Dr Philip Thomas has recently returned from a concert tour of Canada, giving the first Canadian performances of new works recently commissioned for his ‘Canada Connections’ project. The works, by British composers Christopher Fox and Bryn Harrison and Canadian composers Martin Arnold and Cassandra Miller, were premiered in Autumn 2012 at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and the University of Sheffield.
Philip gave solo concerts in Open Space, Victoria; Vancouver; Chapelle Historique, Montréal; Array Studios, Toronto and Gallery 345, Toronto, playing music by the above composers as well as Laurence Crane, Richard Glover, Michael Oesterle, eldritch Priest and Linda C Smith. In Montréal Philip also performed with the Quatour Bozzini, including giving the Canadian premiere of Laurence Crane’s Piano Quintet and took part in talks and workshops as part of the Salon QB supported by Innovations en concèrt. In Toronto he closed his tour with a thrilling concert with Continuum, featuring a programme of British and Canadian composers, including the premiere of a new work by Canadian Trevor Grahl.
On 25th May 2013, Philip performs with Apartment House in a programme of music by Christian Wolff, joined by the composer performing, at the Angelica Festival, Bologna, Italy.
Twentieth Century Music has just published an article by Philip: ‘Understanding Indeterminate Music through Performance: Cage’s Solo for Piano’, Twentieth Century Music, 10/1 (March 2013), pp.91-113.
This article demonstrates how performance may further understanding of – and offer new perspectives on – indeterminate music, and in particular the ways in which performers realize the indeterminate aspects of the scores. Cage’s Solo for Piano (1957–8), one of the most celebrated indeterminate scores, is used as the model for such an approach. The close involvement that performers have with the score and the music over what is often a prolonged period of time leads to a particular kind of understanding, different from that of non-performers, which, when articulated, can offer valuable insights. After a brief outline of the score, the article begins by discussing the performances of other pianists, notably David Tudor. It then examines in detail the author’s own approach to making a realization, discussing the implications of such an approach from both practical and aesthetic perspectives.