Wednesday 22 May 2019, 7.30pm
1- Laurence Crane – ‘Preludes for guitar’ (10 mins)
2- Maya Verlaak – ‘All Verlaak’s Music is Aloutte’ (7 mins)
3- Joseph Kudirka – ‘21 st century Music’ (5 mins)
4- Laurence Crane – ‘Sparling’ (6 mins)
5- Ryoko Akama – pieces from the Kieslowski Cycle – world premiere (15 mins)
6- Jürg Frey - from ‘Sächelchen’ (8 mins)
7- Joseph Kudirka – ‘Beauty and Industry’ (6 mins)
8- Laurence Crane – ‘Come back to the old Specimen Cabinet, John Vigani, John Vigani’ (12 mins)
9- Laurence Crane - ‘John White in Berlin’ (15 mins)
The group, created by cellist Anton Lukoszevieze in 1995, has been captivating audiences with performances of avant-garde and experimental music all over the World, from Moscow to Vancouver and from Barcelona to Vilnius. Recent performances further afield include tours of Russia, Canada and a nine-concert series in Melbourne, Australia.
The ensemble has been a firm fixture on the British concert scene, with regular performances at Café Oto and a recent residency at the Wigmore Hall. Apartment House is the most frequently featured UK ensemble in the history of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and its 2011 concert of music by John Cage sold out the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre. The ensemble has made a substantial number of live and studio recordings for BBC Radio 3 as well as live recordings for many European stations including Danish Radio DR, Swedish Radio 2, WDR Cologne, ORTF Austria, Radio France and Deutschlandfunk, Berlin.
Over the past 20 years or so it has championed music by emerging or undeservedly little-known composers and has commissioned over 100 new works. Highlights along the way include Jennifer Walshe’s radical ‘Barbie’ opera XXX_LIVE_NUDE_GIRLS!!!, with performances in six countries, and Saskia Moore’s Dead Symphony, a fusion of social documentary, art, biological science and music on near death experiences. Notable portrait events have featured composers Christian Wolff, Luc Ferrari, Alison Knowles, Christopher Fox, Vitalija Gloivackyte, Laurence Crane, Helmut Oehring, Claudia Molitor, David Behrman, Jobina Tinnemans and Richard Ayres.
Unusually for a new music ensemble, Apartment House is equally at home at classical music venues (Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre), crossover venues (Cafe Oto), art galleries (Serpentine Galleries, Turner Contemporary, Whitechapel Gallery) and international festivals (HCMF, MaerzMusik, Wien Modern, Ultima, Witten New Music Days), demonstrating its appeal to a wide range of audiences.
Over the years Apartment House has gradually increased its recording output, focusing on key releases by experimental composers such as George Maciunas and Laurence Crane, which received widespread acclaim (‘compellingly beautiful’ The Guardian). The group recently began a long term relationship with the UK label Another Timbre, releasing albums of music by Joseph Kudirka, James Saunders, Chiyoko Slavnics, Linda Catlin Smith and Martin Arnold.
Laurence Crane has slowly built a reputation as a unique and mysterious figure in contemporary composition. He works with familiar, almost clichéd tonal elements, arranging them in ways that appear ridiculously straightforward, but with results that are unexpected and often achingly beautiful.
As Michael Pisaro has said: “One of the several mysteries of Laurence Crane’s music is how its apparently normalised structure subverts itself. This is often music of tonal harmony and four bar phrases. It never goes on too long. It is hardly ever abrupt or unexpected. Logical. Clear. Orderly. Quiet. Yet it is also, to my ears, quietly crazy, even absurd in its extremely understated way….If I have learned anything from Laurence’s music it is that “the ordinary is not.” I’ve also never run into anyone who knew his music who thought it was as simple as it appeared.”
“A metaphor for thinking about my work is the idea of walking through a landscape, where the landscape remains essentially the same, but little details in it change, or come into and out of focus as you walk through it. So your experience when you’ve got to the endpoint will have changed, but the landscape itself has not changed much.” - Laurence Crane