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Psappha Contemporary Music Ensemble

Psappha Contemporary Music Ensemble is an internationally acclaimed contemporary music ensemble. It has a particular focus on touring and commissioning. Our funding is to support core and programme costs.

Funding awards

  • 2012-2013: £60,000
  • 2013-2014: £61,380
  • 2014-2015: £64,000

Video feed

Mario Durate - Achtli (world première)

'They wanted to bury us, but they did not know that we were seeds' In September 2014, 43 students from Ayotzinapa Teacher Training College disappeared after clashes with police. The policemen are believed to have handed the students over to drug cartels who are then believed to have executed them and burned the corpses in a junkyard in the outskirts of Cocula, Guerrero. Achtli means seed in náhuatl (an ancient Mexican language). I wrote this piece as a protest demanding action for the missing students. The work was created feeding a MAX/MSP patch with the names of the 43 students in order to transform the characters into musical parameters as timbre, pitch, duration, intensity and gesture. This piece is a cry for justice and it is part of the global action for Ayotzinapa. About the Composer: Mario Duarte Born in Mexico City, Mario studied guitar, musicology and composition at Musical Studies and Research Centre (CIEM) and Hispanic Literature at Autonomous National University of Mexico (UNAM). After completing his musical training he worked as a composer, scriptwriter, producer and announcer for Opus 94.5FM. In 2010 he founded,with the support of the University, the scheme Comunidades Sonoras (Sound Communities), a social music project that works with urban marginalized and socially excluded children in Mexico City. In 2013 he started a PhD in Composition at NOVARS Research Centre under the supervision of Professor Ricardo Climent. The National Council for Science and Technology of Mexico sponsors his research on DNA and RNA Sequences as Systems for Music Composition.

Chia-Ying Lin - Shan Shui for Flute, 2 Percussion and Piano (world première)

Shan Shui, literally meaning ‘mountain-water’ in Chinese, takes inspiration from Chinese landscape paintings in which the main subject is mountains. The art of Shan Shui paintings makes philosophical reference to Taoism (Daoism), and its idea of how minor human presence is in the vastness of the cosmos. In my piece, I attempt to depict the vastness of such landscapes and the human figures within. This is achieved by use of the vibraphone's arco notes to symbolise the human figures often depicted fleetingly in these paintings. About the composer: Chia-Ying Lin Chia-Ying Lin (b. Taipei, Taiwan, 1990) studied at the Taipei National University of the Arts with Professor Tsung-Hsien Yang and is currently studying for a PhD with Professor Philip Grange at The University of Manchester, having graduated with a MusM (Distinction) from Manchester in 2012. Chia-Ying’s PhD study is supported by a Harry Clough Award and the Emmy Watts Memorial Fund as well as a scholarship from the Taiwanese government. Her works have been performed by the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra as well as chamber ensembles, including Psappha and Vaganza.

Rosalia Soria (b 1979) - Holly (world première)

This piece is inspired on the character “Holly Short”, from Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl books. Holly is an elf, who possesses magical powers and very advanced technology to fight crime and share adventures her human friend Artemis Fowl. In this work instruments interact with synthetic sounds created using Space mass spring models and also some sound transformations based on these models. Instruments and synthetic sounds represent Holly’s sparkling and emotional personality specially depicted by the flute. About the Composer: Rosalia Soria Rosalia Soria is a mexican composer currently studying a PhD in Electroacoustic Composition at NOVARS Research Centre at The University of Manchester, supervised by Professor Ricardo Climent. Her research is focused on multichannel composition, using State Space Mathematical models applied in sonification and sound design. In 2012 she received the prestigious PDS award to develop her research at The University of Manchester. She also completed a MSc in Electronics Engineering at Michoacán State University UMSNH in Mexico in 2010.

Mark Dyer (b 1991) - Insubstantial Pageant Faded (world première)

“The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces, the great globe itself, I, all which it inherit shall dissolve, and like this insubstantial pageant faded, leave not a rack behind.” (Alan Watts echoing The Tempest, Act 4, Scene 1) Shakespeare’s words as echoed by the philosopher Alan Watts, who suggests that the natural decay we see around us enables us to let go of control, because ultimately there is nothing to hold on to. With this in mind I took the gamelan inspired material from a previous work of mine, Neoliphony, and subjected it to various deconstructive transformations. Despite the percussionist’s efforts to hold the pageant together, all must dissolve and reform. Even sound itself. About the composer: Mark Dyer Mark studied Music and Composition at undergraduate level at the University of Southampton under Dr. Matthew Shlomowitz and Dr. Ben Oliver. He completed these studies in 2014 with First Class Honours and was awarded the Hazel Muras-Osborn Prize for Composition. He is currently studying Composition at Master’s level at The University of Manchester under Professor Philip Grange. These studies are supported by the Harry Clough Award. Mark’s music often features varied repetition, but also moments of cataclysm in which a supposedly stable sound world may be violently broken. His fascination lies in the consequences of these moments and how they relate to large-scale processes.

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David Fennessy - 5 Hofer Photographs (English premiere)

Performed by Jennifer Langridge live at Islington Mill in Salford, UK on Sunday 2nd February 2014 During 1965 to 1966 the German-American photographer Evelyn Hofer (1922 – 2009) lived in Dublin and in 1967 produced the book Dublin: A Portrait. Five photographs from that collection provided the starting point for these five little pieces for solo cello. They are: 1. Girl with bicycle – a young girl looks wistfully over her shoulder. The bicycle is clearly much to big for her. 2. Anna and Emma – A black and white photo of two chamber maids; one youthful, the other much older with a severe yet stoic look in her eye. It occurred to me they might be related or even the same person at different stages of their life. 3. Gravediggers – Another black and white portrait, this time of three gentlemen with huge shovels dressed in heavy overcoats and sporting Panama hats. They might have stepped out of a Raymond Chandler novel. 4. Phoenix Park on a Sunday – Four knobbly kneed men dressed in garish pink, red and black football kit stand in a line with their arms folded. I imagined what the ensuing match might have been like. 5. Mountjoy Square – Covered in a thin blanket of snow, this scene is devoid of people. An empty park bench in the foreground suggests a ghostly absence. I have given this movement the subtitle ‘In Memoriam’. Five Hofer Photographs is dedicated to Jane O’ Leary. DAVID FENNESSY David Fennessy (b. 1976 Maynooth) began his musical life as guitarist in a school rock band but had no formal musical training until the age of fifteen when he decided to study classical guitar. He became interested in composition whilst studying for his undergraduate degree at the Dublin College of Music. In 1998 Fennessy moved to Glasgow to study for his Masters Degree at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with James MacMillan. He was later invited to join the composition faculty and has held a teaching post there since 2005. His music has been performed nationally and internationally by many groups including the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Ensemble Modern, Hebrides Ensemble, London Sinfonietta, RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and the RTE Concert Orchestra. Recent significant works include BODIES, written for the RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and La Rejouissance – La Paix commissioned by Ensemble Modern for their 30th Anniversary celebrations. In 2006/2007 Ensemble Modern awarded Fennessy a scholarship to study at their prestigious International Academy in Frankfurt. A Dewar Arts Award (Scotland) enabled him to live in Germany for 12 months where he created several works in close collaboration with the musicians of the Academy. Fennessy was shortlisted for the Gaudeamus Music Prize in Amsterdam in both 2000 and 2006 and was a finalist for the Philharmonia’s composition prize in 2004. His music has been chosen to represent Ireland at the International Rostrum of Composers. In 2010 he received a prestigious Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award. This British award, providing significant support over three years, aims to give artists the freedom to develop their creative ideas and contribute towards their personal and professional growth. In 2010/2011 he was a Fellow of the Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart. Fennessy’s music theatre work Pass the Spoon – a collaboration with director Nick Bone and visual artist David Shrigley – was premièred in Glasgow in November 2011. The creation of the work was made possible by a Vital Sparks Award from Creative Scotland. Following a first contract with Universal Edition for his orchestral work This is How it Feels (Another Bolero), David Fennessy signed a major agreement in 2011 for his main catalogue of works.

Gavin Bryars (born 1943) - The Sinking of the Titanic

Recorded Live on 2nd February 2014 at Islington Mill, Salford PSAPPHA ENSEMBLE Benedict Holland & Catherine Yates - violins Vicci Wardman - viola Jennifer Langridge - cello Programme Note Originating as the musical equivalent of a work of conceptual art, this piece has various performing versions, often arising from particular occasions and environments. All the materials used are derived from research and speculations about the sinking of the "unsinkable" liner on April 14th 1912 after striking an iceberg on its maiden voyage. The initial starting point was the reported fact of the band playing the hymn tune "Autumn" in the final moments of the ship's sinking, together with other features of the disaster which generate musical or sounding performance material or which 'take the mind to other regions'. One idea is that the music would continue after the sinking and repeat over and over, fainter and fainter, until the ship returns to the surface. There was also a curious report at the time that one of the rescue ships received a radio message from the Titanic 1 hour and 28 minutes after it had finally gone beneath the waves. Other material is superimposed on the hymn tune, including fragments of interviews with survivors, Morse sequences, musical references to different possible tunes for the hymn, the sound of the iceberg's impact, and so on. About Gavin Bryars Gavin Bryars has continually shunned convention, choosing to create his own distinctive and unique path: He studied philosophy at Sheffield University and became a professional jazz bassist and a pioneer of free improvisation working especially with Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley. In the late 1960s he worked with John Cage and this influenced his early works. He has formed fruitful collaborations with international artists from across the spectrum, from Merce Cunningham and William Forsyth to Juan Munoz and Robert Wilson. The Gavin Bryars Ensemble and GB Records continue to document his work. Serene, graceful and achingly beautiful, his music is characterised by a sense of contemplation that is revealed through harmony of underlying depth.

T.S. Eliot - The Waste Land set to music by Anthony Burgess

Filmed Live at The International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester 28th February 2014 The Waste Land Words by T.S. Eliot Music by Anthony Burgess (European première) Jonathan Best narrator Rebecca Lea soprano Elaine Tyler-Hall director Conrad Marshall flute Adrian Wilson oboe Richard Casey piano Jennifer Langridge cello Joe Reiser sound and lighting technician A collaboration between The International Anthony Burgess Foundation and Psappha ‘The Waste Land is a miraculous mediator between the hermetic and the demotic. It is, curiously when one considers the polyglot learning it carries, essentially a popular poem, outgoing rather than ingrown, closer to Shakespeare than to Donne. It was Pound who said that music decays when it moves too far away from the dance, and poetry decays when it neglects to sing. The Waste Land sticks in one's mind like a diverse recital performed by a voice of immense variety but essentially a single organ: it sings and goes on singing.’ Anthony Burgess ‘IMMENSE. MAGNIFICENT. TERRIBLE.’ This 1922 review of The Waste Land articulates the enduring challenge of the poem more than ninety years later. The most significant and influential English-language poem of the twentieth century, it draws on a multitude of literary, philosophical, religious and, importantly, musical allusions to form a disorientating new whole. Fractured and fragmentary, Eliot’s aesthetic response to what he felt was a desperately atomised culture is above all a poem of voices. These voices span millennia and nations, encompassing the tragedies of classical antiquity, the ritual chants of the Upanishads, and the vernacular of London pubs and typing pools. The degree to which the poem truly epitomises spiritual, political, and cultural malaise is still an open question, and its undeniable power lies in its expression of urban modernity as at once sterile, vertiginous and alienating. © Martyn Hampton

Camden Reeves (born 1974) - Random Keys (world premiere)

Filmed Live at the Martin Harris Centre, The University of Manchester 7th March 2014 PSAPPHA ENSEMBLE Richard Casey - piano Tim Williams - percussion Daniel Whibley - double bass Camden Reeves (born 1974) Random Keys (world premiere) I. Dark Star II. In the Orbit of Entropy III. Time Twister The idea for this piece, and its title, comes from Tim Williams’s longstanding spoonerism for my name: Random Keys/Camden Reeves. Whilst not particularly flattering for a composer, I’ve always liked it and offered to write Psappha a piece with that title. This is the result. The line up of instruments – piano, bass, percussion – is a twist on the jazz piano trio. And there are harmonic and rhythmic references to jazz in the music; but admittedly these are quite subtle. The music is more influenced by my ongoing interest in chaos and entropy: the idea that the universe is getting increasingly more disorganized, increasingly random: that yes, things really are getting worse all the time. Like my second string quartet, Dactlylozooid Complex, the music unfolds in a three-movement expanding structure. Each movement is longer than the last by the same proportion (so 1:2:4), and has the same basic structural outline. So, analogous with cosmic expansion, the second movement stretches the basic shape of the first; the third movement stretches the shape of the second. Random Keys was commissioned by Psappha. ABOUT THE COMPOSER: Camden Reeves Camden Reeves is composer and musical educator. He is currently Senior Lecturer in Composition at Manchester University, where he has taught since 2002. Much of his music is published by Edition Peters, and a good amount is commercially recorded. He lives in Stockport with his wife and son.

Hans Werner Henze - El Cimarrón (part 2 of 2)

Recorded Live on 1st December 2013 at Islington Mill, Salford PSAPPHA ENSEMBLE Kelvin Thomas - baritone Conrad Marshall - flutes & percussion Tom McKinney - guitar & percussion Tim Williams - percussion ABOUT 'EL CIMARRÓN' ...the Caribbean model of the fugitive is the runaway slave, the cimarrón... The adjective cimarrón, which was used to designate wild cattle, was applied first to the Indian and then to the Negro. - Antonio Ben¡tez-Rojo My interest in El Cimarrón began during a conversation with Hans Magnus Enzensberger in about 1968, when we were discussing the difficulties of writing political songs which could go beyond or circumvent the achievements of Eisler, Weill and Dessau. At that time, the most likely solution to the problem seemed to me to be a cyclic form, from the rich possibilities of which, perhaps, something new would emerge. On this occasion Enzensberger told me about the Cuban publication of the autobiography of an old black, Esteban Montejo, who was living in Havana and had recalled his youth as a slave. Enzensberger suggested this subject for my experiment. The preparations included making the personal acquaintance of Esteban Montejo, the Cimarrón himself. Miguel Barnet introduced me to him. I had never seen such an old man. He was then 107 years old, tall as a tree, walked slowly and upright, his eyes were lively, he radiated dignity and seemed well aware that he was a historical personage. I could barely understand his Creole; Barnet interpreted. He told stories of the cimarroneria, and his sexual life which must have ben unusually promiscuous. His speaking voice had that melodious quality that seems constantly about to break into song. Our visit lasted about two hours, during which time Esteban smoked one cigar after another. Then the dinner bell sounded and the veterans (of the Cuban war of independence) gathered in the dining room, while a single table was laid on the terrace for Esteban, who had not learned to eat in company. (I recognized some of the old men from the ICAIC film reconstruction of the battle of Mal Tiempo.) From Music and Politics, by Hans Werner Henze

Larry Goves (born 1980) - a glimpse of the sea in a fold of the hills (UK premiere)

Filmed Live at The Martin Harris Centre, The University of Manchester 2nd November 2013 Nicholas Kok - conductor Conrad Marshall - flute Dov Goldberg - clarinet Richard Casey - piano Tim Williams - percussion Benedict Holland - violin Heather Wallington - viola Jennifer Langridge - cello _____________________________________________________ Larry Goves (born 1980) - a glimpse of the sea in a fold of the hills Several years ago I started writing a number of very minimal pieces of repeating melodies. This piece, scored for seven players and pre-recorded electronics, examines this kind of piece from a different perspective. Section of the piece have different combinations of instruments playing entirely independently highlighting different layers of music and chamber-music communications. This is contrasted by sections in unison, sections where the ensemble plays together but all with different material and layers of pre-recorded sound from same instruments in the ensemble. The poetic title reflects the gentle almost pastoral nature of much of the melodic material as well as the suggestions of layers of material visible in the distance. The piece was commissioned by the French ensemble L'Instant Donné and was premiered on 12 December 2011 as part of the Festival Reims Scenes d'Europe at Atelier de la Comédia de Reims. ©Larry Goves About the composer: Larry Goves Larry Goves is a composer based in Manchester. He has written for numerous ensembles and instrumentalists all over the UK and abroad. He performs live electronics in a variety of contexts in particular with his own group the house of bedlam. His music has been broadcast internationally and is released on NMC, Dutton Epoch, the London Sinfonietta’s Jerwood Series, Slip Discs, nonclassical and PRAH. He studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Anthony Gilbert and at Southampton University with Michael Finnissy. He currently teaches composition at the Royal Northern College of Music and for the National Youth Orchestra.

Hans Werner Henze - El Cimarrón (Part 1 of 2)

Recorded Live on 1st December 2013 at Islington Mill, Salford PSAPPHA ENSEMBLE Kelvin Thomas - baritone Conrad Marshall - flutes & percussion Tom McKinney - guitar & percussion Tim Williams - percussion ABOUT 'EL CIMARRÓN' ...the Caribbean model of the fugitive is the runaway slave, the cimarrón... The adjective cimarrón, which was used to designate wild cattle, was applied first to the Indian and then to the Negro. - Antonio Ben¡tez-Rojo My interest in El Cimarrón began during a conversation with Hans Magnus Enzensberger in about 1968, when we were discussing the difficulties of writing political songs which could go beyond or circumvent the achievements of Eisler, Weill and Dessau. At that time, the most likely solution to the problem seemed to me to be a cyclic form, from the rich possibilities of which, perhaps, something new would emerge. On this occasion Enzensberger told me about the Cuban publication of the autobiography of an old black, Esteban Montejo, who was living in Havana and had recalled his youth as a slave. Enzensberger suggested this subject for my experiment. The preparations included making the personal acquaintance of Esteban Montejo, the Cimarrón himself. Miguel Barnet introduced me to him. I had never seen such an old man. He was then 107 years old, tall as a tree, walked slowly and upright, his eyes were lively, he radiated dignity and seemed well aware that he was a historical personage. I could barely understand his Creole; Barnet interpreted. He told stories of the cimarroneria, and his sexual life which must have ben unusually promiscuous. His speaking voice had that melodious quality that seems constantly about to break into song. Our visit lasted about two hours, during which time Esteban smoked one cigar after another. Then the dinner bell sounded and the veterans (of the Cuban war of independence) gathered in the dining room, while a single table was laid on the terrace for Esteban, who had not learned to eat in company. (I recognized some of the old men from the ICAIC film reconstruction of the battle of Mal Tiempo.) From Music and Politics, by Hans Werner Henze

Philip Grange (born 1956) - Cimmerian Nocturne

Philip Grange (born 1956) Cimmerian Nocturne Cimmerian Nocturne was written in 1978-9 in response to a commission from The Fires of London, and first performed by them at the 1980 St Magnus Festival in Orkney. The concern of the work is the generation and carrying-out of a process right on the music’s audible surface. What might exist as substructure in another composer’s work here is raised to the level of actual subject matter. The resultant intensity and feeling of experiencing the bare bones are characteristic of Grange’s work. In Cimmerian Nocturne, the process consists of the creation and eventual braking of a moto perpetuo, principally within the percussion part and secondarily in the piano part. Paralleling this, there is a long ‘cantus’ melody, first on bass clarinet, then on B flat and E flat clarinet while the moto perpetuo intensifies, and a corresponding cantus, when it brakes, with alto flute, the flute bringing the work back full circle to the opening piccolo scream. The adjective ‘cimmerian’ derives from the Greek Kimmerios, which refers to the people of Kimerii, who were fabled as dwelling in perpetual night. This is a nocturne, the composer warns us, not of the usual salon variety. Although not referred to in the title, Conrad’s Heart of Darkness was also an important poetic stimulus to the work. ©Philip Grange ABOUT THE COMPOSER: Philip Grange Philip Grange was appointed Professor of Composition at the University of Manchester in 2001, having previously held appointments at Trinity College, Cambridge and the universities of Durham and Exeter. His compositions have been performed throughout the world, and in the UK this has included performances at most major festivals including the BBC Proms, Huddersfield and Cheltenham. This year overseas his string quartet Ghosts of Great Violence has been performed in Taiwan and Belgium by the Quatuor Danel following its premiere in Manchester and his chamber orchestra piece Adopted Path was performed at a festival in Monterrey, Mexico, where he was the featured international composer. A significant number of Grange’s works have been recorded on CD and his compositions are published by Peters Edition.

Nina Whiteman (born 1981) - The Galaxy Rotation Problem

Nina Whiteman (born 1981) The Galaxy Rotation Problem (world premiere) Vera Rubin (b.1928) is an astronomer whose research led to theories of dark matter in the universe. Her discovery that objects at the outer limits of galaxies rotate much faster than the laws of physics predict was an important landmark in our understanding of space: unseen, non-luminous, dark matter of significant mass must exist. The Galaxy Rotation Problem is an impossible journey through some of the galaxies observed by Rubin: their properties are re-imagined sonically, guiding the listener through terra incognita light years apart. The Galaxy Rotation Problem was commissioned by Psappha for the 2013 New Music North West festival. © Nina Whiteman About the composer: Nina Whiteman Nina Whiteman is a composer and singer based in Manchester. Recent commissions from Manchester Camerata, and Quatuor Danel (among others) as well as high-profile performances at the Cheltenham Music Festival, Kettle’s Yard, RNCM, and on BBC Radio 3 demonstrate Nina’s growing reputation as an engaging compositional talent. She holds a PhD in Composition and teaches part time at the RNCM and University of Manchester. Nina is singer in, and co-director of, Trio Atem, a contemporary music ensemble actively commissioning new work (2013 series funded by Arts Council England). Current composition projects include a commission from Ealing Youth Orchestra – Dark Matter Sounding. www.ninawhiteman.com www.trio-atem.co.uk

Peter Maxwell Davies (b.1934) - Eight Songs for a Mad King

PLEASE NOTE: This performance does not include subtitles - the same performance with subtitles is available on our YouTube Channel The sound recording of this performance was supervised by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies Filmed on 31st March 2012 at the Digital Performance Lab, the University of Salford, Media City UK. PSAPPHA ENSEMBLE with Kelvin Thomas, soloist Conrad Marshall - flute Dov Goldberg - clarinet Richard Casey - piano Tim Williams - percussion / cimbalom Benedict Holland - violin Jennifer Langridge - cello Peter Maxwell Davies - Eight Songs for a Mad King 1. The Sentry (King Prussia's Minuet) 2. The Country Walk (La Promenade) 3. The Lady-in-Waiting (Miss Musgrave's Fancy) 4. To be Sung on the Water (The Waterman) 5. The Phantom Queen (He's ay a-kissing me) 6. The Counterfeit (Le Contrefaite) 7. Country Dance (Scotch Bonnett) 8. The Review (a Spanish March) Long established as a classic of music-theatre, the work is an extravagant, disturbing and poignant portrayal of madness. The king is George III of England - or maybe another madman who believes himself to be that monarch - vocalizing weirdly as he bemoans his fate and tries to teach his instrumentalist-birds to sing. The string and woodwind players are the captives of his insanity, intended to play from within giant cages, while the percussionist is his keeper, holding him within the confines of a maddened musical sensibility. But all the musicians are essentially projections from within his own mind. The focus is always on him, and on his wild vocal performances, which include various kinds of Sprechgesang, chords and a range of over four octaves. The virtuosity of the instrumentalists is no less, nor that of the composer in playing spikily over a range of eighteenth-century references.

Cheung Pui-shan - Voice-Coloured Dance

Voice-colored dance is written for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano. The music is inspired from the composer’s previous work written for the ruan ensemble (Chinese-plucked string instrument) and the field trip in Yunnan. The composer is delighted to find the missing and forgotten pure, delicate and fineness sound and music that she found in the minorities in Yunnan. The composer attempt to blend and merge the significance (the music sonorities, scales and rhythm) of the music of minorities in Yunnan together with the western harmonic color, compositional thoughts and voices in her music. The music begins with long shifting and variable sound imitating the particular style and timbre of the minorities. A bright, colorful and dance-like melodious theme appeared in the middle section follow by a musical passage refined by the Cantonese and Peking opera singing style like character. Finally reappeared with the dance-like section and reached its climax at the very end. 聲飛色舞 「聲飛色舞」是為長笛、單簧管、小提琴、大提琴和鋼琴而寫。 音樂的靈感來自作曲家的阮琴合奏曲和雲南實地考察得來的實驗成 果。作曲家要搜尋那失丟和遺忘的純淨而細膩少數民族的聲音 。 作曲家嘗試把雲南少數民族音樂與西方音樂進行再合併工程,音樂開始以長而微變的聲音模仿少數民族特定的風格和音色。中間為明亮、色彩鮮豔、舞蹈悠揚的主題和帶有京劇演唱的味道。最後是舞蹈悠揚的再現和音樂的高潮。 關於作曲家 張珮珊是一位非常活躍的音樂家及作曲家。她是多項國際音樂大賽得主,她的打擊樂四重奏「五金鋪 」,最近在意大利打擊樂協會作曲國際比賽榮獲第一名。其他音樂大賽包括第二屆愛沙尼亞Lepo Sumera國際管弦樂大賽第一名、盧森堡國際音樂大賽第三名、意大利IBLA國際音樂大賽特別獎、美國國際女作曲家聯會作曲大賽Libby Larson獎、美國密蘇里大學管弦樂比賽及室樂比賽兩項第一名、美國作曲家聯會唱片計畫獎等。 張氏音樂被美國半島雜誌評為「美麗而具爆發力的音樂」。她曾與世界著名管弦樂團合作,包括瑞典哥德堡管弦樂團、愛沙尼亞管弦樂團、香港管弦樂團、美國密蘇里大學管弦樂團、深圳管弦樂團、香港演藝學院管弦樂團。以及著名室內樂團, 包括瑞典斯德哥爾摩色士風四重奏團、荷蘭阿母詩特丹 Niew ensemble、德國達姆施塔特新音樂三重奏、新西蘭Saxcess色士風四重奏團、韓國TIMF室樂團、日本太平洋室內樂團、美國Eighth Black-bird室樂團、 三藩市Empyrean室樂團、美國Liberace木管五重奏、北京新音樂樂團及香港無極彈撥樂團等到各地音樂節演出。 張氏為香港演藝學院音樂學士、美國加州大學聖地牙哥分校音樂碩士及美國密蘇里大學博士。 現任為香港演藝學院全職講師及香港教育學院客席講師。其作品及演出已出版於德國VDM-Verlag及灌錄於盧森堡LGNM、美國Capstone Records及香港APA唱片上。詳情請瀏覽她的個人網頁

Liu Yi - The Forest is Raining (world première)

At noon, rain drops on the forest, to get rid of a little bit sultry. Time pasts by, rain still in its tempo, it turns the monotonous yellow into gorgeous. Clouds densely covered, rain remains the same. Just the kind of gorgeous gradually lost. The lush forest starts to dim, grey and white eroding the world. Finally, the rain falls, it is so ferocious even the forest cannot help but shivering. Rain severely beating the leaves, leaves stubbornly resisting, and starting to pray.. It seems that God heard their begging, Suddenly, Rain stops. But I feel as if the rain still. 雨裡的森林 為長笛,單簧管,顫音琴,鋼琴,小提琴和大提琴而寫 正午,雨點沾濕森林,趕走了幾許悶熱。 許久,她依舊淅淅瀝瀝,那一串串的珠簾將陽光那單調的黃幻化出了斑斕。 烏雲漸漸厚重着,雨點依舊,只是那醉人的斑斕漸漸不再。 森林的蔥綠開始黯淡,灰與白侵蝕著天地。 終於,那珠簾匯聚成水柱,那一瀉而下的氣勢連森林也不禁哆嗦。 雨嘩嘩地下著,被狠狠拍打的樹葉頑強地抵抗著,祈禱著…… 似乎上帝聽見了他的無助, 倐而間, 天地,靜了。 雨,停了。 卻無端生出幾分眷戀,彷彿雨點依舊。

Cheung Tsz-ting - Goodbye Again, Cambridge (world première)

Goodbye Again, Cambridge, is an appealing modern poem written by a Chinese poet named Xu Zhimo. During Autumn in 1928, Xu visited Cambridge for the last time. On his way back to China while passing by South China Sea, he put the scenery and memory of Cambridge into words, expressing his farewell grief. This piece, Goodbye Again, Cambridge, is entitled by the poem. While Xu revealed the Western beauty in a Chinese poem, Western instruments are employed to describe the state of consciousness of the Chinese poet in this musical piece. Very quietly I take my leave As quietly as I came here; Quietly I wave good-bye To the rosy clouds in the western sky. The golden willows by the riverside Are young brides in the setting sun; Their reflections on the shimmering waves Always linger in the depth of my heart. The floatingheart growing in the sludge Sways leisurely under the water; In the gentle waves of Cambridge I would be a water plant! That pool under the shade of elm trees Holds not water but the rainbow from the sky; Shattered to pieces among the duckweeds Is the sediment of a rainbow-like dream. To seek a dream? Just to pole a boat upstream To where the green grass is more verdant; Or to have the boat fully loaded with starlight And sing aloud in the splendour of starlight. But I cannot sing aloud Quietness is my farewell music; Even summer insects keep silence for me Silent is Cambridge tonight! Very quietly I take my leave As quietly as I came here; Gently I flick my sleeves Not even a wisp of cloud will I bring away . 再別康橋 「再別康橋」是中國詩人徐志摩膾炙人口的新詩。1928年秋天,作者最後一次重訪英國劍橋,乘船返回中國,途經中國南海時,把劍橋的景色和緬懷之情融入詩中,表達告別劍橋的淡淡哀愁。 此曲正是以這詩為題,以西方樂器描繪中國詩人的情懷, 好像詩人用中國的詩描繪西方的美。 再別康橋 徐志摩 輕輕的我走了, 正如我輕輕的來; 我輕輕的招手, 作別西天的雲彩。 那河畔的金柳, 是夕陽中的新娘; 波光裡的艷影, 在我的心頭蕩漾。 軟泥上的青荇, 油油的在水底招搖; 在康河的柔波裡, 我甘心做一條水草! 那榆蔭下的一潭, 不是清泉,是天上虹; 揉碎在浮藻間, 沉澱著彩虹似的夢。 尋夢?撐一支長篙, 向青草更青處漫溯; 滿載一船星輝, 在星輝斑斕裡放歌。 但我不能放歌, 悄悄是別離的笙簫; 夏蟲也為我沉默, 沉默是今晚的康橋! 悄悄的我走了, 正如我悄悄的來; 我揮一揮衣袖, 不帶走一片雲彩。

Slash Leung Chi-pong - Samadhi (world première)

Samādhi means a higher level of concentrated meditation. This piece starts with a slow tempo. There are two specific chords combined with three different groups of instruments. Those chords and colours create an “Open” sound. It is followed by a fast section with the materials derived and modified from the previous section. The fast running notes and chords bring the music to the climax. . 三昧 為長笛,降B單簧管,敲擊樂,鋼琴,小提琴及大提琴而作。 一個人能夠心無旁騖,完全投入某一事物之中,不會生起別的意念,此種現象稱三昧。作品先以一段慢的樂段配合兩種不同的和弦音色,利用三組樂器的不同音色,形造空洞的氣氛。緊接著快的樂段,以第一段的素材,配合急速的旋律及合奏的和弦,把樂曲帶至高潮。

Wong Wing-sang - Mountains and marshes (world première)

“Mountains and marshes are on the same level” was come from Hui Shi’s “The ten theses”, which was recorded in Zhuangzi chapter 33 (Under Heaven). Hui Shi was a Chinese philosopher during the Warring States Period. He was a representative of the School of Names. His philosophy advocated analyzing things in the world to sum up the law of the world, negated the stability of an object itself and minimised the properties of an object. The complete thesis of “Mountains and marshes are on the same level” is "Heaven is as low as earth; mountains and marshes are on the same level.", which means if we look heaven(the sky) and earth from a very long distance, they look as low as each other. Similarly, if we look mountains and marshes from a very long distance, they seem to be on the same level. The composer applies this idea into his piece. The piece starts in the lower register of the piano. After three measures, clarinet enters with a microtonal trill. The materials appeared at the beginning of the piece will re-appeared in similar forms. The small changes between materials emphasized the micro-differences on the music. By controlling the speed of developing the materials, the contrast on music is reduced. The purpose of doing these is to create an audible version of “Mountains and marshes are on the same level”. . 山與澤平 「山與澤平」是出自《莊子•天下》中所記載惠施的《歷物十事》。惠施是戰國時期的一位哲學家,是名家的代表人物之一。他主張分析世界上的事物來總結出世界的規律,否定事物本身的穩定性,縮小具體事物的特點。山與澤平的全個命題為「天與地卑,山與澤平。」其意指如果我們站在遠處看天和地就會發現兩者幾乎是接近的。同樣地如果我們在遠處看山和澤,就會發現山和澤都是是平的。作曲家把這個概念放進這首作品中,作品由鋼琴的低音音域開始,三小節之後單簧管以一個微音程的顫音加入。然後這些在樂曲開端時所出現的素材會以一些十分類似的型態重覆出現。透過這些素材之間微細的變化,強調音樂上微細的差異,並通過控制素材變化的速度把音樂上的對比縮小,做出聽覺上的山與澤平。

Li Kin-yat - The First (world première)

The Alphabet of Jesus ben Sirach, dated to anywhere between A.D. 700 and 1000, is an anonymous medieval text which has description of Jesus ben Sirach - a Hebrew prophet who wrote the Wisdom of Sirach which was included in the Deuterocanonical books. The following is the description of Lilith in the Alphabet of Jesus ben Sirach. Soon afterward the young son of the king took ill. Said Nebuchadnezzar, "Heal my son. If you don't, I will kill you." Ben Sira immediately sat down and wrote an amulet with the Holy Name, and he inscribed on it the angels in charge of medicine by their names, forms, and images, and by their wings, hands, and feet. Nebuchadnezzar looked at the amulet. "Who are these?" "The angels who are in charge of medicine: Snvi, Snsvi, and Smnglof (in English: Senoy, Sansenoy and Semangelof). While God created Adam, who was alone, He said, 'It is not good for man to be alone' (Genesis 2:18). He also created a woman, from the earth, as He had created Adam himself, and called her Lilith. Adam and Lilith immediately began to fight. She said, 'I will not lie below,' and he said, 'I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while I am to be the superior one.' Lilith responded, 'We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.' But they would not listen to one another. When Lilith saw this, she pronounced the Ineffable Name and flew away into the air. Adam stood in prayer before his Creator: 'Sovereign of the universe!' he said, 'the woman you gave me has run away.' At once, the Holy One, blessed be He, sent these three angels to bring her back. "Said the Holy One to Adam, 'If she agrees to come back, what is made is good. If not, she must permit one hundred of her children to die every day.' The angels left God and pursued Lilith, whom they overtook in the midst of the sea, in the mighty waters wherein the Egyptians were destined to drown. They told her God's word, but she did not wish to return. The angels said, 'We shall drown you in the sea.' "'Leave me!' she said. 'I was created only to cause sickness to infants. If the infant is male, I have dominion over him for eight days after his birth, and if female, for twenty days.' "When the angels heard Lilith's words, they insisted she go back. But she swore to them by the name of the living and eternal God: 'Whenever I see you or your names or your forms in an amulet, I will have no power over that infant.' She also agreed to have one hundred of her children die every day. Accordingly, every day one hundred demons perish, and for the same reason, we write the angels names on the amulets of young children. When Lilith sees their names, she remembers her oath, and the child recovers."

Liu Wing-him - The Endless Line is Deadline (world première)

Deadline, the endless line in the world you have faced since you were born, absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead. The Deadline is transformed into an endless line of sound progress in exploring the musical development in the piece. The Endless line is end when the piece is finished. . 幾點死線 面對一條永遠不斷的線如何令其不死?最好的方法是加上幾點。 開始時,死線與幾點不太有聯繫,偶發性出現的幾點帶動著音樂,偶爾提醒著 死線的存在。 不理會幾點了,先顧好死線再說。 然後,幾點發難,死線之上由最初的兩三點,變成由幾點主導著音樂聚散的方 向。但死線沒有被隱藏,它變得更強大。 最後,終於幾點可以離開了,死線也有完結的一刻。因為在這之前,通常連幾 點都沒有了,只見死線。

Cheng Lo-yan - Weaving (world première)

Inspired by the art of knitting, the piece emphasizes the relationship between tight and sparse, thick and thin, to reveal the beauty of the orderliness. The melodic direction themselves and the winding gestures of the instruments are the key of this piece, and through the weaving lines to show different dimensions of music. 穿織 「穿織」 為長笛,單簧管,小提琴,大提琴,敲擊及鋼琴而作。 作曲家受針織藝術各種粗細寬窄、緊密分散的線條啓發,在此作品中強調樂器自身的旋律走向及樂器之間的纏繞結合,希望能透過穿織交錯的線條呈現出音樂的立體感。

Barnaby Martin - LEDA ATOMICA (world première)

Leda Atomica is based upon the Salvador Dalí painting of the same name. The painting depicts the Greek myth in which Zeus transforms into a swan and seduces or rapes Leda. This setting aims to represent the visceral and pained nature of the story whilst holding true to Dalí's own catholic interpretation of the myth - the swan is seen whispering in Leda's ear giving rise to thoughts about the incarnation of Christ. Leda Atomica comprises three sections; the outer two concern the narrative forged by Dalí's painting whilst the middle section, Atomica, reminds the listener of the surreal and unworldly nature of the work, hinting at Dalí's obsession with the rise of relativity and quantum mechanics in the 20th century. About the Composer: Barnaby Martin Barnaby Martin is a graduate from Trinity College, Cambridge. His music has been performed across the UK and internationally by amateur and professional ensembles alike. Success in competitions has led to a variety of performances of his music; most notably, he was a finalist in the 2013 DARE New Composer’s Forum, during which part of his Kalamos Suite for orchestra was performed by the Orchestra of Opera North. At the beginning of 2014 Barnaby won the New Music for St Paul’s Cathedral Competition with his setting of Videntes Stellam and in November and December 2014, Lazarus, for chamber ensemble, was one of the winners of the Berkeley Ensemble New Cobbett Prize - the piece is to be recorded by the group for release on the Resonus Classics label in 2015. He is currently studying with Kenneth Hesketh, a professor of composition at the Royal College of Music and, as of 2015, is to be published by Stainer & Bell.

Sophie Sully - Ythsie (world première)

The inspiration from this piece came from my parents recent move to Scotland. Suddenly I found myself going home in the Summer to a new and unfamiliar place, which led to a lot of exploring (especially as I've never lived in the countryside before!). The Ythsie Prop (pronounced 'icy') is a historic monument near the town of Tarves in Aberdeenshire built as a memorial to the 4th Earl of Aberdeen in 1861. It's also visable from my new house, so naturally was the first place I wanted to explore when I visited for the first time. I've used the breathtaking 360 degree views from the top of the prop and other new places I've visited mixed with forms of traditional Scottish folk music as the inspiration behind my piece. About the composer: Sophie Sully Sophie is currently studying for a Masters degree in Instrumental Composition at the University of Manchester with Dr Camden Reeves. She plays Double Bass regularly with orchestras, pit bands and function bands in and around Manchester. She has had pieces performed by the University of Manchester's New Music Ensemble 'Vaganza' in the New Music North West festival, the University of Manchester's Saxophone Ensemble, the Danel Quartet and Trio Atem. In addition to composing and playing, Sophie also enjoys baking, sewing and knitting.

Andrea Riley - Shaking the Patterns (world première)

Shaking the Patterns, is a piece that takes its cue from the short story ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The story was first published in 1892 and criticises the gender roles and stereotypes of the day. One of the central motifs of the story is ‘patterns’. This piece for solo violin makes use of ‘patterns’, employing isorhythm and passacaglia at the opening, which are then ‘shaken’, fractured, interrupted and transformed. At the end of the piece a new theme eventually emerges that transcends that of the opening, yet is ultimately fixed within a pattern of its own, just as the protagonist of ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ frees herself from one kind of pattern but becomes imprisoned in a new one. About the composer: Andrea Riley Andrea Riley is a composer based in the north west of England. She spent the first part of her career involved in education before making a full return to composing. She has recently completed a master’s degree in composition at the University of Manchester, studying with Dr. Kevin Malone. Her work comprises pieces for a variety of chamber ensembles and has been performed both here in the UK, including at the New Music North West Festival, and recently in the US.

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