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.

Seminars and Workshops

Our seminar and workshop schedule this term has been particularly rich. In mid-October, Prof Peter Ablinger (Huddersfield) and Prof Winfried Ritsch (Graz) brought RHEA, Ablinger’s famous ‘speaking piano’ on to campus for a week of workshops with our postgraduate community, beautifully documented below in this film by filmmaker, Angela Guyton.

Renowned Canadian electroacoustic composer Robert Normandeau was also in residence in our studios this term, preparing a new electronic work entitled Melancholia . Prof Normandeau gave a concert of his recent work and a lecture to staff and students, the latter of which is also available to view online. His visit was made possible through our research exchange relationship with the Université de Montréal.


Speculations in Sound

The weekend of November 14/15 saw the first of CeReNeM’s ‘Speculations’ series of events, drawing together members of our extensive international research network.

The event was in the form of a ‘salon philosophique’ bringing together composers, performers, musicologists, anthropologists and social scientists with institutional representation from University of Aberdeen, University of Chicago, University of Edinburgh, University of Huddersfield, IRCAM, Northwestern University, University of Oxford and the National University of Singapore. A book developed as a collaboration between network members and edited by Aaron Cassidy and Liza Lim is planned for publication by Huddersfield University Press in late 2016.

The event and its network can be explored more fully via the website, here, and once again, documentary filmmaker Angela Guyton has put together a beautiful sample of the occasion and its contents, which you can watch below.

More videos of Speculations in Sound:

Group Discussion 2

Group Discussion 3

Introductory Presentations

HCR/NMC Partnership and Double CD launch

CeReNeM’s record label, Huddersfield Contemporary Records (HCR) has entered into a new print/distribution deal with NMC Recordings, the UK’s largest record label devoted to contemporary music. Whilst HCR will retain all curatorial control, NMC will be applying its international brand visibility to aid the marketing and distribution of HCR’s existent and future releases, bringing the work of CeReNeM and its affiliated artists to the attention of a much wider global audience.

To celebrate this new industry partnership, CeReNeM and NMC co-launched two new releases from HCR during hcmf//2015. The CDs feature two CeReNeM postgraduate performers: Heather Roche (PhD 2011) with  ‘πτελέα | Ptelea’, recent clarinet music including music from current and former CeReNeM postgraduates Pedro Alvarez and Chikako Morishita (amongst others) and Diego Castro Magaš with Shrouded Mirrors, a ‘must-have’ compendium of major works of contemporary guitar repertoire by Ferneyhough, Dillon and Finnissy together with works by CeReNeM’s Bryn Harrison and Matthew Sergeant.

Both releases are now available to buy via the NMC online store, here.


Left: Anne Rushton, Chief Executive NMC Recordings, Right: Liza Lim, Director, CeReNeM


Staff News

Karoliina Sandtröm, Deborah Middleton (Drama) and Monty Adkins (Music) have been awarded a prestigious Saari Residence Award for 2016 to develop a new work provisionally entitled ‘Soundings’. The Board of Kone Foundation made its decisions as to which applicants were chosen for the Saari Residence in its meeting on 5 October 2015. Out of 378 applicants 40 were chosen (13 group residencies, 27 individual residencies).

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Monty Adkins has been involved in an exchange programme in partnership with Sound and Music and the University of Mexico, Morelia, where he gave a series of talks and workshops for staff and students.

Monty Adkins delivers a guest lecture at the University of Morelia, Mexico

Aaron Cassidy’s electric guitar work The Pleats of Matter (2007) was performed by Diego Castro Magaš (with the composer controlling live electronics) at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent (Belgium), part of ‘The Dark Precursor – International Conference on Deleuze and Artistic Research’ in November. Jason Hardink gave a New York  performance of his Ten Monophonic Miniatures for Solo Pianist in December. Aaron, as part of the Centre’s international research exchange, has given lectures at Northwestern, Chicago, Harvard and Columbia Universities, as well as conducting research with ELISION at RMIT, Melbourne.

In late August, Alex Harker undertook a two week residency hosted by NoTAM (Norway), exploring creative sound processing in 3D enviroments. Drawing on Alex’s substantial programming skills, as well as the technical expertise at NOTAM, the residency focussed on the creative and aesthetic potential of such approaches, with a set of short study examples/pieces forming a focus for addressing artistic questions and effectively supporting future larger compositional work.

Bryn Harrison has taken up a residency at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya in Barcelona during his sabbatical leave (October 2015-January 2016). Bryn will deliver a series of lectures and workshops to composition students at the institute over the course of seven visits as well as adjudicating a composition prize.  His lectures form the basis for a new book written in collaboration with Richard Glover to be published by Bloomsbury.


September saw two new CD releases featuring the work of Liza Lim: Cikada Ensemble (Live at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, LAWO, LWC1086) and a solo disc from the ‘cellist Séverine Ballon (Solitude, AEON, AECD1647). The Swiss Ensemble Contrechamps with David Grimal as violin soloist, premiered Liza’s new violin concerto Speak, Be Silent in late September at the Alhambra Theatre in Geneva. Other recent performances include her string quartet The Weaver’s Knot at Wien Modern by the Arditti String Quartet and concerts in New York, Berlin, Spain and Mexico. She undertakes a short residency and gives a guest lecture at Stanford University in early January 2016.


Philip Thomas has begun work on his extensive AHRC-funded project on Cage’s Concert for Piano and Orchestra, with updates visible on the project’s webpage here. Recent publications include an article in Tempo, ‘The music of Laurence Crane and a post-experimental performance practice’; a solo CD of Jürg Frey’s music on another timbre (Jürg Frey – Circles and Landscapes, another timbre, at91) along with an Apartment House CD of Huddersfield alumnus Joe Kudirka on the same label (Joseph Kudirka – Beauty and Industry and other pieces, another timbre, at89). As well as several performances during hcmf//, Philip led the EDGES ensemble through Tim Parkinson’s acclaimed opera Time With People in December at the London Contemporary Music Festival.

Pierre Alexandre Tremblay has returned from a 1-year sabbatical in Berlin during which he held the post of Edgard Varèse Guest Professor for Computer Music, Technical University Berlin as well as receiving support from the Canada Council of the Arts. During this time, he gave guest lectures about his research into improvisation, composition, studio techniques, issues around liveness, and collaboration at NYU (Steinhardt), Princeton University and Columbia University’s CMC. He also curated a programme for NYU including a concert with CeReNeM alumnus, cellist Seth Parker Woods with music by PA Tremblay, Monty Adkins and Michael Clarke.

More PGR News

Please see the November issue of CeReNeMPostgraduates for recent news of performances, awards and conference presentation undertaken by PhD students. Congratulations to Pia Palme for her recent win of the prestigious ‘Outstanding Artist Award in Music 2015 of the Austrian Republic’.

[More info]

Enquiries: m.sergeant@hud.ac.uk