CeReNeM Newsletter, March 2019

Over the last few months, CeReNeM has welcomed a number of guests including performers Jessica Aszodi (AUS), Serge Vuille (CH/UK), Catherine Laws (University of York), and Sarah Saviet (USA/DE), and composer Rebecca Saunders (UK), who spoke to the CeReNeM Colloquium ahead of receiving an honorary doctorate from the University. Meanwhile, the Creative Coding Lab welcomed Francisco Colasanto (CMMAS, Mexico) for a presentation of his work for hybrid analog and digital electronics.

Electric Indigo (Susanne Kirchmayr)

The Electric Spring Festival, now in its 24th year, welcomed a wide range of international electronic artists to Huddersfield, including Benjamin Thigpen, Lauren Sarah Hayes (Arizona State University), Electric Indigo, and exclusiveOr – the duo of Sam Pluta (University of Chicago) and Jeff Snyder (Princeton University). Installations were exhibited by Huddersfield’s Andie Brown and Stewart Worthy, while the the Creative Coding Lab Symposium welcomed talks from Lauren Sarah Hayes, Rebecca Fiebrink (Goldsmiths), Jeff Snyder, Desmond Clarke (University of York) and CeReNeM postgraduate James Bradbury. The Yorkshire Sound Women Network also hosted two workshops as part of Electric Spring, providing a space for female-identifying, non-binary and gender non-conforming people. The workshops focused on Haptics, Vibrotactile Feedback & Touch led by Lauren Sarah Hayes and Granular Synthesis led by Electric Indigo, and were supported by CeReNeM, the Creative Coding Lab and the Centre for Music, Culture, and Identity (CMCI). The festival also saw the launch of a new Professional Development Programme for female composers of electronic music, developed in partnership between CeReNeM and hcmf//.

The Huddersfield Immersive Sound System (HISS) celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, and several HISS@10 concerts recognise the ongoing influence the integrated sound diffusion system has on the creative outcomes at the University of Huddersfield. In November, as part of hcmf//, three concerts across two venues presented work composed for or premiered on the HISS over its history, including work by CeReNeM staff Monty Adkins, Alex Harker, Michael Clarke, Pierre Alexandre Tremblay, and Aaron Cassidy, post-docs Owen Green and Gerard Roma, and former students Susie Green and Elias Merino. Two more concerts took place in February, at the University of York and City University, London, featuring performances from PA Tremblay, Tadej Droljc, Paulina Sundin, Olivier Pasquet, Michael Clarke, and more.

The FluCoMa team have presented their work thus far at a number of venues over the past few months, including the Orpheus Institute, RNCM, University of Leeds, Université de Montréal, Conservatorio Statale de Musica “Guiseppe Verdi” di Torino, and the Hochschule für Musik, Musik-Academie der Stadt Basel. Their paper “Interdisciplinary Research as Musical Experimentation: A case study in musicianly approaches to sound corpora” from the Electroacoustic Music Studies Network last year is available now as a part of the EMS2018 Proceedings. Most recently, friend of CeReNeM Angela Guyton created the official logo and bumper for the FluCoMa project.

IRiMaS is now well underway with the full team in place, including the three PhD students Maria Donohue, Cristina Ghirardini, and Laurens van der Wee, who started their research in October. Weekly seminars have been organised for discussion of a range of topics related to musicology, music analysis, and how to make aural approaches and interactivity fully integrated into the academic study of any kind of music. The team is preparing several contributions to international conferences, and has recently had papers accepted for the Spectralisms conference (Ircam, Paris, June 2019) and the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC, New York, June 2019).

PrintIn November, Huddersfield Contemporary Records released the 19th album in its growing catalogue, Bozzini+. Bozzini+ is a 2CD record of a multi-year collaborative project showcasing new pieces by Dr Bryn HarrisonDr Mary Bellamy, and Prof Monty Adkins written for Quatour BozziniProf Philip Thomas, and Sarah-Jane Summers. Bozzini+ was included in Christian Carey’s (Sequenza 21) Top Instrumental and Recital CDs of 2018:

Bryn Harrison’s Piano Quintet revels in juxtaposing irregularly repeating piano filigrees with with whorls of glissandos from the quartet. Bellamy’s beneath an ocean of air crafts high-lying, tenuous sounds interrupted by occasional submersive thrusts. Still Juniper Snow, by Adkins, emphasizes sustain, with long drones held against folk-inspired melodies, creating a slow paced, sumptuous surface. (Christian Carey, Sequenza 21) 

In related news, Phantom Images, released by HCR earlier in the year, was included in Simon Cumming’s (5:4) Top 20 Albums of 2018. The release highlights the ongoing ties between CeReNeM, the University of Chicago, and Northwestern University.

…don’t let the beige artwork and that moody title mislead you: there are shitstorms brewing on this disc, and when they unleash, there’s no stopping them. This is play on the very cusp of chaos. (Simon Cummings, 5:4)

Finally, we were delighted to receive the news that the University of Huddersfield was recently listed among the top 25 institutions in the world for Performing Arts in the 2019 QS World University subject rankings. It is an honour that is shared across the Department of Music and Drama, acknowledging the excellent teaching and research of CeReNeM and our colleagues in the Centre for Music, Culture and Identity (CMCI) and the Research Centre for Performance Practices (ReCePP).

Staff Publications and Research Activity

Prof Aaron Cassidy’s new percussion trio A republic of spaces for Line Upon Line was premiered in Austin, Texas, in concerts on 28, 29, & 30 September 2018. The concerts also featured Aaron’s electronic work I, for example, …, and he joined the trio as a performer on live electronics for Richard Barrett’s Codex XIV. The visit to Austin also included a guest lecture at the University of Texas. I, for example, … was also presented as part of the HISS@10 celebrations at hcmf// in November. In late October, Daryl Buckley and Kathryn Schulmeister of the ELISION Ensemble presented the lap steel and double bass solos from The wreck of former boundaries at Festival Vértice in Mexico City, with a further performance of the lap steel solo by Buckley at City Recital Hall in Sydney, Australia, in August, and a further performance of the double bass solo by Schulmeister at UCSD in the USA in February. In January, Aaron contributed to two events at the SoundState Festival at London’s Southbank Centre, first helping to convene a panel discussion on the future of music education, and later in the week hosting a post-concert interview with composer Rebecca Saunders. Aaron is currently working on a pair of companion quartets for ELISION and Ensemble Musikfabrik, respectively, based on two dramatically different Gerhard Richter self-portraits. The ELISION quartet will be premiered in the USA in April, with follow-up performances in Taipei in May. The work for Musikfabrik kicked off with a creative development residency in March in Cologne, Germany, along with Monty Adkins and Mary Bellamy, who are writing new works for the ensemble’s unique collection of Partch instruments.

Monty Adkins and Mary Bellamy with instrument builder Thomas Meixner and the Partch ‘Cloud Chamber Bowls’

Prof Liza Lim has had several big concert showcases over the last few months. In September The Table of Knowledge (2017), was performed by double bassist Florentin Ginot as part of the staged ‘Not here project‘, Teatro alle Tese, Biennale de Venezia. In October, the University of Melbourne New Music Studio and the Arcko Ensemble, conducted by Tim Phillips, presented a portrait concert of her work, including The Alchemical Wedding (1996), Amulet (1993), Philtre (1997), Veil (1999), and Winding Bodies (3 knots) (2013) at Melba Hall, Melbourne. In November, Lim’s new work Pharmakon (2018), for 2 trombones, was premiered by Rage Thormbones (Matt Barbier & Weston Olencki) at Bludenzer Tage Zeitgemäßer Musik in Austria. In February, Lim presented a paper at the Music and Materialisms conference at Kingston University. She has been invited to teach on the faculty of the annual ‘Ensemble Evolution’ summer school at Banff in Canada.

Prof Robert Adlington has continued to develop his project on music and democracy. This has involved international collaborations with the Darmstadt International Summer Course in Germany, the Transit New Music Festival in Leuven, Belgium, and the Rainy Days Festival in Luxembourg, and with scholars, composers and performers from the United States, Australia, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands. In September he gave the keynote Peter Le Huray lecture at the Annual Conference of the Royal Musical Association, on audience participation in contemporary music. He also coordinated an event on music and democracy for Kirklees Local Democracy Week, which took place at Huddersfield’s Vinyl Tap record store and involved Huddersfield colleagues Liz Dobson and Toby Martin. As well as developing his book project Musical Models of Democracy, he has published articles on British music theatre and musical citizenship in the Journal of the Royal Musical Association, and his chapter on musical modernism has appeared in The Routledge Research Companion to Modernism in Music (Routledge, 2018). He is currently seeing his new edited volume, New Music Theatre in Europe: Transformations between 1955-1975, through to press.

Prof Pierre Alexandre Tremblay spent November in the USA, holding a pre-concert talk and composition seminar at NYU ahead of a concert of his work in the university’s new multichannel listening room. In December he gave a talk at St Laurent, a workshop at Université de Montréal, and a production workshop at the Torino Conservatoire. Three of his works were performed at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, including asinglewordisnotenough 4, performed by Heather Roche and Eva Zöllner, Broken and Bucolic as part of the HISS@10 concerts, and un fil rouge, performed by the United Instruments of Lucilin, co-comissioned by the United Instruments of Lucilin, Philharmonie Luxembourg and hcmf//. 

Monty-Waters Edge

Prof Monty Adkins‘ eight-hour soundtrack to Andy Warhol’s film Empire was released (in a 52-minute version) on the LINE label in November and was included in the top 30 ambient albums of 2018 by Low Light Mixes. His work for Quatuor Bozzini and Scottish fiddle player Sarah-Jane Summers ‘Still Juniper Snow’ was released by Huddersfield Contemporary Records in November. Meanwhile, his 48-minute radiophonic work Waters Edge, commissioned by Czech Radio, was broadcast in December and features text by Deborah Templeton, and performances by Sarah-Jane Summers, Seth Parker Woods (cello) and Quatuor Bozzini. Recently, Monty was in residence for a week in February at Dartmouth College in the USA, giving guest lectures and working on a new project with CeReNeM alumnus and Dartmouth Lecturer Seth Parker Woods.

Prof Philip Thomas has performed extensively over the past six months, including concerts with Apartment House at the London Contemporary Music Festival and Cafe Oto. Most recently he presented his work on the Cage Concert for Piano and Orchestra at the 5th Performance Studies Network Conference in Oslo on 6th July in a presentation entitled ‘Documentary and digital approaches to performing John Cage’s Concert for Piano and Orchestra’. 

being timeDr Bryn Harrison visited Wesleyan University, Brooklyn College CUNY, Columbia University, and Harvard University to discuss his work ahead of the launch of his new book Being Time, cowritten with Richard Glover and Jennie Gottschalk, published by Bloomsbury. Being Time invites a deep consideration of the personal experience of temporality in music, focusing on the perceptual role of the listener. Through individual case studies, this book centres on musical works that deal with time in radical ways, including pieces by Morton Feldman, James Saunders, Chiyoko Szlavnics, Ryoji Ikeda, Toshiya Tsunoda, Laurie Spiegel and André O. Möller. Additionally, Bryn’s new work First Light, for De 2de Adem as part of the MATRIX project, was premiered at the Transit Festival in Leuven, Belgium, in October.

Dr Hyunkook Lee has been awarded a fellowship from the Audio Engineering Society for achievements in research, the advancement of audio science and technology, and contributions in the Society’s Technical Committees. This prestigious award comes in part from Lee’s groundbreaking research in the perception of height in sound, a vital part in creating a sense of space and ambience in recording and in ongoing developments in audio technology for VR.

Prof Steven Jan was a part of the programme committee for the Computer Simulation of Music Creativity conference 2018 at the University of Dublin. He presentated a paper entitled The theory and analysis of computer-generated music: A case-study of Colossus.

A new, short video documentary covering Dr Ben Spatz‘s AHRC-funded Judaica project is now online and featured on the AHRC blog, and the first video essay was published in Global Performance Studies