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).

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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

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:

*Interstice* now available on iTunes

Interstice is out and available to download via iTunes! More information can be found here.

screen568x568Interstice is an artwork and iPhone app that enables users to record, and listen to, an audible representation of their heartbeat. It also allows users to select a musical fragment to accompany their heartbeat. As such, users from all over the world are able to collaborate in the formation of a composition comprising an intricate cacophony of audible heartbeats and musical fragments.

Users can listen to the resultant conglomeration of audible heartbeats and musical fragments by navigating a three-dimensional representation of Earth.

Each user can add up to five audible representations of their heart rate with an accompanying musical fragment. Any one of these five recorded heart rates with accompanying musical fragments can be deleted and replaced with new submissions at any time.

Interstice is created by software developer Samuel Halay and composer Alannah Marie HalayMore information behind Interstice‘s conceptual framework can be found here and here.

Performance of *The Interlocutor*: ensemble Discord

The Interlocutor is my most recent composition and it was performed by Discord earlier this week. It is for French horn, electric guitar, electric bass guitar, piano (doubling keyboard), and electric five-string violin. As a (very) basic description of the composition’s structure, it is based on the dynamics of conversing. Although a seemingly simple compositional procedure, I intend the form to be more complexly dynamic, and I think that Discord brought this out.

Composing for Discord was very useful, not only did it force me to consider writing for these instruments in the context of this particular ensemble, but working with the performers introduced me to the hidden capabilities of these instruments.

The performance was followed by a concert of new music performed by Discord. More information about the concert can be found here.

Compositional Form: A Multidimensional Interstice?

The following is an area of my research which I presented on at a postgraduate conference in December, and something I hope to talk more about in the future as it develops.

In this presentation, I discuss my current composition Interstice, the ‘form’ of which relies on the participation of an interactive audience via the internet and an iPhone app. Due to a specific type of interactivity, Interstice’s timeline is complex, and its participatory element results in the roles of ‘performer’ and ‘audience’ being indistinguishable. Interstice treats the audience as additional compositional ‘objects’ amongst which perceived ‘meaning’ and ‘function’ interact within a ‘frame’ that is multidimensional and not definitive. As such, my composition allows the chain of stages in a typical compositional process to be radically rearranged.

Whilst demonstrating how Interstice works, I discuss that, for me, the nature of compositional ‘form’ is multidimensional and interstitial. It comprises a continuously shifting definition where each characterisation appears inherent regardless of this constantly transforming quality. A potential reason for this versatile behaviour is most likely due to the multidimensional nature of ‘time’ which I explain includes simultaneous linear and nonlinear characteristics.

Another reason is possibly because of the various perspectives applied by society. I elaborate on this theory by questioning the substance of compositional ‘form’ and demonstrating how answers to this query are governed by the perceivers’ viewpoints and the composition’s social context. I explain that compositional ‘form’ is a communal event that most likely relies on the formation of ‘meaning’ within the ‘space’ between a composition’s constituent ‘objects’ and its perceivers. In my opinion, this establishment of ‘meaning’ is governed by the way the compositional ‘form’, and its occupied ‘space’, is ‘framed’ within its social setting; however, in the case of Interstice, defining this ‘space’ and ‘frame’ is not straightforward.