Introducing Prof. David Canter, MRes candidate in composition

Prof. David Canter

David Canter is Professor of Psychology at The University of Huddersfield, directing the International Research Centre for Investigative Psychology, which he brought from The University of Liverpool in 2009, where he is now an Emeritus Professor. Although he is most widely known for creating the new field of Investigative Psychology as a scientific development from his activities in ‘offender profiling’ (described in his award winning book Criminal Shadows) he actually started his career as a psychologist in The School of Architecture at Strathclyde University, having published the seminal book The Psychology of Place in 1977.  

He found his way into architecture from a general interest in the arts (having had some exhibitions of his art works over the years) with an underlying fascination with music and many unschooled attempts at composition over the years. This fascination is illustrated in  a paper he presented called ‘Action and Place: The Existential Dialectic’ which was organised around a Bach Suite ! He also composed a string quartet that explored the relationship between Psychology and the Law which was played after his keynote address to a international conference on the same theme.

After many years of composing as a sideline for various amateur groups he has at last taken the opportunity to enrol for a part-time postgraduate research degree in composition within the Centre for Research in New Music at Huddersfield (working with Dr Bryn Harrison).

Prof. David Canter has written this short article: Getting Played where he recalls the experience of hearing his compositions performed for the first time as part of a COMA Summer School and reflects on the relationship of apprentice composers to their compositions.

Seth Woods (PhD ‘cellist) upcoming international tours

Seth Woods

The ‘cellist Seth Woods has recently joined the doctoral programme at Huddersfield after graduating from Masters studies at the Musik Akademie der Stadt Basel where he worked with Frances Marie Uitti and Lucas Fels. His research project is entitled Almost Human… Electric Chair Music about which he saysI am examining the physical and choreographic properties in new complexity works for solo ‘cello and electronics. From the information gathered in my research,  I will create a notation system for string players which is influenced by William Forsythe and Rudolf von Laban. This notation will be used for restorative and archival purposes geared mainly towards ‘cellists interested in this area of music and movement and for dancers and cognitive scientists.’

He has a busy schedule of international touring ahead:

At the Beginning of November I will travel to NYC, Chicago, Houston, and Basel Switzerland to present solo concerts under the concert title ‘Thus Spoke His Tongue.’ The concert will feature premieres of commissioned and dedicated works to me  by composers Fred Ho, Edward Hamel, Gilbert Galindo, Claudio Gabriele as well works by Scelsi and Anton Lukoszevieze. I will return to Basel in December to perform a duo concert with percussionist Brian Archinal featuring work by Carolyn Chen, Simon Steen Andersen, Ryan Carter and Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen.

To end the year I will embark on my second concert tour of China with the Kammerphilharmonie Bad Nauheim Orchester (Frankfurt, DE). I’m seriously looking forward to returning to China again after having toured there as soloist with orchestra back in 2009. Excitedly, it is worth mentioning that I will return to the US to give the American premiere of Chaya Czernowin’s brand new work for solo cello and organ titled Gradual Edge (2012) and then in the summer I will be in residence in Akiyoshidai, Japan to rework the 1972 fluxus work Ice Music for London which originally featured iconic cellist Charlotte Moorman.

Pia Palme – premiere at Wien Modern (Vienna); festival ring-tone, performances, lectures and MuGi Conference

Pia Palme, contrabass recorder & electronics

Pia Palme has an extraordinarily rich and high profile range of international activities coming up this October. Her new composition BARE BRANCHES (2012) is being premiered on 25 October as a cooperation between the festivals Wien Modern and e_may. BARE BRANCHES is a contemporary requiem about female infanticide and male population surplus in Asia and the impact of this situation on global society in general. The libretto is by American author Anne Waldman. Two choirs will perform using audio-scores, a tool Pia has been researching as part of her Phd at Huddersfield and performers include sopranos Salome Kammer and Annette Schönmüller, and the Wiener Kammerchor.

Pia Palme is the artistic curator for this all-night event ‘Wie Wir Wollen’ also including the work of Liza Lim and fellow Huddersfield composer Tamara Friebel.

This year, Pia will provide the annual ringtone for Wien Modern, and will be part of the panel for the Wien Modern’s press conference. Compositional and social aspects of Pia’s works will be discussed by musicologist Dr. Susanne Kogler from KUG Graz as part of a lecture at the international symposium Neue Musik als Weltanschauung during Wien Modern.

The festival e_may was founded by Pia Palme and Gina Mattiello in Vienna in 2007 as a small but engaged platform with a focus on female composers of contemporary and electronic music, commissioning new works from Austrian composers. The development of the festival and its impact on Austria’s scene of contemporary music are remarkable and Pia will present a paper on this at the MuGI Conference Gender, Musical Creativity and Age at Huddersfield on October 6th.

Another result of her research at Huddersfield is a series of performances around the Baroque nun and Mexican author Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz. Completely de-personalized by a contemporary “habit”, Pia performs and improvises with her contrabass-recorder and electronics. After a first appearance at PARAFLOWS festival in Vienna, Sor Juana is re-enacted for two days in the cell of a former monastery turned into a modern hotel-room by invitation of IMA’s festival INTIME RÄUME at Hainburg, Austria.

Eric Maestri – premieres in France, Italy and Switzerland

Eric Maestri‘s VISIONI for ensemble and electronics was premiered on 8 June 2012 at Hall de chars, Strasbourg, by Ensemble L’Imaginaire. The electronic part of the piece was conceived in part in the studios at the University of Huddersfield with the assistance of Dr Alex Harker and Dr Pierre Alexandre Tremblay. The electronic part is constructed to be played entirely in the piano by a transducer loudspeaker.  Link for the video:

Eric has been selected for the composition course Voix Nouvelles, at Royaumont Abbey and his work DUE PAROLE (Endeared III), for choir and string quartet will be premiered there on 22 September. Performers are Atelier Vocale de Royaumont with Diotima Quartet, under the direction of Geoffroy Jourdain.

Ensemble Vortex, Geneva have commissioned a new piece for ensemble and electronics that will be performed in Strasbourg and Geneva on 19 and 31 October. For this piece Eric will use a resonator specially conceived for the performance of the electronics. Lastly, Prometeo Quartet with Valentina Coladonato, will perform at the MILANO MUSICA festival the new version of CELESTOGRAFIA, that was premiered last april in Turin at Unione Musicale concert season.

Pedro Alvarez ‘Matrix12 on tour’

Pedro Alvarez & other participants, Matrix 11

Pedro Alvarez has been awarded a grant from the Experimentalstudio des SWR to participate in the workshop ‘matrix12 on tour’, which takes place during this coming August and September in Amsterdam in collaboration with the Atlas Academy, and later in Warsaw in connection with the Festival Warsaw Autumn. He participated in the matrix festival last year when it was held at the Experimentalstudio in Freiburg, Germany, receiving tuition from Brian Ferneyhough and Chaya Czernowin and also assisting at the final concert.

Sebastian Berweck new publications and performances

Sebastian Berweck (photo by Anika Neese)

Busy times for PhD student Sebastian Berweck: having recorded Klaus Lang’s Sais for New World Records in March he’ll be in the studio again in June/July. For Deutschlandfunk he will record electroacoustic works by Alvin Lucier and another CD will feature compositions for guitar and piano by Julia Deppert and Benjamin Lang.

For the August issue of the German music journal “positionen” he will write two articles on promoting contemporary music. One will deal with his new concepts for teaching contemporary music to students and together with Arno Lücker of the Konzerthaus Berlin there will be an overarching article on the presentation of contemporary music. This accompanies a lecture at the University of Music Frankfurt on the “extended piano”, presenting extended techniques and performance practice issues related to the use of electronics. After the summer break Sebastian has engagements at the prestigious pgnm-festival in Bremen and an invitation to the piano+ – festival at ZKM in Karlsruhe. Following this is a performance of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Kontakte, which he will play at a festival in Hildesheim along with a lecture about his PhD research at the University of Huddersfield.

Pia Palme at RAFLOST, Iceland as composer and improviser

Icelandic festival RAFLOST, an annual festival of electronic media taking place in Reykjavik, will present Austrian Pia Palme both as a composer and improviser. Her new work LIP OF THE REAL for voice, percussion and live-electronics will be performed by Icelandic vocalist Heiða Árnadóttir on May 24th. The electronic part makes use of a throat-microphone activated by the performer. Sounds made with closed mouth are transmitted via radio and processed to create an audible space around the voice, which maps fictitious mind-activity of the vocalist. The setup for this piece was designed by the composer to create a compositional layout which would audibly and visually express structural movements of human mind. The 30 minute piece was developed during Pia’s research for her PhD in biotic and contemplative aspects of contemporary music with Prof. Liza Lim, and first performed in March 2012 by Lore Lixenberg in Vienna. On May 19th Pia will join an ensemble of improvisers with contrabass-recorder and live-electronics.