Pod Twoją obronę is a major new choral work commissioned by the Gaude Mater Festival, Poland, for the 24 voice Polski Chor Kameralny. It is written to commemorate the 80th birthday anniversary of Henryk Mikołaj Górecki.
Large-scale, intricate evolving textures emerge to create a haze of harmony and internal detail. Each singer is both a soloist, and part of the ensemble. Pod Twoją obronę goes beyond my previous work Architexture I in exploring new sounds for choirs through bringing a 21st century view to early music techniques. I have tried here to keep the spirit of Górecki alive, though no material is quoted or borrowed. The world premier is in Gdańsk on May 1st.
Specially commissioned, this large-scale polyphonic work is for ten voice choir which is spatially distributed.
Over the last few years, I’ve been working on devising some new types of polyphonic process, specifically for vocal music. This piece is the first fruit of some of my recent thinking about overlapping structures, and the wonderful sounds they can create. Polyphony can’t just be a structure or a system – it must appeal to our emotions, must result in singable parts without awkwardness, and provide a whole which is, somehow, more than the sum of the parts. Here are the Ebor singers, directed by Paul Gameson, in a short extract from the 22 minute work. Use headphones and switch to HD mode if you can, as the recording is very spatious.
Sonically delicate and technically challenging, the Quantaform Series is a new set of 26 pieces for solo flute which feature precise interactions between the performance acoustic and the notes on the page.
Really pleased to announce that my new, multi-spatial audio project Frozen Voyagers, premiers in the RML Cinechamber at the MUTEK festival, Montreal this year on June 3rd at 7pm. Frozen Voyagers is a hard-hitting piece, dealing with contemporary social and cultural themes. The RML Cinechamber is an amazing, mobile immersive-media facility. It has high-resolution, multichannel audio and 10 screen surround video.
Frozen Voyagers uses the venue’s three-dimensional sound capabilities to the max, providing a feeling of concurrent and not stop action. This piece originally started life on an artistic residence at RML’s facility in downtown San Francisco.
My thanks go to the wonderful team at the A-Capella Festival in Leipzig for their effective and unusual staging of Being Dufay. John Potter and I performed this in the round in the beautiful Peterskirche, with plasma screens hung high in the rigging showing the films. The Peterskirche has a superb acoustic – something that is very important to me. Video from the gig is available
Being Dufay will receive it’s final performance in the current series in April of next year. It takes place at the BMW sponsored A-Capella Festival in Leipzig, Germany on April 26th 2012. It’s an excellent festival who have worked previously with many other ECM artists, so we’re very much looking forwards to it. Being Dufay has now been performed in over 13 Nations, at some really great venues. We’re very thankful to our audience for making this such an enjoyable experience.
I’m working currently on a new vocal music project, which will shortly start being recorded. More news as it develops.
The Tampere festival audience were treated to a preview of a brand new project Anagram yesterday. Anagram is currently nearing the end of preparation, and we wanted to show you some of it live alongside more familiar material. The Anagram project constructs new pieces around the smallest fragments of music by composers who themselves borrowed material from other composers. So I hope they don’t mind this process being done to them! But, the results of this combination are not presented linearly. If you are inclinded towards detective work, you can fit the pieces together. However, like an anagram, it is in the new combination of materials where exciting things start to happen. Anagram is sung by John Potter, with new film by Michael Lynch. Video available shortly.
Some fantastic reviews of this gig in the press and online: here, here, and here.
Outside the wacky and impressive Parco della Musica, Rome. Our auditorium was an excellent indoor space, with a first rate technical team.
At one point, it looked as if the audience was clearly not going to leave after the show! Here’s some new material we put together live for an encore. Thank you audience, you were fantastic and very welcoming.
And, here’s a clip from Je me complain. A monumentally huge sound in space.
Both clips recorded from the very back of the hall.