutler Folk Music (Daithi's Dumka) Steve Martland Patrol Morgan Hayes Dances on a Ground*** £3.50–£11 www.bmic.co.uk/concerts
The Chapel, University of Chichester, Bishop Otter Campus, College Lane, Chichester PO19 6PE Helen Paskins bass clarinet Ivana Gavri piano Hindemith Bassoon Sonata arr. for bass clarinet and piano Timothy Salter Abstractions II for bass clarinet and piano Liszt Sonetti di Petrarca Ivana Loudová Aulos for bass clarinet solo Rachmaninov Prelude in G major; Moment musical in E minor Othmar Schoek Sonata for bass clarinet and piano Eugène Bozza Ballade for bass clarinet and piano Free admission with discussion 01243 816185 email@example.com
Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX Southbank Centre’s Emerging Artists in Residence take over the Royal Festival Hall stage for the night, along with special guests. £6 0871 663 2500
8pm MATTHEW BOURNE: SONGS FROM A LOST PIANO Leeds College of Music, The Venue, Quarry Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS2 7PD Pianist Matthew Bourne and his band bring Yorkshire’s discarded keyboards back to life with an evocative photographic exhibition. £12 (£10) 0113 222 3434 www.lcm.ac.uk
Sunday 1 March
12pm SUNDAY COFFEE CONCERT: ELYSIAN QUARTET Kettle's Yard, Castle Street, Cambridge CB3 0AQ Elysian Quartet: Emma Smith, Jenny May Logan, Vince Sipprell and Laura Moody Matthew Rogers new work Keith Tippett String Quartet no. 1 £6 (£4) 01223 748100 www.kettlesyard.co.uk/newmusic
12 new notes • march 2009
Concert Hall, Cardiff University School of Music, 31 Corbett Road, Cardiff CF10 3EB Alun Hoddinott One Must Always Have Love Robert Fokkens Africa*** Oliver Knussen Whitman Settings Philip Cashian new work*** Arlene Sierra new work*** Britten On this Island £9 (£3.50–£7) www.bmic.co.uk/concerts
THIS ISN'T FOR YOU
Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG Curated by Matt Fretton Bartholomew La Folette cello Programme to include solo cello works by György Ligeti and Kurtág. £9.50 online £11.50 offline 020 7520 1490 www.kingsplace.co.uk
MATTHEW BOURNE: 8pm SONGS FROM A LOST PIANO
Monday 2 March
MUSIC ON MONDAYS Friday 27 February
St George's Church, Hanover Square, London W1S 1FX The London Handel Singers London Handel Orchestra Laurence Cummings director Commemorating the 250th anniversary of Handel's death, Handel House has commissioned a new oratorio 25 Brook Street from a collaboration of composers – Mark Bowden, Larry Goves, Chris Mayo and Charlie Piper – together with a new and original libretto by Helen Cooper. £10 (£5) 01460 54660 www.booking.london-handel-festival.com
CYCLES AND SCENAS
De La Warr Pavilion, 51 Marina, Bexhill TN40 1 See 27 February for programme details. £12 (£11) 01424 229 111 www.dlwp.com
Thursday 5 March
6.30pm ROYAL ACADEMY OF MUSIC MANSON ENSEMBLE CBSO Centre, Berkley Street, Birmingham B1 Franck Ollu conductor Oliver Knussen Cantata Elliott Carter Asko Concerto Free admission 020 7873 7300 www.ram.ac.uk/events
Tuesday 3 March
1.05pm PERFORMANCE PLATFORM: LUZ TORRES Recital Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire, Fletchers Walk, Birmingham B3 3HG Luz Torres bassoon Philip Handy cello Sara Wilander harpsichord Javier Campaña electronics Programme includes Telemann’s Sonata in E minor, Mozart’s Sonata in B flat major, and Javier Campaña’s Luz for bassoon and electronics. £5.50 (£3) www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk
David Josefowitz Recital Hall, Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Road, London NW1 A concert of new music specially written for CoMA (Contemporary Music-Making for Amateurs) by Academy postgraduate composition students. £6 (£4) 020 7873 7300 www.ram.ac.uk/events
BARRY TRUAX – ELECTRONICS
Phipps Concert Hall, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH GEMdays festival of electroacoustic music presents Barry Truax, preceded by a pre-concert talk by the composer at 6.00pm. Free admission See 01484 223 200 Previews www.GEMdays.co.uk
Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1 Martyn Brabbins conductor Nash Ensemble Claire Booth soprano Mark Padmore tenor Ian Brown piano Marianne Thorsen violin Lawrence Power viola Richard Watkins horn Julian Anderson Poetry Nearing Silence for flute, clarinet, harp and string quartet*, Prayer for solo viola*** Matthews Colin The Island for soprano and ensemble* Michael Berkeley Piano Quintet*** Huw Watkins Trio for horn, violin and piano*** George Benjamin Piano Figures for solo piano** Mark Anthony Turnage 'A Constant Obsession' for tenor and ensemble** £15 (£10) 020 7935 2141 www.wigmore-hall.org.uk
Friday 6 March
WORKERS' UNION: RAM COMPOSITION DEPARTMENT AZALEA
Duke's Hall, Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Road, London NW1 Christopher Austin conductor Louis Andriessen Workers' Union Free admission 020 7873 7300 www.ram.ac.uk/events
WIND ORCHESTRA: ‘TIME LINES’
Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire , Birmingham, West Midlands B3 3HG Guy Woolfenden conductor Birmingham Conservatoire Wind Orchestra Programme includes David Bedford’s variations on Susato’s Ronde, incorporating chord sequences from Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. Eseld Pierce’s tribute to An Gof, Bill Connor’s Tails... and Kit Turnbull’s Time Lines. £6 (£4) www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk
SARAH NICOLLS: PIANO 7.30pm Phipps Concert Hall, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH Exploring new techniques and new interfaces in new works for piano and live electronics by Mark Bowden, Federico Reuben and Pierre Alexandre Tremblay. Free admission 01484 223 200 www.GEMdays.co.uk
SASHA GRYNYUK – PIANO 7.30pm Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1 Haydn Piano Sonata in B minor György Ligeti 3 Études: no. 10 'Der Zauberlehrling'; no. 5 'Arc-en-ciel'; No. 4 'Fanfares' Prokofiev Piano Sonata no. 7 in B b Chopin 24 Preludes £8–£15 020 7935 2141 www.wigmore-hall.org.uk
RAM MANSON ENSEMBLE
Duke's Hall, Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Road, London NW1 Franck Ollu conductor Diana Haller mezzo soprano Oliver Knussen Cantata; Songs Without Voices Stravinsky Three Songs from William Shakespeare Louis Andriessen Zilver Martin Georgiev Premonitions*** Elliott Carter Asko Concerto £6 (£4) 020 7873 7300 www.ram.ac.uk/events
Saturday 7 March
East/Central London (tbc) Sarah Leonard conductor A workshop with new compositions by students at Trinity College of Music. £30 (£25) or £25 (£15) for CoMA members 020 020 7249 5139
TOTAL IMMERSION: XENAKIS 1pm
MUSIC BY THE COMMONS
Barbican Hall, Silk Street, London EC2 Richard Benjafield director Catherine Ring solo percussion Sankorfa,Guildhall Percussion Ensemble Iannis Xenakis Rebonds; Okho; Persephassa £10 020 7638 8891 www.barbican.org.uk
St John's Church, Spencer Hill, London SW19 Flackton Players Geoffrey Irwin baroque viola Masumi Yamamoto harpsichord William Flackton 4 viola sonatas Corelli Follia Telemann Don Quixote Handel Harpsichord Suite no.2 in F Simon Speare Pygmalion and Galatia*** £12 (£10) 020 8944 1402 www.musicbythecommon.org
Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, Coupland Street, University of Manchester M13 9PL MANTIS celebrates its 11th festival with a weekend of electroacoustic concerts featuring the MANTIS 40loudspeaker diffusion system. This concert will feature outstanding postgraduate compositions. £4 (£2) 0161 275 8951 www.manchester.ac.uk/martinharriscentre
TOTAL IMMERSION: XENAKIS 7pm Barbican Hall, Silk Street, London EC2 Martyn Brabbins, Stephen Betteridge conductors Christian Lindberg trombone Rolf Hind piano BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Singers Men of the BBC Symphony Chorus Xenakis Tracées; Anastenaria; Sea-Nymphs; Nuits; Mists; Troorkh; Antikhthon £8–£24 020 7638 8891 www.barbican.org.uk
KENNY WHEELER & JOHN TAYLOR
Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York, York YO10 5DD Kenny Wheeler trumpet John Taylor piano £17 (£5–£3) See 01904 432 439 Previews www.yorkconcerts.co.uk
Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, Coupland Street, University of Manchester M13 9PL Featuring works by Barry Truax, Thomas Bjelkeborn, David Berezan, Ricardo Climent and MANTIS student composers. Talk by Barry Truax at 5pm. £4 (£2) See 0161 275 8951 Previews www.manchester.ac.uk
INTO THE LITTLE HILL / 8pm DOWN BY THE GREENWOOD SIDE Howard Assembly Room at Opera North, Grand Theatre, 46 New Briggate, Leeds LS1 6NU Claire Booth soprano Susan Bickley mezzo soprano London Sinfonietta George Benjamin conductor George Benjamin Into The Little Hill Harrison Birtwistle Down By The Greenwood Side £18 (£13) 0844 848 2727 www.howardassemblyroom.co.uk
Sunday 8 March
THE META-PIANO: 12pm NEW WORKS FOR PIANO AND ELECTRONICS Kettle's Yard, Castle Street, Cambridge CB3 0AQ Sarah Nicolls Pierre-Alexandre Tremblay new work Federico Reuben On Violence Larry Goves new work £6 (£4) 01223 748100 www.kettlesyard.co.uk/newmusic
4pm INTO THE LITTLE HILL / DOWN BY THE GREENWOOD SIDE Howard Assembly Room at Opera North, Grand Theatre, 46 New Briggate, Leeds LS1 6NU See 7 March for programme details. £18 (£13) 0844 848 2727 www.howardassemblyroom.co.uk
Nexus Art Café, Dale Street, The Northern Quarter, Manchester M1 1JW A night of experimental electronics, laptop improvisation and visuals. Performances by BNUNC, Mark Pilkington, MANTIS' own Bling this Story and special guests. £4 (£2) 0161 236 0100 www.nexusonline.org.uk
OLIVER COATES – CELLO 7.30pm Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1 Oliver Coates cello Danny Driver piano Britten Cello Sonata in A*** Beethoven Cello Sonata in C Larry Goves The Terminus Wreck* Martin Suckling new work for piano and cell*** Rachmaninov Cello Sonata in G minor £8–£13 020 7935 2141 www.wigmore-hall.org.uk
march 2009 • new notes
Tuesday 10 March
BRITTEN SINFONIA AT LUNCH 4
West Road Concert Hall, 11 West Rd, Cambridge CB3 9DP Jacqueline Shave violin, director Nicholas Daniel oboe, cor anglais Thomas Gould violin Martin Outram, Clare Finnimore viola Caroline Dearnley, Ben Chappell cello Purcell (ed. Britten) Chacony in G minor Pawe_ Mykietyn new work*** John Woolrich Quiddities Schoenberg Verklärte Nacht £3 01223 357 851
Reid Concert Hall, University of Edinburgh, Bristo Square, Edinburgh EH8 9AH Sarah Watts bass clarinet Antony Clare piano Programme to include compositions by students of the University of Edinburgh and Iain Matheson's Taking Shape. Free admission www.sarahkwatts.co.uk
THE SOUND SOURCE: CRAZY WISDOM
Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG Curated by spnm / Anton Lukoszevieze An evening of film, music and contemporary performance art typified by a performance-enhancing visionary edge. Godfathers of US experimental film Stan Brakhage, Bruce Baillie and LA hip-beat artist Wallace Berman are framed by a splurge of new Lithuanian avant-gardia, the radical sensibility of UK filmmaker Jayne Parker and poet-artist Sharon Morris. Avant-harpist Rhodri Davies and a new work from shortlisted composer, Nicholas Peters compliment an intense evening of hyper-hipnotica and uhm…music. From £9.50 online, £11.50 offline 020 7520 1490 www.kingsplace.co.uk
7.30pm UNIVERSITY OF YORK SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
7.30pm PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA: VIENNA 1900 – 1935
Central Hall, University of York, York YO10 5DD John Stringer conductor Lynne Dawson soprano Lutoslawski Little Suite Berg Seven Early Songs Stravinsky The Rite of Spring £15–£7 (£3–£14) 01904 432 439 www.yorkconcerts.co.uk
Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX Esa-Pekka Salonen conductor Solveig Kringelborn soprano Juha Uusitalo bass-baritone Schoenberg Verklärte Nacht £8–£38 0871 663 2500
Thursday 12 March
MAX: WRITING FOR SOLO INSTRUMENTS
Concert Room, Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Road, London NW1 A workshop, presented by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, of new pieces by Academy postgraduate composition students for solo horn, flute and viola. Free admission 020 7873 7300 www.ram.ac.uk/events
MAX: WRITING FOR SOLO INSTRUMENTS
Concert Room, Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Road, London NW1 See programme at 10am for details. Free admission 020 7873 7300 www.ram.ac.uk/events
Concert Hall, Royal College of Music, London SW7 Robin O'Neill conductor RCM Sinfonietta Yin-Shan Hsieh marimba Keiko Abe Prism Rhapsody for marimba and orchestra Dvorak Symphony no 9 in E minor Free admission 020 7591 4314 www.boxoffice.rcm.ac.uk
Wednesday 11 March
Stockbridge Parish Church, Saxe Coburg Street, Edinburgh EH3 5BN Sarah Watts bass clarinet Antony Clare piano Programme to include Antony Clare's Scawfell and Iain Matheson's Taking Shape. www.sarahkwatts.co.uk
BRITTEN SINFONIA AT LUNCH 4
Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1 See March 10 listings for programme details. 020 7935 2141 £10 (£9) www.wigmore-hall.org.uk
Inner Parry Room, Royal College of Music, London SW7 Haydn String Quartet in D Robin Holloway String Quartet no 2 £8 (£5) 020 7591 4314 www.boxoffice.rcm.ac.uk
14 new notes • march 2009
6pm PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA: MUSIC OF TODAY Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX Ryan Wigglesworth conductor/piano Claire Booth soprano Oliver Knussen Océan de Terre; Variations; Requiem – Songs for Sue Free admission
RICHARD CRAIG: FLUTE
St.Paul's Hall, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH Salvatore Sciarrino Fra i testi dedicati alle nubi Bernhard Lang Schrift 1.2 ** John Croft ne L'aura che trema Margaret Haley Tau 1 Gruis Marco De Boni Per Flauto Solo Brian Ferneyhough Unity Capsule £6 (£2–£3) 01484 223 200 www.hud.ac.uk/mh/music
English National Opera, London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, London WC2 Cast includes: Amanda Roocroft, Michaela Martens, Robert Brubaker, Tom Randle David Alden director Eivind Gullberg Jensen conductor David Alden revival of his 2006 double Olivier Awardwinning production of Janacek’s most popular work, Jenufa. £16–£87 0871 911 0200 www.eno.org
Friday 13 March
MAX: WRITING FOR YOUNGER PERFORMERS
Concert Room, Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Road, London NW1 Academy composers workshop new pieces written for A-level pupils from St Marylebone School. Presented by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies. Free admsission 020 7873 7300 www.ram.ac.uk/events
BRITTEN SINFONIA AT LUNCH 4
The Assembly House,Theatre St, Norwich NR2 1RQ See March 10 listings for programme details £7 (£3–£4) 01603 630 000
LIGETI: VIOLIN CONCERTO
Barbican Hall, Silk Street, London EC2 Edward Gardner conductor Alina Ibragimova violin BBC Symphony Orchestra Bartók Four Orchestral Pieces György Ligeti Violin Concerto Tchaikovsky Symphony no. 4 in F minor £8–£24 020 7638 8891 www.barbican.org.uk
THE OSSIAN ENSEMBLE 7.30pm Inner Parry Room, Royal College of Music, London SW7 George Crumb Vox Balenae Richard Barrett Codex I Karlheinz Stockhausen Dr K-Sextett Gérard Grisey Talea Free admission 020 7591 4314 www.boxoffice.rcm.ac.uk
Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York, York YO10 5DD Kaija Saariaho Lichtbogen Arvo Pärt Fratres; The Beatitudes £6 (£3–£5) 01904 432 439 www.yorkconcerts.co.uk
Saturday 14 March
English National Opera, London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, London WC2 Se March 12 for programme details. £16 - £87 0871 911 0200 www.eno.org
Sunday 15 March
MIXED RECEPTIONS: NEW MUSIC MORNING
Kettle's Yard, Castle Street, Cambridge CB3 0AQ Featuring works for radio reception and transmission, with pioneering works by Cage alongside new composition and site-specific soundworks from artists in Cambridge and beyond. Free admission 01223 748701 www.kettlesyard.co.uk/newmusic
EDINBURGH 8pm CONTEMPORARY MUSIC ENSEMBLE: SPRING CONCERT Reid Concert Hall, Bristo Square, Edinburgh EH8 9AL James Lowe conductor Clea Friend cello Simon Smith, Algelo Aliberti piano Martin Parker Steinmetzarbeiten Jake Spence Five Chorales Stuart Taylor Essay for String Orchestra Alfredo Caponnetto Konzerstück Suzanne Parry Views Through Glass Vissilis Kitsas Kammersymphonie ‘In Memoriam’ £8 (£5) 07948 974 527 www.ecme.org.uk
Monday 16 March
Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1 Sarah Beaty clarinet Sam Armstrong, Jayson Gillham piano Beethoven Piano Sonata no.30 in E Brahms Clarinet Sonata in Eb Debussy Études Book II: nos.7 & 10 Liszt Rhapsodie espagnole Schumann 3 Romances James MacMillan After the Tryst Gershwin/Charles Neidich Piano preludes £8–£15 020 7935 2141 www.wigmore-hall.org.uk
University of Surrey, PATS Studio One, Guildford GU2 7XH Martin Feinstein flute and recorders Catherine Manson violin Richard Campbell viola da gamba Nicholas Parle harpsichord Handel Trio Sonata in C minor Bach Flute Sonata in E; Violin Sonata in E Telemann Paris Quartet in A; Trio Sonata in G minor Tom Armstrong new work £12 (£5–£10) 01483 444 334 www.guildfordinternationalmusicfestival.co.uk
Tuesday 17 March
MAINLY NEW: COLIN MATTHEWS
Duke's Hall, Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Road, London NW1 Christopher Austin conductor Colin Matthews Two Tributes; Scorrevole; Chaconne with Chorale; Five Duos no.3; Enigma no.1; Moto Perpetuo; Calmo Richard Bullen new work Free admission 020 7873 7300 www.ram.ac.uk/events
English National Opera, London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, London WC2 See 12 March for prgramme details. Sign language interpreted performance. Pre-performance talk by John Tyrrell at 5.30pm, London Coliseum, £4 £16–£87 0871 911 0200 www.eno.org
Wednesday 18 March
LSO St Luke’s, 161 Old Street, London EC1V 9NG Huw Watkins piano London Sinfonietta Ryan Wigglesworth conductor James Saunders new work Free admission 0370 901 1227 www.bbc.co.uk/tickets
TUNNG WITH TINARIWEN
JAM: CHANGES ON 7.30pm THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES St. Bride’s Church, Fleet Street, London EC4Y Nicholas Cleobury conductor The Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge Onyx Brass Daniel Cook organ Steve Martland new work*** Gabriel Jackson The Spacious Firmament; Yet we who neither burn nor shine James Lark A Lover's Complaint Evangelia Rigaki Antonius is forsaken by his God Iain Quinn Toccata* Alexander Campkin O nata lux Samantha Fernando Change See £5–£15 Previews 020 8764 6147
RWCMD MILLENNIUM ENSEMBLE
National Temple of Peace & Health, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF10 3AP Michael Rafferty conductor Jonathan Harvey Soleil Noir/Chitra; Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco Stockhausen Refrain Chris Petrie Sinfonia Concertante*** £5(£3) 029 2039 1391 www.rwcmd.ac.uk
English National Opera, London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, London WC2 See March 12 for programme details. £16–£87 0871 911 0200 www.eno.org
Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG Curated by Graham Fitkin The focus is on timing and features interdisciplinary performance group Inter Inter Inter, the amplified harpsichords of Nash Chapman and the multi-layering of Ruth Wall's harps. Music from Matthew Shlomowitz, Laurence Crane and Arthur RathbonePullen concentrate the mind on musical, psychological ad clock time. £9.50 online, £11.50 offline 020 7520 1490 www.kingsplace.co.uk
Thursday 19 March
De La Warr Pavilion, 51 Marina, Bexhill TN40 1 Experimental folk band Tunng collaborate with members of Tinariwen, legendary Touareg guitar band from the Southern Sahara. £12 01424 229 111 www.dlwp.com
TUNNG WITH TINARIWEN 7.30pm De Montfort Hall, Granville Rd, Leicester LE1 7RU See 18 march for programme details. £14 0116 233 3111 www.demontforthall.co.uk/events
West Road Concert Hall, 11 West Rd, Cambridge CB3 9DP Alina Ibragimova violin,director Jacqueline Shave violin,director 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 Berg Lyric Suite György Kurtág Signs, Games and Messages £15–£29 (£5–£14.50) 01223 357 851
Friday 20 March
DESERTS AND CANYONS: 1.10pm JOHN MCCABE AT 70 Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, Coupland Street, University of Manchester M13 9PL Vaganza John McCabe Canto, Evening Harmonies; Rainforest I; Desert I: Lizard Student composers new works Free admission 0161 275 8951 www.manchester.ac.uk/martinharriscentre
march 2009 • new notes
DESERTS AND CANYONS: 7.30pm JOHN MCCABE AT 70 Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, Coupland Street, University of Manchester M13 9PL See 1.10pm listings for programme details. £4 (£2) 0161 275 8951 www.manchester.ac.uk/martinharriscentre
JAM: CHANGES ON THE 7.30pm ORIGIN OF SPECIES Manchester Cathedral, Victoria Street, Manchester M3 See 19 March for programme details. See £5–£15 Previews 020 8764 6147
Norwich Theatre Royal, Theatre Street, Norwich NR2 1RL See March 19 listings for programme details. £12–£25 (£5) 01603 630 000
TUNNG WITH TINARIWEN 7.30pm Manchester Academy 2, Manchester University Students Union, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PR See 18 march for programme details. £12.50 0161 275 2930 www.manchesteracademy.net
Saturday 21 March
LANDSCAPES OF MCCABE, 1.10pm HOROVITZ AND ELLERBY Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, Coupland Street, University of Manchester M13 9PL Manchester University Wind Orchestra John McCabe Cloudcatcher Fells; Canyons Joseph Horovitz Bacchus on Blue Ridge Martin Ellerby Paris Sketches; New World Dances; Dreamscapes £3–£8 0161 275 8951 www.manchester.ac.uk/martinharriscentre
Winchester Discovery Centre, Jewry Street, Town Centre, Winchester SO23 8RX Mark Forkgen and Greg Beardsall conductors Kokoro Peter Maxwell Davies Kinloche his Fantassie; Renaissance Scottish Dances Dunstable/ Maxwell Davies Veni Sancte – Veni Creator Spiritus Michael Michael Nyman First Waltz in D; Waltz in F Machaut/ Harrison Birtwistle Hoquetus David J.S. Bach/ Maxwell Davies Prelude and Fugue in C# Minor Purcell/ Oliver Knussen …upon one note… Beethoven/Stephen McNeff An Die Hoffnung Dowland/ Maxwell Davies Farewell a Fancye Graham Fitkin Totti £6 (£3 ) 01962 840 440 www.hants.gov.uk/wdc
PATS Studio One, University of Surrey, Guildford GU2 7XH Bobby Chen piano Fiona Sampson poet Debussy Estampes Stephen Goss/ Fiona Sampson Rough Music *** Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition £10 (£5–£8) 01483 444 334 www.guildfordinternationalmusicfestival.co.uk
TUNNG WITH TINARIWEN 7.30pm Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street, Liverpool L1 9BP See 18 march for programme details. £14.50–£19.50 0151 709 3789 www.liverpoolphil.com
LONDON CONCERTANTE 7.30pm St John's, Smith Square, London SW1 Ralph Woodward conductor Bethany Halliday soprano Thomas Gray electric guitar Fairhaven Singers Pre-concert event: 6.30pm pre-concert talk with Will Todd and Ralph Woodward. Programme includes: Brahms' Marienlieder, Bach's Singet dem Herrn and Will Todd's new Requiem for choir, soprano and electric guitar* £18 (£10–£15) 020 7233 1618 www.sjss.org.uk
Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1 London Concertante: Adam Summerhayes, Judith Templeman violin Matthew Quenby viola Chris Grist cello Benjamin Griffiths double bass Mark Smith horn Elizabeth Drew clarinet Benjamin Hudson bassoon Strauss Till Eulenspiegel – einmal anders Françaix Octet Schubert Octet in F £12–£22 020 7935 2141 www.wigmore-hall.org.uk
7.30pm BBC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA / TAN DUN
PHILHARMONIA ORCHESTRA VIENNA 1900-1935
Barbican Hall, Silk Street, London EC2 BBC Symphony Orchestra Tan Dun conductor Anssi Karttunen cello Tang Jianping Sacred Fire Guo Wenjing Chou Kong Shan (Bamboo Flute Concerto) Tan Dun The Map £9-£28 020 7638 8891 www.barbican.org.uk
Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX Esa-Pekka Salonen conductor Mitsuko Uchida piano Christian Tetzlaff violin Berg Piano Sonata; Chamber Concerto for piano, violin and 13 winds Mahler Symphony No. 9 £8-£38 0871 663 2500
WILL TODD REQUIEM
English National Opera, London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, London WC2 See March 12 for programme details. £16–£87 0871 911 0200 www.eno.org
BACH TO THE FUTURE
St Giles Cripplegate, Fore Street, Barbican, London EC2Y 8DA The Ionian Singers Timothy Salter conductor, piano Sarah Suckling cello Jonathan Harvey Come Holy Ghost John Joubert Lines from the Youth of Man Phillip Neil Martin I see Heaven Timothy Salter Cantus; Duo Christi Miraculi: Miraculum Secondum Janácek Pohádka Kodály Sonatina; Jesus and the Traders Seiber Jugoslav Folk Songs £12 (£6) including interval wine 020 8693 1051 www.ioniansingers.co.uk
16 new notes • march 2009
TUNNG WITH TINARIWEN
The Picture House, Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH1 2DJ See 18 march for programme details. £13.50 0844 847 1740 www.mamagroup.co.uk
Sunday 22 March
SUNDAY CONVERSATION: 12pm TWO PIANOS ON TWO FLOORS Kettle's Yard, Castle Street, Cambridge CB3 0AQ Orlando Gough composer David Ward artist From March–May if you listen closely when you visit the permanent collection at Kettle's Yard you will be able to hear a new sound installation. David Ward and Orlando Gough will discuss this new joint commission. Free admission 01223 748701 www.kettlesyard.co.uk/newmusic
Monday 23 March
FRONTIERS PLUS: MONDAY SHOWCASE
Recital Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire, Fletchers Walk, Birmingham B3 3HG Conservatoire Composers’ Ensemble Yen-Hsueh Lai French horn Joanne Sealey piano IIncludes Gilbert Vintner’s Hunter’s Moon. Free admission www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk
RARESCALE All Saints Church, Oakleigh Park Carla Rees flutes David Black guitar Michael Karmon Roominating Ian Wilson Spilliaerts Beach*** Brendan Colbert of two minds*** £5 at the door www.rarescale.org.uk
FRONTIERS PLUS: MORGAN & DULLEA
Recital Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire, Fletchers Walk, Birmingham B3 3HG Darragh Morgan violin Mary Dullea piano Presenting a concert focussing exclusively on music by the Conservatoire’s final-year undergraduate composers. £5.50 (£3) www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk
TUNNG WITH TINARIWEN Leeds Irish Centre, York Rd, Leeds LS9 9NT See 18 march for programme details £13.75 0113 2480 887 www.crashrecords.co.uk
SOUNDS UNDERGROUND: 7.30pm FLIGHTS INTO DARKNESS The Warehouse, 13 Theed Street, Waterloo, London SE1 8ST Tom Frankland actor Jakob Fichert pianist A contemporary melodrama by Robert Fokkens based on the words of Oscar Wilde and Arthur Schnitzler. £12 (£8) 07791 468 398 www.soundsunderground.org
FRONTIERS PLUS: CHROMA
Recital Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire, Fletchers Walk, Birmingham B3 3HG Chroma perfrom new works for clarinet, viola, cello and piano written by the Conservatoire’s second-year undergraduate composition students. £5.50 (£3) www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk
Cardiff University Concert Hall, 31 Corbett Road, Cardiff CF10 3EB Programme will include works by Bach, Chopin, Piazzolla and Dave Brubeck, alongside Minoru Miki's Marimba Spiritual. £9 (£3.50–£7) 0870 013 1812 www.ticketsource.co.uk/cardiffmusic
THE BAYS/JOHN METCALFE BAND
Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG Curated by John Metcalfe. The Bays only perform live, they never rehearse, they don't have a set-list and they couldn't ever do the same performance twice.. £9.50 online, £11.50 offline 020 7520 1490 www.kingsplace.co.uk
Recital Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire, Fletchers Walk, Birmingham B3 3HG Decibel, featuring as guest soloist saxophonist Paul Dunmall, perform a new composition for large ensemble, electronics and improvising soloist by Ed Bennett. The concert will also feature works by Donnacha Dennehy and Fumiko Miyachi. £5.50 (£3) www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk
NASH ENSEMBLE: ELLIOTT CARTER
Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1 Lionel Friend conductor Claire Booth soprano Philippa Davies flute Gareth Hulse oboe Lawrence Power viola Paul Watkins cello Ian Brown piano A progreamme of works by Elliott Carter to celebrate his 100th birthday. £10–£20 020 7935 2141 www.wigmore-hall.org.uk
TUNNG WITH TINARIWEN
Komedia 22-23 Westgate Street, Bath BA1 1EP See 18 March for programme details. £15 0845 293 8480 www.komediabath.ticketsolve.com
St.Paul's Hall, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH Iannis Xenakis Tetora; ST/4 Richard Glover Inversions in Retrograde Aaron Cassidy String Quartet Timothy McCormack Ecceity £6 (£2–£3) 01484 223 200 www.hud.ac.uk/mh/music
FRONTIERS PLUS: DECIBEL / WORKS 2
Recital Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire, Fletchers Walk, Birmingham B3 3HG decibel Ed Bennett director Suzanna Purkis mezzo-soprano £5.50 (£3) www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk
Friday 27 March
FRONTIERS PLUS: THALLEIN ENSEMBLE
Adrian Boult Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire , Birmingham, West Midlands B3 3HG Thallein Ensemble Nicholas Cleobury conductor Edward Top Cartesian Theatre Webern Concerto Jonathan Harvey Valley of Aosta; Wheel of Emptiness Samuel Bordoli ta carinae nebula £6 (£4) www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk
Thursday 26 March
FRONTIERS PLUS: DECIBEL / WORKS 1
Recital Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire, Fletchers Walk, Birmingham B3 3HG Decibel Ed Bennett director Neil McGovern saxophone £3 www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk
NEW MUSIC FOR ZEN FLUTE
Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX Kiku Day shakuhachi Michael Bonaventure clavichord The Fever Pitch choir Elinor Corp director New music written by Roxanna Panufnik, Takhashi Yuji, Frank Denyer, Yumi Hara Cawkwell, Mogens Christensen for the ancient Japanese bamboo flute shakuhachi, traditionally used for Zen meditation. £12.50 (£6.25) 0871 663 2500 www.southbankcentre.co.uk
TUNNG WITH TINARIWEN
Wednesday 25 March
FRONTIERS PLUS: COMPOSERS’ ENSEMBLE MEETS JAZZ ARENA
FRONTIERS PLUS: DECIBEL & DUNMALL
TUNNG WITH TINARIWEN
The Town Hall, Blagrave Street, Reading RG1 1QH See 18 March for programme details. £14 (£12.50) 0118 939 9809 www.readingarts.com/whatson
Saturday 28 March
MUSIC THROUGH 7.45pm UNCONVENTIONAL MEANS Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX Southbank Centre Artists in Residence Gauri Sharma Tripathi and Shlomo join forces to present an evening of beatboxing and Kathak rhythms. £15 0871 663 2500
TUNNG WITH TINARIWEN
The Rainbow Warehouse, 160 High Street Deritend, Digbeth B12 0LD See 18 March for programme details. £15.50 www.theticketsellers.co.uk
KOKO, 1A Camden High Street, London NW1 7JE See 18 March for programme details. £14.50 www.koko.uk.com
Foyer, Birmingham Conservatoire, Fletchers Walk, Birmingham B3 3HG In their second collaborative concert during Frontiers Plus, the Conservatoire Composers’ Ensemble teams up with performers from the Jazz Department to premiere new works by composers from both areas. £3 www.conservatoire.bcu.ac.uk
march 2009 • new notes
Sunday 29 March
Friday 3 April
Thursday 2 April
COMA IN CHICHESTER
Chapel of the Ascension, University of Chichester, Bishop Otter Campus, Chichester PO19 6PE Adam Swayne director CoMA Sussex Chichester University Contemporary Music Group Philip Cashian Mechanik Howard Jones The Illusion of Progress Jennifer Walshe He was she was Alexander Campkin Counting my Numberless Fingers Patrick Harrex Instruments and Voices*** Peter Owen Ettie She's a Big Dog*** Robert Ashley She was a visitor Free admission www.coma.org
PIANO 4 HANDS
Wigmore Hall, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1 Joseph Tong piano Waka Hasegawa piano Mozart Piano Sonata in D Schubert Andantino varié; Rondo in A Mendelssohn Andante and Allegro brilliant John McCabe new work*** Ravel Rapsodie espagnole £10–£18 020 7935 2141 www.wigmore-hall.org.uk
Tuesday 31 March
Kings place, 90 York Way, London N1 9AG An exclusive music 'happening' featuring world-famous improviser Philipp Wachsmann (viola,violin,electronics) together with established Sargasso artists Daniel Biro (keyboards) and Rob Palmer (guitar). As part of the evening Biro will present 'A Still, Thin Sound', his new work for virtuoso bass-clarinettist Gareth Davis and electronics. £9.50 online, £11.50 offline 020 7520 1490 www.kingsplace.co.uk
UBS SOUNDSCAPES: PIONEERS COMPOSERS' OPEN WORKSHOP
LSO St Luke's, Old St, London EC1V 9NG Xian Zhang conductor LSO players LSO rehearse three new works by composers Dorothy Ker, Matthew King and Paul Newland. Watch the composers experiment with ideas, drawing on advice from LSO players and conductor Xian Zhang. Free admission 020 7382 2524
RARESCALE Community Centre, Isle of Raasay, Scotland Carla Rees alto, bass flute Sarah Watts bass clarinet Michael Oliva electronics Ian Matheson Double*** Dan di Maggio Babau*** Harrison Birtwistle new work*** Scott Wilson new work** Works by Michael Oliva Free admission www.rarescale.org.uk
The Louise T Blouin Institute, 3 Olaf Street, London W11 4BE Joby Burgess percussion, electronics David Lang The Anvil Chorus Frederic Rzewski To the Earth Steve Reich Electric Counterpoint Tansy Davies Dark Ground Richard Baker Sleepsong Graham Fitkin Chain of Command £12 (£8) 020 7985 9600 www.ltbfoundation.org
ADVENTURER: THE FIRE 7.30pm AND THE ROSE Glasgow City Halls, Candleriggs, Glasgow G1 1NQ Joseph Swensen conductor Radovan Vlatkovi horn Respighi The Birds Sibelius Pelléas and Mélisande Joseph Swensen Symphony for horn and orchestra: The Fire and the Rose*** £12 (£5–£9) 0141 353 8000 www.glasgowconcerthalls.com
CARICATURES & MINITURES
CRAZY WISDOM Co-curated by Anton Lukoszevieze Kings Place, London An evening of film, music and contemporary performance art, featuring godfathers of US experimental film, Stan Brakhage, Bruce Baillie and LA hip-beat artist Wallace Berman, new Lithuanian avant-gardia, UK filmmaker Jayne Parker, poet-artist Sharon Morris, and avant-harpist Rhodri Davies. Tickets: from £9.50 online, from £11.50 by phone and on the door Booking and info: ww.kingsplace.co.uk, 020 7520 1490, www.spnm.org.uk/events
The Lauderdale House, Waterlow Park, London N6 5HG Members of Ensemble Liquid Architecture Helen Reid piano Giacinto Scelsi Ixor* Mark-Anthony Turnage Cortège Simon Speare Echo and Narcissus; Eros and Psyche; Prometheus Bushra El-Turk Ta’allalat Loughatul Kalami; new work*** Jonathan Harvey ff for solo piano Tristal Murail C’est un jardin secret, ma sœur, ma fiancée, une fontaine close, une source scellée…** Christina Athinodorou Petit Août***; Lava***; Simul: Lumini, Sombri £12 (£10) See 0783 8237 444 Previews www.lauderdalehouse.co.uk
Tuesday 10 March, 8pm
Artrix, Slideslow Drive, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire B60 1PQ Janey Miller oboe Joby Burgess percussion Harrison Birtwistle Pulse Sampler John Lely Desk Bells Howard Skempton Random Girl Adrian Lee Peace for Vayu Simon Holt Sphinx; Banshee David Lang The Anvil Chorus John Cage Ryoanji £3.50–£11 01527 874 163 www.bromsgrove-concerts.org.uk
spnm this month THE SOUND SOURCE: CRAZY WISDOM – 10 MARCH, LONDON After the sell-out success of February’s Sound Source, we look forward to our March event. Co-curated by Anton Lukoszevieze, The Sound Source: Crazy Wisdom, will feature a variety of artists and art forms, including the dancer Rachel Krische (pictured right) and harpist Rhodri Davies. spnm’s Kate Halsall is looking forward to putting the show together: ‘Anton is known for working with artists from other disciplines and the dance, poetry, film and music elements of Crazy Wisdom will bring us a real sense of collaboration. I particularly like the fact that this is a collaborative team of artists who know each other’s work and have already an established relationship – this is often evident in exciting dynamic performances. There’ll be inter-linked performances and film and the audience can move around the space. The Sound Source likes to encourage new staging and experimentation in settings with artists and this event certainly develops this approach.’ The event will also feature Balaclava, a new piece by shortlisted composer, Nicholas Peters. Kate explains how it will relate to the rest of the event: ‘When Anton wrote a text for the Call he asked for ‘a work that has been created using a process outside of a conventional music as narrative
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 brin expectations we might have of film/art/perfor unfixed, improvisatory and playful approach artist, performer and audience. The evening performance, including a collaboration betwe maverick musicians; Korean cellist/improviso instrumentalist/free improvisor Steve Beresfo diary trumpeter/composer/improvisor Peter Evans 5–6 MARCH Manchester Music Learning Live
10 MARCH London The Sound Source: Crazy Wisdom
language process.’ I think the presence of improvisation in the programme will make more of a sense of live dialogue across the different art forms involved.’
LAUNCHING THE SOUND AND MUSIC SUMMER SCHOOL We will be launching this year’s Sound and Music Summer School this month at Music Learning Live. This two-day conference is aimed at all members of the music education community. Taking place at the Purcell School, the summer school will allow young composers aged 12-18 of all skill levels to develop their abilities with leading composers and musicians including David Horne, Kerry Andrew, Kuljit Bhamra and Tim Steiner. We will have more news about it for you in the coming months.
news from the shortlist Amongst the many things that our shortlisted composers are up to: The première of Elizabeth Winters’ A Pilgrim’s Tale, commissioned by the Farnham Festival, will take place on Sunday 8 March at St Andrew’s Church, Farnham. The piece will bring together young musicians from three local schools. Richard Bullen has three pieces in performance this month, the first is Bacchae as part of CoMA’s event on Tuesday 3 March at the Royal Academy of Music’s David Josefitz Hall, the second is Ruins at the Mainly New event in the academy’s Dukes Hall on Tuesday 17 March, while the third piece is Zero Sum Games, which will be performed on Friday 27 March, this time at the Composers Platform Concert in the academy’s Concert Room.
members’ offers Jane Chapman: Wired Works for Harpsichord and Electronics NMC D145
Developed by the Sonic Art Research Unit at Oxford Brookes, Wired finds the harpsichord’s tradition timbre manipulated in various ways. The project is a collaboration between Jane Chapman and several other composers, including Paul Whiity. Paul explains some of the techniques used:’ EBows are carefully placed, a pedal is depressed releasing a stream of sound-files, contact mics are attached to the mechanism, the keys are depressed but no pitched sound is heard, a line of signal processors is engaged, tweaked, disengaged, as the sound of the instrument pulses into life.’ spnm £6, inc. p+p • rrp £12.99
How to order To order, please send a cheque for the correct amount, payable to spnm, and include your spnm membership number and the discs you wish to order. Send to: Jacob Thompson, spnm, 4th Floor, 18–20 Southwark Street, London SE1 1TJ Allow six weeks for delivery. Deadline: 1 April
march 2009 • new notes
Hear and Now
Saturday nights at 10.30pm on BBC Radio 3
Saturday 7 March: Christopher Fox Premiere
Anton Lukoszevieze and Exaudi, conducted by James Weeks, perform Christopher Fox comme ses paroles***. BBC Radio 3/HCMF co-commission. Recorded on 22 November 2008, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
Saturday 14 March: BBC SO Stephen Montague profile
NB:This programme starts at 10.45 pm The BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Grant Llewellyn and with Rolf Hind (piano), perform: Stephen Montague Intrada 1631 for choir and orchestra; Concerto for piano and orchestra; Tomasz Sikorski Holzweg for orchestra; Stephen Montague: Dark Sun for large ensemble. Recorded on 15 October 2008, Maida Vale Studio One, London.
Saturday 21 March: London Sinfonietta – Purcell Anniversary Weekend
B e n j a m i n / K n u s s e n / M a t t h e w s A Purcell Garland; G e o r g e B e n j a m i n : Fantasia VII; Oliver Knussen Upon One Note; Colin Matthews Fantasia XIII; Michael Zev Gordon The Impermanence of Things for piano and ensemble***. Elliott Carter A Fantasy about ‘Purcell’s Fantasia on One Note’ ; Steve Martland One Note Fantasy for brass quintet; James Saunders either/or***; Peter Maxwell Davies Purcell: Fantasia on One Note. Ryan Wigglesworth (conductor), Huw Watkins (piano). Recorded on 18 March 2009, LSO St Luke’s, London.
Saturday 28 March: Nash Ensemble Inventions
Julian Anderson Poetry Nearing Silence; Colin Matthews The Island; Michael Berkeley Piano Quintet; Julian Anderson Prayer for solo viola***; Huw Watkins Trio for horn, violin and piano***; Georg e Benj amin Piano Figures*; M ark Anthony Turnag e A Constant Obsession***. Claire Booth (soprano), Mark Padmore (tenor), Ian Brown (piano), Lawrence Power (viola), Martyn Brabbins (conductor). Recorded on 5 March 2009, Wigmore Hall, London.
March 2009 issue of spnm's new notes magazine.