CeReNeM Postgraduate Newsletter [March-May 2014]

Pedro Alvarez, hcmf// Commission and Artist Residencies in Vienna and Mexico in 2014
After finishing his PhD in Huddersfield in Feb 2014, Pedro Alvarez has had a number of international successes. He is currently Composer-in-Residence in Vienna, hosted by the Austrian Chancellery and KulturKontakt. This project has entailed performances including a sound-installation he is preparing for an exhibition with artists from around the world at the Chancellery. Dr. Alvarez also has been invited to give a Guest Lecture about his work at the University for Music and Performing Arts of Vienna in June. Other upcoming projects include an hcmf// commission to be premiered by Ensemble CrossingLines from Barcelona. From July through September 2014, Pedro Alvarez will be hosted by the Mexican Arts Council for an artistic residency in Querétaro, Mexico.

Huddersfield Postgraduate Composers/Performers in London and Huddersfield
16On the 3rd of May Huddersfield-based composer-performers Michael BaldwinAndy Ingamells and David Pocknee joined London-based composer-performers Louis d’HeudieresElo Masing and Charlie Sdraulig plus visual artist Jammie Nicholas and flautist Ilze Ikse for an evening of experimental music and art at Hundred Years Gallery in London. The concert featured brand new works from the composers, text scores from experimental stalwarts George Brecht and Alison Knowles, white noise, and a large sheet of spandex. Photographic documentation of the event can be found here.

The three Huddersfield musicians presented a subsequent concert entitled Whistles Go Woo in Huddersfield at Coffeevolution on the 10th of May featuring works focusing on whistling pieces written by Michael Baldwin, David Pocknee, Pat Alison, Any Ingamells and Lucie Vítková.

Performances from ‘Weisslich’:

Michael Baldwin – whistles whittling
Performers: Michael Baldwin, David Pocknee

Andy Ingamells – How To Explain Songs To A Jellied Eel
Performer: Andy Ingamells  Link to video
David Pocknee – Pieces From @textscoreaday and Fluxus
Performer: David Pocknee  Link to video

Seth Woods Granted Francis Chagrin Awardseth alessandrini
Seth Woods, alongside Joanne Armitage, Michael Betteridge, Ryo Ikeshiro, John Lely and Artur Vidal, has recently been granted funding through the Francis Chagrin Award. Thanks to Sound and Music’s Francis Chagrin award, Seth’s allocated funds will go directly towards offsetting the fees for acquiring the transducers needed to create his latest project in collaboration with composer Patricia Alessandrini, Bodied Chambers for Cello, Electronics and transducers. More information on the project can be found here.

‘Trying out the feedback system in Huddersfield, with Seth using only his voice and body to excite the instrument – all sound in the audio example emanates from the ‘cello and Seth’s body” (Patricia Alessandrini):

Bodied Chambers from Seth Woods on Vimeo.


Huddersfield Postgraduates Present an Installation at Huddersfield Open Market
IMG_0690On May 31st, a group of Huddersfield postgraduate students staged an installation at the Huddersfield Open Market. The installation aimed to bring sonic awareness to the everyday sonic phenomena present within the Huddersfield open market and further sought to engender a greater public engagement with the communal activity of hearing. Artists participating in the installation included Michael Baldwin, Alexander Grimes, David Pocknee, and Pablo Vergara. The Installation was supervised by Prof. Peter Ablinger. Photographic documentation can be found here.

Video of Pablo’s piece:

Chris Watson & Jez Riley French Workshops/Presentations
On the 19th – 21st of May Hali Santamas hosted a workshop with sound recordist Chris Watson and sound artist Jez Riley French. In the talks, students heard two very different approaches to field recording with some surprising, mesmerising and in some cases terrifying results.

Dawn Chorus-1On the Tuesday morning participants met up bleary-eyed at 3.15am to drive to Blackmoorfoot reservoir to record the dawn chorus with Chris Watson. Students were sent out into the woods armed with location recorders, shotgun microphones, DPAs and a parabolic reflector. Two hours later all had some great recordings of one of the best dawn choruses in the world (according to Chris) and some pretty big bags under their eyes.

That evening Jez Riley French’s ‘Score for Listening #31’ was performed by the composer together with Michael Baldwin, Elias Alvarez, Ryoko Akama, Phil Maguire and Hali Santamas. The performance was ‘one of the most successful realisations of my photographic scores‘ according to Jez. The performance was recorded and may be released as part of a free online collection of Jez’s ‘Scores for Listening’ series.

On the final day of the residency participants traveled up into the moors near Marsden and down to the canal on campus to do some field recording with Jez’s contact microphones and hydrophones. Field recordings included fence wires, under water plants and bugs.

Ensemble Discord Workshop and Huddersfield CeReNeM Composers Collaboration
The CeReNeM/Discord Workshop Collaboration was a student-initiated collaboration between composers from the University of Huddersfield and performers of Discord Workshop (students from the Manama (Advanced Master Course in Contemporary Music Performance) programme: an advanced Masters course in solo contemporary performance at Ghent Conservatory, Belgium, together with Ictus Ensemble (Brussels) and Het Spectra Ensemble (Ghent). The trans-institutional collaboration focused on fostering a creative environment for musicians at early stages in their musical careers to freely exchange musical ideas and culminated in two concerts of especially composed works in both Huddersfield, UK (24 March 2014) and Ghent, Belgium (17 April 2014). Composers from Huddersfield were: Michael Baldwin, Girilal Baars, Marc CodinaBeavan Flanagan and Chie Tsang Lee. Performers from Discord Workshop included: Nico Couck, Corey Klein, Pieter Lenaerts, Tomoko Honda and Takao Hykutome.

Michael Baldwin – this is not natural
Performers: Corey Klein, Pieter Lenaerts, Tomoko Honda

Chie Tsang Lee – ‘Interfusion V’- A Song For Herh (2014)
Performers: Corey Klein, Pieter Lenaerts, Tomoko Honda, Takao Hykutome

Phil Maguire Brings Ensemble Shackle to Huddersfield
Early May (9th-10th), Dutch improvisation duo Shackle (Anne La Berge – Flutes/Electronics; Robert van Heumen – Laptop instrument) came to Huddersfield to conduct their Converging Objects workshop. The workshop explored interaction and integration between electronic and acoustic musicians who improvise. Shackle use a computerised ‘third performer’ in their work. The system acts as a prompter, throwing up cue words that Anne or Robert improvise around. They can also veto prompts, so their music can get very hectic very fast. Shackle wrapped up their visit with a concert in Phipps on the evening of the 10th.

Diego Castro and Marc Codina Attend NUNC!
10276323_638221709600407_2131470086_nCeReNeM postgraduates Diego Castro and Marc Codina were recent participants at the NUNC! (Northwestern University New Music Conference) held at Northwestern University, USA. Castro presented his paper “Brian Ferneyhough’s Kurze Schatten II: Towards an auratic model of performance practice”, which explores Walter Benjamin’s concept of traces in Ferneyhough’s guitar piece, evaluating its possible impact upon performance. Castro also participated in an open masterclass with Ferneyhough looking at the same piece of music as discussed in Castro’s paper presentation. Marc Codina presented a paper on how the control of the graphic features of notation can ask for certain musical behaviours. In addition to his paper presentation, Codina also had a masterclass with Ferneyhough and a private tutorial with composer Jay Alan Yim.

“The New Fordist Manifesto” Residency Report
Full documentation for the New Fordist Organization’s exhibition at GEMAK, The Hague, NL between 22 April – 28 June 2013 can be found here. This publication is a much expanded and more in-depth version of the initial exhibition booklet including full works list, extended conceptual writing and comprehensive documentation of all works produced. The publication includes writings by CeReNeM postgraduate composers Andy Ingamells and David Pocknee alongside writings by Robert Blatt, Ana Smaragda Lemnaru, Miguel Peres dos Santos, Jeremiah Runnels and Leo Svirsky.

CeReNeM Journal Issue 4 // Published

The latest issue of the CeReNeM Journal edited by Pedro Alvarez has been published. The bumper issue contains articles by PhD and early career researchers from across the UK, Europe and USA including current students Pia Palme and Diego Castro and alumni Scott McLaughlin and Lefteris Papadimitriou.

Seth Woods at NIME2014, INTER/actions Symposium Bangor and concerts in Brussels and New York

Seth WoodsSeth Woods together with instrument builder and researcher, Ian Hattwick (McGill University, CIRRMT/IDMIL) will present the proceedings from workshops and residencies at CIRMMT in Montreal, CA as well as a performance of a new work that come out of the residency period of October 2013 and April 2014 at the NIME Conference 2014 in London in late June 2014.

Almost Human: A Performance for
Prosthetic Instruments,
and Electronics

Almost Human insinuates a partially living being, but in
this case it describes a hybrid performance of cello and pros-
thetic digital instruments. Cellist/mover/researcher Seth
Woods is interested in the analysis of the instrumental ges-
tures used in cello performance and the use of this analysis
both for pedagogy and as material for the development of
an extended personal gestural repertoire. This composi-
tion by Ian Hattwick for prosthetic instruments, cello and
electronics is informed by extensive work with dancers, and
Woods’ behavioural and physical gestures. In this composi-
tion Woods uses the cello to provide the prosthetic instru-
ments with both sonic material and gestural inspiration.
Almost Human demonstrates a multitude of instrumen-
tal possibilities for both instruments and questions the idea
of sonic activity and explores areas of choreographic pro-
cesses and instrumental gestures.

Further Activities:

In March, Seth gives performance and workshops at Bangor University in Wales for the INTER/actions Symposium including Patricia Alessandrini’s Bodied Chambers (2014) and Sebastian Rivas’ Uqbar (2006) for cello and electronics. He also plays Alessandrini’s work at Goldsmiths, University of London on March 14

He is also gearing up to perform Peter Maxwell-Davies’ Vesalii Icones (1969) for solo cello, dancer and ensemble with ICTUS Ensemble and Fellows in Ghent, BE with conductor Daan Janssens from Ensemble Nadar. In May, Seth returns to NYC as a featured artist for the NY SoundCircuit series to present the three commissioned works that came out of his doctoral research by composers George E. Lewis, Aaron Einbond, and Patricia Alessandrini.

Chikako Morishita – Orchestra Commission

Screen Shot 2014-06-27 at 10.38.34A new commission from the 13th edition of the Estonian Composers Festival has been officially announced. In 2014, the festival features musicians Chikako Morishita, Garth Knox, Eno Poppe, Ensemble Mosaik as well as some exciting Estonian artists, and will be held 2-8 June in Tallinn and Tartu. Chikako’s new work for 2 flutes and orchestra, which will be based on her latest piece soot for solo piano [listen below], is going to be premiered by Vanemuise Symphony Orchestra with the soloists Monika Matiessen and Maarika Järvi on 6 June with financial support by the Estonian Ministry of Culture.

Upcoming performances/releases:
26 January – Lizard (shadow) @ Auditori de Barcelona/ CrossingLines Ensemble
6 June – New work @ Estonian Composers Festival/ ERSO, Monika Matiessen, Maarika Järvi
Early 2014 – tokage/ Nobutaka Yoshizawa portrait CD
Early 2014 – House of the sleeping beauties/ digital release by Huddersfield Contemporary Records (part of ECPDP)
Early 2014 – House of the sleeping beauties/ score publishing by York University Music Press (part of ECPDP)

Listen to ‘Soot’ here:

For more information see:
Chikako’s Personal Website 
Crossingline Ensemble

Dunkle Zeiten Wien & Membrane Domains

In Vienna, the interdisciplinary production ‘Dunkle Zeiten Wien’ merges five premieres of contemporary and electronic music with baroque compositions – all by female composers – to celebrate the new year. For this experiment Pia Palme invited composers, installation artists, electronic musicians and performers to participate in a collaborative creation process. Contemporary sonic productions, texts and performances are woven around and into ‘islands’ of Baroque music to open up new aural terrains. In her own composition for voice, percussion, cembalo, flauto traverso, viola da gamba and electronics Pia mixes baroque and modern instruments and deconstructs a baroque ‘Preludio’ by French composer Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre. The piece features mezzosporano Lore Lixenberg performing with a two-meters-high paper sculpture.

Pia Palme has just been awarded an ’Austrian federal scholarship for composition 2014′ in order to pursue further work, such as the production of her opera project ‘Membrane Domains’.

For more details jump here & here.

Seth Woods – 2013 Happenings

Over the Summer of 2013, Seth Woods was artist in residence at Centre Intermondes in La Rochelle, France where he worked with composers Aaron Einbond and Patricia Alessandrini on two new works for cello and electronics that are informed by his own research in choreography and physical processes. While in La Rochelle, Seth continued a collaboration with Taiwanese dancer I-Fang Lin and the contemporary dance company, SINE QUA NON, which is lead by dancers Jonathan Pranlas-Descours and Christophe Beranger. This collaboration unfolded into two beautiful and experimental performances that were presented in La Rochelle in August 2013.

Currently Seth is a visiting researcher in Montreal at McGill University’s CIRMMT/IDMIL Institutes working on the first phase of motion capture for his work on physical processes, as well as the first workshop phase of re-calibrating a series of digital prosthetic musical instruments* which will be used in his final PhD output.

*These instruments were originally designed by Ian Hattwick and Joseph Malloch (See: Instrumented Bodies)

Amp/Al – Rodrigo Constanzo & Richard Craig: New Album

Art work by Angela Guyton

Rodrigo Constanzo and Richard Craig have recently released a new album of solo and duo collaborations.

The new CD can be streamed here as well as purchased for £8.
(Note: Limited CD run and Bespoke Art Work)

Richard Craig – alto flute/bass flute
Rodrigo Constanzo – snare drum
Angela Guyton – art

PhD student Pedro Alvarez Selected as ‘Artist in Residence’ in Vienna 2014

The Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture in cooperation with KulturKontakt Austria has selected Pedro Alvarez out of almost 1,000 applicants to be an ‘Artist in Residence’ in the city of Vienna in 2014. This is the first time that a composer has been invited to this prestigious residency programme since its inception in 1992.

Alvarez is a Chilean composer and currently a PhD candidate in the music department of the University of Huddersfield (supervised by Prof. Liza Lim & Dr Aaron Cassidy). He is enjoying a very successful year in 2013, including premieres and performances in the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany, France, Austria, and Sweden, featuring in international festivals such as the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, Connect Festival in Malmö, ME_MMIX in Mallorca and has an appearance at this year’s Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival on 18th of November.

For more information, please visit:

Chikako Morishita – DRK Residency

IMG_1651Chikako Morishita recently spent two weeks at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music in Singapore as part of her residency at the Dian Red Kenchil International Young Composers Residency. The residency focused on cultural diversity as ten young composers were gathered from throughout the world to work with mentors Chaya Czernowin, Peter Edwards, and Steven Takasugi. As part of the residency, Chikako’s new work, duo for five players (2013), was premiered by Ensemble Ascolta, ensemble-in-residence, and conducted by Jason Lai along with pieces by fellow participants on the 24th of May.

Pedro Alvarez’s Current Activities

Pedro_wordpressFinal year PhD candidate Pedro Alvarez is having a very busy artistic season with performances of his works across Europe.

Last April, ensemble Hand Werk from Cologne premiered his newest piece, ‘Two Surfaces’, at the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik in Germany, which was also broadcast by radio WDR3 and will be repeated in a concert at the Alte Schmiede gallery in Vienna next October.

His piece ‘Debris’ was premiered in Huddersfield by ELISION Ensemble last February and other pieces were performed in Barcelona by Ensemble CrossingLines (Spain) last March, and by Ensemble Interface (Germany) in Adria, Italy, last May.

Last year Alvarez’s music was performed in Switzerland by Ensemble Interface (Dampfzentrale Bern) and Klaasje Nieuwhof (Tanzhaus Zürich); in Germany by Bettina Berger and Anna D’Errico (OpenSpace Damrstadt); and Belgium by Spectra Ensemble (ISCM World Music Days in Ghent).