Author Topic: Cool Britannia  (Read 3806 times)

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Online Mandryka

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Cool Britannia
« on: February 01, 2021, 03:59:48 AM »
A thread for all the cool living composers from Das Land ohne Musik who don't deserve a thread of their own.



Warning. I said living, and I mean alive and kicking. No Vaughan Williams allowed.
« Last Edit: February 01, 2021, 04:10:30 AM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Cool Britannia
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2021, 04:04:40 AM »
And here's one for starters -- James Clarke -- new complexity maybe, but this guy's got soul and he's got brains. Three recordings, all fabulous IMO, especially the first two


              
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Cool Britannia
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2021, 12:57:55 AM »
Simon Emmerson is a music professor in Leicester. Sentences and Five Spaces on this CD are gorgeous - he has a sense of space and calm which I like very much. Chamber sized music.

« Last Edit: February 14, 2021, 12:59:56 AM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Cool Britannia
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2021, 10:57:18 AM »
.   

James Saunders does two things. One is write very quiet music, but it’s quite complex, rich textures, we’re in a much less ascetic world than, for example Antoine Beuger and Jürg Frey - I love it when I’m in the mood. The other is write modular music - the performers assemble the modules in any way they want. The two CDs above have become great favourites of mine. He’s been played at Donaueschinger and Darmstadt, and indeed the performances have been recorded and commercially released - the one at Donaueschinger is a favourite. (2007 vol. 2)
« Last Edit: February 14, 2021, 11:22:18 AM by Mandryka »
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Online vandermolen

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Re: Cool Britannia
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2021, 07:15:57 AM »
Here are two for starters, whose music I greatly admire. Robin Walker for works like 'Great Rock is Dead' which has an, appropriately granitic, monolithic power. (which reminded me a bit of the Icelandic composer Jon Leifs) and Philip Spratley's (great name) Symphony No.3 'Sinfonia Pascale':
« Last Edit: February 15, 2021, 07:21:38 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online Mandryka

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Re: Cool Britannia
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2021, 02:19:49 PM »


I’m not sure if John Croft is British, I note he got his first degree in New Zealand, but he seems to work in the UK. What I find impressive is a seriousness, a sensuality and a feeling of the other worldly: pregnant silences, unexpected harmonies and timbres. The effects he uses are often not unfamiliar - Luigi Nono, Jonathan Harvey, maybe most of all Klaus Huber (because of the seriousness) all come to mind. But somehow the way he uses them is very impressive.


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Online Mandryka

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Re: Cool Britannia
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2021, 09:19:49 AM »
Cassandra Miller is Australian, she works in London and so I'll put her here as an honorary Brit. I just want to make a note of links to papers I'm reading which discuss her music.

The composer's music Bel Canto
https://vimeo.com/444187045


James Weeks, Along The Grain
https://www.jstor.org/stable/43932618?read-now=1&refreqid=excelsior%3A2603605a641f2e6ddb96362d27b08121&seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents


Bernhard Lang's Cuts’n Beats
https://www.borealisfestival.no/2006/cutsandbeats.pdf

Martin Arnold's Piece Touchee
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnDagpv4kUk&ab_channel=Jujyfruits
« Last Edit: March 14, 2021, 09:22:11 AM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Cool Britannia
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2021, 06:55:15 AM »
Cassandra Miller is very active in London, where she works, and is one of those composers who has a sort of local cult. Most of her music is available on Another Timbre, but I just found an extraordinary piece for string orchestra, descending glissandi, relentlessly descending glissandi, on this interesting CD on bandcamp and spotify





She enjoys writing music which is based on found music, which he meticulously transcribes, her scores are micro-detailed and very technically demanding I'm told.

Probably my favourite pieces by her have been O Zomer and Philip The Wonderer (for Philip Thomas) -- here he is

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/FYiiilacMIs&amp;ab_channel=continuummusic" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/FYiiilacMIs&amp;ab_channel=continuummusic</a>

Very often her work is based on found music. In the Tracery series a piece of found music is used initially as the basis of a meditation, where a singer spontaneously responds to what she hears -- she has a singer working with her, Juliet Fraser. These improvisations are recorded and then processed. Here's Tracery: Rocking and Swaying, which is based on a Ben Johnson quartet, introduced by Juliet

https://vimeo.com/267404968

In the introduction Juliet Fraser explains the evident connection to Pauline Oliveros's work. I note that, as far as I know, Oliveros's meditations were NOT performance pieces, and inded Fraser denies that what she's doing in Tracery is performing. I don't know what I think of this.
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Cool Britannia
« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2021, 02:56:15 AM »
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Offline amw

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Re: Cool Britannia
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2021, 10:56:21 PM »


Have only listened to the big piece here but it's quite attractive music, in a vaguely post-new complexity-ish way. Pace sounds good to me here but I don't have very good speakers.

Online Mandryka

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Re: Cool Britannia
« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2021, 01:15:36 AM »


Have only listened to the big piece here but it's quite attractive music, in a vaguely post-new complexity-ish way. Pace sounds good to me here but I don't have very good speakers.

Noted, it’s just after a weekend of Frey and Wolff I can’t possibly listen to that sort of stuff today.
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Cool Britannia
« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2021, 01:34:04 AM »


Started to explore Keith Rowe’s The Room Extended. It’s four CDs and I’m dipping in fairly randomly, at the moment CD 2, which has some evocative “hauntological” episodes - a sampled track of traditional music with all sorts of electronic grunting and groaning over it, really magic for me, that sort of thing. Does anyone know this music?


https://www.squidco.com/miva/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=S&Product_Code=23279
« Last Edit: March 22, 2021, 09:32:33 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline T. D.

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Re: Cool Britannia
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2021, 09:08:53 AM »
Cassandra Miller is very active in London, where she works, and is one of those composers who has a sort of local cult. Most of her music is available on Another Timbre, but I just found an extraordinary piece for string orchestra, descending glissandi, relentlessly descending glissandi, on this interesting CD on bandcamp and spotify





She enjoys writing music which is based on found music, which he meticulously transcribes, her scores are micro-detailed and very technically demanding I'm told.

Probably my favourite pieces by her have been O Zomer and Philip The Wonderer (for Philip Thomas) -- here he is

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/FYiiilacMIs&amp;ab_channel=continuummusic" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/FYiiilacMIs&amp;ab_channel=continuummusic</a>

Very often her work is based on found music. In the Tracery series a piece of found music is used initially as the basis of a meditation, where a singer spontaneously responds to what she hears -- she has a singer working with her, Juliet Fraser. These improvisations are recorded and then processed. Here's Tracery: Rocking and Swaying, which is based on a Ben Johnson quartet, introduced by Juliet

https://vimeo.com/267404968

In the introduction Juliet Fraser explains the evident connection to Pauline Oliveros's work. I note that, as far as I know, Oliveros's meditations were NOT performance pieces, and inded Fraser denies that what she's doing in Tracery is performing. I don't know what I think of this.

Thanks, these look interesting. I have and enjoy 2 of Miller's Another Timbre recordings. Will definitely try the piece for string orchestra, as I particularly liked the Duet for Cello and Orchestra. So much of AT's catalog is solos and duets that (non-Feldman-like; that sonic genre is also over-represented) pieces for larger ensembles seem rare and exotic.
A bit sceptical about the collaboration with C. Palestine (teddy bears and all), but it surely won't be run-of-the-mill.  ;)
« Last Edit: March 22, 2021, 09:14:53 AM by T. D. »

Online Mandryka

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Re: Cool Britannia
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2021, 12:14:10 AM »
Tim Parkinson works at the Samuel Beckett Research Centre in Reading.

In the early years of this century, two of his pieces were recorded for Wandelweiser, one for piano, and one for solo cello

     

They are both have a sort mosaic structure familiar from, for example, Christian Wolff’s Long Piano. And being Wandelweiser they are quiet. However they have a certain magic about them, as a sort of exploration of sound possibilities- somehow he has the knack of making music which draws me in.

In fact I liked those Wandelweiser recordings so much I decided to by a recent release of piano music played by Mark Knoop, I’ll comment later if I have any ideas about it.



This is my main reason for posting. My copy of the Wandelweiser piano CD (which is by Philip Thomas) sounds OK but is very low bitrate MP3. Does anyone have a good rip they can let me have?



https://allthatdust.bandcamp.com/album/piano-music-2015-16

https://www.philip-thomas.co.uk/tim-parkinson-piano-piece-piano-piece/

I noticed just now that he has a couple of electronic CDs on bandcamp, which I haven’t heard. The clips sound a bit too many notes and too cheerful for me!
« Last Edit: April 04, 2021, 12:16:29 AM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Cool Britannia
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2021, 12:19:26 AM »
Thanks, these look interesting. I have and enjoy 2 of Miller's Another Timbre recordings. Will definitely try the piece for string orchestra, as I particularly liked the Duet for Cello and Orchestra. So much of AT's catalog is solos and duets that (non-Feldman-like; that sonic genre is also over-represented) pieces for larger ensembles seem rare and exotic.
A bit sceptical about the collaboration with C. Palestine (teddy bears and all), but it surely won't be run-of-the-mill.  ;)

This is certainly worth a listen - I like Juliet Fraser’s voice very much. Plus Minus Ensemble is a Mark Knoop thing.

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Online Mandryka

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Re: Cool Britannia
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2021, 06:16:15 AM »
« Last Edit: May 01, 2021, 07:32:04 PM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Cool Britannia
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2021, 09:33:35 AM »
James Clapperton is one of these shadowy figures who hasn’t put much on record, but is well respected here both as performer and composer by the world which revolves around Huddersfield. In fact his reputation is international, including performance collaborations with Radulescu, Walter Zimmermann and (I’m told) Sciarrino. What I want to point out is this excellent recording of Clapperton’s own music - good music, good sounding piano too. Streaming so easy to hear.



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Online Mandryka

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Re: Cool Britannia
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2021, 07:51:50 AM »
I’d always been indifferent towards Howard Skempton’s piano music, which I had got to know mainly through John Tilbury’s famous recording. And yet, today, I found a YouTube playlist which is a revelation - the pianist is someone called Raymond Chapman Smith, and the programme was given at the American Contemporary Music Ensemble - here’s one of the pieces

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/7TuGEz08zTk&amp;ab_channel=ACMENewMusicCo.Archive" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/7TuGEz08zTk&amp;ab_channel=ACMENewMusicCo.Archive</a>

Much more thoughtful and much less wilful than Tilbury in the same music, more nuanced too, even given YouTube sound. Chapman Smith makes Skempton appear like a Laurence Crane avant la lettre. (Which, of course, he is!)
« Last Edit: May 15, 2021, 11:06:09 AM by Mandryka »
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Online Mandryka

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Re: Cool Britannia
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2021, 08:09:07 AM »


Oh I forgot to mention, this is another Skempton recording which has caught my attention - just don’t expect a bolt from the blue - Skempton’s music isn’t like that!
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Offline T. D.

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Re: Cool Britannia
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2021, 10:27:27 AM »
I’d always been indifferent towards Howard Skempton’s piano music, which I had got to know mainly through John Tilbury’s famous recording. And yet, today, I found a YouTube playlist which is a revelation - the pianist is someone called Raymond Chapman Smith, and the programme was given at the American Contemporary Music Ensemble - here’s one of the pieces

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TuGEz08zTk" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TuGEz08zTk</a>

Much more thoughtful and much less wilful than Tilbury in the same music, more nuanced too, even given YouTube sound. Chapman Smith makes Skempton appear like a Laurence Crane avant la lettre. (Which, of course, he is!)

Interesting. I've only heard two CDs worth of Skempton's piano music, both by Tilbury, who I expected to be "the last word". Neither was terrible, but they wound being sold/donated and I gave up on Skempton. Perhaps I should revisit.