Wednesday 8 November 2017, 7.30pm
Fresh Klang: Lauren Marshall, new work for cello & electronics
Tim Gill (London Sinfonietta), cello
Jonathan Harvey, Other Presences (2006) 10’
Jonathan Harvey, Ricercare una Melodia (1984) 6’
Alistair Mackie (London Sinfonietta), trumpet
Sound Intermedia, electronics
Javier Álvarez, Le repas du Serpent & Retour à la Raison (2002) 9’
Tim Gill (London Sinfonietta), cello
Sound Intermedia, electronics
Trevor Wishart, Globalalia (2004) 29’
This event is presented by Kammer Klang in association with London Sinfonietta and Sound Intermedia, as part of London Sinfonietta’s 50th anniversary celebrations.
Other Presences, Ricercare una Melodia, Le repas du Serpent & Retour à la Raison and Globalalia were first presented during London Sinfonietta’s Sonic Explorations festival at Kings Place, London, curated by Jonathan Harvey, 1-3 October 2009.
Trevor Wishart (b. 1946) is an independent composer and free-improvising vocal performer based in the North of England. He has also lived and worked in Germany, France, Holland, Sweden, Australia, Canada and the USA. In the 1970s he developed site-specific events and experimental music theatre with live props including an exploding tuba, and musicians performing inside a “mechanical” clock, as well as pieces for experimental vocal groups to perform. He was also active in music education from the early 1970s, publishing the Sounds Funbooks of musical games, since translated and published in Japan, and was the sound designer for the Jorvik Viking Centre, the first truly multimedia museum in the UK.
He is best known for his electroacoustic music and the software (the Soundloom and much of the Composers’ Desktop Project) which he developed over the years to make the sound work possible. The music has won many prizes, including a Euphonie d’Or at Bourges (Red Bird) and the Golden Nica for Computer Music at Linz Ars Electronica (Tongues of Fire), and in 2008 he was awarded the Gigaherz Grand Prize at ZKM, in recognition of his life’s work.
He is currently working on a new, one hour-plus, 8-channel audio piece, The Garden of Earthly Delights, in which voices are heard in several different audio environments, and where these voices, the words they use and the environmental context all metamorphose each time we return to them.
Jonathan Harvey (1939-2012) knew from the age of six that he wanted to be a composer. He was a chorister at St. Michaels Tenbury, attended Repton School and won a scholarship to St. Johns Cambridge to study music. He then moved to Glasgow with his wife Rosaleen to complete his PhD, where they lived in a caravan through the winter of 1963. Following the advice of Benjamin Britten he was tutored by Erwin Stein and Hans Keller.
In 1964 Harvey took up the post of lecturer at Southampton University, then won a Harkness fellowship to study at Princeton University, where he composed his first electronic piece Time Points, travelling around 24 states in one year.
In the early 1980s Harvey started working at Ircam in Paris where he could fully explore his passion for electronic music. This fruitful relationship lasted for many years and resulted in some of his best works. He then moved to Lewes in East Sussex, and held the post of Professor of Music at Sussex University. He took up Transcendental Meditation and became more interested in Buddhism and eastern religion.
Ten years later he accepted the post of Professor of Music at Stanford University. He was a member of Academia Europaea and held honorary doctorates at Southampton, Sussex, Bristol, Birmingham and Huddersfield Universities, as well as being an Honorary Fellow of St. John’s College Cambridge. He wrote three books, The Music of Stockhausen (1975) and Music and Inspiration and In Quest of Spirit (both 1999).
Javier Álvarez (b. Mexico City, 1956) studied clarinet and composition with Mario Lavista before moving to the US in the early 1980s and then to London, where he attended the Royal College of Music and City University. His first electroacoustic works, such as Temazcal (1984) for maracas and tape, date from this time. Mannam(1992) takes inspiration from the ancient Korean zither, kayagum. Winner of a 1993 Prix Ars Electronica distinction, Mannam blends and juxtaposes elements of Korean music with materials and performance techniques drawn from the Mexican folk harp.
A number of Álvarez’s works incorporate elements from Latin American dance genres, like the mambo. InMambo a la Braque (1991) he creates an electroacoustic collage of musical segments drawn from Cuban mambo composer Dámaso Perez Prado’s Caballo Negro (Black Horse). On a larger scale, Álvarez’s Papalotl(1987), for piano and electroacoustic sounds, makes reference to the wider world of dance through its use of complex rhythmic patterns in a synchronized duet between the piano and the electroacoustics part. This work won the 1987 ICEM Prize in Paris as well as awards from the Bourges International Festival and Austria’s Prix Ars Electronica.
In 1993 Álvarez became a Fellow of the Mexican Endowment for the Arts and Culture, an award he held until 1999. He has also received a Mendelssohn Scholarship, the Lionel Robbins Award and a Gemini Fellowship. He has held teaching positions at the University of Hertfordshire and the Malmö Music Academy in Sweden, having also taught composition and computer music technology at City University, Royal College of Music and the Guildhall School of Music. He was a founder member of the Sonic Arts Network and, during the 1993 season, he was Artistic Director of the Society for the Promotion of New Music. After 25 years living in England he returned to Mexico where he was the founding director of the Musical Arts Department of the Escuela Superior de Artes de Yucatán. He now lives in Mérida, Yucatán.
Lauren Marshall (b.2000) is an Anglo-Chinese composer and keyboardist based in London. She currently studies at the Purcell School of Music, and is Principal Composer with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. Her music has been performed across the UK, in venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Tate Modern, and the Sage, Gateshead, and has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. Composing site-specific works as well as concert music, she was commissioned by NYO in 2017 to produce a work for the Morgan Stanley garden at RHS Chelsea Flower Show, described as ‘delicately evocative’ (The Times). Upcoming projects include directing a cross-cultural performance in association with the UK Beijing Arts Association and the Purcell School, evoking the atmosphere of Beijing Teahouses through spoken word, Beijing opera, tea culture, and new music.
Tim Gill studied at Cambridge University, reading music (and meeting his future wife and eminent cellist Joely Koos), the Royal Academy of Music and the Banff Centre in Canada.In 1988 he was selected to play at the South Bank as part of the Park Lane Group concert series and has since enjoyed a lifelong commitment to contemporary music.
In 2001, he became Principal cellist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and two years later was made principal with the London Sinfonietta, drawing critical acclaim for his solo performances of music by Stravinsky, Xenakis and Maxwell Davies.
In 2011 he enjoyed a brief spell as principal with English National Opera, before returning the next year to the RPO. He now freelances in London, focussing on his solo and chamber music commitments while retaining his association with the London Sinfonietta.
He has appeared throughout the world as a soloist, most recently at the BBC Proms and at London’s Kings Place “Cello Unwrapped” series.
Tim plays on a cello by Francesco Ruggeri, dated 1695.
Alistair Mackie has been a principal player with the London Sinfonietta since 2009 and a member of the Philharmonia Orchestra since 1996, where he currently holds the position of Joint Principal Trumpet. From 2005-2011 he also served as Chairman of the orchestra. Mackie is currently Principal Trumpet in András Schiff’s own chamber orchestra, the Cappella Andrea Barca, and was formerly Principal Trumpet in the Orchestra of Glyndebourne Touring Opera.
Mackie graduated from the University of Surrey in 1988 and in 1990 became the first brass player to win the wind section of the Royal Overseas League Music competition. He has performed as a soloist with many orchestras including the London Mozart Players, London Soloists Chamber Orchestra, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra and the Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra.
He taught at the University of Surrey for 15 years and is now a professor at the Royal College of Music.
[Biography courtesy of London Sinfonietta]