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

Hakan Ulus

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.


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.

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