Tuesday 2 February 2016, 8pm
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)
The Manchester-born ensemble Distractfold specialises in performing instrumental, electro-acoustic and mixed chamber music from the 21st century. In 2014, the ensemble was awarded the Kranichstein Prize for Performance at the International Summer Courses for New Music Darmstadt. Past seasons include concerts at Le Bruit de la Musique Festival, International Poznań Spring New Music Festival, Gdansk, Lódz, the IGNM concert series at Gare du Nord in Basel and Kompakt am Montag in Zurich, amongst others. The group has been in residence at the University of Huddersfield, Ithaca College in New York and Brunel University in London, and holds a quarterly residence at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation. In 2015-16 Distractfold was in residence at Harvard University and presented concerts in New York and Chicago. In summer 2016, the group returned to Darmstadt for a series of featured concerts. In 2016-17 it will be in residence at Stanford University and will be featured at Luxembourg’s Rainy Days Festival. Distractfold will also curate the 2017 Cut and Splice Festival, which takes place in Manchester for the first time since the festival’s inception.
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 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 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'.