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.

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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.

 

New Piece for 28 Pianos Performed in Yorkshire

My latest composition, Resonance/Light/Decay for 28 pianos, composed in collaboration with Dr Mic Spencer (University of Leeds) was premiered on Tuesday 12 December, 2017 in the School of Music, University of Leeds. The composition and its performance was done to celebrate the School of Music becoming a Steinway School. More about this can be read here and here.

The performance of Resonance/Light/Decay was live-streamed online and also featured on BBC Radio Leeds.

In case you missed it, you can view a video of the performance below:

Upcoming Performance in Łódź

One of my compositions, ‘We Lived in the Gaps between the Stories.’ (2016) for amplified accordion will be performed in the upcoming sixth edition of the ‘Working Scene’ concert series (Scena Robocza #6).

 

The event will take place on Wednesday, September 27 in Łódź and will feature performances from accordionist Ryszard Lubieniecki and artist Sonia Skowronek with electronics and sound realisation by Piotr Bednarczyk.

This event will also feature the works of Mateusz ŚmigasiewiczJosue W. AmadorDominik Karski, and Piotr Bednarczyk.

More information about this event can be found here.

‘Exploring Xenakis: Performance, Practice, Philosophy’

Tomorrow I will be giving a talk at the ‘Exploring Xenakis: Performance, Practice, Philosophy’ Symposium with colleague and critical theorist Michael D. Atkinson. Our talk discusses Xenakis, the Avant Garde, May ’68 and the legendary quote ‘Xenakis, not Gounod’ which was scrawled in graffiti during the protests in France.

Below is an abstract of our talk:

May ’68 saw a time of political tension in France: the Situationist International signified a growing desire to move away from capitalism and the world of boredom and alienation it entails, and, likewise, young radicals wanted to free music from the shackles of reification that contradicted the notion of ‘avant garde’. People protested via music, vandalism, public broadcasts, sexuality, subversive behaviour, and vandalism. Graffiti was rife, with phrases such as ‘Commute, work, commute, sleep…’, ‘In a society that has abolished every kind of adventure the only adventure that remains is to abolish the society’, and ‘Art is dead, don’t consume its corpse.’ Upon the walls of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris were graffitied the words ‘Xenakis, not Gounod’.

This focus on an avant-garde practice that exemplifies experimentation, chance, subversion, and the like was part of an effort to sublate art with everyday life, that is, to enact a revolution of everyday life. In this talk, we will explore the intertwining of such revolutionary desires with the avant-garde tendencies of the day, and, further, how the ageing, commodification, and subsequent reification of the Avant Garde is antithetical to the desires and ideology behind itself. We will focus in particular on how Xenakis and those like him became central to the revolutionary consciousness of the day, and what it is about Xenakis’ practice that paradoxically disavows such possibilities.

Reviewing the New Music Biennial Festival #nmb17

Any readers following my Instagram feed will be aware that I was reviewing this year’s New Music Biennial Festival in Hull. For those of you who could not attend the festival this year, my article features in Sounds Like Now: Contemporary Music News  and can be read here.

Below is a preview of the article, also available here.

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Eliza Carthy at the PRSF New Music Biennial 2017, photo Tom Arran

The New Music Biennial festival, funded by the PRS for Music Foundation, claims to push ‘the boundaries of new music’. It provides an opportunity for new musical works to be showcased across the United Kingdom and on BBC Radio 3. The term ‘new’ in this instance is to be taken literally: these works were very recently written (some were world premières) and drew on music history, existing practices and the musical techniques of a variety of cultures. The festival, initially presented in Hull, the 2017 City of Culture, was repeated at London’s Southbank Centre and follows the previous models of this festival to present a variety of eclectic genres of music being written today.

To access this article in full, you must purchase a subscription or log in if you are a subscriber.

Upcoming Performance in Bydgoszcz

Tomorrow, accordionist Ryszard Lubieniecki will perform my piece ‘We Lived in the Gaps between the Stories.’ (2016) for amplified accordion as part of his final diploma recital at the Academy of Music in Bydgoszcz. He will also perform works by Richard McReynoldsGilberto AgostinhoDominik KarskiPiotr Bednarczyk, as well as his own piece black-control-Holzfällen

This recital is free, and so if you happen to be in Bydgoszcz, then why not have a listen.

Event details: June 16, 2017, 1:30 pm, Concert Hall of the Academy of Music,  Gdańsk Street 20, Bydgoszcz

A full programme is available here.

Upcoming Performance: Amplified Accordion in Wrocław

My composition for solo accordion ‘We Lived in the Gaps between the Stories.’ (2016) will be performed for a second time by Ryszard Lubieniecki in Wrocław on June 13. This piece was first performed at Wrocław’s Spadochron festival last week.

Tomorrow’s event comprises a performance of amplified accordion music, commissioned and performed by accordionist Ryszard Lubieniecki with additional electronics by Piotr Bednarczyk. The event features many new works by composers Richard McReynoldsGilberto AgostinhoDominik KarskiPiotr Bednarczyk, and Ryszard Lubieniecki himself. 

If you happen to be in Wrocław tomorrow, then why not have a listen. A full programme is available here.