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Tuesday 2 February 2016, 8pm

Kammer Klang: Oscilanz + Distractfold performs Rebecca Saunders / Lee Fraser / Michelle Lou (premiere)

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Rebecca Saunders – “Vermillion” (for clarinet, electric guitar and cello)

Lee Fraser – “Stheno” (electroacoustic work)

Michelle Lou – “Untitled three part construction” () (for amplified cello and two object-performers)



Distractfold Ensemble

Manchester-based Distractfold Ensemble is a collective of performers, composers and curators all acting out of shared love, passion and interest in the music and culture of our times. Coming from different continents, backgrounds and having received a diverse education, together they create a nexus of ideas and influences which all contribute towards the ensemble’s unique voice and identity.
They perform acoustic, mixed and electroacoustic music of their peers, alongside music of the more established composers with whom they have formed close collaborations and friendships.
In the seven years they have been together, they have toured internationally and hosted many exciting international artists in Manchester whose work reflects their aims of going deep into the details of all music they play, as well as embracing unusual and innovative concert situations.
Last season they performed, among others, at Rainy Days Festival in Luxembourg, hcmf, Kalv Festival and travelled to California for a residence at Stanford University.
In 2017 they curated, produced & performed Cut & Splice Festival which took place in Manchester in March, in collaboration with Sound and Music and BBC Radio 3.
Besides playing new music members of Distractfold can be found dancing salsa, working at the helpline of the Samaritans, collecting anything with cat imagery, stroking cats, watching cat youtube videos, folding origami, obsessively worrying about bubble wrap not being recyclable and researching natural medicine.


Rebecca Saunders


Rebecca Saunders studied composition at Edinburgh University with Nigel Osborne and with Wolfgang Rihm in Germany. She currently lives in Berlin. One of the leading compositional voices of her generation, she has been recognised with several prestigious awards, including the Ernst von Siemens Förderpreis, the ARD und BMW musicaviva Prize, the Paul Hindemith Prize, the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Award For Chamber Music (in 2008 and 2012) and the GEMA Music Prize for Instrumental Music 2010. Saunders’ present compositional preoccupation is an investigation of the musical soloist in two distinct ways: since 2013 she has been writing an expansive series of works for individual performers, and simultaneously continuing her interest in works for soloist in a concerto role; either for solo and orchestra or for solo and special ensemble instrumentations, with concertos for double percussion and for trumpet planned in 2014 and 2015, and further solo and duo works.

Photo by Karin Schander.

Lee Fraser

Lee Fraser is a British composer whose work blends aspects of acousmatic theory with the compositional methods of computer music. His live performances employ a range of digital synthesis processes and a structural rationale that are characteristic of his fixed pieces, a selection of which comprises the Dark Camber album, published by Entr'acte in 2014.


Michelle Lou


Michelle Lou is a bassist and composer. Her main interests lie in the realm of experimental new music, with recent projects that attempt to distort the perception of time and scale. She received a dual-degree BA in double bass performance and composition and a master’s in composition from the University of California, San Diego. Additionally, she studied in the master’s program at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz, in Austria, through the Fulbright Program. She received her DMA in composition from Stanford University.

Photo by Tony Rinaldo.


Oscilanz is a new trio formed of Charles Hayward (This Heat, About Group), Ralph Cumbers (Bass Clef, Some Truths) & Laura Cannell (Horses Brawl, LCAB duo). Once these three found each other they had the wonderful intention of interpreting the music that Hildegard Von Bingen composed over 800 years ago into a new music for the here and now. A music of transportation, taking the listener though a beguiling maze of early music melodies, electronic/percussive echo caverns and waves of brass overtones.

Hildegard was a 12th century nun and mystic, herbalist and inventor of her own language, who was also a prolific composer of some very beautiful pieces of music, that have become a touchstone again recently. The Oscilanz players set off using very small fragments of her music as a basis to go far into new audio realms, bypassing all ideas of correct ways-to-perform and instead connecting with the spirit and magic of the music in a very subconscious and non-verbal way. Utilizing trombone, drums, violin, recorders, voices, samplers and electro-acoustic untis, the interplay between three such strong individual players really has a deep life of its own and Oscilanz bears the fruit that Hildegard sowed along time ago.

The word Oscilanz is taken from the Lingua Ignota, the language Hildegard invented. It means 'October'.

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