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.


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.

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)