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The Lithuanian composer Egidija Medekšaitė (b. 1979) has developed a practice in which she uses the principles of textile weaving to make musical compositions. This article introduces a series of works created in the last three years in which she has refined these techniques; it also considers the nature of the relationship between the textile patterns that Medekšaitė uses as the basis for these works and the resultant music. In particular the article focuses on an analytical account of four works: Âkâsha for string orchestra (2015), the string quartet Megh Malhar (2016), a setting of the Nunc dimittis (2018), and Sattva for electronics and accordion (2018).
This article is based on a lecture given on 28 April 2018 as the keynote address at the inaugural conference of CenM@S, the Centre for New Music at Sheffield University. It offers a series of reflections on time and musical composition, time being considered both in the sense of history – our present sense of the past – and experiential time as we listen to music. Specific reference is made to the author's Canti del carcere (2012–18) and the texts by Gramsci and Dante that are set in these madrigals, each of which is also concerned with the passage of time and the ways in which ideas become consolidated. Ideas of time and history in the music of Cage, Nono and Feldman are also considered.
Linda Buckley is one of the leading figures in the thriving Irish new music scene, a composer whose work draws together many different elements, from spectralism, to ambient electronica, to minimalism and Irish traditional music. This article uses five works created in the last decade as lenses through which to examine a creative practice in which these apparently disparate elements have become increasingly integrated. From the 2008 string trio, Fiol, to the orchestral work Chiyo (2011), to Torann for large ensemble and electronics (2015), and finally to two works with string quartet, ó íochtar mara (2015) and Haza (2016), these works represent stages within the evolution of a highly distinctive musical language.
In 2002 Christian Wolff was a guest composer at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and during the course of the festival he was interviewed by Christopher Fox and by James Gardner. Fox's interview took place before an audience in the Lawrence Batley Theatre on 25 November; Gardner's interview was recorded in private in the George Hotel, Huddersfield on 27 November, and edited excerpts from that recording were subsequently used in a programme produced by Radio New Zealand. The conversation presented here has been compiled by James Gardner from his transcriptions of the two interviews and presents a wide-ranging discussion of Wolff's musical preoccupations across every phase of his compositional career, from the early piano pieces of the 1950s, to his involvement with indeterminacy in the 1960s, to the political concerns evident in his music after 1970, to the works of the last three decades in which indeterminate and determinate methods of composition are combined.
Since 1975 Richard had been based in Australia, where he taught at the Sydney Conservatorium, but he was born in England, in Chichester, and studied at Hull University. In the late 60s and early 70s he was active as a contemporary music pianist and in the mid-70s became part of the Cologne music scene, working as Stockhausen's Teaching Assistant at the Cologne Staatliche Musikhochschule from 1973 until his move to Australia. But his most significant contribution to new music was as a writer. His 1999 book on the life and work of Ligeti is a superb introduction to the composer's work, and in 2005 it was followed by his book of lectures on Stockhausen, Six Lectures from the Stockhausen Courses Kürten 2002; he also co-edited the collected writings of Ferneyhough with James Boros.
The easiest part of running a new music group in Britain is probably the beginning. You gather some like-minded musicians, make a programme, find a venue and perform. After that it gets harder: establishing a reputation, persuading someone to fund you, negotiating with promoters, maintaining the commitment of your musicians, keeping going year after year. But EXAUDI have done much more than just keep going: they have established new standards for what an ensemble of solo voices can achieve and championed a host of spectacularly ambitious, beautiful, challenging works, both their own commissions and revivals of music waiting for a group of this quality to come along. Their fifteenth birthday is, then, something to celebrate, and the Wigmore Hall an ideal venue in which to celebrate a consort of beautifully blended voices.
On a gloomy winter's night in Dalston what could be better than Kammerklang at Café OTO? Out of the cold and into a packed house – standing room only for many of us, and sauna-like levels of humidity – for an evening in which an audio-visual piece about bells by Christine Sun Kim and a new string quartet by Lisa Illean frame the main event, two new pieces by the Canadian composer Cassandra Miller.
The winner of the 2016 Turner Prize, the UK's most widely publicised prize for visual artists, is Helen Martens; earlier in the year she also won the Hepworth Prize. On both occasions she announced that she would share her prize money with her fellow nominees, a generous yet provocative gesture. It's good to share, of course, but isn't the point of prizes that someone should win? And if the prizewinner is selected from a group of possible prizewinners who are themselves selected from the much larger pool of all those eligible why not share the prize with everyone?