Friday 31 January 2020, 7.30pm
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.
Soprano Juliet Fraser has a repertoire dominated by the very old and the very new. She regularly appearsas a guest soloist with contemporary music ensembles Musikfabrik, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Modern, Plus-Minus and Talea, and has ongoing partnerships with Quatuor Bozzini and pianist Mark Knoop. She is also a core member of EXAUDI vocal ensemble, which she co-founded with composer/conductor James Weeks. Juliet is an active commissioner of new music and has worked particularly closely with composers Cassandra Miller, Matthew Shlomowitz, Michael Finnissy, Pascale Criton and Rebecca Saunders. She now has an extensive solo discography: her debut disc wasof Morton Feldman’s Three Voices (released on Hat Hut) and her most recent is an album of solo works written for her by Lisa Illean, Sivan Eldar, Nomi Epstein and Lawrence Dunn (released in April 2020 on HCR). Her early music recordings include Renaissance polyphony by Lassus, Vitoria and Byrd with Collegium Vocale Gent and Gesualdo madrigals with EXAUDI. She is the founder and artistic director of the eavesdropping series in London, and co-director with Newton Armstrong and Mark Knoop of all that dust, a new label for new music.
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 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'.