During the interval of BBC Radio 3’s live concert broadcast on Friday 2 March, you can hear me talking to King Edward Musical Society chairman Tim Ward about my orchestral work June Unfolding, which they premiered last summer as part of the celebrations for the 750th anniversary of the royal charter of Macclesfield. The piece was written as part of Sound and Music, Making Music and PRS for Music Foundation’s Adopt a Composer project, so many thanks go to them for pairing me up with KEMS. As well as us talking, you’ll also get to hear some excerpts of my piece and about the collaboration between Andrew Hall and Essex Symphony Orchestra. Listen in!
On Saturday 21 January, La leggerezza delle città will be played as part of the 2012 edition of the San Francisco Tape Music Festival. The three-day festival will, among other things, celebrate the 100th birthday of John Cage alongside a selection of electronic music from around the world, including pieces by Joseph Anderson, Matthew Barnard, Martin Bédard, Christopher Burns, Dan Joseph, Orestis Karamanlis, Stelios Manousakis, Émilie Payeur, Alexander Schubert, Adam Basanta and John Young.
Thanks go to Matt Ingalls and the rest of the festival team for organising everything and programming my piece. And as always Irma and Davitxun, without whom the piece wouldn’t exist.
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.
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, Concertini — Ensemble Intercontemporain’s performance of Lachenmann’s spatialised ensemble work Concertini at the end of November reminded me that he is without equal.
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!
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’.
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).