CeReNeM Newsletter, December 2017

It has been a busy start to the 2017–18 academic year for the Centre for Research in New Music, with extensive activity from both staff and students. In the first term we’ve welcomed several international guests including Clara Iannotta, the artistic director of Bludenzer Tage zeitgemäßer Musik (Austria), Prof Lyn Goeringer from Michigan State University, composer Christopher Trapani as part of hcmf//, and the New York ensemble loadbang, who presented a concert of original student compositions alongside pieces by Martin Iddon, Evan Johnson, Paula Matthusen, and Taylor Brook. Meanwhile, the Creative Coding Lab welcomed Prof Hans Tutschku from Harvard University to its seminar series, where he presented a lecture entitled ‘Technology: The expressive extension of my artistic sensibility’. CeReNeM also helped organise and host an hcmf// Composition Masterclass for emerging, female-identifying composers with Hilda Paredes as part of CeReNeM’s larger commitment towards addressing issues of gender, inclusivity, and equity of opportunity in new music.

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Huddersfield Contemporary Records (HCR) has released three albums since June. Former CeReNeM Professor Peter Ablinger‘s Verkündigung was released in September, followed by two double-CD releases in November by Apartment House: Patterns of Connection, the first major survey of the music of British experimental composer Michael Parsons, and CC, a product of Apartment House’s long and rich engagement with the music of John Cage and Christian Wolff. Patterns of Connection and CC have received several positive reviews in outlets including The Guardian and The Wire. And 2018 is shaping up to be another exciting schedule of releases for the label, with upcoming recordings featuring performances by Sam Pluta (University of Chicago), Chris Mercer (Northwestern University), Katherine Young, the Bozzini Quartet, Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, and more!

Staff Publications and other Research Activity

In September, Bryn Harrison, Mary Bellamy and Philip Thomas completed a successful tour of Canada with the Bozzini Quartet as part of CeReNeM’s Bozzini+ project. Bryn Harrison’s Piano Quintet received its first performance in Montreal, Quebec, on 18th September 2017, and has been subsequently performed in Toronto (19.09.17) and at hcmf// (21.11.17). Mary Bellamy’s quintet Beneath an ocean of air was premiered in Montreal (25.09.17), with a follow-up performance at hcmf// (21.11.17). Both pieces are scheduled for release on HCR in 2018, along with a new work by Prof Monty Adkins pairing the Bozzini Quartet with Scottish fiddler Sarah-Jane Summers.

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In June the Cage Concert for Piano and Orchestra project (AHRC 2015–18), led by Prof Philip Thomas, hosted the Performing Indeterminacy conference. The conference saw 87 attendees, drawn from across the UK and (in no particular order) Ireland, USA, Belgium, Australia, Norway, Canada, Spain, Austria, Netherlands, and Germany. Keynote presentations were delivered by Catherine Laws (University of York), Benjamin Piekut (Cornell University) and Christian Wolff (Dartmouth College), as well as a presentation from Laura Kuhn from the John Cage Trust. The conference included an evening concert, with Apartment House performing Cage’s Concert for Piano and Orchestra and the world premiere of Christian Wolff’s Resistance, a new work specifically commissioned for this programme.

In addition, Philip performed with the Bozzini Quartet, Edges Ensemble, and Ensemble Grizzana at hcmf// in November, and with Apartment House at the London Contemporary Music Festival in December, performing works across those events by Robert Ashley, Jürg Frey, Magnus Granberg, Galina Ustvolskaya, Michael Parsons, and Chris Newman, amongst others.

Dr Bryn Harrison was an artist in residence at Sound Scotland, Aberdeen, as British mentor for the Composer’s Kitchen with the Bozzini String Quartet from 23–27 October. This project was undertaken in collaboration with Sound and Music and Sound Scotland. Bryn is currently completing work on a multi-authored book, together with Jennie Gottschalk and CeReNeM alumnus Richard Glover, for Bloomsbury on musical temporality, set to be published in 2018.

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The fourth edition of TCPM (Tracking the Creative Process in Music) was held in Huddersfield in September, coordinated by Prof Michael Clarke and Dr Frédéric Dufeu. This relatively new conference focuses on an area of growing importance in music research, the study not just of completed works but also of the creative processes by which they are generated. Keynote lectures were given by Laudan Nooshin from City University, London and Gianmario Borio from the University of Pavia, Italy. Evening workshops highlighted the range of music research at Huddersfield, including one by Prof John Bryan and the Rose Consort of Viols, and another by Huddersfield performance and composition PhD students Linda Jankowska and Pablo Vergara. The conference was attended by approximately 100 delegates from 20 countries.

Version 2Prof Aaron Cassidy’s piece The wreck of former boundaries, which received its UK premiere by the ELISION ensemble at hcmf// in 2016, was a finalist for the 2017 British Composer Awards in the Chamber Ensemble category. Meanwhile, Cassidy’s The Pleats of Matter, for electric guitar and electronics, was given its Chilean premiere at the XXVII Festival de Música Contemporánea, Instituto de Música, Santiago, in late November by CeReNeM alumnus Diego Castro, with a follow-up performance at the Relincha Festival in Valdivia. In October, he was in Austin, Texas, for a weeklong residency with the Line Upon Line percussion trio working towards a new work to be premiered in 2019, and a guest lecture at Southwestern University. The Austin visit coincided with concerts by ELISION in their Texas debut, in which Ben Marks performed Aaron’s two trombone solos, Because they mark the zone where the force is in the process of striking and songs only as sad as their listener, and Richard Haynes performed Prof Liza Lim’s Sonorous Body for solo clarinet. Aaron joined the ensemble on electronics in a performance of Codex IV by Richard Barrett. In February, Cassidy will be one of the featured composers (along with CeReNeM friend Robert Normandeau) at the Florida Contemporary Music Festival in Gainesville, giving several lectures and masterclasses, and culminating with a portrait concert of six works for clarinet (Carlos Cordeiro), trombone (Weston Olencki), and electronics.

Prof Robert Adlington hosted the two-day Finding Democracy in Music symposiumin September19 speakers representing eight different countries delivered papers addressing a wide array of musical practices, including keynote papers from Prof Georgina Born (University of Oxford) and Prof Tina Ramnarine (Royal Holloway, University of London) and contributions from fellow CeReNeM researchers Prof Philip Thomas and Dr Ben Spatz. Work is now underway on an edited volume arising from the conference, to be co-edited with Prof Esteban Buch (EHESS, Paris). Robert is also writing a new monograph, provisionally entitled Musical Models of Democracy, work from which has been presented at the Performing Indeterminacy conference at University of Leeds (30.06–02.07.17), the Music Since 1900 Conference at University of Surrey (12–15.09.17) and the Annual Meeting of the American Musicological Society in Rochester, New York (9–12.11.17). In September 2018, Robert will deliver a keynote paper on this topic at the annual conference of the Royal Musical Association Conference, University of Bristol.

Prof Liza Lim has given a number of high-profile keynotes this academic year including at the Women in the Creative Arts Conference at the Australian National University in Canberra and a talk for the Best Practice in Artistic Research event at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. She was invited to ‘Sound & Story’ at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin, where she presented on the subject of ‘time, possession and ventriloquism’ in her operas. She was a featured composer at the Shanghai New Music Week in September, with concerts and lectures focused on her music. Other performances of note include How Forests Think at New York’s Lincoln Center by the International Contemporary Ensemble with Wu Wei, conducted by Baldur Brönnimann; performances by Ensemble Musikfabrik of solo works at the Berlinerfestspiele and of the large song cycle Tongue of the Invisible at the Philharmonie Essen; a reprise of a very early string quartet Hell (1992) by the Arditti String Quartet at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston; and cellist Séverine Ballon playing An ocean beyond earth at the Venice Biennale, in San Francisco and in Bludenz. She is currently working on a large-scale work for Klangforum Wien, which will be premiered at the Wittenertage für neue Kammermusik and Vienna Konzerthaus (Extinction Events and Dawn Chorus), and a work commissioned by Speak Percussion supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and Creative Victoria (Atlas of the Sky) that will premiere next June in Melbourne.

Prof Pierre Alexandre Tremblay and Dr Alex Harker were also in Shanghai this autumn as part of the 2017 International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), where Prof Tremblay’s Bucolic & Broken was performed as part of the conferences concert series, and where Dr Harker presented a paper on his current software development project, entitled ‘FrameLib: Audio DSP using Frame of Arbitrary Length and Timing’.

Prof Tremblay has completed a one-hour commission for Czech Radio entitled Attempts at Stillness, which was written in PA’s studio between April and November 2017 and features the voices of Pavel Klusak, Édouard Levasseur, and Maxime Levasseur. Attempts at Stillness can be heard here.

In addition, a number of funded PhD studentships have been announced for Prof Tremblay’s €2m Fluid Corpus Manipulation project (FluCoMa), Prof Michael Clarke’s €2.5m Interactive Research in Music as Sound project (IRiMaS), and an open call in New Music Studies with Prof Robert Adlington. These calls will see five new PhD candidates join the music department’s team of postgraduate researchers from 2018-2022.

01-usherhillProf Monty Adkins has released two full-length LPs in the past few months: A Year At Usher’s Hill was released on Eilean Records (France), and Shadows and Reflections was released on Cronica (Portugal). Both have been broadcast widely across Europe and beyond, receiving positive reviews and mentions in UK publications 5:4 (5against4) and The Wire, and in European publications such as Rockerilla, BlowUp, Ambient Blog, and The Domain of the Gods. A Year At Usher’s Hill was also featured in its entirety by Bérangère Maximin on the Territories of Sound radio program. 

Several of Monty’s compositions have been performed internationally over the second half of this year. Glass Feathers for taragato and electronics was premiered by Nicole Canham at the Anzac Memorial Centre in Canberra on 26th October. Winter Tendrils for cello and electronics was performed by CeReNeM alumnus Seth Parker Woods in Chicago on the 23rd June, in Washington on 22nd of October and Seattle on 9th December as part of the Non-Sequitur Series. Rear View, co-composed with CeReNeM MA composer Susie Green for the experimental theatre company IOU, received over 80 performances over the summer at the Greenwich and Docklands International Festival, Festival of Thrift (Redcar), Out There Festival (Norfolk), Batley Festival (West Yorkshire), Festival of Transport (Blackpool), and the Norwich and Norfolk Festival. Shadow World | Freud’s House, an installation produced in collaboration with Brass Art, was exhibited at the Museum Nacional de Arte Contemporanea, Porto from 5th–7th July. 

The 2nd edition of the Cambridge Companion to Electronic Music went to print in December. Edited by CeReNeM’s Dr Julio d’Escrivan and Dr Nick Collins (University of Durham), the latest edition features a new chapter by Prof Monty Adkins, entitled ‘Extending the instrumental sound world using electronics’, alongside contributions from Natasha Barrett, Karlheinz Essl, Ge Wang, and artist statements by Laurie Spiegel, Pauline Oliveros, George Lewis, and John Oswald, amongst others.

Screen (13)Dr Hyunkook Lee‘s Applied Psychoacoustics Lab (APL) released an app at the Audio Engineering Society (AES) convention in New York in October. The app, called MARRS (Microphone Array Recording and Reproduction Simulator), is an interactive and intelligent tool for sound source localisation prediction in recording. It can interactively visualise the predicted perceived position of each sound object for any microphone array configuration, and can also recommend the correct microphone array configuration for a desired stereo width in recording. Useful for recording engineers and students, the app can be downloaded freely from iOS and Android app stores. APL also released an open-access library of microphone array impulse responses (IRs), called MAIR (Microphone Array Impulse Responses), including over 2000 IRs captured in Huddersfield’s St. Paul’s Hall for 13 loudspeaker positions with 39 different microphone configurations from 2-channel stereo to 9-channel 3D audio. The library comes with a convenient Max-based convolution renderer so the user can easily compare and mix different microphone techniques and create virtual ensemble recordings in 3D.

Siglo de Oro recordingIn addition to these major software releases, Hyunkook has published three journal papers (in Applied Sciences, and the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society) and three conference papers since July. In September he recorded the London-based choir Siglo de Oro in 3D at Merton College Chapel, in collaboration with Delphian Records. The album will be released in Pure-Audio Blu-ray formats that will include 9.1 Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D versions of the recording, as well as 5.1 surround and 2.0 stereo. The recording was made using his own 3D microphone technique called PCMA-3D.

In September and October, Dr Ben Spatz and the research team of the project Judaica: Embodied Laboratory in Songwork (AHRC 2016-2018) shared their work at more than twenty venues across three countries. Ben kicked off the series of presentations by analyzing power dynamics in collaborative embodied research at Prof Adlington’s Finding Democracy in Music conference. Along with Nazlıhan Eda Erçin and Agnieszka Mendel, they then traveled to Poland and the USA, where they presented at major universities, performing arts venues, and Jewish cultural centres. A complete calendar of these events can be found here. Further events for the development and presentation of this work will follow in venues across the UK and Europe over the course of 2018. 

Further enquiries: Sam Gillies, CeReNeM Manager, cerenem@hud.ac.uk

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CeReNeM Newsletter, June 2017

We have many wonderful achievements to celebrate at CeReNeM as we come to the end of this academic year, including major research grant success, publications, premieres, conferences and a programme of exceptional visiting artists and researchers. The end of the 2016-17 academic year also marks the end of my time as Director of CeReNeM. These past 9 years have been a time of remarkable transformation and internationalisation for the Centre at Huddersfield and I’ve been privileged to work with so many inspiring and visionary colleagues and students. I’m pleased to announce that Prof. Aaron Cassidy takes over as Director of CeReNeM as of the end of August 2017. I will continue at Huddersfield in a part-time visiting role. (Liza Lim)

Prof. Michael Clarke, Major ERC Grant Success

Our warmest congratulations go to Prof. Michael Clarke who has been awarded an ERC Advanced Grant for c.€2 million to lead a five year project entitled “Interactive Research in Music as Sound (IRiMaS): Transforming Digital Musicology”. The project is based at Huddersfield and begins in January 2018. Prof Robert Adlington will be one of the lead experts also involved in the project. More information here.

Announcing CeReNeM Scholarships for 2017-18

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We are excited to announce the recipients of our 2017 PhD Scholarship call. The Jonathan Harvey Scholarship in Composition will be held by Hakan Ulus, a German-Turkish composer who comes to us following studies at the Mozarteum University Salzburg, the HMT Leipzig, and the HfMDK Frankfurt. Hakan’s work has been performed by many of the leading international ensembles for contemporary music, including ensemble recherche, Ensemble SurPlus, Ensemble Aventure, Ensemble Intercontemporain, and the Talea Ensemble. 

James Simmons Portrait and Wedding PhotographyThe Denis Smalley Scholarship in Electronic Music will be held by James Bradbury, who has recently completed Master of Music studies at the University of Western Australia in Perth. James has previously been awarded the Callaway Medal and the Edith Cowan Prize, and was the 2016 Schenberg Fellow. In addition to his affiliation with CeReNeM, James’s research will also be supported by the activities of the Creative Coding Lab (CCL).

Sophie FetokakiThe Duncan Druce Scholarship in Performance will be held by Sophie Fetokaki, an interdisciplinary performer whose work incorporates singing, acting, dance, literature, composition, and the music of oral traditions. Sophie comes to Huddersfield following studies at the Conservatoire of Amsterdam, City University London, University of Amsterdam, City Literary Institute, and Trinity Laban Conservatoire, and her PhD research will be supported by affiliations with both CeReNeM and the Huddersfield Centre for Performance Research (HuCPeR).

These three were selected from a record-setting applicant pool. Across all music disciplines, we received 85 applications for MA and PhD places, the vast majority of which were from overseas applicants. CeReNeM’s incoming postgraduate class for autumn 2017 represents an exceptionally diverse collection of talented composers, performers, programmers, improvisers, and interdisciplinary artists, extending the tradition of CeReNeM’s vibrant postgraduate research culture.

Publications and other Research Activity

Huddersfield Contemporary Records (HCR) has put out its 13th release with The wreck of former boundaries. Officially released on May 19, the CD is distributed by NMC Recordings.  This album presents two major new works by Liza LHCR13CD Cover 4000 RGBim and Aaron Cassidy, commissioned to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the ELISION Ensemble. The works foreground the virtuosic, innovative talents of the musicians of ELISION, integrating the ensemble’s expertise in improvisation alongside novel instrumental techniques developed in collaboration with these performers.

Regular CeReNeM collaborator, Angela Guyton has made a wonderfully dynamic video about Prof. Aaron Cassidy’s The wreck of former boundaries. Cassidy describes the work as ‘a double trumpet concerto conceived for the unique talents of Tristram Williams and Peter Evans. Its wild, visceral virtuosity liquidates geometric, architectural, and latticed structures in favour of sinuous, sculptural, and shape-shifting instability.’

 

In the meantime HCR are preparing two new CDs which will be released in Autumn 2017 featuring the work of Peter Ablinger (Verkündigung, “Annunciation”, HCR14CD) and the music of Michael Parsons performed by Apartment House and Philip Thomas (HCR15CD).

In December 2015, a musical moment was captured when touring artists Marilyn Crispell (piano) and Raymond MacDonald (saxophones) were joined by Prof. Pierre Alexandre Tremblay (bass guitar, laptop) in St. Paul’s PATconcert hall. A real treat for improvised music aficionados, the gig’s magic was captured in high fidelity, mixed by Tremblay, and was released in December last year on the esteemed British improvisation label Bruce’s Fingers.

Prof. Tremblay was also the guest composer at BEAST FEaST 2017, having been commissioned to write a new work for the prestigious Birmingham-based loudspeaker orchestra. Tremblay is no stranger to large multichannel speaker configurations, and this project allowed him to explore first-hand his proposed solutions to the aesthetic, pragmatic and technical issues that present in such multichannel setups. Since then, Tremblay is back in the studio to mix a duet opus with Tom Challenger slated to be released at Frome Festival in July, as well as recording Light.box’s second album for release in Autumn.

Dr Bryn Harrison was the British mentor for the 2017 edition of the Composer’s Kitchen. Between April 18-25 Bryn worked with composers Lawrence Dunn, Sarah Lianne Lewis, Rebecca Bruton and Jason Doell and members of the Bozzini Quartet at Concordia University in Montreal, participating in workshops, discussions and rehearsals culminating in a public performance on April 25.

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Prof. Monty Adkins’ new commission for the Bozzini Quartet – Water’s Edge (2017) – was premiered in Montreal, Canada in April. An evening length work, comprising nine movements, Water’s Edge was designed as a concert piece for Sarah Jane Summers and the Bozzini Quartet, with Monty Adkins performing electronics. Adkins’ work is the first of three new pieces by CeReNeM staff to be performed by the quartet as part of the Bozzini+ Project, with works by Dr Bryn Harrison and Dr Mary Bellamy due to follow in September.

Visiting Research Prof. Miller Puckette made his first visit to the University of Huddersfield as part of his association with CeReNeM’s Creative Coding Lab (CCL), coordinated by Dr Alex Harker. As part of his visit Miller presented two talks discussing the possibilities of electronic music instrument design and the role of scores in electronic music. Miller’s visit follows on from CCL’s other Visiting Research Professor Sam Pluta (University of Chicago) late last year.

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Philip Thomas and Mark Knoop performing John Cage’s Two2 at the Tate Britain

Prof. Philip Thomas and Mark Knoop performed John Cage’s late work for two pianos, Two2 at the Universities of Durham and Huddersfield back in March, and more recently at Tate Britain, launching the exhibition of Cerith Wyn Evans’ ‘Forms in Space’. These performances of Cage’s work provide a strong upbeat to the Performing Indeterminacy conference (June 30 until July 2) where Thomas and Apartment House will also be premiering a major new work by Christian Wolff, ‘Resistance’ for piano and ensemble. Forming a part of Thomas’s AHRC-funded project, ‘John Cage and the Concert for Piano and Orchestra, the conference addresses the performance of indeterminate and experimental musics as its central theme, and is intended as a forum for the exchange of perspectives from musicologists, performers, composers, and a wider audience.

Prof. Robert Adlington will be presenting new work at the Performing Indeterminacy Conference with a paper entitled ‘How democratic is indeterminate music?’ Prof. Adlington convenes a two-day symposium (4-5 Sept) at Huddersfield entitled ‘Finding Democracy in Music’. This will bring together researchers from eight countries to explore different ways in which musical practice may be related to democratic values and processes. Further details on the programme and registration process may be found here: https://democracyinmusic.org/.

Prof. Liza Lim’s composition Ronda – The Spinning World (2016) was premiered by Ensemble Modern at Frankfurt’s Alte Oper and at the Berlinerfestspielhaus earlier this year. Commissioned by Ensemble Modern and DAAD Artists-in-Berlin, and supported by numerous German and Brazilian partners, this was part of ‘Re-Inventing Smetak’, the first project of scale related to the composer, instrument builder, and philosopher Walter Smetak with a rich programme of concerts, conference and exhibition events. The product of a residency in Salvador da Bahia in July 2016, Ronda – The Spinning World explores a Brazilian epistemology of sound and a poetics of listening expressed in its spatial ensemble dynamics.

A further three performances will take place in July as part of Ensemble Modern‘s tour of Brazil. Other international concerts include a programme of works performed by the Cikada Ensemble at National Sawdust, New York, and the US premiere of How Forests Think at the Lincoln Centre’s Mostly Mozart Festival performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble with Wu Wei.

Further enquiries: Sam Gillies, CeReNeM Manager, cerenem@hud.ac.uk

CeReNeM Newsletter, December 2016

This December witnesses the end of another extremely busy period at the Centre for Research in New Music, with extensive activity from both staff and students. Such activity has not gone unnoticed, with Tim Rutherford-Johnson declaring in a recent article in his much-read new music blog, The Rambler, that Huddersfield ‘is surely now the powerhouse for new music in UK academe’.

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Such a declaration is particularly well-timed, given that this is CeReNeM’s 10th anniversary year. CeReNeM was founded in 2006 at a launch event at HCMF, so it was fitting that the anniversary was formally marked with a mirror event at this year’s festival. To mark the occasion, Dr Matthew Sergeant curated an exhibition of CeReNeM’s archive, which was displayed in the Creative Arts Building atrium throughout the HCMF period. The exhibition featured examples from our extensive collection of staff and student scores, photos, video materials and artefacts (including the promotional bookmark distributed to all attendees of the original launch event in 2006!) and attracted a lot of public attention throughout its installation.

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CeReNeM 10th Anniversary Exhibit at //HCMF2016

Staff research activity has been typically productive this term.

Prof. Pierre Alexandre Tremblay has celebrated major grant success this term, receiving approximately €2million of funding from the European Research Council to activate his FluCoMa (Fluid Corpus Manipulation) project. This is a huge achievement for Prof. Tremblay and we offer him our largest possible congratulations as the project goes forward into actualisation. You can read a more substantial blog post about his project online here.

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CeReNeM director, Prof. Liza Lim, has had a particularly busy season, as a host of internationally acclaimed orchestras and ensembles collectively mark an important birthday year. The September to December period has been occupied with over forty performances of her work, occurring in more than ten different countries spread over five continents (a complete list is available here). A comprehensive cross section of her music has been presented, many examples of which were composed during her time as Professor of Composition here at Huddersfield University. Invisibility (2009, for solo cello with two bows) alone has received five performances this season, and the representation of her work expands all the way up (in both time of creation and scale) to her latest opera Tree of Codes (2013-15, produced by MusikFabrik and Oper Köln), performed in Dresden in October, and a broadcast of her 2008 opera The Navigator on Australian radio.]

Both Prof. Liza Lim and Prof. Aaron Cassidy have received major premieres this season with the ELISION Ensemble. Lim’s How Forests Think and Cassidy’s The wreck of former boundaries are substantial 35 minutes works and were first presented at the Bendigo International Festival of Exploratory Music (BIFEM) in Australia before touring to the Tage für neue Musik Zürich and HCMF2016. Both works are due to be released on HCR (Huddersfield Contemporary Records, CeReNeM’s CD label) in the new year.

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Liza Lim’s How Forests Think in rehearsal (Sept 2016)

Prof. Philip Thomas’s ongoing research project Cage and the Concert for Piano and Orchestra (in partnership with the University of Leeds) has continued to make substantial progress this term. The research team have spent time at key archives this year, including the John Cage Collection (Northwestern University), the John Cage manuscripts collection at the New York Public Library, and the John Cage Trust. They have presented on their work at the Fourth Biennial Performance Studies Network conference and at Northwestern University. Next year the team hosts an international conference ‘Performing Indeterminacy’, which includes Thomas playing with Apartment House in John Cage’s Concert for Piano and Orchestra and the world premiere of a new work for piano and ensemble by Christian Wolff.

Bozzini+, CeReNeM’s ongoing research project with the internationally acclaimed Bozzini Quartet has entered its final stages this term. In early November, Prof. Monty Adkins major new work Water’s Edge was premiered by the Bozzinis with folk-violinist Sarah-Jane Summers at the Sound Festival (Aberdeen). Dr Bryn Harrison and Dr Mary Bellamy are finalising their scores written for the quartet and CeReNeM’s own Philip Thomas ready for a set of performances in the UK and Canada next year, as well as recordings to be released on our record label, HCR.

CeReNeM’s newly-launched Creative Coding Lab (CCL) began its first year of operation this term under the direction of Dr Alex Harker. The lab welcomed its PhD scholar Oliver Larkin into its programme of research, alongside the first visit of Dr Sam Pluta (University of Chicago) as its new visiting research fellow.

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Dr Sam Pluta, CCL Visiting Research Fellow

CeReNeM is delighted to have been accepted as the host institution of the 2017 edition of the prestigious ‘Tracking the Creative Process in Music’ (TCPM) conference. Previous editions of the conference were hosted by IRCAM in Paris and Université de Montréal, and  planning for our own edition is now well underway, led by Prof. Michael Clarke and Dr Frédéric Dufeu. The new conference website, which includes details of the conference as they are announced, is available here.

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Our record label, HCR, has continued to grow and develop during this autumn/winter period. Our latest release, Caerulean, from world-renowned clarinettist and CeReNeM PhD student Carl Rosman, was released at a launch event in HCMF2016. Ten years in the making, the disk documents work written for and in collaboration with Rosman, including world premiere recordings from composers Rebecca Saunders and Richard Barrett alongside work by CeReNeM Professor of Composition Aaron Cassidy and PhD student Chikako Morishita.

Prof. Philip Thomas’s June release on HCR – Beat Generation Ballads – has also attracted a large amount of critical attention, being awarded a 4-star review in the Guardian and being included in The Wire magazines ‘top ten contemporary classical releases of 2016.’

As is evident, there is much to report from CeReNeM this term. We pass on our thanks and congratulations to all of our staff and wish everybody a happy holiday period and a refreshed and rejuvenated new year.

Enquiries: Dr Matthew Sergeant [m.sergeant@hud.ac.uk]

FluCoMa: Major Grant Success, December 2016

CeReNeM is delighted to offer huge congratulations to Prof. Pierre Alexandre Tremblay (Studio Director and CeReNeM Professor of Improvisation) on a successful grant from the European Research Council (ERC) worth approximately €2million.

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Prof. Tremblay’s project, FluCoMaFluid Corpus Manipulation: Creative Research in Musical Mining of Large Sound/Gesture Datasets through Foundational Access to the Latest Advances of Signal Decomposition – instigates new musical ways of exploiting ever-growing banks of sound and gestures within the digital composition process. The project will bring breakthroughs in signal decomposition DSP to the toolset of techno-fluent computer composers for the first time.

To expand further, Prof. Tremblay explains

“Cutting-edge musical composition has always been dependent on, critical and subversive of the latest advances of technology. Unfortunately, there is a contemporary challenge inherent to aesthetic research in computer composition: an ever-expanding gap between DSP advances and their availability to musical investigators.

One such advance is signal decomposition: a sound can now be separated into its transient, pitched, and residual constituents. These potent algorithms are partially available in closed software, or in laboratories, but not at a suitable level of modularity within the coding environments used by the creative researchers (Max and SuperCollider) to allow groundbreaking sonic research into a rich unexploited area: the manipulation of large sound corpora. Indeed, with access to, genesis of, and storage of large sound banks now commonplace, novel ways of abstracting and manipulating them are needed to mine their inherent potential.

FluCoMa proposes to tackle this issue by bridging this gap, empowering techno-fluent aesthetic researchers with a toolset for signal decomposition within their mastered software environments, in order to experiment with new sound and gesture design untapped in large corpora. The three degrees of manipulations to be explored are (1) expressive browsing and descriptor-based taxonomy, (2) remixing, component replacement, and hybridisation by concatenation, and (3) pattern recognition at component level, with interpolating and variation making potential. These novel manipulations will yield new sounds, new musical ideas, and new approaches to large corpora. At present, no library exists allowing such cutting-edge research on creative fluid corpus manipulations to be done.”

CeReNeM is extremely proud of Prof. Tremblay’s significant achievement and looks forward to co-hosting his project alongside the university’s HISS (Huddersfield Immersive Sound System) and CLL (Creative Coding Lab) ventures.

Read the official ERC press release here.

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Summer Updates, July 2016

The early summer has been an extremely productive time at the Centre for Research in New Music, with exciting news emanating from both our staff and students.

In late June, Prof. Philip Thomas released a new recording of piano music by composer Michael Finnissy. The disc, entitled Beat Generation Ballads and published on CeReNeM’s record label HCR (distributed by NMC Recordings), has already attracted impressive critical acclaim. Writing in The Guardian, Andrew Clements described the disc as “thoughtful and superbly played – ★★★★”, whereas Philip Clarke described Thomas’s performance in Gramophone as “kept on the tightest structural leash.”

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More recently still, the Another Timbre label has released a new portrait disc of Dr Bryn Harrison’s work. The disc takes its title from Harrison’s forty-minute composition Receiving the Approaching Memory for violin and piano (which occupies the disc’s entire duration), performed by Aisha Orazbayeva (violin) and Mark Knoop (piano). The release has already been highly praised in the national press, described by Kate Molleson in the Guardian as “economical and fantastical […] fine-grained, shimmering material – ★★★★.”

Prof. Pierre-Alexandre Tremblay has begun development of his new audio-visual performance project, codenamed BlackBox. Collaborating with artists, Rodrigo Constanzo, Sylvain Pohu and Patrick Saint-Denis, the project recently entered its first creative development phase via a residency involving all participants, beautifully documented in this short trailer by filmmaker Angela Guyton.

Our students have been equally busy.

PhD student Lawrence Dunn has been taking part in a Sound and Music (SAM) embedded scheme, working with Sounding Motion (specifically members Stephen Upshaw and Imogen Bland) to produce music for movement and viola. Lawrence undertook a substantial interview with SAM for their Sampler magazine, which is available to read here.

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Violinist and improvisor Mira Benjaminwho is approaching her final year of PhD studies within the centre, has been awarded the prestigious Virginia Parker Prize by the Canadian Arts Council. The prize is awarded annually to a young Canadian classical musician who demonstrates outstanding talent, musicianship and artistic excellence, and who makes a valuable contribution to the artistic life in Canada and internationally. The official announcement is available on the Canadian Arts Council homepage, here. Our wholehearted congratulations to Mira on this fantastic achievement.

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Congratulations and huge thanks to all CeReNeM members to all their hard work over this summer period so far. More news coming soon!

Dr Bryn Harrison in Focus, June 2016

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Bryn Harrison has recently returned from a short residency in New York following the successful premiere of a new work, a form in search of itself, scored for soprano voice, five instrumentalists, and live electronics. The piece was commissioned especially for the core players of Wet Ink ensemble, a highly regarded New York-based new music ensemble now in their 17th concert season. The piece is one of an on-going series that outlines similar approaches to form; that of moving gradually from fleeting, ephemeral moments that seem to constantly elude the listener, to a point of immersion, through which events become subjected to greater and greater degrees of repetition. Unusually for Harrison, the score is presented in mobile form through which the players choose their own circuitous routes through the lines of music provided. The result is a dense, contrapuntal texture in which time seems at once both in motion and yet strangely arrested. Harrison has spoken of this process as being both playful and invigorating, noting that it has led to musical results that always contain an element of surprise.

Another new work, Things have never been as much like they are now ever before will be premiered at this year’s summer course at Darmstadt in August. The piece was commissioned by the Norwegian ensemble Asamisimasa – with whom the composer has built up a close working relationship over the last few years – and works on a similar premise, through which material cycles on continually shorter loops. The materials, however, are quite different here; swells of chords from the five-piece ensemble (including wah-wah guitar, electric bass and organ) are juxtaposed and overlaid like plates of glass. The harmonies are continually revisited but in different guises, providing both points of orientation and disorientation for the listener. The composer presents material that at first seems out of reach, but it gradually comes into focus as the piece unfolds over its 35 minute duration.

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Bryn Harrison – Piano Quintet (2016, in progress)

Currently, Harrison is working on an ambitious hour-long piano quintet for pianist Philip Thomas and the Bozzini Quartet, part of CeReNeM’s successful URF research bid.  The piece will receive its premiere early next year, and will subsequently be recorded for release on the HCR label next year. In the meantime, June has seen the release of two works on CD: Five Miniatures in Three Parts, performed by Ensemble Offspring and receiving the approaching memory, Harrison’s second portrait disc on the another timbre label.

 

Speculations 2, May 2016

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Speculations 2, the second edition of Speculations in Sound (a weekend discussion event gathering members from CeReNeM’s Speculations in Sound International Research Network) took place at Queen’s University Belfast on May 7 and 8, 2016. Jointly organised by Michael Clarke (CeReNeM, Huddersfield) and Michael Alcorn (Sonic Arts Research Centre (SARC), QUB) with the support of Matthew Sergeant and Frédéric Dufeu from CeReNeM and Matilde Meireles, Craig Jackson, David Bird, Hannah Casey, and Pearl Young from SARC,these two days of intensive discussions on the three-dimensional spatialisation of sound were associated to the Sonorities festival, including a series of 3D audio concerts in the Sonic Lab at SARC.

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The event was a significant gathering of leading international figures in sound spatialisation, representing many of the major institutions working in this field. These included Natasha Barrett (University of Oslo), Ludger Brümmer (ZKM, Karlsruhe), Bill Brunson (KMH, Stockholm), Gary Kendall (formerly at QUB), Fernando Lopez-Lezcano (Stanford University), Eric Lyon (Virginia Tech), Markus Noisternig (Ircam, Paris), Robert Normandeau (Université de Montréal), David Pirrò (IEM, Graz), Jøran Rudi and Notto Thelle (NoTAM, Oslo), Barry Truax (Simon Fraser University), and Hans Tutschku (Harvard University) in addition to those working in this field at SARC (Trevor Agus, Michael Alcorn and Pedro Rebelo) and at CeReNeM (Michael Clarke, Frédéric Dufeu, Alex Harker and Hyunkook Lee).

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Prior to the event, participants were asked to provide two ‘challenges’ to be printed on postcards – problems or issues they would like to see resolved and requiring different fields of expertise from their own. On the basis of these individual challenges, the participants could exchange, react, and speculate on varied topics such as the compositional practice involving 3D sound, the aesthetic and technical perspectives and limitations of currently developed systems, parameters, abstractions and representations for sound in space, system portability, psychoacoustic studies, and the impact of 3D composition to the audience.

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The distinctive format of the event, with participants sharing questions, problems and aspirations, rather than bringing completed research outcomes, was very positively received by those attending and further follow up meetings in some of the other international centres represented are planned. Speculations 2 was videoed and it is intended that these be transcribed and re-worked with additional material for a publication. The Speculations in Sound website will also be extended as a repository for research materials in this increasingly important area of music technology, and funding for continuing research in this field is to be sought.

[Report by Michael Clarke and Frédéric Defeu. With thanks to Fernando Lopez-Lecano for the use of his photographs.]

Liza Lim – “Tree of Codes” in Focus, April 2016

Tree of Codes, a major new opera by Prof. Liza Lim (Professor of Composition and Director of CeReNeM) has just completed a highly successful premiere season of five performances in Cologne, Germany.

Commissioned in a partnership between Oper Köln, Europäisches Zentrum der Künste (Dresden), and internationally renowned contemporary music ensemble MusikFabrik, Tree of Codes is based on Jonathan Safran Foer’s book of the same name, where a new story is forged by removing – or more precisely physically cutting out – words from Bruno Schulz’s Street of Crocodiles (of which Lim was already a fan prior to Safran Foer’s repurposing).

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Lim describes the opera as ‘tak[ing] place during an extra day grafted on to the continuity of life. Within this margin of secret time, a ‘backstage’ area, the boundaries between the natural world, animals, birds, humans and machines are dissolving. Dead matter is combined with the living and becomes animated. It learns to dream, to speak, to sing…’

‘Cut-outs in time’ also serves the composer as the work’s subtitle – and the phrase certainly introduces the experience of the live work. The idea of a ‘cut out’ is transposed into several multidimensional spaces, manifesting as recurrent senses of voids and farther-reaching glimpses. All the performers – including MusikFabrik’s players – occupy the stage for the majority of the time, framed by and melding with a wireframe set. Characters transpose across bodies through masks. Instrumentalists become singers (MusikFabrik’s Carl Rosman plays both the clarinet and sings the role of the Mutant Bird) and then perform as a cappella choirs. Mute actors entwine with the major singing roles taken by soprano Emily Hindrichs and baritone Christian Miedl. The production was directed by the Swiss director Massimo Furlan with sets, costumes, lighting and video realised with his team from the theatre company Numero23.Prod.

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Tree of Codes, Cologne Opera, photo by Paul Leclaire

There have been strong reactions to the new work in international press. Ulrike Gonforf, writing for DeutschlandRadioKultur, described the work as “an exciting discovery for music theatre, cleverly designed and eminently sensual in sound,” whereas Markus Schwering for Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger stated that “this is an opera which is for, not against the human voice”. UK writer Tim Rutherford-Johnson writing for Limelight Magazine says, “Claims are often made for a new kind of opera, but in Tree of Codes they seemed entirely justified by the true fluidity between music and spectacle, sound and drama”. With additional press attention from Theater PurDie Bühne, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, WDR, NRWJazzVan Magazine and the New York Times, the impact of this first production is already being felt across the world.

CeReNeM offers its warmest congratulations to Prof. Lim for this incredible achievement and looks forward to the resurgence of this production in Dresden later this year.

Report by Matthew Sergeant
[who attended the 3rd performance of the opera in Cologne on 14 April 2016]

Prof. Peter Ablinger in Focus, March 2016

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The first five months of 2016 sees Prof. Peter Ablinger’s music featured in eight countries by some of the world’s leading performers, as well as presentations at international conferences, and a new single-artist CD. With some twenty-five major performances scheduled to May alone, drawing up even a shortlist of highlights from Prof. Ablinger’s activity is difficult. So far this year, he been the subject of an Icelandic portrait concert of five specially selected works and delivered guest lectures at the Institute of Sonology in The Hague and the Institut für Elektronische Musik und Akustik (IEM), Graz, as well as receiving other performances in a diverse array of artistic centres ranging from Helsinki to Hồ Chí Minh City.

Upcoming events of note:

Reykjavik Tectonics Festival (April 14-15) will present Ablinger’s chamber works alongside a performance of his recent Quartz for high orchestra (2015) by the Iceland Symphony under the baton of Ilan Volkov, who conducted the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for the premiere of the work in Glasgow last year. At the end of the month, Ablinger’s second festival feature takes place at Festival Mixtur in Barcelona (April 21 – May 1) where he will lead a composition workshop. The festival programme includes his acclaimed Voices and Piano (begun 1998 and ongoing) performed by Lluisa Espigolé, who will also premiere Ablinger’s new solo piano work Antoni Tapies (2016).

Ablinger was able to share the technology and concepts explored in Voices and Piano earlier this year in Huddersfield, bringing RHEA, the computer-controlled piano he designed in collaboration with Prof. Winfried Ritsch (Institut für Elektronische Musik und Akustik, Graz) for a week-long workshop with students. The project is documented by filmmaker Angela Guyton in the video below.

Ablinger’s third festival feature takes place at the end of May (20-22) at the Tage Neue Musik Graz, in Austria. The programme includes his Second String Quartet (2009/13) with video installation, and surround presentations of three pieces for computer-controlled piano, Quadraturen IIIf (2006), Quadraturen IIIg (2006), and Quadraturen IIIh (2009).

The violinist and member of the influential Wandelweiser Collective, Johnny Chang, also recently released Ablinger’s disc-length work, AUGMENTED STUDY for 16 violins on the Sacred Realism label (SR006). Click here for purchase info.

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Prof. Pierre Alexandre Tremblay wins 2016 Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music, February 2016

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The University of Huddersfield’s Professor of Composition and Improvisation and director of our electroacoustic music studios, Pierre Alexandre Tremblay has been awarded the Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music by the Canada Council for the Arts.

Continue reading “Prof. Pierre Alexandre Tremblay wins 2016 Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music, February 2016”

CeReNeM Newsletter, Autumn 2015

We have had a busy and stimulating semester at the Centre for Research in New Music with highlights including a wonderful ‘robotic piano’ project with postgraduates led by Prof. Peter Ablinger; the first of our international network events ‘Speculations in Sound’, and the launch of a new partnership between our HCR label and NMC Recordings. The transnational identity of the centre continues to develop with fourteen international guests visiting Huddersfield for talks, symposia and studio work, whilst our own staff have matched this research exchange with guest lectures and research residencies in Oslo, Barcelona, Berlin, Mexico and the USA. In September we welcomed 12 new PhD and Masters students, bringing our postgraduate community to 50 members from seventeen countries.

Continue reading “CeReNeM Newsletter, Autumn 2015”

CeReNeM Newsletter, Summer 2015

Another exceptionally busy term and academic year draws to a close here at the Centre for Research in New Music. Thanks to a generous investment from the University of Huddersfield Research Fund (URF), CeReNeM launched itself as a research institute back in January, instigating and cementing new collaborative relationships with major international partners within the sector. As a result, an array of projects are now well underway, spanning the next three years.

Continue reading “CeReNeM Newsletter, Summer 2015”

Prof. Pierre Alexandre Tremblay wins Prix Opus «Disque de l’année»

We congratulate Prof. Pierre Alexandre Tremblay whose recent CD release, La Marée, was awarded the prestigious Prix Opus ‘Disc of the Year’ (Disque de l’année) by the Conseil Québécois de la Musique (CQM) in an awards ceremony on February 1st.

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[Photo courtesy of empreintes DIGITALes]

Released on the empreintes DIGITALes label, this double-CD of mixed music incorporates performances by renowned musicians Peyee Chen (sop.), Jean-François Laporte, Sarah Nicolls (pno) and Heather Roche (cl.).

Of the album itself, PA says:

All the pieces on this album are mixed-music where the soloist has a complex dynamic with its antagonist, the loudspeaker: a dialogue all made of power games. This uneven relationship is reminiscent of the fragility of sandcastles and other human constructions with their daily facing of the patience of the elements. Are these ephemeral joys many revenges over the ineluctable? [La Marée, liner notes]

The compositions were realised in Huddersfield University’s own electronic music studios during June and July 2013 and mastered by Dominique Bassal in Montréal (Québec, Canada) during August 2013.


Meanwhile, PA informs us that his sabbatical year in Berlin continues apace. Last week, his music featured at Berlin’s CTM Festival, the conclusion of his stay as Edgar-Varère-Gastprofessor of Electronic Music Composition at the studios of the Technische Universität Berlin.

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[Pierre Alexandre Tremblay, laptop and electric bass]

PA’s own feedback from the event has been extremely positive. He particularly praised the wide-ranging artistic programming of the festival made it the ideal opportunity to showcase the breadth of his music. Drawing a large audience of curious and open-minded listeners, the venue was also praised. HAU2 is a live-sounding black-box, allowing the seating informally arranged and yet to cut the space with minimal, attention-focusing lighting.

chen[Collaborators Heather Roche, left, and Peyee Chen, stage]

In the event, PA was joined by collaborators (and long-time friends of CeReNeM) Heather Roche (bass clarinet) and Peyee Chen (soprano) and together they presented a set of three pieces, with bass and laptop improvisations from PA himself serving as ‘gelling material’ (to use the the composer’s own terms) between the more composed components.

[nureinwortgenügtnicht – movement I, extract]

La rupture inéluctable (‘The inevitable rupture’) opened the set, fantastically performed by Roche. PA told us that starting a set in an electronic music festival with an acoustic bass clarinet was ‘risky,’ but allowed a strong stage presence to form before being followed by the premiere of nureinwortgenügtnicht (‘onlyonewordisnotenough’), PA’s new electronic work, with the composer himself at the mixing desk. Chen joined the stage during the slow departing gestures of the electronics, performing Tremlay’s short chamber opera for soprano and electronics.

group[More audio excerpts are available on soundcloud. Try nureinwortgenügtnicht extracts 2 and 3]


Links to reviews:

Elecrocd [publisher] compilation of reviews [French/English]

Kindamusik review [Dutch]

M’/ Magazyn review [Polish]

CeReNeM Newsletter, December 2014

A busy first semester comes to a close and there is much to celebrate: the University of Huddersfield’s music department had 85% of its research rated as internationally excellent (41% 3*) and world-leading (44% 4*)  in the recent Research Excellence Framework exercise with its ‘real world’ impact awarded 90% 4* and research environment given 80% 4*. Amongst music departments submitted, Huddersfield was rated 8th nationally by ‘research power’.

These figures of course do not tell the full story – the dedicated passion for their art and expertise of staff and students is reflected in many, more unmeasurable places.

Notwithstanding that, work from CeReNeM has been celebrated with a sheaf of reviews in the national and international press: Dr Philip Thomas’ Feldman CD, recorded with John Tilbury and Huddersfield University-based musicians, Seth Woods, Mira Benjamin, Linda Jankowska, Rodrigo Constanzo, Barrie Webb and Taneli Clarke, received a 5-star review in The Guardian from Andrew Clements who described the recording as transcendentally beautiful.

Philip’s work was multiply showcased during the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, with a solo concert, in chamber music and as director of the Edges Ensemble.

Edges perform Tim Parkinson opera ‘Time with People’, hcmf//2014

Edges, comprising many CeReNeM postgraduate composers and performers, premiered Tim Parkinson’s opera Time with People in the Bates Mill Photography studio at hcmf// and a fascinating discussion of this as well as their performances and installations at the Hepworth gallery appears in a blog from Lawrence Dunn.

Peyee Chen performs Pierre Alexandre Tremblay's chamber opera 'Still, Again', photo: hcmf//2014
Peyee Chen performs Pierre Alexandre Tremblay’s chamber opera ‘Still, Again’, photo: hcmf//2014

Simon Cummings, writing in 5:4, described Prof. Monty Adkin’s new 40-minute work Spiral Paths for hardanger fiddle written for Britt Pernille Frøholm as some of the most ecstatic music I’ve ever heard, and easily among Adkins’ finest work. Also commenting on the 20th Anniversary concert of Electric Spring which featured work by Alex Harker, Michael Clarke, Monty Adkins, Pierre Alexandre Tremblay with performances by Seth Woods and Peyee Chen, Cummings writes, Michael Clarke‘s Enmeshed 3, with Seth Woods on cello, was a breathtakingly effective example of the now very hackneyed ‘call-and-modified-response’ use of live electronics…it’s worth highlighting the material played by the cello, highly eloquent stuff, which Woods delivered with real emotive force. Rift Patterns, by Monty Adkins, was presented in its video trilogy version… I was struck again by Adkins’ superb sense of timing, particularly the slight harmonic kink partway through central movement ‘Ecstatic Drift’. Bringing the concert to an end was Still, Again by Pierre Alexandre Tremblay…Chen’s performance was amusing and affecting, a perfect foil to Tremblay’s rather gloriously mischievous music.

Other reviews of events on 5:4 include the day of concerts in hcmf//shorts and Liza Lim’s work performed by the Norwegian Cikada Ensemble. Paul Driver in The Sunday Times reviewed Edges’ Hepworth gallery performance and of Lim’s music says, ‘The Norwegian Cikada ensemble…displayed contemporary music in what seemed to me to be its most hopeful aspect: two superbly imagined works by the British-based Australian Liza Lim (1966), in which old usages of tonality and a wealth of new approaches are fused without self-conscious intent into a captivatingly ‘followable’ discourse, almost tactile in its aural satisfaction.’ Sunday Times Review, 30 November 2014

A selection of hcmf// concerts has been broadcast on BBC3 including performances by Philip Thomas and music by Liza Lim and Pedro Alvarez.

Lim’s work has been highlighted in The New Yorker, listed in Alex Ross’ Notable Recordings and Performances in 2014 and both her HatArt Cd of orchestral works and Philip Thomas’ Christian Wolff collected piano music on Sub Rosa are mentioned in his ‘Rest is Noise’ CD picks. In the end of year edition of The Wire, Andy Hamilton’s top 10 of modern composition releases for the year has Dr Bryn Harrison’s Vessels (performed by Philip Thomas) as no.4 and Apartment House’s Laurence Crane CDs of chamber works makes it to 35 in the year’s top 50 releases.

Staff movements

We are delighted to announce that Dr Matthew Sergeant (PhD 2013, Huddersfield) has been appointed as the new CeReNeM Centre Manager. He will begin in the post in early January 2015.

Dr Richard Glover (PhD, 2010 and former research fellow and lecturer in composition at Huddersfield) has been appointed Reader in Composition at the University of Wolverhampton and will begin there in February 2015.

Prof. Liza Lim moves to a part-time position in 2015 and will be dividing her time between Melbourne, Australia and Huddersfield. She will continue leading CeReNeM within a directorate structure comprising Prof. Monty Adkins, Prof. Aaron Cassidy and Dr Philip Thomas.

More news to come in the new year…

Merry Christmas and all best wishes for a creative 2015 from CeReNeM.

Philip Thomas, hcmf//2014, photo by Andrew Staveley

Enquiries, l.lim@hud.ac.uk

CeReNeM Newsletter, October 2014

CeReNeM began the academic year by welcoming a cohort of 23 new postgraduates (19 PhD, 4 MARes) bringing our student research community to 51, which includes representation from 18 countries. Many arrived on the preceding weekend for a lively 4-day symposium organised by PhD student Braxton Sherouse with special guest Prof. Clarence Barlow from the University of California Santa Barbara.

CeReNeM induction event, September 2014
CeReNeM induction event, September 2014

For an overview of the year’s activities, see: CeReNeM Seminar & Workshop Series 2014-15

Student successes

Distractfold Ensemble are awarded the 2014 Kranichsteiner Prize for Interpretation at IMD, Darmstadt.

A number of past and current CeReNeM students: Dr Ian Harrison, Kate Ledger, Rodrigo Constanzo, Linda Jankowska as well as Visiting Research Fellow, Richard Craig, are members of Manchester-based Distractfold Ensemble who are making waves internationally. The group was awarded the highly coveted Kranichsteiner Music Prize at this year’s 47th Darmstadt International Summer School. See Chris Fox’s Sound & Music blogpost on the significance of this prestigious win.

New PhD student Sebastien Lavoie has just been awarded one of the top prizes in the CEC Jeu de Temps Competition in Canada. PhD student Lee Chie Tsang received an honourable mention at the 2014 MEETINGS Composition Competition in Denmark. Recent graduate appointments include Dr Jamie Fawcus (PhD 2014) to a Senior Lecturer position at the School of Informatics, University of Skovde, Sweden, and Dr Tamara Friebel (PhD 2013) as Postdoctoral Fellow at the Karl-Franzens-University Graz, Austria where she is working on a 3-year project looking at links between music, mathematics and architecture.

CeReNeM URF grant

CeReNeM has been awarded 3-year funding of £280,000 from the University of Huddersfield’s Research Fund. The grant enables us to move to institute status, appoint a Centre Manager, a Research Fellow and undertake a range of activities focussed on international academic exchange, and industry collaborations in areas of 3D spatialisation, acoustics and audio technology. The centre as new institute will officially begin in January 2015 with Huddersfield hosting an international lecture series ‘Sources of Creativity’ involving staff exchanges with the University of Montreal, University of Harvard and the National University of Singapore amongst others, together with collaborative projects with a number of research institutes and studios from around the world.

CeReNeM Press Highlights

cover366A feature article in the August edition of The Wire Magazine discusses the work of CeReNeM composers and performers highlighting publications on our HCR CD label and with Huddersfield University Press.
See: CeReNeM The Wire, Issue 057 Aug 2014

A follow-up article, Synaesthesia: CeReNeM’s Future Sounds by Abi Bliss also covers the work of staff and students. Do take a look at the article to see the diversity and currency of work being undertaken within the CeReNeM community.

Our CD Exposure (EXAUDI, HCRCD07) has recently had extensive airplay on radio shows in France and Belgium.

 

hcmf// 21-30 November, 2014

The Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival is fast approaching once again and this year’s programme contains a very wide representation of the work of staff and postgraduate students. The festival opens with a tribute concert to Huddersfield Honorary Doctor, the composer Christian Wolff with the Czech Ostravska Banda led by Petr Kotik. The celebrations of Wolff’s 80th birthday continue with a concert on 22 Nov. by Philip Thomas presenting premieres of piano solos written for him by Wolff, Howard Skempton and Michael Finnissy, and in the concert entitled Feldman’s Pianos (25 Nov). Philip also directs the Edges Ensemble in a programme of English Experimental music at the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery (23 Nov).

The 20th Anniversary of Electric Spring (the festival of electroacoustic music initiated by Michael Clarke, Paul Archbold, Chris Fox and Barrie Webb and now directed by Pierre Alexandre Tremblay and Monty Adkins) is celebrated in a concert on 26 Nov. with mixed media works by Alex Harker, Michael Clarke, Monty Adkins + Jason Payne and Pierre Alexandre Tremblay performed by soprano Peyee Chen and PhD ‘cellist Seth Woods.

Phil Minton and PhD bassist/improviser Simon Fell present a concert in Bates Mill on 27 Nov; their CD ‘The Knowledge of its Own Making’ to be released on HCR will be launched at this concert.

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Irvine Arditti receives an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Huddersfield, July 2014

The Norwegian Cikada Ensemble present a concert including 3 works by Liza Lim on 21 Nov. The Arditti String Quartet also perform Lim’s The Weaver’s Knot (2014) in their 40th Anniversary concert (29 Nov). The University of Huddersfield conferred an honorary doctorate on the leader of the quartet, Irvine Arditti, at the July graduation ceremonies.

The work of current students is featured on Monday 24 November in the highly sought-after slots of the hcmf//shorts: Eleanor Cully’s Private Sculpture Series (all day); Chikako Morishita’s work premiered by Two New Duo (11.40am); Diego Castro Magaš with a programme of virtuosic guitar music (12.30pm) and Ryoko Akama presents Eliane Radigue’s music on EMS synthesiser (8pm). Pia Palme and Ryoko Akama join other musicians for Carlos Casas’ Avalanche III.  On 22 Nov. Barcelona ensemble Crossing Lines plays a work commissioned from alumnus Pedro Alvarez with Pedro joining the group on electric guitar.

An evening focussed on drone music on Friday 28 November has Apartment House (with Philip Thomas) presenting the music of Brian Eno followed by a concert with Monty Adkins’ 40-minute composition Spiral Path made in collaboration with Britt Pernille Frøholm (hardanger fiddle) and Jason Payne (video).

Full details can be found in the hcmf// programme booklet.

Research Exchange and recruitment trip, Singapore & Malaysia, September 2014

Prof. Liza Lim, Prof. Aaron Cassidy and PhD student Seth Woods undertook an 8-day programme of lectures, masterclasses, concerts and recruitment meetings in early September visiting 10 secondary and tertiary institutions in Singapore and Malaysia. Highlights include public lectures by Lim and Cassidy presented at Yong Siew Toh Conservatory-National University of Singapore and lectures and a masterclass hosted by the Malaysian Society of Contemporary Composers in Kuala Lumpur. We were very grateful for the assistance provided by our new PhD composition student Chong Kee Yong in organising the Malaysian events. Seth Woods presented his research into ‘The Spine’ & wearable technologies in music performance at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Singapore and SEGi College Subang Jaya also collaborating with improvisers for a concert at La Salle College in Singapore. He then went on to give three concerts in Malaysia.

Results of these visits include the establishment of a research partnership between CeReNeM, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory and the Interactive Design and Media Institute of the National University of Singapore; the recruitment of postgraduate students in composition and a new programme for study-abroad students at Huddersfield. As part of ongoing exchange, we will welcome a group of 10 student composers and performers and 3 staff visiting from the Singaporean secondary school, Raffles Institution, led by composer Hoh Chung Shih during the first weekend of hcmf//.

Prof. Aaron Cassidy, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, National University of Singapore, Sept 2014 (photo: Chong Kee Yong)
Prof. Aaron Cassidy, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, National University of Singapore, Sept 2014 (photo: Chong Kee Yong)

Also see photos of the Malaysian leg of the trip on SMCC’s flickr (photos by Chow Jun Yi).

Other news!

Please see below for news items about recent publications, performances and other activity by Monty Adkins, Rose Dodd, Philip Thomas, Michael Clarke, Frédéric Dufeu, Mark and Julie Bokowiec and Liza Lim.

Enquiries: Prof. Liza Lim, l.lim@hud.ac.uk

Prof. Monty Adkins new publications

portada_vocesProf. Monty Adkins’ Between Lines for ‘cello and electronics performed by  Iracema de Andrade has been released on the CD Voces Electroacústicas. Monty’s work Borderlands, as part of the installation work Totum-One, made in collaboration with Huddersfield staff Dr Deborah Middleton and Dr Ian Gibson, and commissioned by IOU Theatre who focus on digital and interactive theatre-making, was premiered at the Junction Goole in September. See video below; more information here. An extended 38 minute version of the musical work with ‘cellist William Mace will be released on Audiobulb in early 2015.

Prof. Adkins presented joint papers with PhD students Tom Adams and Hali Santamas at EMS Berlin (June 2014) and at the Invisible Places Symposium, Viseu, Portugal. Both papers will be published in the proceedings of the conferences.

Canadian composer and recorder player Terri Hron was in residence in the Huddersfield studios during May-July 2014. Monty has been working with her on a new work which will be completed in Montreal next January 2015 as part of an exchange between CeReNeM, CIRMMT and the University of Montreal.