‘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 … Continue reading ‘Exploring Xenakis: Performance, Practice, Philosophy’

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. 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 … Continue reading Reviewing the New Music Biennial Festival #nmb17

L.I.M.E.: ‘Barricades and Partitions’

CROSSWOR[K] (2013)  for free instrumentation will be performed by Leeds Improvised Music and Experimentation organisation (L.I.M.E.) in their  upcoming concert Barricades and Partitions, 1st May, 2016 , Wharf Chambers, Leeds, England. The event also features LUUMS New Music Ensemble and Prohibited Strangers. More information about the event can be found here. More information about my composition CROSSWOR[K] (2013) can be found here.   Continue reading L.I.M.E.: ‘Barricades and Partitions’

Gaudeamus Muziekweek Academy

I recently attended the Gaudeamus Muziekweek Academy in Utrecht. My composition Parallax Error (2014) for any 4-string bowed instrument was workshopped by cellist Katharina Gross and double bassist Dario Calderone. I also had the opportunity to meet other selected composers from across the globe. The experience was enlightening and it introduced me to a whole world of music happening right now. In the first cello workshop, we were introduced to a variety of contemporary music and Katharina Gross’ cellomundo project. Our own works were also performed and discussed. The academy also offered workshops about composing for harp and composing with live electronics. We were introduced to a range of harp music … Continue reading Gaudeamus Muziekweek Academy

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

Review: Dr Timothy O’Dwyer, ‘Folding Machines – Approaches to Improvising and Composing Inspired by the Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze’

The following is a review of a talk given by Dr Timothy O’Dwyer on 27th February at the University of Leeds, School of Music. I must mention that the following account is by no means exhaustive of Deleuzian thought, in fact it only touches on one aspect of it. However, I am writing about this talk because it seems to offer an accessible starting point to comprehending one of Deleuze’s concepts. It also demonstrates how applying aesthetics and philosophy to composition can offer a different perspective on a familiar act and therefore a potentially different outcome. This is something I … Continue reading Review: Dr Timothy O’Dwyer, ‘Folding Machines – Approaches to Improvising and Composing Inspired by the Philosophy of Gilles Deleuze’