Dr Rupert Till: AHRC grant success

CeReNeM Newsletter, December 2012


Dr Rupert Till
Dr Rupert Till

Congratulations to Dr Rupert Till on his award of an AHRC grant for his project ‘Songs of the Caves: acoustics and prehistoric art in Cantabrian caves’ (£100,000, Feb-Dec 2013). This will involve the study of the Altimira prehistoric cave system world heritage site, looking at the relationships of acoustics and paintings, making in-situ recordings of reconstructions of prehistoric instruments and taking acoustic measurements. Dr Till leads the project in collaboration with members of the archaeology department at Durham University and researchers from Cantabria, Valladolid and Zaragoza Universities, as well as the Cantabrian Regional government.


Prof. Liza Lim, opera projects

The full video of Liza Lim’s opera The Navigator (2008) is now available online as part of the Institute of Musical Research’s ‘New Music Insight’ series. The link can be found here.

Prof. Lim is currently starting work on a new opera, Tree of Codes (after the book by Jonathan Safran Foer) in a collaboration with Ensemble musikFabrik, Cologne opera, Akademie der Künste der Welt Cologne, Hellerau: European Centre for the Arts Dresden and ZKM for performances in 2014-2015. On January 16th (2.30-5.30 pm), the Akademie hosts a workshop presentation of the early creative development of the opera with musicians from musikFabrik and singers from the Cologne opera. Venue: Studio Ensemble musikFabrik, Im Mediapark 7, 50670 Cologne. Enrolment in the workshop presentation via email: annikavonbock@musikfabrik.eu.

Dr Julio d’Escriván at the Bienal of São Paulo

Julio d’Escriván performs with Iñigo Ibaibarriaga at the Thirtieth Bienal of São Paulo, The Imminence of Poetics.<br /> Foto: Leo Eloy<br /> © Fundação Bienal de São Paulo

Invited by the Chief Curator of the São Paulo Bienal, Luis Pérez-Oramas  (The Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art at The Museum of Modern Art, New York), Dr Julio d’Escriván gave a concert with his performing partner Iñigo Ibaibarriaga, of Bilbao, Spain, presenting their project FUSIL as part of a series of sound and music performances that were organised to run as a complement to the Bienal’s prestigious art offering. A live acoustic and electronic instruments performance with Ibaibarriaga on Saxophones and found objects and d’Escriván on video and electronic processing of audio, their work fits broadly within the emerging ‘Live Cinema’ trend of making music to image in performance. Partly improvised, partly composed, partly devised, the show takes viewers through six live audiovisual scenarios from night-time vistas of water reservoirs in the English Peak District , through newsreels of old Kyoto, early twentieth century industrial film footage and urban collage. The performance took place at the Museo de Imagem I Som in São Paulo in the evening of the 24th of November and was warmly received by an appreciative audience.

The Bienal de São Paulo was initiated in 1951 and is the second oldest art biennial in the world after the Venice Biennial, which was set up 1895 and served as its role model. The Bienal de São Paulo was founded by the Italian-Brazilian industrialist Ciccillo Matarazzo (1898-1977). Since 1957, the Bienal de São Paulo has been held in the Ciccillo Matarazzo pavilion in the Parque do Ibirapuera. The pavilion was designed by a team led by architects Oscar Niemeyer and Hélio Uchôa, and provides an exhibition space of 30,000 m2. The Bienal de São Paulo features both Brazilian and international artists, and is considered to be one of the most important art exhibits in the world.

Photos: Leo Eloy / Fundação Bienal de São Paulo © Fundação Bienal de São Paulo
Photos: Leo Eloy / Fundação Bienal de São Paulo
© Fundação Bienal de São Paulo

Prof. Ablinger: recent premieres and publication

Prof Ablinger with CeReNeM students preparing installation pieces in Atrium of CAB.
Prof Ablinger with CeReNeM students preparing installation pieces in Atrium of CAB.

Prof. Peter Ablinger has been working with postgraduate students: giving a masterclass as part of hcmf//, conducting a number of seminars, and leading a project based on his work. Several pieces from his Weiss/Weisslich series, numbers 19, 25b and 29 were presented in the Atrium of the Creative Arts Building and carpark on 4 December. In addition, there have been numerous premieres of his work in the last 6 weeks in Berlin, Treviso, Linz, Huddersfield and Belem. His most recent publication is Sagen und Zeigen /Variationen einer Differenz appearing in Musiktexte, November 2012.
He says: ‘Sagen und Zeigen (Saying and Showing) is about a rhetorical concept of music, the strong tradition from Beethoven to Schoenberg to Darmstadt/Complexity etc, a “saying” concept of music, against its various alternatives since the late 19th century, which I called the “showing” one.’


2 Nov 2012, Berlin, Klangwerkkstatt, Erik Drescher (flute)
SS GIOVANNI E PAOLO (2007/2012), phonography and 1-3 wind instruments with glissando slide

11 Nov 2012, Treviso, Teatro Communale, Emanuele Torquati (Piano)
ANNA MAGNANI (2012) from: “Voices and Piano” for piano & CD

22 Nov.2012,Linz, Kulturzentrum bei den Ursulinen
22 KANONS FÜR PETER LACKNER (2012), 6 pianos at graduated distances, 15′

22 Nov.2012, Huddersfield Festival, Gareth Davis & Julie Mittens:
BLACK SERIES (2010-12), 10 Pieces for Rock Band

14 Dec, Portugal, CCB Lisbon, Centro Cultural de Belém, Nuno Aroso
TIM-SONG (2012)

Vale Jonathan Harvey (1939-2012)

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Prof. Jonathan Harvey, one of Britain’s greatest composers. His compositions, his books on the work of Karlheinz Stockhausen and In Quest of Spirit: Thoughts on Music, and teaching, over a career spanning five decades, have been an inspiration to generations of composers and music lovers. He had a close association with the University of Huddersfield over a number of years. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University and was featured composer-in-residence at the 2009 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival during which he also conducted a masterclass for postgraduate composers. CeReNeM’s ‘Jonathan Harvey Scholarship in Composition’ (2009-12) was held by Dr Einar Einarsson who recently graduated with a PhD, winning a Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence. Prof. Michael Clarke was a close colleague and friend, who developed interactive aural analysis software (Sybil) to analyse Harvey’s seminal tape work from 1980, Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco.

Taking its name from an engraving on the side of the largest bell in Winchester Cathedral, the tape piece (presented at HCMF 2009 as an audiovisual installation by Visual Kitchen) used spectral analysis and digital synthesis to create a haunting fusion of the bell’s sound and the voice of Harvey’s son, also a chorister. Interviewed on that occasion, Harvey said: ‘From these two very familiar and, for me, sacred and beloved sounds I made a fantasy, a poem, with the aid of computer manipulation. I see the bell and boy as connected by electronics. Two completely different things: the great dead black thing, the Mortuos, and the lovely little boy who’s very much alive – and now is a charming man – to take these very different entities and unite them through numbers in the computer. Integration of the opposites is very important, to show how, in some deep sense, everything is connected. And everything is fluid.’

Please see obituaries on the website of Faber Music and from The Guardian.

The video clip below contains an excerpt from an interview in which Harvey discusses his composition Speakings (2006-07):

Prof. Monty Adkins publication on Cero Records

Flying‘Flying’ is the new CD by award winning Mexican flautist Alejandro Escuer released by Cero Records. The CD features Still Time for flute and electronics by Prof. Monty Adkins . On Wedneday 5th December the Centro Mexicano para la Música y las Artes Sonoras (CMMAS) and Cero Records present a launch concert at 20Hrs, Sala Julián Carrillo, Radio UNAM, Mexico, followed on Thursday 6th December by the official CD launch at the National Sound Recordings Library, Mexico City.


Dr Philip Thomas and edges ensemble CD releases on ‘another timbre’ label

CD label another timbre have released a wonderfully produced 6-CD set: Wandelweiser und so weiter (another timbre, at56x6). Composers featured include Michael Pisaro, Manfred Werder, Jurg Frey, James Saunders and John Cage. The edges ensemble, based in the music department at Huddersfield and directed by Dr Philip Thomas, are featured on three pieces, by Jurg Frey, Taylan Susam and John White. Additionally Philip Thomas appears on a number of works, including Michael Pisaro’s work for retuned piano and sine tones Descending Series (1) and can also be heard performing alongside Jurg Frey, Radu Malfatti, Lee Patterson and many others.

In the interviews included in the sleeve notes, Philip says about the collection:

What is so fascinating about this confluence is that it is so rare that performers from improvisation and composed backgrounds, and both, find common ground without egos and agendas getting in the way. The engagement between musicians/artists from all kinds of backgrounds feels entirely organic and natural and is something to really celebrate. I would say also that it has heightened the need for composers to devise structures and contexts for performance that are clearly differentiated from contexts for improvisation. 

Below is an extract from Jurg Frey’s composition Circular Music No.2. The performers are: Angharad Davies (violin), Phil Durrant (electronics), Jurg Frey (clarinet), Anton Lukoszevieze (cello), Radu Malfatti (trombone), Lee Patterson (amplified objects), and Philip Thomas (piano). The recording is on the CD ‘Undertows’, part of the 6-Cd set ‘Wandelweiser und so weiter’.

Full details can be found at http://www.anothertimbre.com/page145.html