Tuesday 8 March 2022, 8pm

Galvanize Ensemble

No Longer Available

Galvanize Ensemble + guests inc. Gemma Kost / John Garner / Mimi Doulton / Jack McNeill

Core players: Joel Bell electric guitar, Kate Halsall piano, harmonium, other keys, Phil Maguire sampling, Stephen Hiscock percussion

Music by Duncan MacLeod, Carmel Smickersgill, others tbc

This performance includes a Eduardo Paolozzi influenced work, Metalization of a Dream by Duncan MacLeod, inspired by dada- and surrealist-inspired collages, moving performers around the auditorium. There's also the world premiere of Commune, Learning to connect as shown to us by trees, by Manchester based composer Carmel Smickersgill, which highlights the similarities between us as humans and our surroundings.

The performance sees ensemble players sharing music, styles and influences, with arrangements and improvisations featuring alongside the larger scale commissions; exploring electro-acoustic voices from electric guitar, sampling, piano, harmonium, strings, strings, clarinet and voice.



Set 1:
- Pauline Oliveras - Horse Sings from Cloud - violin, cello, clarinet, piano
- Linda Catlin Smith - Dreamer Murmuring - violin, cello, piano
- Kirsty Devaney - Root - violin, cello, clarinet
- Kate Halsall - Bloom* - voice, clarinet, percussion, piano
- Duncan Macleod - Metalization of a Dream - full ensemble

Set 2:
- Joel Bell - grey, blue, skies - voice, percussion, piano, electric guitar
- Shruthi Rajasekar - Ost - clarinet, harmonium
- Fumiko Miyachi - Stratified - electric guitar, percussion
- Phil Maguire - Speed Skating - sine wave & wine glasses
- Carmel Smickersgill - Commune Learning to connect, as shown to us by trees wp - full ensemble

* Thanks to Harper Collins UK for allowing use of text from The Hidden Life of Trees, for a live performance of Kate Halsall’s piece for spoken word, clarinet, percussion and piano.

Carmel Smickersgill

Carmel is a Manchester based composer. She is the recipient of the 2019 Christopher Brooks prize with the Liverpool Philharmonic, resulting in a commission for ensemble 10/10. Currently, she is the performer/ composer with SWIM, a new theatre production, she’s also part of Making Music and Sound and Music’s ‘Adopt a Composer’ scheme, a year long collaboration between leisure time ensembles and composers. Previous commissions include Manchester Renaissance Ensemble, Manchester Peace Song Cycle and Brighter Sound. Her music has also been performed on Radio 3. As a performer Carmel currently plays the original score for SWIM the theatre production as well as with multiple bands. She has been previously been part of a collaboration between visual artist Liam Gillick and the band New Order. Carmel graduated from the RNCM having studied composition with Gary Carpenter.



Commune (wp)
Inspired by Peter Wohlleben’s Book ‘The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate—Discoveries From a Secret World’ (2015). The performers in ‘Commune’ are limited to communicating in a way which is reflective of how trees communicate. In the book Wohllenben describes how trees use a sub surface layer of fungi to pass information to each other. In Commune you can see the relationship between performers who are vessels of information and those who take in and give out new information. It isn’t too dissimilar to how we have evolved to communicate through the internet and other networks. In an era where our natural world and environment is being aggressively threatened, I feel it is important to highlight the similarities between us as humans and our surroundings.
Commissioned by Kate Halsall with funding from PRS for Music (The Open Fund for Music Creators 2016) and Arts Council England (2018)

Duncan MacLeod

Duncan MacLeod read music specialising in vocal studies at Bath Spa University, before going on to study composition with John Woolrich and Continuing Professional Development at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. He continued with postgraduate studies in composition with sonology at the Royal Conservatoire in The Netherlands under the tutelage of Louis Andriessen, Clarence Barlow and Martijn Padding. He then went onto complete his PhD in composition at Trinity Laban Conservatoire and University of Kent under the supervision of Michael Finnissy. 

Duncan currently teaches composition at the University of Nottingham having previously taught at, The University of Kent, Trinity College of Music and Goldsmiths College, University of London. He also works extensively as a workshop leader/animateur, working with the Wigmore Hall through to the London Sinfonietta.


'The Metalization of a Dream'

The Metalization of a Dream is an open form sound-work responding to the dada and surrealist-inspired collages of Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005). A pioneer of pop art, Paolozzi’s practice drew inspiration from artists that utilise similar collage and cut-up techniques such as Charles Ives and William S. Burroughs. As such, these relationships are explored within this work through John Cage’s concept of the coexistence of dissimilars, where the notion of harmoniously blended elements is eschewed in favour of collage-like juxtapositions ‘that fuse in the ear of the listener’.
Like Paolozzi’s collages, this work incorporates ‘found objects’ in this case John Taverner’s In Nomine and the writings of Gertrude Stein that are reimagined, juxtaposed and intertwined with composed and indeterminate materials to form an equivocal sound world. DM