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Friday 31 January 2020, 7.30pm

840 Fifth Birthday w/ Juliet Fraser & Strings

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840, a London-based concert series dedicated to producing unique programmes of brand-new experimental and minimal compositions, is celebrating its 5th birthday with this very special event at Café Oto.

The acclaimed soprano Juliet Fraser will be singing alongside a string ensemble of cello trio (Colin Alexander, Stephanie Tress and Peteris Sokolovskis) and viola (Francesca Gilbert), as well as vocalists Sara Rodrigues and Rodrigo B. Camacho of the New Maker Ensemble.

At the heart of the evening are two high-profile new commissions from composers Laurence Crane and John Lely, both of whom are long-term friends of the series and whose music has featured frequently at 840 throughout the years.

The rest of the programme will consist of a selection from the many pieces that have been written especially for 840’s concerts. Luxuriant, striking and surprising works by composers Georgia Rodgers, Sergei Zagny, Jonathan Cole, Nicholas Peters and Marc Sabat will feature alongside brand-new works by 840 curators, Alex Nikiporenko and James Luff. There’ll also be a module from composer Cassandra Miller and Juliet Fraser’s astonishing ongoing collaboration Tracery.

This concert has been made possible with generous support from the Richard Thomas Foundation, Arts Council England the RVW Trust and the Hinrichsen Foundation.

Juliet Fraser

Soprano Juliet Fraser has a repertoire dominated by the very old and the very new. Juliet is an active commissioner of new music and has worked particularly closely with composers Rebecca Saunders, Bernhard Lang, Michael Finnissy, Matthew Shlomowitz, Sivan Eldar and Cassandra Miller. She regularly performs as a guest soloist with ensembles such as Klangforum Wien, Musikfabrik, Ensemble Modern, Asko|Schönberg, Remix, ICTUS, Plus-Minus and Talea, and has created duo projects with percussionist Maxime Echardour and pianist Mark Knoop. In 2015 she released her debut disc, Feldman's Three Voices (on Hat Hut); she has since released recordings of Andrew Hamilton's To the People (NMC), Bernhard Lang’s The Cold Trip, part 2 (Kairos), Michael Finnissy’s Andersen-Liederkreis (Hat Hut), Babbitt’s Philomel (all that dust, in binaural surround-sound) and a portrait disc of Cassandra Miller (all that dust).

Juliet is the founder and artistic director of the eavesdropping series and symposium in London, and co-director with Mark Knoop and Newton Armstrong of all that dust, a new label for new music.


Laurence Crane

Laurence Crane lives and works in London, and his music has regularly been broadcast, recorded and performed across the world.

His output consists mainly of music written for the concert hall, although his list of works also includes pieces written for film, radio, theatre, dance and installation. He is particularly closely associated with the British ensemble Apartment House, who have to date given around forty performances of his works.

‘In Laurence Crane's music the material chosen is familiar; mostly consonant, often tonal, triads, elementary chords, old well-used intervals rescued from a previous unjust ignorant redundancy. The familiar sound or image is abstracted by being placed in a new, clean and often isolated context, like a museum glass case. Its innate value is respected by it remaining alone, unornamented and unaffected during the course of the piece by any development or transformation; the image staying as and where it is by being gently reiterated or prolonged so that it holds our full attention.'- Tim Parkinson

John Lely

John Lely is a composer, musician and curator interested in the variety of sounds, correspondences and experiences that can arise through the use of limited materials. Recent works composed for Erik Carlson, Michael Duch, Mira Benjamin, Tre Voci Cello Ensemble and Philip Thomas. Formative and ongoing collaborations with John Tilbury, Apartment House, Bozzini Quartet and edges. Notable recordings: The Harmonics of Real Strings with Anton Lukoszevieze, cello, Seaside with Dirar Kalash and John Tilbury (both on Another Timbre). He is co-author, with James Saunders, of Word Events: Perspectives on Verbal Notation (Continuum/Bloomsbury 2012), a book about text scores.

Since 2005 he has co-curated Music We'd Like to Hear, a concert series described by TEMPO as 'an oasis of thoughtful and idealistic music-making'.