Ian Pace in Huddersfield

I am pleased to announce that Ian Pace will be performing my Progress always comes late  (2017) for solo piano. This piece was composed as a birthday present for Ian Pace on his fiftieth birthday. More information about this can be found here and here.

This particular upcoming concert will feature works by Charles Ives, Walter Zimmermann, Marc Yeats, Lauren Redhead, Eleri Angharad Pound, Alistair Zaldua, and Michael Finnissy. More information about the concert and how to book can be found here.

The following is some information about the concert which can also be found on the University of Huddersfield’s website.

Internationally renowned pianist, musicologist and champion of avant-garde music Ian Pace presents an uncompromising recital, featuring a range of diverse new short works written in tribute for his 50th birthday, book-ended with two essays in extreme pianistic virtuosity from either end of the twentieth century – ‘Hawthorne’ from Charles Ives’ Concord sonata, and Michael Finnissy’s transcendental Piano Concerto No. 4.

• Charles Ives, ‘Hawthorne’ from Piano Sonata No. 2 “Concord, Mass., 1840-1860” (1916-19, rev. 1920s-40s) (10’)

• Walter Zimmermann, Stars for Ian (2017) (2’)

• Marc Yeats, exordium (2017) (3’)

• Lauren Redhead, nothing really changes (2017) (4’)

• Eleri Angharad Pound, pbh (2017-18) (2’)

• Alannah-Marie Halay, Progress always comes late (2017) (3’)

• Alistair Zaldua, Sylph Figures for Ian Pace (2017) (4’)

• Michael Finnissy, Piano Concerto No. 4 (1978, rev. 1996) (17’)

Below is a programme note about my piece:

Progress always comes late (2017) is a moment of nervous energy. There should be moments of calm and moments of frenzy juxtaposed in a schizophrenic manner, portraying an overall sensation of stopping and starting. This is a passionate piece and the performer must immerse themselves in every fragment equally, letting their mood and ‘spur-of-the-moment’ decisions dictate the order of fragments performed. The title (‘Progress always comes late’) is a quote from the 1988 film Cinema Paradiso, directed by Giuseppe Tornatore (the original Italian is something like ‘il progressi sempre tardi arriva’). This piece is a collection of fragments that can be performed in any order. The performer does not need to perform every single fragment on the page, although they are encouraged to. Individual fragments (or series of fragments) can be repeated if the performer wishes. Fragments do not need to be performed in their entirety if the moment calls for a fragment to be interrupted by another one. The duration of the piece and overall structure of the fragments is up to the performer (however, this can be devised by the composer should the performer prefer this).

New Publication!

I’m pleased to announce that another written publication is due to be released in July, 2019 in Exploring Xenakis: Performance, Practice, Philosophyed. by Alfia Nakipbekova (Wilmington, DE: Vernon Press, 2019).

The book includes chapters by other authors as follows: Alfia Nakipbekova (University of Leeds, UK), Dimitris Exarchos (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK) , Reinhold Friedl (Goldsmiths, University of London, UK) , Benoît Gibson (University of Évora, Portugal), Makis Solomos (Université Paris 8, France)

My chapter was co-written with critical theorist Michael D. Atkinson and it is titled ‘“Xenakis, not Gounod”: Xenakis, the Avant Garde, and May ’68’. This chapter is based on a talk we gave at the Xenakis Symposium.

Below is a summary of the whole multi-authored book, edited by Alfia Nakipbekova. The following quote can also be found here.

Considered to be one of the most revolutionary composers of the twentieth century, Iannis Xenakis pushed the boundaries of classical music. As a largely self-taught composer, Xenakis drew from his technical training in engineering and architecture to produce music that had the ability to both unnerve and enrapture his audiences. Motivated by his intense study of many scientific disciplines, he employed the mathematical rules of the natural world to test the traditional rules of counterpoint and harmony, and to explore the spatial texture of sound, colour and architecture. The Romanian-born Greek-French composer transformed twentieth century classical music for decades to come, leaving behind an undeniable legacy that continues to inspire and even shock listeners to this day. 

By approaching Xenakis’ creative output from a variety of perspectives, the contributors to this edited volume seek not only to situate Xenakis’s music within a larger cultural, social and political context but also to shed light on contemporary issues surrounding his work. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of Xenakis’s music (in the context of particular works) and musical philosophy: mathematical, structural, performative, as well as the genesis of his compositional style and distinctive sound. Xenakis’s artistic presence on the contemporary music scene, his political influence during the tumultuous protests in Paris ’68, and his first piano composition, Herma, are also explored in-depth providing new insights into the life and work of this avant-garde figure. 

This book will appeal to contemporary music researchers, students and scholars and may also be of interest to artists, performers and composers, alike.

You can currently pre-order this book online.

Upcoming Performance: ENERGY CANNOT BE CREATED IV

The latest instalment in my ENERGY CANNOT BE CREATED collection will be premiered by LSTwo Ensemble on Saturday. ENERGY CANNOT BE CREATED IV: …generously taken explores the notion that all acts of composing involve (re)arranging what already exists. It generously takes, ruthlessly breaks apart, and forcefully reshapes. This piece is violent, cruel, and egotistic as it snaps and cracks the broken fragments of my musical self.

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More information about the upcoming concert is available here.

Recent Publication: Women & Music Journal

I’m pleased to announce that my latest article about one of my compositions ‘We Lived in the Gaps between the Stories.’  (2017) has been published in the latest ‘Women and Music’ journal (vol 22, 2018).

More information about this journal’s latest volume can be found here.

Women and Music Journal

Women and Music
A Journal of Gender and Culture
Edited by Emily Wilbourne

World Premiere: ENERGY CANNOT BE CREATED III

A piece I wrote earlier this year, ENERGY CANNOT BE CREATED III: transferred states, was premiered by LSTwo ensemble in Leeds last Friday (04.05.18).  The concert also featured world premieres from other composers.

A video recording of the concert can be found here.

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Snapshot from the premiere of ENERGY CANNOT BE CREATED III (composed earlier this year), performed by LSTwo.

Upcoming Event: ‘Ian Pace at Fifty – Tributes and Early Modernism’

One of my recent pieces for piano, Progress always comes late (2017), will be premiered by pianist Ian Pace in April at City University of London. The event is free to attend, but it is recommended that you reserve a place via the online booking form.

To celebrate Ian Pace’s 50th birthday, a group of international composers have all written short piano pieces in tribute to him. These were collected by US composer Evan Johnson, who wrote that this collection was ‘in recognition of a career built around the persistent championing of young or unduly ignored composers, and of difficult or otherwise unreasonable music: the sort often thankless effort that can indelibly shape a nascent compositional career, build decades-long collaborations, and begin to change the face of a repertoire’. Eighteen world premieres will form one half of the concert, and in the other half Ian will perform four other lesser-known early twentieth-century piano works: Arthur Lourié’s sensuous and ultra-chromatic Deux poèmes op. 8 (1912), Stefan Wolpe’s brutalist Sonata for piano, op. 1 (1925), Frederic Mompou’s aloof Charmes (1920-21), and Roger Sessions’ lyrical and brilliant Piano Sonata No. 1 (1930).

Quotation source: City of London Music Events (city.ac.uk), ‘Ian Pace at Fifty – Tributes and Early Modernism’.  A concert programme can be found here.

The concert will also include performances of music by Arthur Lourié, Stefan Wolpe, Frederic Mompou, Roger Sessions, Christopher Fox, James Dillon, Roddy Hawkins, Lauren Redhead, Mic Spencer, Michael Finnissy, Sadie Harrison, Ben Smith, Patrícia Sucena de Almeida, Walter Zimmermann, Ian Pace, Jesse Ronneau, Eleri Angharad Pound, Marc Yeats, Nigel McBride, Alistair Zaldua, Wieland Hoban, and Evan Johnson.

Cellomondo CD #2: ‘Rebirth in Sound’

My piece Parallax Error (2014) for any four-stringed bowed instrument features as part of the second Cellomondo CD: Rebirth in Sound.

The CD also features music by Aurélio Edler-Copes, Ryszard Lubieniecki, Jason Post, Dugal McKinnon, Patiparn Jaikampan and Artyom Kim.

All pieces on the CD are performed by cellist Katharina Gross.

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The CD is available here and more information about it can be found here.  More information about Cellomondo can be found here.