28 May 2014

Life after a commission

Many composers will tell you that it's good to get a commission, but even better to get a repeat performance. It's inspiring that Handel's Messiah was such a sell-out in Dublin, it had to be repeated in London. Handel did write flops though, and was smart enough to recycle the best bits of them when hurriedly writing the Messiah!
The reason I'm going on about 2nd performances is that 'Dividuels', a piece by Richard Bullen which I was proud to première in Handel House, got another outing at the Cello Factory, in London's Waterloo, with Ellie Fagg, Tom Norris of the LSO, Gregor Riddell, and a Handel-diva appearance from my sister Ziazan (pictured, haughtily).

The piece was made for players to perform simultaneously in different rooms within Handel House, so I was impressed to see how well it adapted to different, and equally beautiful, architecture.

I won't say too much about the piece, as I've filmed an interview with Richard, which I'll post soon, so he can tell you himself.


We also shared the space with the art of Maya Ramsay, who transplants the wall surfaces from derelict and dangerous buildings.

There was an eerie, skin-thin piece of Bletchley Park hanging behind us, so I decided to give 'From The Unseen World' a 2nd performance – a piece I wrote based on a postcard sent by Alan Turing (pictured below).
I performed it at Handel House last year, and this time Gregor Riddell and I overlaid a simple harmonic pattern, which I hope Turing would have appreciated. It was certainly a moving experience for me, as a great admirer of his work, and courage.

I've got to get back to preparing for a concert in Handel's music room tomorrow with Liam Byrne (viol da gamba), and putting the finishing touches on my final CiR concert series this November!

Speak soon...





28 January 2014

24 January 2014

Thank you

Hello everyone
Now we've stepped into the new year, I'd like to thank everyone who contributed to my concert season last year. 
I'll avoid an Oscar-type blub, but I'm touched that there are still such different ways that art is created, by so many.

Please accept this cat as a token of thanks, and know that I had a lot of help from my mum (who had help from her mum).



It's rare when museums not only conserve artefacts, but celebrate innovative live art - so thank you to the volunteers, sponsors and staff.

I collaborated with many artists for the first time, and was lucky to be introduced to them by either the LSO, Resonance FM, or Serious Take Five (with the exception of my sister, who was introduced to me by the NHS).

Lastly but not ghastly, the thing which filled me with hope and happiness during the series was the truly diverse audiences, and the inspiring world-premières by some of the best composers I know.

If you found this post too sickly sweet, stick with my blog anyway, I get more bitter as the year wears on ;)



Meanwhile, my gratitude to :

Sarah Bardwell 
Richard Bullen
Manu Delago
Satoko Doi Luck
Ellie Fagg
Antonia Grant 
Nina Horrocks-Hopayian
Hugh Jones
Fiona Livingstone
Elo Masing
Chris Montague
Tom Norris
Martel Ollerenshaw 
Charlotte Pyke
Gregor Riddell
Ella Roberts
Rob Sczymanek 
Trudi Stevens
Lydia White
Kate Whitlock
Martin Wyatt
Raymond Yiu
Mum & Dad

23 October 2013

The Art of the Duel ft. Cevanne and Chris Montague

Here is a radio interview we broadcast on Resonance FM the other day which features a preview of our performance on Thursday 24 October

4 August 2013

'The Art of The Duel' October gigs


For two Thursdays and two Sundays in October, Handel House will be filled with DUELLING. I'm sure Jimi and George would approve. I've got us a MEGA-line-up... 

CREWDSON (Matthew Herbert), CHRIS MONTAGUE (Troyka), MANU DELAGO (Björk), DAVID WRIGHT (Red Priest), TOM NORRIS (LSO), GREGOR RIDDELL (Solstice String 4tet), ELLIE FAGG, RAYMOND YIU, RICHARD BULLEN, ROBERT SZYMANEK, NINA HORROCKS-HOPAYIAN and more TBA...










produced with Handel House MuseumLSO SOUNDHUB & TRUDI STEVENS

Booking Information Tickets: £9, £5 students Booking line: 020 7399 1953

ELLIE FAGG & TOM NORRIS 
Thursday 17 October, 6.30-7.30pm

Ellie and Tom are astounding violinists who perform across the world with the LSO, Puertas Quartet and Living Room London. They are also husband and wife. With a programme exploring the balance and infinity of ground bass, a duet may become a duel. I'll be there with voice and harp to mediate and agitate.





LSO Soundhub composer feature : Richard Bullen
Thursday 17 October 
He is a master of making use of performance space to heighten perception of sound, structure and the drama inherent in the musical material. He is writing a piece especially for us in the spacial acoustics of Handel House.



CREWDSON 
Sunday 20 October, 2-4pm
Hugh ‘Crewdson’ Jones is a prolific inventor and who performs with Matthew Herbert. He has created an electronic concertina inspired by the subtlety of acoustic folk instruments. The ‘Concertronica’ will sample and manipulate my harp to create modern British folk songs. The duel of electronics and acoustics will be so entangled, you will not know where one ends and the other begins. His exquisite inventions will be exhibited on the same day, with an interactive demo from the maestro himself.



LSO Soundhub composer feature : Robert Szymanek
Sunday 20 October
He's a composer, singer, songwriter and producer with a thirst for the eclectic. He's creating something especially for this event, and at present it's TOP SECRET!


CHRIS MONTAGUE 
Thursday 24 October, 6.30-7.30pm
Chris (of Troyka) is a virtuosic guitarist described by Jazzwise as ‘one of the most imaginatively skilled young axesmiths on the London scene’. In this concert, he will battle blues, Baroque and memories and emotions will be captured in ‘Pandora’s music box’ (which I'm making). 


THE EVE OF BATTLE Oratorio feat. MANU DELAGO 
Sunday 27 October, 2-4pm
 What if Eve were a codebreaker, who resurfaces throughout time, with different names, different faces? A duel of storytellers in music, eager to claim their version of Eve as the best: Björk’s percussionist Manu Delago versus Red Priest’s harpsichordist David Wright; Cellist Gregor Riddell against Bel Canto singer Nina Horrocks-Hopayian. Accounts of Persephone, Pandora, and even Alan Turing may become ammunition. For the first time, this duel pits one of the newest instruments, the hang (and its leading virtuoso) against Handel’s weapon of choice. Whose tale will triumph? The Eve of Battle is a world-première commissioned by Handel House.



LSO Soundhub composer feature : Raymond Yiu
Sunday 27 October
It's such an honour that this award-winning composer it writing especially for my collaborative oratorio. He'll create a cello piece for Chang'e, the Chinese moon goddess, to form one of the Eve tales in our battle.






Booking Information Tickets: £9, £5 students | Booking Line: 020 7399 1953