Tuesday, 21 May 2013

How to avoid huge ships when the world is puddle-wonderful

"When the world is puddle-wonderful". and "How to avoid huge ships" Who can resist a titles like that?  And what about "Double Helix", "Caught on the Corner" and "At a distance of less than a yard..."

Already I'm intrigued. How inventive the music must be! Hear what the music sounds like tonight at the latest New Dots venture at the Forge, Camden. 

when the world is puddle-wonderful is by Michael Cutting. Note the lower case. Immediately one thinks Cummings is der Dichter. Cutting is interested on the relationship between words and music and is planning a large work of music theatre  to be completed in 2014. His work has already been performed by Fretwork, the BBC Singers, Lontano and the Endymion Ensemble. He's one of George Benjamin's PhD students. This particular piece isn't for voice as such. Instead the "voices" are flute, clarinet and piano. 

 How to Avoid Huge Ships for Wind Quartet is by Aaron Holloway-Nahum, who is composer in residence with the BBC SO. He's written scores for several art films, which is a plus. Music for film is important because it focuses a composer's mind on communicating. So many have learned their trade from writing for film - Benjamin Britten no less. He's also involved with somethinfg called the Riot Ensemble, which endears him to my heart. How to Avoid Large Ships was the title of .a serious technical guide for mariners. Apparently huge ships are hard to avoid if sea currents are against you and you have no room to manoeuvre. The title sounds funny but it can be life or death. What potential for vivid, inventive and dangerous music! (photo above is by Taras Kalapun from Homs, Syria. Hope he's well!)

Yuko Ohara's Double Helix suggests twisting, twining possibilities. For two instruments the solution would be easy. For solo flute, it's more of a challenge. She's worked with David Sawer, Toshio Hosokawa and Brian Ferneyhough. Emma-Ruth Richards Flute caught on a corner intrigues too. It's not "just" flute but scored for wind quartet. Richards' piece for solo viola is played by Paul Silverthorne. Hear it here. Piers Tattersall's work has featured at previous New Dots concerts. This time, the piece is At a distance of less than a yard... for clarinet, horn and piano.

And as an extra treat Richard Uttley will be playing Barkham Fantasy by Mark Simpson. It was "written during my stay at Barkham, an idyllic converted farmhouse amidst the backdrop of the Devonshire moors. I intended the piece to resemble a ghostly shadow of a slow movement of a Mozart or Haydn piano sonata. Whilst composing I had an unsettling feeling of being watched from a window in the barn. Over the course of my stay I was gradually instilled with a sense of fear and unease which manifested itself in the music I was writing. The idea of ghosts, hauntings and shadows inevitably played a larger part in this piece than I had originally envisaged."  Listen to the soundclip.

Richard Uttley will play with the Atea Wind Quintet. More details of the New Dots concert at the Forge HERE.

No comments: