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Happy New Year!

Last year I put together a lengthy look at good stuff I’d seen, heard and read. To close this year, here are some much briefer notes on some of the best things I encountered in the last 12 months.

Sunset - August 2011

Richard Craig, Inward — Without a doubt the best disc of new music I’ve heard this year, as the Rambler foretold. Either Spotify it or buy it now.

Dmitri Kourliandski, Negative Modulations — One of the first concerts I heard after moving to Paris in September was by the young ensemble Le Balcon. They introduced me to this wonderful ensemble, electronics and video piece. Here’s an mp3.

Evan Parker, Peter Evans & Okkyung Lee — Parker’s reputation barely needs any burnishing and performing in this trio in November he was liquid brilliance as was to be expected, but it was young American trumpeter Peter Evans who really shone. Improvising at its best.

Helmut Lachenmann / EIC, ConcertiniEnsemble Intercontemporain’s performance of Lachenmann’s spatialised ensemble work Concertini at the end of November reminded me that he is without equal.

Drew Baker, microscript — This 10-minute work, played here by Chicago’s Ensemble Dal Niente, was one of my favourite recordings found online this year.

2011 was really notable for being a year when I finally found time to read some of my stack of waiting books. If you pick anything to read in 2012, make it David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest. There is no question in my mind that it is one of the most wonderful books of the 20th Century and at just one thousand pages long, at least a thousand too short.

See you in 2012!

Small Atlas at the Fondation Biermans-Lapôtre

Soundinitiative at Fondation Biermans-Lapôtre poster

On Monday 5 December, soundinitiative will give their second performance of my Small Atlas at the Fondation Biermans-Lapôtre — the Belgian-Luxembourgish house at the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris (and my current home). The concert, which is free, begins at 20:30 and also features music by Oscar Bianchi, Kaija Saariaho, Stefan van Eycken, Philippe Leroux and Fausto Romitelli. To get there, take the RER B to Cité Universitaire.

All will be welcomed and we can make merry after the concert, courtesy of the obligatory ‘pot de bienvenue’.

Listings: soundinitiative | Venue | Facebook | CIUP

La leggerezza delle città on Rádio MEC FM

Apartments in Madrid (September 2010)

Composer Rafael Valle is putting together a series of radio programmes for Brazil’s Rádio MEC FM on the music of young composers in Europe who work with electroacoustic media. The first edition is this Wednesday and will feature my tape piece La leggerezza delle città alongside the wonderful Second String Quartet by Aurélio Edler-Copes (which I previously mentioned in my round up of 2010).

You can find out more about the programme on the Rádio MEC Eletroacústicas webpage where you can also hear a podcast of the progamme (available to download at radiotube).

Small Atlas in Paris

soundinitiative at Conservatoire de Saint-Cloud poster

This Saturday, Paris’s newest new music ensemble soundinitiative will perform my Small Atlas in an afternoon recital at the Conservatoire de Saint-Cloud. The performers in my piece are Paolo Vignaroli, Joshua Hyde, Fabienne Séveillac and Shira Legmann. There’s a really great programme lined up with music by Salvatore Sciarrino, Giacinto Scelsi, Julien Malaussena, Yoshifumi Tanaka and Simon Steen-Andersen, so if you’re in the Paris area, you should definitely try and make it.

For me it’s a first to hear the same piece played three times in fairly quick succession by three different groups of musicians — a real pleasure. See you there!

Listings: soundinitiative | Facebook

Small Atlas in Manchester

Raise Your Voice @ International Anthony Burgess Foundation flyer

Everyone in Manchester should come to the International Anthony Burgess Foundation this Friday evening for what promises to be an exciting evening of new music, ranging from experimental new works to improvisation and jazz. The programme includes the UK première of my most recent work, Small Atlas by the Raise Your Voice Ensemble’s Jenny Dyson, Jon Guy, Rebecca Lea and Aaron Parker alongside works by Steve Reich, Morton Feldman, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Malcolm Hayes. The evening also features performances by good friends Trio Atem — performing works by Tom Coult, more Feldman, Ian Vine, Martin Iddon, Harrison Birtwistle, Toru Takemitsu, Georges Aperghis and Michael Mayhew — and finishes with a set from the recently-formed 265 Quartet. Tickets are a bargain at £3!

Listings: Facebook | Official site | The Sampler | Last.fm | Songkick

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