New Music Biennial, Hull

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 UK 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 premieres) 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. Continue reading “New Music Biennial, Hull”

*cellomondo* by cellist Katharina Gross

I have been selected by cellist Katharina Gross to be one of the composers to take part in her cellomondo project. This project aims to explore the music of composers from all over the world. More information about this project can be found here. Other composers taking part in this project so far include Seung-Won Oh (Korea / The Netherlands/ USA), Amit Gur (Israel/ The Netherlands), Raphaël Languillat (France), Ryszard Lubieniecki (Poland), Johannes Kretz (Austria), Veronika Simor (Hungary / Austria), Dugal McKinnon (New Zealand), Jakhongir Shukur (Uzbekistan), Artyom Kim (Uzbekistan), Aurélio Edler-Copes (Brasil / France), Christopher Wood (USA), Jason Post (New Zealand). Further information about these composers can be found here. Katharina Gross … Continue reading *cellomondo* by cellist Katharina Gross

hcmf// Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2014

The Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (HCMF) is a nine-day long festival of contemporary music, typically held every year in November. The following is a brief account of some of the pieces, from the festival, that have inspired some thoughts about my own compositional approach (having said this, I didn’t attend every event at the festival). I am writing about them here as a means of gathering some thoughts and promoting further composition and research. The opening night ended with a memorable performance of Salvatore Sciarrino‘s Lohengrin by Sofia Jernberg and musicians assembled by nyMusikk Bergen. The performance was amazing. It highlighted the technically-skilled timbral (especially of the voice) exploration of Sciarrino’s … Continue reading hcmf// Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 2014

Arnold Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2

I have been listening to Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2, and it has inspired some thoughts about art and its associations with something ‘other’. Here is a description of Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2, taken from Ethan Haimo’s Schoenberg’s Transformation of Musical Language.I am including it here because I think it provides a concise, yet comprehensive, introductory description of the work: The String Quartet No. 2, Op. 10 may well be the most heterogeneous of all of Schoenberg’s compositions. No other of his compositions has four movements of such strikingly different character. No other of his compositions begins as an instrumental … Continue reading Arnold Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 2

Horațiu Rădulescu’s streichquartett nr. 4 opus 33

I recently listened to Horațiu Rădulescu’s streichquartett nr. 4 opus 33 performed by the Arditti quartet. The vast spectral sound-world of 128 strings is striking and quasi-fantastical. About Horațiu Rădulescu: Roman-French composer Horațiu Rădulescu frequently employed spectral techniques in his compositions. His sound-worlds are described as ‘cosmic’, ‘strange’ and ‘archaic’.  Oliver Messiaen described Rădulescu as a composer who ‘contributed to the renewal of musical language’. [1] About streichquartett nr. 4 opus 33:  This piece is composed for nine spatialised string quartets. A central live string quartet surrounded by an audience who are, in turn, surrounded by eight string quartets which, according to Rădulescu, … Continue reading Horațiu Rădulescu’s streichquartett nr. 4 opus 33