As the year draws to a close, here’s a selection of things from the last twelve months that I have enjoyed and would like to share. Have a happy 2013!
Dan Vezza’s Composer Conversations podcast has kept me listening with its utter candour and unpretentious discussion of compositional nitty-gritty since the first episode in September. Dan is not only able to steer good chat, but possibly uniquely qualified to present composers from quite distinct scenes, including composers from both Europe and America, with a wide variety of musical voices.
Tanztheater Wuppertal, 1980 - Ein Stück von Pina Bausch — I was lucky enough to catch the revival of this Pina Bausch choreography at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris twice in the spring. The performance, which lasts almost four hours, is an astonishing meditation on loss and farewell with an intensity and breadth that completely bowled me over.
Piaras Hoban, stamme : nahuskild : 존재감 — I met Piaras and heard this piece at Fondation Royaumont in September. There is something wonderfully bold and forceful in the way this work unfolds, letting sound slip into a kind of unpredictable, mystical dimension.
In a much briefer vein, here is Tim McCormack’s Apparatus vividly performed by young German ensemble hand werk at this year’s edition of the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik.
Neil Luck, Fiona Bevan & ARCO, Last Wane Days — This two-track EP collaboration between composer Luck and singer-songwriter Bevan around texts by Richard Foreman performs the kind of ADHD-evoking stylistic leaps that one might expect of Van Dyke Parks and yet somehow hangs together with a weird, geeky cohesion. The music is linked to Luck’s ‘Notebook’ performance project, a video of which is also worth watching.
Old(er) things new to me
Don DeLillo, White Noise
E.E. Cummings, ViVa
Werner Herzog, Herz aus Glas
Heinrich Schütz, Historia Der Auferstehung Jesu Christi, Ricercar Consort, Mark Padmore et al.
Mark Andre, iv 4, Ensemble Alternance
Robert Phillips, Mapuana mai kekahi (scent of another), The Nonsense Company