The 2017–18 academic year has featured workshops and concerts by leading soloists and ensembles, including loadbang [USA], Richard Haynes [AUS/SUI], Teodoro Anzellotti [GER], Francesco Dillon [ITA], and Joshua Hyde [AUS/FRA], as well as lectures and masterclasses by Clara Iannotta, Hilda Paredes, Chaya Czernowin, Amnon Wolman, Jamie Currie, Hans Tutschku, Lyn Goeringer, and Christopher Trapani, plus a diverse range of artists as part of the annual Electric Spring festival.
Our MA and PhD postgraduate community has been as vibrant and active as ever, with concerts, commissions, performances, lectures, publications, residencies, and presentations both here in Huddersfield and internationally, including work in Canada, the USA, Austria, Germany, France, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Turkey, Finland, Latvia, and across the UK.
At Spectrum in New York this past August, violinist Conrad Harris performed a solo concert featuring Cassandra’s work, including for mira, Serenata, and Just So. The concert was curated by composer Michael Vincent Waller. In September, EXAUDI performed Cassandra’s work Guide as part of the BBC Proms concert ‘Proms at the Tanks at Tate Modern’, curated and hosted by Sara Mohr-Pietsch. This piece was also given its North American premiere in October in New York by the vocal ensemble Ekmeles.
Standing head-and-shoulders above everything was Cassandra Miller’s Guide […] creating a beautiful and moving sense of multitudes of voices raised in rapt, quiet praise. – The Telegraph
Soprano Juliet Fraser performed two modules of Cassandra and Juliet’s ever-evolving collaboration Tracery at the Klangspuren Schwatz festival in Austria this September.
Cassandra’s new orchestral work Round (commissioned and premiered by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra last spring) was given its UK premiere by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra this November under the baton of Maestro Ilan Volkov, who performed it in both Glasgow and Birmingham. On February 2nd, the piece was performed twice in Canada, by the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and by the UVic Symphony.
Round demonstrated a sure feeling for orchestral sonority—drawing on a lesser known Tchaikovsky melody (rendered by cellist Gaspar Cassadó) as a ‘cantus firmus’ around which the texture gradually opens-out; taking in antiphonal trumpets and off-stage tubular bells, while maintaining its hushed aura through to the rapturous culmination. Ilan Volkov secured a committed response in this absorbing piece. – Arcana.fm
From September to November 2017, Hakan Ulus was Artist-in-Residence at the Academy of Arts Berlin (Berlin Stipend). In October he had a radio interview with Dr. Ellen Freyberg in SWR (Germany), where he talked about the Freedom of Art. Also in October, Hakan published an article titled ‘Die Krise als Chance?! Strategien zur Überwindung des Manierismus in der zeitgenössischen Kunstmusik’ (‘The Crisis As a Chance?! Strategies To Overcome The Mannerism of Contemporary Art Music’) as well as an article about Peter Eötvös in the February (2018) edition of ÖMZ (Austria). A larger article titled “Erfahrungen, Realitäten, Visionen—Meine Probenerfahrungen und Vorschläge zur Verbesseung der Probenbedingungen komplexer Musik (‘Experiences, Realities, Visions—My rehearsal experiences and suggestions for improving the rehearsal conditions of complex music’) is set to be published in the next few weeks in the edition Klangreden of the Rombach Verlag (Germany).
In January, Hakan participated at the 2018 BFE/RMA Research Students’ Conference here at Huddersfield University. He gave a talk titled ‘The identity of contemporary art music: current mannerist tendencies in the second decade of the 21st century, with a focus on the scene in Germany’.
Performances of Hakan’s pieces took place in Dresden, Tolstefanz and Istanbul by Trio Sostenuto and Hezarfen Ensemble. On January 31st, Hakan had his first portrait concert supported by the Kunststiftung NRW, Goethe Institut, and BAUART in Istanbul. Six pieces of his were performed: Iqra (2015) for ensemble, Talaq II (2016) for piccolo clarinet, A.Q. (2014) for piano trio, Alaq I and Alaq II (2015; 2017) for amplified piano and Precious Liquids (2017) for clarinet and string trio.
Solomiya Moroz has been selected as one of four participants in the Composer’s Kitchen programme with the Bozzini Quartet, including sessions in April 2018 in Montreal and a performance as part of the 2018 Gaudeamus Festival in Utrecht.
In October 2017, Solomiya presented a project in collaboration with Canadian/Ukrainian composers and artists titled Docu_Presence at the Contrasts Festival for Contemporary Music in Lviv, Ukraine, where fellow CeReNeM PhD student Dejana Sekulic also took part.
Docu_Presence examined archival materials and their contrasting existence with live performers.
In this project, we deconstructed and recomposed sound and video materials as well as embodied traditions such as folklore. By working with the documents, we were also addressing folklore as an idea for cultural transmission and its fascinating, multifaceted layers of interaction both in urban and traditional contexts.
The project took the form of an installation-performance with installations by Ostap Manulyak and Oksana Kazmina and a concert performance of pieces by Taylor Brook [CA], Ostap Manulyak [UA], Julian Kytasty [USA] and Solomiya Moroz [CA/UA], with performances by Dejana Sekulic [SR], violin, Julian Kytasty, bandura, and Solomiya Moroz, flute and electronics.
In September 2017 Brice visited Amsterdam with Sophie Fetokaki to premiere Svioloncello for voice, cello and luthier at the Fringe Festival. It was then performed later in France in the Jura mountains in November. After that Brice and Sophie worked on O, or what you will for cello and electronics, premiered by Bethany Nicholson in Hull on her Master’s recital, and they are now working on a new work with Yorkshire-based poet Alicia Fernandez, to be premiered at the Leeds Lieder Festival in April 2018.
Brice performed work by Galina Ustvolskaya in the Jura mountains early December; in January he recorded Kasper T. Toeplitz’s Cello Titan for cello and electronics in Paris for a portrait album of Toeplitz’s work to be released later this year. He also performed his own cello Sequences in Hull and Huddersfield.
Marco’s work TotenTanzToccata for percussion, organ and electronics was premiered on October 7, 2017 in Stuttgart during the percussion festival Schlagzeugnacht by Paolo Bertoldo, with Marco at the organ assisted by the young organist and composer Wanying Lin. One week later, the same trio celebrated the 10th anniversary of Marco’s project Incontri (“intersections”) — Eastern and Western culture in Contemporary Music, with a concert that took place in Savorgnano, Italy, featuring compositions and improvisations by the performers themselves and Young Jo Lee among others. On December 8, 2017 Marco’s work Metamorfosi I for alto saxophone (Zhe Wang) and harpsichord (Wanying Lin) was premiered at the Music University of Stuttgart.
From October to February he worked as a research assistant at the University of Music of Karlsruhe together with Prof Marlon Schumacher, developing patches in OpenMusic for the OMPrisma library, dedicated to the compositional control of sound spatialisation. At the same time, he has continued teaching as a tutor for the StEM (Studio for Electronic Music) at the University of Music of Stuttgart, assisting Prof Marco Stroppa leading group exercises on computer-assisted composition and sound synthesis.
On February 15, his work Metamorphosis II for accordion was premiered at Huddersfield by Teodoro Anzellotti. PiPaPa, an electroacoustic work dedicated to the Italian poet Pier Paolo Pasolini, will be played at the Cité Universitaire in Paris on April 9. A small concert tour on period pipe organs, with performance of early music for organ and voice, is scheduled for May in northeast Italy together with the Japanese Soprano Chisa Tanigaki.
He is currently working on a CD release with electroacoustic works in a joint project with the Brazilian composer Daniel Quaranta, produced by ALEA (Associazione Laboratorio Espressioni Artistiche).
Lawrence has recently had music performed by Quatuor Bozzini in Aberdeen, as part of Sound festival, and the quartet’s Composers’ Kitchen scheme. A new piano piece for Philip Thomas was recently premiered in Huddersfield. In March, a new piece for London ensemble Plus-Minus will be performed. In April, Sarah Saviet will perform a new piece for solo violin in Cologne. Lawrence has also been shortlisted for the 2018 Gaudeamus prize. The recent piece While we are both (developed with Juliet Fraser) will be performed at the Gaudeamus Muziekweek, alongside a new piece for Slagwerk Den Haag.
The Temporality of the Impossible: Performance+Talk series continues to form a key component of Dejana’s research project Temporality of the Impossible: contemporary violin music, technique, notation and performance. Performance+Talk continues for the 2017-18 season which will primarily explore the aesthetics of violin sound, from the barely audible to extreme presence and everything in between. The programme features pieces with various degrees of extreme and complex performance, including some exploring movement, physical gesture and decoupling as the basis for musical material.
How impossible is the “impossible”? The lasting curiosity of composers in exploring expression through music continues the legacy of creating pieces that are fresh, “new” and challenging not only for listening, but also to artistry of playing. Subsequently, performers continue to be challenged by these pieces demanding unconventional approaches. Temporality of the Impossible focuses on these challenges, and addresses two important and inseparable parts of music and performance: the tangible and the abstract. While the former investigates challenges of the extended violin techniques and the notation, the latter investigates the shaping of sensibility for understanding the music. Questioning what is this “impossible” and how do we overcome it by finding remedies for technical “unplayability”, the aim of this research is to simultaneously seek out ways for reshaping the understanding for the “new” aesthetics and expressivity, and whether and how we grow into appreciating this “unconventional”.
Different Performance+Talk sessions will include works by Wojtek Blecharz, John Cage, Aaron Cassidy, Samuel Cedillo, James Dillon, Clara Iannotta, Brian Ferneyhough, John King, Helmut Lachenmann, Keeril Makan, Salvatore Sciarrino, Zach Seely, Robert Wannamaker, amongst others.
January was a busy month for Moss, with the inaugural rehearsal of a new large ensemble established to perform his compositions. It features some of Moss’s favourite musicians in the UK, coming from a breadth of jazz, experimental, folk and improv backgrounds: Kit Downes, Ruth Goller, James Maddren, George Crowley, Laura Jurd, Francesca Ter-Berg and Tullis Rennie, alongside himself.
January involved a gig at Ronnie Scott’s with Moss’s band Let Spin, a presentation on musical power dynamics in context of his recent compositions at the BFE/RMA conference in Huddersfield, and a performance of a new piece in Hull by Bethany Nicholson (cello) and Berlin-based academic/improviser/composer Christopher Williams (double bass), as part of a lecture/workshop he presented. Moss is currently working on a version of this piece for visiting CeReNeM saxophonist Joshua Hyde, which will be performed at St Paul’s on March 19.
Between November and January, Moss was touring around the UK on and off with ‘indo-jazz’ clarinettist Arun Ghosh and joined a new sextet led by trombonist/improviser Sarah Gail Brand and composer Sam Eastmond. Over the past six months he has been working with various ensembles on his Grid Pieces, including Ensemble Fractus (Hull), City University Experimental Ensemble (who will perform Relay at Iklectik in London on 5th April), and Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra.
July 2017 saw three recordings sessions. The first was of John Zorn’s music by the Spike Orchestra, for whom Moss plays guitar. The record will be released as part of the Masada Book 3 series in April on Zorn’s Tzadik label. The second recording is gradually becoming the third Let Spin album and will contain two of Moss’s pieces. The third was of his violin & piano piece how not to dance by Flora Curzon and Henry Tozer at the Vortex in London.
Eva Sjuve was invited to deliver the keynote at the Arts in the Environment Symposium in Helsinki, August 31 – September 2, 2017 in the strand on (Environmental) Art & Aesthetics. This trans-disciplinary symposium included scientists, philosophers, artists, and composers from all over Europe to promote exchange and discussion. Eva’s presentation addressed sonic art, aesthetics, and art practice working with the environment and computing as a tool. Papers will be published in a special edition together with Helsinki University of the Arts at the end of 2018.
From 19–21 October 2017, Eva was invited to present her research at the Open Fields Conference in Riga, Latvia, on the theme of Virtualities and Realities. The conference was a collaboration with the Art Academy of Latvia and the Latvian National Museum of Art. Eva’s presentation was on aesthetics, computing and mapping the virtuality/reality experiences of sonic works in urban spaces. More information available here and here.
David’s recent activities include a concert for two actors and one director, Une affaire de friction et de gravité, performed at FRAC Des Pays DeLa Loire Residency Program, Carquefou, France, on November 4–5. This work is a 45-minute installation for six-channel electronics. At the same location, The way things fall was performed under David’s direction on November 17—David captured the sounds of living together with the other resident artists, from their workshop open to the public, to their interactions in the main room, the kitchen, where they shared meals and discussions for two and a half months.
On February 21, Colin Frank and Prof Philip Thomas presented the opening concert of the Electric Spring Festival in works for piano, percussion and electronics by Thomas Meadowcroft [AUS], Rozalie Hirs [NL], and CeReNeM visiting researcher Luc Döbereiner [GER].
Colin is joined by fellow postgraduates Cristian Morales Ossio, Irine Røsnes, Paola Muñoz Manuguián, and Pablo Galaz Salamanca along with CeReNeM friend Peyee Chen on February 27 to present recent works by Kate Soper, Gabriele Manca, Cristian Morales Ossio, and Colin Frank at St. Paul’s Hall. Their second concert takes place on March 20th, where Colin, Irine Røsnes, and Peyee Chen will perform work by James Saunders, Stuart Saunders Smith, Kate Soper, Thomas Weideman, and Colin Frank.
In November Pam Hulme performed a new work for organ and live-looping, Es ist gewisslich an der Zeit, commissioned by the Theologisches Konvikt, Berlin. Based on the melody and text of the 16th-century Lutheran hymn, the piece uses looping, shifting meter and electronic manipulation to explore anxieties around time and belonging. The performance took place at Golgothakirche in Berlin-Mitte and was in collaboration with Pf. Volker Jastrembski and the Theology Faculty of Humboldt University, Berlin.