Monday, April 30, 2007

Splish splosh ding dong honk honk brmmmm

This evening after a rather nice Italian meal in Henley on Thames, the official capital of English snobbery, Julie and I wandered down to the river as dusk fell and we sat watching the water drift past, going about its way for about an hour. The view was beautiful, but it was my ears that were the most impressed sat by the water's edge. As the river lapped gently against the wooden buttresses beside us a church that towered above rang out a slow, tuneless, and somewhat uncoordinated peal of bells. A gaggle of Canadian Geese, presumably over on their holidays joined in, and cackled, honked and babbled at each other across the water. After a while a lone barge made its way up the river, a soft growling hum filling in the spaces between the avant garde campanologist's practice session and his North American feathered collaborators. Once again I had nothing to record the moment, so I'll have to leave your imaginatiions to fill in the rest. I really wish every week would start like that though.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Spot the difference

Following a difficult week I took the rare opportunity provided Saturday evening by a for once peaceful Pinnell Towers to switch off my phone, and with it the rest of the world and spend some time alone, slouched on the sofa with a chilled bottle of chardonnay, a good book and three different versions of Morton Feldman's For Bunita Marcus.

At around an hour and a quarter in length, listening with close attention to three consecutive recordings of this beautifully melancholic, yet expansive, challenging work for solo piano may not seem the most relaxing way to spend your time, but I found the evening very enjoyable and somewhat enlightening.

Of the three recordings of For Bunita Marcus I absorbed, two were played by John Tilbury. The first, his recognised masterpiece realisation from 1990 makes up one quarter of the 4CD box set of Tilbury's Feldman recordings on the LondonHALL label that has long been a favourite of mine. The other Tilbury recording was made by David Reid a few weeks back in a Dublin church, where we attended the last night of the i and e Festival. The recording I played was actually a matrix combination I put together using two simultaneous recordings David made that evening, one from microphones placed insde the piano, the other from outside. A very beautiful recording it is too.

So these two Tilbury renditions were recorded seventeen years apart, in very different circumstances, one in a church, the other in an Austrian studio, and with very different pianos, yet they are both very clearly Tilbury's work. I sandwiched these recordings on Saturday evening with a recent acquisition, Markus Hinterhåuser's 1995 recording of For Bunita Marcus on the Col Legno label.

Now five or six years ago my listening experience and skill with this area of music was somewhat more pedestrian than it is today. I'd have struggled to find differences between the two pianist's work beyond the obvious variances between the technical elements, microphone quality and placement etc.. Today however, the individual voices of the two pianists are clear and markedly different to these ears.

The two Tilbury recordings both exude a certain warmth and sensuality that is perhaps less evident in the Hinterhåuser. Tilbury seems to roll his fingers over the keys, caressing them rather than striking them, moulding each note softly. There seems to be longer breaths between notes that somehow tie together the events better. Hinterhåuser is also a highly skilled pianist with a sensitive touch, but his playing seemed slightly sharper, with more acutely defined notes picked out, each separated from others around it.

The Dublin Tilbury recording is some eight minutes longer than both the LondonHALL disc and the Hinterhåuser. Obviously no extra notes have been added, so the performance was played approximately 10% slower than the other two. Chatting with Tilbury afterwards, he told me it had felt "freer" than he had played the piece before. It certainly sounds looser, more relaxed, languid, and its my favourite of the three recordings.

The slower pace of the Dublin set can probably be explained in a few ways. The naturally relaxed atmosphere of Dublin on a Sunday evening no doubt played its part. The pressures of studio time on the LondonHALL recording maybe had a conscious impact back in 1990 and at 77 minutes it stretches the capacity of a sngle CD to the limit, a longer rendition of the work would have to be spread over two discs. There is also the obvious point that in 2007 Tilbury is an older, more relaxed pianist than seventeen years ago and this doubtlessly has an impact.

So three recordings of one fully notated piece of piano music but each sounding quite different if you listen intently enough. The Hinterhåuser recording is still a beautiful work. If I hadn't heard the Tilbury recordings I would be singing its praises from my usual hyperbolic high, but last night, listening in dim light and fuelled by alcohol it took a definite third place behind the other two recordings, with the Dublin rendition in particular out in front.

So why make this post? Well apart from pointing any stray googlers that have happened to land at this blog towards Feldman's work, I wanted to share my experience of listening to this music in this manner. This blog's name, Learning to listen was carefully chosen. As tastes evolve and we all grow a little older perhaps we each learn how to listen a little differently. Last night my ears were attuned to the subtle nuances in the pianist's playing, the sensuality, the passion. It was less about concentration and more about feeling. Five or six years ago I'd have struggled to have done that. I've grown up a lot as a listener.

Live Tilbury shot courtesy of Fergus Kelly

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Watching you watching me

Last night out of curiosity I installed a visitor counter at this blog, a little bit of freeware html code that records the number of visitors here and their rough location. I'm stunned. As I type the counter shows just short of 50 visits in less than twenty four hours recorded. About five or six of these seem to be me posting and amending the blog but all the same I am shocked how many people have even the slightest interest in the drivel I post here. The average length of time you visit is eleven minutes, you come from ten different countries so far and five of you linked here from Brian Olewnick's fine Just Outside blog, slightly more than arrived here from my links at I Hate Music.

Anyway, I had no idea so many people were reading his. All of a sudden I feel like I should be writing something worth reading!

Now playing - The art Ensemble of Chicago - A Jackson in your house / Message to our folks. (Just for Messrs Lacey and Guthrie!)

Wise after the event

I turned in my review of the i and e festival for ParisTransatlantic at the weekend after my usual struggle to get the thing finished. As I mentioned somewhere below my experience of the first night of music was affected by exhaustion, and so I listened back to some nice quality recordings of the shows to be able to refresh my memory and check whether events were as good as I remembered.

The music was all very strong, but one set in particular struck me as sounding very different on CDr than it did on the evening in question. I've noticed before on quite a few occasions that my experiences listening to music live differ greatly from audio recordings of the same shows. There are a few notable examples, one being the Sakada 3" CD that was released on the Antiopic label a few years back, that is made up of a recording made at the Freedom of the City festival in London in 2003. On the night in the hall the music was very quiet, very quiet indeed. On the released CD though everything sounds so much louder, brighter. Of course quiet music gets lost in a big hall whereas an up close microphone will capture much more, but its not as if the CD contains anything I had missed in the live setting, its just louder. I'm not even arguing that this is wrong in any way, (I probably even prefer the released recording) just that its overall feel is very different.

Clearly someone (on this occasion Tiim Barnes at Quakebasket) just boosted up the recording at the mastering stage, so no great mystery, but on other occasions live shows have sounded very different indeed to my recollection of them. Another easily explained example would be the four hour long MIMEO performance that took place at London's Serpentine Gallery and later became the Lifing Concrete Lightly multi CD release. On this occasion the audience were free to walk about the performance space, and outside of it into Hyde Park, where speakers were set up in various locations. Depending where you were stood at any particular time the music sounded quite different, so one mixed down recording taken from the desk would quite possibly sound very different. However my memory of the show bares absolutley no resemblance ot the live show at all. there are whole sections to be heard in the music I don't remember being there, the recordings might as well have been of a different concert altogether.

One I find less easy to explain is the Cosmos show at The Spitz back in 2002. On the night I was really taken with this performance. I found it beautifully balanced, enchanting music. Perhaps beacuse this was my first experience of Cosmos as a duo I left feeling I had really heard something amazing. Of course history has gone on to show just how good Cosmos can be, and the CD that appeared a year or so later of this perfomance (the Astro Twin / Cosmos 2CD set on FMN) isn't bad at all, but it sounds nothing like I remember. Sachiko sounds far more minimal than my memory of the show, far quieter and much less busy. i guess this one could be the reverse scenario of the Sakada disc and the mikes may have failed to pick up some of the detail, but again its just different.

The recording from the Dublin festival I mentioned at the start of this post was of Joe Colley's solo set. I wrote a glowing review of his performance, picking out how animated he was, writhing about in his chair, eyes closed, head swaying about. Not dissimilar to the time I saw him play solo in New York where he was equally animated. The recording just sounds very different. In truth I probably am just paying more attention to the actual music and far less to Mr Colley's stage presence, but shorn of the visual spectacle the music sounds flatter, less impassioned, and my enjoyment is somewhat lessened.

For me, live concerts and CD releases are very different things that serve different purposes and I don't expect one to be a precise replica of the other, it just always amazes me how different something often sounds when taken out of its original environment and atmosphere and played back aagin.

Pics: MIMEO's Lifting Concrete Lightly sleeve (complete with a shot of me looking wistful!) and Joe Colley in Dublin courtesy of Fergus Kelly

Monday, April 23, 2007

Mass Consumption

I've had a pretty depressing, stressful last few days, work as ever the culprit. Often when in low spirits I fall back upon music to keep going, and that's what I've done over the last week, and one new arrival here in particular has been played over and over.

I've been a fan of Klaus Lang's music for a while now, but over the last six months have found myself going back to his music more and more often, his wonderful Trauermusiken (Mourning Music) is a particular favourite. So when a new Lang falls through the letterbox at Pinnell Towers I'm a happy bunny.
There arent many Klaus Lang releases out there, four all told I believe before this new disc entitled Missa beati pauperes spiritu on the Col Legno label and another forthcoming on the ever reliable Editions RZ imprint. This new release though varies quite a bit from his previous compositions. Missa beati pauperes spiritu is essentially, a mass. Its an astonishingly beautiful, haunting piece of music, but yes its a mass, played pretty straight.
The music is scored for two voices, one male, one female, a string trio, trombone, minimal percussion and some very subtle electronics, performed and recorded live in a slow, quiet and very beautiful manner, with gaps left in the sound for vocal interludes sung in Latin. the vocals have a very 'early music' feel to them, softly sung ethereal calls into the silence. The percussion, courtesy of Günter Meinhart is very restrained, made up of tiny pin pricks of chiming metal, and the trombone, courtesy of Roland Dahinden (a composer in his own right whose Flying White disc has had much play here lately) is reduced to low humming notes. The electonics are barely noticeable, though here and there a tone sounds artificially flattened, or a note seems to be sustained unnaturally long.

All in all this is very relaxing and charming piece of music, but it is also very clearly a mass, a recognisably religous musical form. So is the music religous? Well my latin isn't so great, so its hard to tell, but there are a few hallelujahs to be heard, and the male vocalist is a practising priest so I suspect it is. Lang's sleeve notes are interesting, basically playing down the importance of the religous connection, and stating that the purpose of the mass is not to fill the mind with religous imagery and thought, but rather to free it completely. Lang in fact leans firmly in an Eastern direction for much of his theological inspiration, and a small chinese poem appears (as they often do with Lang's recordings) amongst the sleeve notes. His use of the mass seems to be to use this powerful musical form to transcend theological matters, providing merley a vehicle for contemplation, wherever your beliefs may lie.

Missa beati pauperes spiritu is a wonderful work that I find intensely calming. Quite unlike most of Lang's other work, but just as beautiful. My falling for this piece of music comes hot on the heels of my experience watching the film Into Great Silence and its trappist monks. Keep going like this I'll have shaved my head before winter...!

One last thing, the sleeve "art" is hideous. It seems like Col Legno have decided they need a corporate graphic look to their releases, something I wouldn't usually have any problem with at all, but it seems that this new look is just an excuse to not have to worry about sleeve art as such, replacing it with some pretty tasteless typography laid out in awful colour schemes. I guess this means they can knock out twenty releases a year and not have to worry about comissioning paintings etc for the front of the booklet any longer, but its a real shame to me. Wandelweiser have done something similar, but they had to reduce costs, so moved from colour booklets to minimal (and rather tasteful) black and white type designs, whereas the Col Legno design is no cheaper to print than their previous releases, just quicker and easier. All rather sad to me.

"...i went and returned
it was nothing special.
rozan for its misty mountains
sekko for its water..."

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

(When you wake) You're still in a dream

So as you've all read me wittering on here before, I work long hours. This leaves me in a perpetual state of tiredness, sometimes so exhausted I struggle to stay awake when I want to, and live half of my waking life in some sort of tiredness induced haze.

So, having got all of your sympathy again, there's a point in mentioning this. I often find myself listening to music in the late evening after I have got home from work, usually after a long drive and I need to wind down before going to bed, often sat in front of a computer screen like this with a nice cup of tea or a double whisky if its been a particularly bad day. Listening to music at these times can be an odd experience when tiredness is really pulling at your senses. Trying to focus closely on sounds, dynamics, the ongoing structure of a piece of music becomes hard, the details blur, but as your mind wanders into a semi-dream state certain musics seem to be better to listen to in this condition.
Eliane Radigue's music is often something I will play at a later hour when serious lethargy takes a hold. Morton Feldman's longer pieces are favourites too. Its many years since I last indulged in any kind of stimulant whilst listening to music, but the effect that this level of exhaustion can have on the listening experience is not so far away from that sensation.

I am this week trying to finish writing a review of the i and e festival I attended in Dublin recently. I arrived in Dublin on the morning of the first evening of music without having slept the night before, and then due to the ridiculously jobsworthy staff at the hotel I was staying at I could not get my head down for a few hours sleep until very late in the afternoon. The result of all this was I arrived for the first evening's music in a somewhat dazed state, and I'm sure my perception of the music I heard that night was affected by this. Everything seemed to drift along in a dreamy manner, and whilst I have listened to recordings of the sets since and I know that the music was all of a high standard, on the evening I enjoyed everything immensely, perhaps because of my physical state.

Not sure why I'm telling you all of this, but I type this at half-past midnight after a long long day that saw me get home at 11PM after fifteen hours work, and right now Taku Sugimoto's Live in Australia sounds good in the background as my exhaustion begins to take hold and maybe now its time to...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz......

Sunday, April 15, 2007

A Dawn Symphony

At 4.12AM this morning I woke with a start. I'm not sure why, maybe I was having a bad dream in which Spandau Ballet had reformed and Julie was insistent we went to see them... but woke I did.

I sat bolt upright in my bed which sits underneath a window looking out onto my back garden. the window was wide open as its been really hot here this weekend, and I was immediately aware of the sound of the close-by Didcot Power Station roaring very softly to itself as it does overnight at weekends when they clean out the enormous chimneys. Moments later a scratching, rustling sound joined the soft roar as some animal, probably a hedgehog could be heard scurrying about in the dark below.
Two sounds, one massive and powerful, the other tiny and vulnerable joining together to make a special music for my ears only.

I sat and listened for a few minutes before tiredness got the better of me and I fell back asleep. If I hadn't been so exhausted I might have grabbed my minidisc recorder, but somehow I'm glad that I didn't, as although I might have captured the sounds, I couldn't have captured the moment.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Beneath the surface

So this lunchtime before taking a long walk out across the hills of the Ridgeway I bored Julie to tears by dragging her to the small but perfectly formed Oxford Museum of Modern Art to catch the last day of the Callum Innes exhibition entitled From Memory.

Innes is a Scottish painter I have admired from a distance in the past, always enjoying his paintings when I come across them, but never really investigating his work any further. From Memory contains about two dozen paintings, most of which are quite large in size, and all from the last ten years.
Innes' work is hard to categorise. There are obvious links back to the abstract expressionists of the 50's in his painting, but he takes a very individual and focussed approach to his work. Standing back and taking in the work from a distance you could be forgiven for taking Innes to be the archetypal modernist, large expanses of geometric colour and shades of grey placed onto canvasses that differ only very slightly from the one hanging next to them, but step closer and the real depth to Innes' work begins to reveal itself.

Innes seems to use the process of removing paint from the canvas just as much as applying it in the first place. Many of the large blocks of colour appear to be treated with some form of paint thinner to remove the surface, before he repaints, removes, repaints, to leave a deply textured surface full of almost incidental detail. Other areas show signs that the paint has been scraped away to leave hollow shells where the colour used to be. The paintings exude a physicality to them, almost as if they are works in progress, waiting to be taken down to have the next stage of work applied to them.
Some of the smaller paintings in the show involve single blocks of colour into which it can be seen that Innes has carved away the thick paint down to the canvas, rendering the works almost as reliefs as much as paintings.

I felt a similar feeling stood in a large hall of Innes' Exposed Painting series of canvasses as I do in the Rothko room at the Tate Modern in London. The large looming works have the cumulative effect of creating a sombre atmosphere in the room, the deep greys and dark purples that spread across one wall in particular portraying a feeling of quiet introspection, making their mark but doing it in a reserved, almost stately manner.

Away from the big halls I was very taken with a small side room that only housed two paintings, one of which, entitled Resonance One at first appears to be entitrely black, but on closer inspection can be seen to be made up of many layers of paint, partly removed in thin, irregular vertical lines allowing the layers below to shine through. The painting is placed in the darkest corner of the room, where this detail is virtually impossible to perceive, but with a window set in the slanted celing projecting a square of light directly onto the work, revealing under this natural and slowly moving spotlight the hidden depths of the painting. This work in particular held a simple yet romantic appeal for me, a work that would appear different to its viewer depending on the time of the day you came to see it.

For some strange (but probably quiet obvious) reason I tend to compare abstract painting to music, and inevitably I find traces of Feldman in Innes' work with the repetition of colour and line betrayed by close inspection that shows individual beauty in every small detail. My recent review of Radu Malfatti's recent minimalistic music spoke of how his compositions resemble complex works that have had large portions removed, erased by the composer, leaving just trace elements behind for the listener to decode. Those thoughts were also in my mind wandering around the Callum Innes show today.

My enjoyment of the From Memory exhibition was spoilt by my learning that just two weeks ago a concert of music by Tim Parkinson and James Saunders, two up and coming London composers and Wandelweiser associates whose music I am enjoying a lot had taken place in the adjoining café, all just six miles from my home. Its a small world, but it seems not small enough for me to have found out about this in time. Oh well, maybe next time.

Old Friends

When you try and keep up with the continual stream of new releases that come out in any one area of music you are bound to find that you have more music than time to listen. This is very much the case for me. However over Easter I managed to get four days together when I did little else but listen to music (a LOT of music) and for the first time in about a year managed to clear the stack of unlistened to CDs that usually inhabits the end of my desk.

I have a simple rule here that unless something is absolutely awful I will listen to it at least twice before it leaves the desk and gets filed away on the shelves. (The really awful CDs get used as coffee coasters) Clearly though, two listens isn't enough, and so there are probably plenty of gems on my shelves that I have passed over without properly listening, but thats life, I do my best.

On these rare occasions that I do manage to clear the decks however I really enjoy taking some old favourites down from the shelves to give them another spin. Yesterday evening I dozed off with AMM's Before driving to the chapel we took coffee with Rick and Jennifer Reed on its second spin of the night. Whilst maybe not the very best AMM album, Before driving... is a great record, taken from a 1996 tour of the USA and from a period of time when the AMM trio were making great music. Only the prescence of a few too many dramatic drumrolls from Eddie keeps me from rating this set amongst the very best from the classic AMM trio line-up.

A few days back I pulled a couple of other classics from the shelves in one evening. Firstly The Spontaneous Music Ensemble's great 1994 recording A New Distance on the Acta label got a rare play and made for a really fine listen. The first half of the disc was recorded at an early LMC Festival way back in '94 which was actually the first LMC festival I attended, and a show that left a considerable mark on me. That was the only time I got to see the great John Stevens play live, which is a massive shame, but I'm very pleased to be able to say I managed it once in my life.

The other oldie but goodie from that evening was Burkhard Stangl's Ereignislose Musik - Loose Music release, also from 1994 on the sadly long obsolete Random Acoustics label. Loose Music is made up of four Stangl compositions that are scored for a group called Ensemble Maxixe, a thirteen strong group put together by Stangl to play the work that included all four members of the original Polwechsel line up amongst their number.
Loose Music sits very firmly in the category of Modern Composition, strong aggressive sections of music spaced apart by longer, sometimes improvised passages but always retaining a sense of control and precision in its execution. Pretty much everything can be heard here, from massive large group flourishes to the unmistakable sound of Radu Malfatti's minimal trombone, yet all of the CD is equally involving and exciting. Not sure you are likely to find a copy of this unless one comes up on eBay though.

Tonight as I sit here late typing this, Kaffe Matthews, Sachiko M and Andrea Neumann's In case of fire, take the stairs is buzzing and spluttering away quietly in the background, a very good disc indeed on the Improvised Music from Japan label. From the golden era of IMJ this trio is a fantastically understated recording of three musicians playing together for the first time, and somehow hitting top form at the first attempt.
I have been listening to a lot of Neumann's work this last fortnight since seeing her play a fantastic couple of sets at the Dublin i and e festival, and I think this is possibly her best performance on a released CD so far, a mixture of low drones, prickly sinewaves and scratchy interventions with plenty of room left for big chunks of silence.

Sometimes we all need these little excursions back into the music we love but don't have enough time to actually listen to remind us that the continual struggle to keep listening to new music does turn out the odd masterpiece every so often. As I type this the beautiful tinkling piano strings and sinewave ending to In case of fire... has come to a close, the room falls silent and the disc can go back on the shelf until its turn comes around again. Happy times.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Minimal Monastic Meditations

I don't watch films. I don't own a television and have never really understood the attraction of going to the cinema. Julie and I do occasionally make the trip to see something that she particularly wants to watch, but in general my life passes by without being distracted by movies. From time to time I buy DVDs of things that look interesting and I watch them on my computer, but these moments are rare. The recent influx of audio/visual music releases such as the AVVA disc have caused me to try and sit and watch a little more frequently of late, but even these attempts have mainly proved pretty difficult experiences for me.

So it came as a surprise to me when not only did I go and book tickets to see a film all by myself, but also when I found myself really enjoying the film a great deal. Die Grosse Stille, a film by Philip Gröning consists of three hours that tell the story of the everyday life of the Grand Chartreuse order of monks, housed in an ancient monastery tucked away amongst the French Alps. On the surface, given my intense distaste for organised religon and my disinterest in the medium of film, that description wouldn't normally inspire me much, but this film is very different.

Die Grosse Stille translates as Into Great Silence. The film contains no naration, no musical soundtrack and no 'plot' beyond capturing the monks going about their day to day life. So the sounds that fill the three hours of Gröning's film are the natural sounds that fill the halls and corridors of the monastery, close to silent, with every closing of a door, turning of the page in a prayer book amplified not only around the ancient building, but also around the ICA screening room in which I sat with about a hundred other captivated watchers taking in the film. There is very little spoken word in the film, and most of the human voices heard belong to the occasional Gregorian chant of the monks.

Visually the film is very beautiful. Everything is shot very slowly, with every last detail captured and focussed upon. Events are allowed to unfold at their natural pace, and in the coccooned isolation of the monastery it feels as if things are allowed to take longer than usual, there is no stress, no hurry, just a group of men going about the same things they do every day. Simplistic occurences such as sitting down to eat a meal are followed carefully, the rituals of preparation and prayer allowed to take their course silently, and the tiniest of details such as snowflakes falling past the window become amplified in your mind. There is no harsh artificial lighting to be found, Gröning took his time making the film throughout several seasons but always using what natural light was available, so the film has a dark, hushed look to it to match the lack of additional sound.

I was recommended to watch this film by David Lacey, a good friend and man of great taste over in Dublin when I visited back in February. He had just watched the film, and despite knowing my complete disinterest in the medium urged me to watch it, telling me it would be right up my street. Well he wasn't wrong. Sitting watching Die Grosse Stille reminded me a lot of attending quiet concerts of music, the focus amongst the audience was remarkable, there was no unravelling of noisy sweet wrappers, no kids running about the aisles, people slipping off to the toilet did it quickly and quietly, the entire experience took place in a state of meditative calm.

The religous elements of the film didn't bother me so much whilst watching. the title Into Great Silence refers to the state of muted reverence that the monks enter whilst in the monastery, and the prayer, the chanting and the religous rituals are not hidden from the viewer. Somehow though I found myself respecting the monks' gentle way of life more than I got angry about the silliness of their devotion. The act of self control and their dedication to a restrained, ritualistic lifestyle actually impressed me a great deal, and this austerity when linked to the beauty of the filmwork is enough to ensure I seek out the DVD when it appears soon, though I would suspect the experience of watching at home will come nowhere near matching the atmosphere of experiencing Die Grosse Stille in a cinema.

if it the film shows near you soon I thoroughly recommend you dont miss out. More information can be found here:

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Nono Nono Nono Nono Nono Nono, there's no limits...

Whilst I've dabbled with modern composition for years, with Feldman in particular being a long term passion, its only really over the last eighteen months that I have really begun to delve into comtemporary composition with real verve.
The work of Italian composer Luigi Nono has been amongst the music that has really captured my attention, and the later works of his life in particular. The first Nono I picked up was La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura, the version on the Wandelweiser label to be precise.

I have to admit it was probably more the Wandelweiser connection that caused me to buy that version of La lontananza than any great knowledge of the composer or the work, but I'm glad I did. Composed for solo violin and taped violin in 1989, I fell in love with the piece, fortunate to chance upon one of Nono's last works with this first purchase. (or was it fortune? Having spoken elsewhere recently about the merits of trusting labels you like the output of to introduce you to new work, this is one good example of just that) The Wandelweiser recording by Clemens Merkel remains a real favourite of mine, but subsequent investigations into Nono caused me to pick up a further four versions, with the recording by Gidon Kremer (for whom the piece was originally composed) on Deutsche Grammaphon becoming very hard to shift from my CD player.

Each of the versions of La lontananza is quite different as the piece allows a degree of interpretation, the Merkel version lasting a full twenty minutes longer than the Kremer, but the music is naked, open to the elements stuff, conversations between one man, his instrument and the taped material. Sustained notes, small fagments of cut up violin figures, dry lines weaved between each other, wonderful stuff.

Over the last year I've extended the number of Nono titles on my shelves to fifteen or so, initially just buying whatever I saw, but after a while realising the later compositions, mainly from the eighties were the ones I was enjoying the most. Fragmente - stille an Diotima (Framents, silence for Diotima) recorded by the Arditti String Quartet for the Montaigne label is another real favourite. Delicate, gentle sections that demand the attention of the listener sit amongst a quiet background. The music has an almost ethereal feel, a lightness in sound yet a depth of feeling beneath it that bubbles to the surface every so often in short dramatic flourishes. I think Fragmente is Nono's only string quartet, though I may be wrong.

On the same Arditti disc there is a version of Hay que caminar for two violins composed in 1989, another great piece written around the same time as La lontananza (a version actually appears on the Kremer DG release). This time no taped violin is present, the score is for two humanly manhandled violins. However the learnings of La lontananza seem to definitely inform Hay que caminar a great deal, with the piece playing with notions of space between the two instruments, their individual sounds carefully pitched in conversation with each other, ideas that developed from Nono's work with tape around this time.

Another very strong release of later works comes again from Montaigne, and the Ensemble Recherche recording of Guai Ai Gelidi Mostri for three strings, clarinet, tuba and two contralto singers, but all treated in real time electronically. The treatments are very subtle indeed, just adding gentle textures to the music here and there, but also extending some sounds out beyond their natural completion, often sitting behind the music to provide a canvas for the splashes of sound. Guai Ai Gelidi Mostri is a wonderfully crafted work, with a supreme sense of balance running throughout, between the instruments and the voices, sounds and the silence and the acoustic and the electronic. At present I only have a CDR burn of this recording (many thanks to Mr Adam Sonderberg!) but as I type, I think I may have tracked a rare original copy down that should be on its way to me soon.

Nono was exceptional amongst the composers that emerged from the 1950's Darmstadt school in that he was politically engaged. His earlier works wore their social concerns on their sleeve, with the human voice taking a central role in many of the compositions, often a voice of protest against injustices seen first and second hand by the composer. Whilst his later compositions paid more attention to the purity of sounds and their construction into musical works, his music remained inspired by emotional struggles and the need to express something more than mere musical theory.

Released just this year as part of Edition RZ's Jahre Inventionen series, Quando stanno morendo (diario polacco No.2) (Whilst they are dying, Polish diary No.2) was composed in 1981 as a direct response to the oppressive state of affairs in Poland that had brought about martial law and had pulled the country apart. The work is a powerfully emotional composition for four soprano voices, bass flute and cello, with the vast majority of the music focussed on the massed sopranos, their words floating over each other in and out of polyphony. Gradually however the instrumentation breaks in, with the cello in particular treated electronically in a live mix to the degree it is barely recognisable, twisting into ugly churning forms that rise in intensity, giving the music a violence that grips the listener. Spoken word passages also take place in the music at these times when the tension begins to rise. The texts spoken are in a foreign tongue and tell of great peril and horror ("When they are dying, people sing..."). The precise meaning of the words would be lost on me without having read the liner notes, but the desperate, deeply unsettling nature of the words is clear nonetheless. In this form, and through their careful placement amongst the music its as if Nono used the spoken words to blend raw human emotions into the aggressive ravages of the music as if just another instrument.

I found Quando stanno morendo a wonderful piece of music, realised here by a long list of names that includes Frances-Marie Uitti's cello for the RZ release. I have since noticed an older version of the piece on the Col Legno label that I hope to acquire soon, but in the single week that I have owned this RZ version I have been very much taken by this work.

There are many more Nono pieces that I have yet to hear, some that I am likely to enjoy as much, some less so, but I make no claims to being an expert in this area. Discovering the joys to be had in Nono's work along with the music of many of the other contemporary composers I have been listening to has been a real inspiration for me over recent months. I feel like a kid that just stumbled into a new toyshop. My interest in improvised musics has not waned, more CDs appear here than ever before, and you're unlikely to find a Nono composition appear on Cathnor, but this extra dimension to my recent listening has been a pleasure to discover and share with you here.

Recommendations for further Nono (or related) listening would be much appreciated!

Oh, and apologies to any readers outside of Europe that may not understand the title of this post!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Photo of the month No.1

Optimism from a Dublin wall... April 2007

Where the hell have you been?

Ok, so I've managed to keep the blog about as regular as my Grandmother after a particularly heavy curry...

My apologies for this. The main reason has just been a lack of time. you've heard it from me before, but I'll beg for your sympathy again. I work sixty-plus hours a week in a very stressful job that I hate (but I hope to rectify this situation soon). I also run a record label, which has recently given birth to its third offspring, and this along with keeping going with audition takes up a lot of my spare time and energy. Balancing all of these things around maintaining a relationship with my good lady Julie is a continual challenge, and this blog has been the bit allowed to slip.

audition is now taking a much deserved three month hiatus, to return in July. For those that have not listened to Alastair and myself talking rubbish before you can download mp3s from the link on the left.
What else have I been up to? Well not a great deal. I've attended a good few concerts, which you can view by clicking the Concerts Attended link top left, and have only managed one piece of new music writing, a lengthy review of Radu Malfatti's recent output that can be found here:

Last weekend I made it back to Dublin for the exceptionally good i and e festival, a write up is in progress and will appear here soon. this last Easter weekend I've had four days at home sorting out my life a little and listening to massive amounts of music, much of which has been in a contemprary composition vein, some thoughts on that here soon too.

I promise to do my best to keep the blog up to date more frequently over coming months, but we'll see how it goes.

CDs Acquired

This thread will list the CD acquisitions I make as the year goes along, It begins in April 2007.
This really isn't here for any silly purpose of displaying my spending power, merely to list things for my own reference, and should anyone want opinions on anything listed here just ask.

April 2007

Fergus Kelly - A Host of Particulars (Room Temperature)
Fergus Kelly - Strange Weather (Room Temperature) 3"
David Tudor - Self Titled (Editions RZ) 2CD
Luigi Nono - Jahre Inventionen V (Editions RZ)
Giacinto Scelsi - Self Titled (Editions RZ)
Annette Krebs, David Lacey, Keith Rowe, Paul Vogel - Live Dublin March 2006 (Homefront Records)
James Saunders - #[unassigned] (Confront) 2CD
David Tudor - Live Electronic Music (Leonardo Music Journal)
M.Holterbach - Aare am marzilibad (Erewhon)
Luigi Nono - Prometeo (Ensemble Modern) (EMI)
Klaus Lang - Missa beati paperes spiritu (Col Legno)
Luigi Nono - Das atmende Klarsein (Col Legno)
Art Ensemble of Chicago - A Jackson in your house / Message to our folks (Snapper)
Morton Feldman - For Bunita Marcus (Markus Hinterhåuser) (Col Legno)

May 2007

Various - 50 years of New Music in Damstadt 4CD (Col Legno)
Morton Feldman - Triadic Memories (Markus Hinterhåuser) (Col Legno)
Anton Webern - Chamber music for strings (Schoenberg Quartet) (Chandos)
Olga Neuwirth - Todesraten (Col legno)
Axel Dörner, Toshimaru Nakamura - Vorhernach (Ftarri)
Ingar Zach - In (Kning Disk)
David Tudor, John Cage - Rainforest II / Mureau (New World)
Horatio Radulescu - Piano Concerto The Quest (CPO)
MUTA (Rhodri Davies, Alessandra Rombola, Ingar Zach) - Yesterday night you were sleeping at my place (Sofa)
Luigi Nono - Orchestral works and chamber music (Col Legno)
Anton Webern - Symphony, Six pieces for large orchestra (Robert Craft) (Naxos)
Arnold Schoenberg - Serenade, Variations (Robert Craft) (Naxos)
Lucio Capece, Axel Dörner, Robin Hayward - Kammerlårm (Azul Discografica)
Günter Müller - Reframed (Cut)
Sabine Vogel, Magda Mayas, Michael Renkel - Phono Phono (Absinth)
Burkhard Beins - Disco Prova (Absinth)
Jean Paul Jenkins, Bryan Eubanks - French Family Fun (EMR)
Ryu Hankil, Jin Sangtae, Choi Joonyong - 5 Modules I (Manual)
Hong Chulki - 5 Modules II (Manual)
John Cage, David Tudor - Indeterminacy (Smithsonian/Folways)
Arnold Schoenberg - Gurre-Lieder (Robert Craft) (Naxos)
Arnold Schoenberg - Concerto for String Quartet (Robert Craft) (Naxos)
Arnold Schoenberg - Pierrot Lunaire (Robert Craft) (Naxos)
Klaus Lang - Einfalt.Stille (Editions RZ)
Helmut Lachenmann - NUN / Notturno (Musik für Julia) (Kairos)
Giacinto Scelsi - Quattro Illustrazioni (Markus Hinterhauser) (Col Legno)
Morton Feldman - For Samuel Beckett (Klangforum Wien) (Kairos)
Johann Sebastian Bach - The Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin (Gidon Kremer) (ECM)
Helmut Lachenmann - Orchestral works & chamber music (Col Legno)
Luigi Nono - Io, frammento da Prometeo (Col Legno) (2SACD)

June 2007

Keith Rowe - The Room (ErstSolo)
Ellen Fullman, Sean Meehan - S/T (Cut)
Jason Kahn, Tomas Korber, Norbert Moslang, Günter Müller, Christian Weber - Signal Quintet (Cut)
Jason Kahn, Norbert Mosalng, Günter Müller - Signal to Noise Vol.3 (For4Ears)
Tomas Korber, Christian Weber, Katsura Yamauchi - Signal to Noise Vol.2 (For4Ears)
Bryan Eubanks, David Kendall - Trapped in various places (EMR)
Nate Wooley - The Boxer (EMR)
Bryan Eubanks - We can't afford to spend our last remaining seconds looking for reasons. (EMR)
Ground Zero - Live 1992 (Doubt Music)
Andy Hayleck, Bonnie Jones - 45'35 (self-released)
Nicholas Bussmann, Toshimaru Nakamura - I know how you frown (KwanYin)
Bernhard Günter - Univers Temporel Espoir (trente oiseaux)
Ingar Zach, Thomas Lehn, Ivar Grydeland - Szc zcz cze zec eci cin (Musica Genera Archiva)
Helmut Lachenmann - Ausklang / Tableau (Col Legno)
Dmitri Shostakovich - Complete String Quartets (Borodin Quartet) (Melodya) 6CD
Earle Brown - Selected Works 1952-1965 (New World Records)
Michael Zerang (with assorted Lebanese colaborators) - Cedarhead (Al Maslakh)
Alan Berg / Arnold Schoenberg - Violin Concerto / Piano Concertos (Deutsche Grammophon)
Philip Thomas - Comprovisation (Bruce's Fingers)
Stefano Scodanibbio - Six Duos (New Albion)
Ernesto Rodrigues, Angharad Davies, Guilherme Rodrigues, Alessandro Bosetti, Masafumi Ezaki - London (Creative Sources)
Jonathon Coleclough, Murmer - Husk (ICR)
Alessandro Bosetti - Her Name (Crouton)
Tim Caitlin, Jon Mueller - Plates and Wires (Crouton)
John Cage - Music of Changes (David Tudor) (Hat Art)
John Cage, Morton Feldman - Music for Keyboard 1935-1948 / The Early Years (New World)
Dmitri Shostakovich - Violin Sonata / Viola Sonata (Gidon Kremer) (Deutsche Grammophon)
Johann Sebastain Bach - Suites for solo cello (Janos Starker) (Mercury) 2SACD
eRikm, Dieb13 - Chaos Club (Erstwhile)
Eliane Ragigue - Jetsun Mila
Keith Hudson - Playing it cool and playing it right (Basic Replay)
Michel Doneda, Giuseppe Ielasi, Ingar Zach - Flore de Cataclysmo (Sedimental)
Axel Dörner - Sind (Absinth)
Travis Just - National Reform (Object Collection)
Travis Just - Rooms and No titles (Object Collection)
Helmut Lachenmann - Kontradenz (Kairos)
Luigi Nono - Quando Stanno Morendo (Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart) (Col Legno SACD)
Jürg Frey - String Quartets (Wandelweiser)
Antoine Beuger - Silent Harmonies in Discrete Continuity (Wandelweiser)

July 2007

Gustav Mahelr - Symphony No.10 (Claudio Abbado) (Deutsche Grammophon)
Gustav Mahler - Symphony 5 / Symphony 10 Barshai Reconstruction (Rudolf Barshai) (Brilliant)
Béla Bartok - The Six String Quartets (Emerson Quartet) (Deutsche Grammophon)
Dmitri Shostakovich - Sonata for Cello and Piano / String Quartet No.15 (Yo-Yo Ma, Gidon Kremer) (Sony)
Johann Sebastian Bach - The Goldberg Variations 1955 Recording (Glenn Gould) (Sony)
Tommy Potts - The Liffey Banks (Claddagh)
Nos Phillipé - Nos Phillipé (Self released)
Kiyoshi Mizutani - Scenery of the border: Environment and Folklore of the Tanzawa Mountains (and/OAR)
Dmitri Shostakovich - Shostakovich Edition (27 CDs) (Brilliant)

August 2007

Various Artists - Yasuhiro Ozu - Hitoromakura (and/OAR)
Mark Wastell - Come Crimson Rays (Kning Disk)
Morton Feldman - For Bunita Marcus (Stephane Ginsburgh) (Sub rosa)
Various Artists - Archival series - Musique Concréte Soundtracks to Experimental Short Films Vol.1 (NEEMC)
Frank Eickhoff, Travis Just, Anne Votisch - s/t (Object Collection)
John Cage / Burkhard Schlothauer - Seven / 15 similar events (Wandelweiser)
Luigi Nono - Memento, España en el corazon (Bruno Maderna) (Arkadia)
Morton Feldman - Patterns in a chromatic field (HatArt)
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No.9 (Claudio Abbado) (Deutsche Grammophon)
Dave Barnes, Graham Stephenson - s/t (Self released)
Mersault - Raymond & Marie (Formed)
Lucio Capece, Toshimaru Nakamura - ij (Formed)
Henrik Rylander - Public Loudspeakers, Information & Disinformation (Book and CD)(Kning Disk)
Doug Theriault, Kathleen Keogh - Broken Flowers (Audiobot)
Fritz Houser, Stephan Grieder - The Mirror (HatArt)
Music of our time - Various composers, Bernstein, NY Philharmonic (Sony)
Gerog Friedrich Haas - In vain (Kairos)
Taco Kooistra - Ladder of Escape 6 (Attacca)
Ryu Hankil, Taku Unami, Jin Sangtae, Mattin - Module III (The Manual)
Matthias Pintscher - Fünf Orchesterstücke (Kairos)
Luciano Berio - The complete Sequenzas, Alternate sequenzas and works for solo instruments (Mode 4CD)
Ferran Fages - Cancons per a un lent retard (Etude)
Alfredo Costa Monteiro - Allotropie (Bourbaki)
Beautiful Screaming Lady - Songs (For Oscar Bonello) (National Subnormal)
Dmitri Shostakovich - Complete String Quartets (Rubio Quartet) (Brilliant)
Alban Berg / Anton Webern - Chamber Music (Ardiiti SQ, Stefan Litwin) (Montaigne)
Takefumi Naoshima, Hirozumi Takeda, Utah Kawasaki, Toshihro Koike, Takehiro Kawauchi, Yasuo Totsuka - Septet (Meena)
Takefumi Naoshima, Hirozumi Takeda, Utah Kawasaki, Toshihro Koike, Takehiro Kawauchi, Yasuo Totsuka - Recorded at Mitaka City Arts Centre November 2005 (Meena CDR)

September 2007

Rhodri Davies - Over Shadows (Confront)
Michael Prime - Borneo (Mycophile 2CD + 3"CD)
Johann Sebastian Bach - Cello Suites 1-6 (Pablo Casals) (Naxos)
Dmitri Shostakovich - Cello Sonatas 1 & 2 (Frans Helmerson) (Chandos)
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No.9 (Sir John Barbirolli) (EMI)
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No.9 (Claudio Abbado) (EuroArts DVD)
Bruno Maderna / Antoine Beuger / Wolfgang von Schweinitz / Thomas Stiegler (Clemens Merkel) (Wandelweiser)
Bruno Maderna - Oboe ConcertoS (Fabian Menzel) (Col Legno)
Sofia Gubaidulina - Seven Words (Naxos)
Morton Feldman - For Bunita Marcus (Hildegard Kleeb) (HatArt)
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No.3 (Claudio Abbado) (Deutsche Grammophon)
Gustav Mahler / Alban Berg - Symphony No.4 / Seven Early Songs (Claudio Abbado) (Deutsche Grammophon)
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No.6 (Claudio Abbado) (Deutsche Grammophon)
Luigi Nono - Prometeo, Tragedia dell'ascolto (Col Legno)
Yasuo Totsuka, Takefumi Naoshima - New tears of flowers (Encadre)
Yasuo Totsuka, Takefumi Naoshima - Pushed out from the tube (Encadre)
Toshiya Tsunoda - Low frequency observed at Maguchi Bay (Hibari)
Taku Unami - 1mannengo Soundtrack (Hibari)
Marc Baron, Bertrand Denzler, Jean-Luc Giuionnet, Stephane Rives - Propagations (Potlatch)
Arnold Schoenberg / Anton Webern - A Survivor from Warsaw / Orchestral Works (Claudio Abbado) (Deutsche Grammophon)
Arnold Schoenberg - Verklarte Nacht, Five Orchestral Pieces, Piano Pieces (Daniel Barenboim) (Teldec)

October 2007

Taku Sugimoto - Doremilogy (Skiti)
Taku Unami - Malignitat (Skiti)
Taku Sugimoto, Moe Kamura - Saritote (Saritote)
Jin Sangtae, Park Seungjun - 5 Modules IV (Manual)
Noid - "You're not here" (Hibari)
Jean-Luc Guionnet - Tirets (Hibari)
Joe Gilmore - On Quasi-Convergence and Quiet Spaces (Cut)
Norbert Moslang - Header_change (Cut)
Kevin Drumm, Daniel Menche - Gauntlet (Editions Mego)
Morton Feldman - Piano (Marianne Schroeder) (Hat Art)
Kostis Kilymis - Thessaloniki 1963, a diary from a to b (Self released)
Tim Feeney, Vic Rawlings - In six parts (Sedimental)
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No.2 (Claudio Abbado) (EuroArts DVD)
The Contest of Pleasures - Tempestuous (Another Timbre)
Sophie Agnel, Phil Minton - Tasting (Another Timbre)
Frank Denyer - Music for shakuhachi (Yoshikazu Iwamoto) (Another Timbre)
Rhodri Davies, Matt Davis, Samantha Rebello, Bechir Saade - Hum (Another Timbre)

November 2007

R/S (Peter Rehberg, Marcus Schmickler) - Snow Mud Rain (Erstwhile)
Jeffrey Allport, Anfgahrad Davies, Chandan Narayan - Hawker's Delight (SG)
Mitsuhiro Yoshimura, Taku Dugimoto - not BGM and so on (h)earrings)
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No.7 (Claudio Abbado) (Euroarts DVD)
Gustav Mahler - The Symphonies + Lieder (Assorted orchestras / conductors) (Documents 10CD Set)
Arnold Schoenberg, Anton Webern, Alban Berg - 5 Orchestral Pieces / 6 Orchestral Pieces / Symphonic Pieces from the opera "Lulu (EMI)
Taus (Klaus Filip, Tim Blechmann) - The Organ of Corti (L'innomable)
Eric Carlsson, David Lacey, Martin Küchen, Paul Vogel - Chipshop Music (Homefront)
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No.9 (Bruno Maderna) (BBC)
Alban Berg - Complete Chamber Music (Schoenberg Quartet) (Chandos)
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No.5 (Claudio Abbado) (EuroArts DVD)
Hong Chulki - Turntable With Cartridge, Without Cartridge (Balloon and Needle)
Hong Chulki, Choi Joonyong, Sato Yukie - 4462 sec (Balloon and Needle)
Choi Joonyong - White Disc Ver.2 (Balloon and Needle)
Choi Joonyong - Cops 01/02 (Balloon and Needle)
Hong Chulki, Choi Joonyong - Hum & Rattle (Balloon and Needle)
Sachiko M - Salon de Sachiko (Hitorri)
Kazushige Kinoshita - Segments (Slub)
Tom Djill - Mutootator (Soul on Rice)
Tom Djill - Smudge (Soul on Rice)
Tom Djill, Tim Perkis - Green kinda (Unknown)
Tom Djill - Bellerophone (Soul on Rice)
Grosee Abfahrt - erstes Luftchiff zu Kalifornien (Creative Sources)
Wolfgang Fuchs - Six Fuchs (Rastascan)

December 2007

Kyle Bruckmann - And (Musica Genera)
Various Artists - The Sound we are Now (Asphasia)
Eliane Radigue - Chry-ptus (Schoolmap)
Johann Sebastian Bach - St Matthew Passion (Highlights) (Naxos)
Igor Stravinsky - The Rite of Spring (Naxos)
Helena Gough - With what remains (Entr'acte)
Annette Krebs, Robin Hayward - sgraffito (Self-released)
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No.6 (Claudio Abbado) (Euroarts DVD)
Gustav Mahler - The Symphonies Box Set (Simon Rattle) (EMI 14CD)
Angharad Davies, Tisha Mukarji - endspace (Another Timbre)
Various - Loose Cannon (Sounds from the Australian Experimental Underground) (Australia Council for the Arts)
Mattin, Taku Unami - Attention (w/m.or/Hibari)
(sic) Tim Goldie - Abjector (w/m.or/Hibari)

Concerts attended 2007

This post is just a nerdy list, but its really there for my own reference purposes.
A list of the shows I've attended in 2007 that I will update as the weeks go by.

January 6th, Sound323 Basement, London.

Mark Wastell and Joachim Nordwall
Henrik Rylander

January 13th, the Flea Pit, London.

Traw with Rhodri Davies
Ben Drew and Louisa Martin

February 3rd, Project Arts Space, Dublin

The Sealed Knot
Rob Casey

February 5th, The Red Rose, London.

Will Guthrie
Tim "sic" Goldie
Goh Lee Kwang

February 6th, Rose of England, Nottingham.

Will Guthrie
Okkyung Lee and Dom Lash
Lee Patterson and Jez Riley French

February 10th, "Sotto Voce" The Warehouse, London.

Portable (Rhodri Davies, Louisa Martin, Ben Drew) with Ivar Grydeland
Gary Smith
Rhodri Davies and Angharad Davies

February 23rd, the Flea Pit, London.

Mathias Forge, Cyril Epinat, Leo Dumont
Mark Wastell and Spencer Grady

March 23rd, Red Rose, London.

John Wall and Lee Gamble
Alex Ward and Steve Beresford

March 24th, Sound323 Basement, London.

Rhodri Davies and Graham Halliwell

March 3oth, Trinity College Printing House, Dublin.

Fergus Kelly and Judith Ring
Will Guthrie
Joe Colley
Wade Matthews and Andrea Neumann

March 31st, Trinity College Printing House, Dublin.

Wade Matthews, Lee Patterson, Paul Vogel
Andrea Neumann and John Tilbury

Will Guthrie, David Lacey, Paul Vogel
Sean óg
Lee Patterson
Joe Colley and Eric la Casa

April 1st, Unitarian Church, Dublin.

Morton Feldman's For Bunita Marcus performed by John Tilbury.

May 12th, The Sage, Gateshead.

Angharad Davies, Tisha Mukarji, Andrea Neumann
Los Glissandinos
Northern Sinfonia performing Radu Malfatti's Gateshead 21

May 25th, Q-o2 Werkplaats, Brussels..

Radu Malfatti, Taku Sugimoto, Toshimaru Nakamura, Lucio Capece, Julia Eckhardt, Christian Kesten
Composition and Improvisation

May 28th, Tate Modern Turbine Hall, London

Ryoichi Kurokawa
AVVA (Toshimaru Nakamura, Billy Roisz)
Sachiko M with Ben Drew

June 11th, the Lemon Tree, Aberdeen

Improvisers from Newcastle
Keith Rowe

June 20th, Outside Kinetica Gallery, Spittalfields Market, London.

Lee Patterson, Rob Mullender

July 3rd, Goethe Institute, Dublin.

Angharad Davies, David Lacey, Lee Patterson, Paul Vogel

July 19th, Salle Diff'Art, Parthenay, France.

Sound Like Water (Lucio Capece, Rhodri Davies, Burkhard Beins, Toshimaru Nakamura)

July 20th, "Le Logis" Le Retail, France.

Eric Brochard, Eric Vagnon
Tamara Nen-Artzi, Diego Chamy

July 20th, Salle Diff'Art, Parthenay, France.

Eric Cordier, Denis Tricot
Gunda Gottschalk, Peter Jacquemyn, Ute Voelker
Qwat Neum Sixx (Sophie Agnel, Daunik Lazro, Micael Nick, Jerome Noetinger)

July 21th, Tour de la Poudriére, Parthenay, France.

Angharad Davies

July 21th, Maison des Cultures de Pays, Parthenay, France.

Keith Rowe, Toshimaru Nakamura
Andy Guhl

July 21th, Salle Diff'Art, Parthenay, France.

Trio Sowari

August 26th, Port Mahon, Oxford

For Barry Ray
Traw with Dominic Lash
Divine Coils
Beautiful Screaming Lady

October 23rd, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Arditti Quartet performing;

Anton Webern - 6 Bagatelles
Luigi Nono - Fragmente - Stille
Arnold Schoenberg - String Quartet No.2, Op.10

October 31st, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

Maurizio Pollini performing:

Arnold Schoenberg - Three pieces for piano, Op.11
Arnold Schoenberg - Six little pieces for piano, Op.19
Altan Berg - Four pieces for clarinet and piano, Op.5
Luigi Nono - ...sofferte onde serene... (Sound projection by André Richard)


André Richard, Reinhold Braig (Sound projection)
Barbara Hannigan (Soprano)
Alain Damiens (Clarinet)
Cologne Percussion Quartet
Experimental Studio for Acoustic Arts Freiburg
Sara Ercoli, Terence Roe, Margot Nies (Voci Recitante)
Beat Furrer (Conductor)


Luigi Nono - Djamila Boupacha, for solo voice.
Luigi Nono - A floresta e jovem e cheja de vida.


Irvine Arditti performing:

Luigi Nono - La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura.

23rd November 2007, Bates Mill Blending Shed, Huddersfield


24th November 2007, Bates Mill Blending Shed, Huddersfield

Helena Gough, Lee Patterson
Sudden Infant
Tim Parkinson, James Saunders

29th November 2007, LMC Festival '07 Copthorne Theatre, London

Bob Levene
Angharad Davies, Julia Eckhardt, Michael Duch performing Taku Sugimoto's 29th December 2007
Yasuno Tone
Taku Sugimoto

30th November 2007, LMC Festival '07 Copthorne Theatre, London

Anglica Castello, Billy Roisz
Matt Davis, Robin Hayward
Charlemagne Palestine
Norbert Moslang

1st December 2007, LMC Festival '07 Copthorne Theatre, London

Steve Beresford, Mark Sanders, Peter Evans
Helena Gough
Margarida Garcia, Barry Weisblat
John Butcher, Tony Buck, Burkhard Stangl

11th December 2007, Red Rose Club, London

Tetuzi Akiyama, Hervé Boghossian
Joachim Nordwall, Mark Wastell
Osso Exotico, Z'Ev
Stephen O'Malley, Oren Ambarchi

12th December 2007, Spike Island, Bristol

Ben Drew, Helena Gough, Lee Patterson
John Wall