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’.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 [firstname.lastname@example.org]