Introducing some composers with whom I’ve had interesting and extremely wide-ranging conversations in the course of their MPhil/PhD studies at CeReNeM, University of Huddersfield.
Pia Palme (Austria) – works with installations, electronics and music theatre as well as writing instrumental scores; a political critique of social structures especially related to feminism lies at the heart of her work. See her harp/electronics piece played by Rhodri Davies, Gib Sie Wieder, a warning commentary on resonance II (2014) and Modacious Lips, To Dust (2015) performed by EAXUDI.
Matthew Sergeant (UK) – works with complex constructions and (re)imagined idiomacities of instruments; we’ve talked about disorientation, disintegration, encrustation and ‘the fantastical’. Here is a sensuously voiced solo for baroque violin with detuned strings from 2013, Bet Denagel as played by Emma Lloyd.
Pedro Alvarez (Chile) – is interested in stasis/non-teleological forms and challenging standard notions of processual fluency. Here is a recording of his ensemble piece Two Surfaces played by Handwerk at the 2013 Wittener Tage fur neue Kammermusik.
Chikako Morishita (Japan) – works with a Japanese aesthetics of silence, shadows and elusiveness within active musical surfaces. Hear Skin, Gelatin, Soot (2013) played by clarinettist Carl Rosman. She has just completed an orchestral work The Silence (2014) commissioned by the Estonian Composers Festival.
Tamara Friebel (Australia/Austria) – a multi-modal artist who trained as an architect with Zaha Hadid before developing a compositional practice which encompasses scores, electronics, self-made instruments, video and sound installation. Here’s a link to Canto Morph (2013), ‘an opera of the self’, her PhD project which explored trance and improvisation as a way to access extreme states of non-ordinary consciousness.
Barbara Ellison, (Ireland/The Netherlands) – ‘the trickster’ figure looms large in her practice which takes in many nomadic collaborations with other artists, communities, environments and objects. She is interested in ‘sonic phantoms‘ – auditory illusions created through perceptual ambiguity in repetitive, polyphonic music.
Timothy McCormack (USA) – his work is characterised by high energy physicality inscribed in sound and an exuberant gestural language informed by approaches to dance (Forsythe). This is all evolving of course… Have a listen to Interfacing with the Surface (2013) performed by Ensemble Tzara.
Michael Baldwin (USA) – says he’s interested in ‘authorship, awkwardness, banality, documentation, ephemerality, notational/performative (in)stabilities’. Check out this is not natural (2014) as performed by Ensemble Discord.
Lee Chie Tsang (Malaysia) – is particularly interested in the hybridity of languages and oral traditions found in East Malaysia (Chinese dialect groups such as Hakka, Hainan, Hokkien, Mandarin; Malay, Malaysian-English, and Indigenous groups such as the Kadazan and Dusun). See Interbreathment (2013) for dancers within an installation of gongs, with performers on sheng and percussion and Re-sketch(es) II – Resurrection (2014).
Daniel Portelli (Australia) – is currently making work with video cameras, hand-held mini microphones, prepared instruments and environments. Check out Hyperbodies (2015) for computer-controlled (robotic) piano
Clara Maida (France) – works with psychoanalytical conceptions of temporality, cartographies of flux operating at a nano-level, & hybrid mutations of environmental and instrumental sounds.
Chong Kee Yong (Malaysia) – writes music informed by Chinese, Korean, Japanese , Indonesian and Malay traditions, whose drama and vitality stems from a vivid notion of ‘living ornamentation’, improvisational heterophony and the spatial interplay of timbral elements.