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Saturday 13 November 7.30 to 9.30pm
Feral: Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding
Pre-concert, playing in the Hall:
Hildegard Westerkamp Cricket Voice
Carola Bauckholt Doppelbelichtung (UK premiere)
Leo Chadburn Five Loops for the Bathyscaphe
Matthew Burtner Fragments from Cold
Interval showing: Alwynne Pritchard Oslo-Emmaus
John Luther Adams Three High Places
Joanna Bailie Artificial Environment No 8
Hollie Harding FERAL (world premiere) *
David Alberman violin
Laure Le Dantec cello
Eliza McCarthy piano
Joshua Ben-Tovim director (FERAL)
LSO Jerwood Composer+ is generously supported by Jerwood Arts.
* FERAL is generously supported by the Hinrichsen Foundation, Arts Council England and Impermanence.
This performance is streamed live on the LSO's YouTube channel and will be available to watch on demand afterwards.
About the Concert
'The programme for today’s concert draws together several different pieces that have an ecological resonance and that encourage the exploration of real and imaginary environments in a variety of different ways, through for example working with sampling, spatial sound diffusion, text, field recording and film. From time-stretching the voices of crickets, to a duet for cello and snow, each of the composer’s works are very different, but I hope that they will take you as listeners on a journey through some of the wonders and sounds of our natural world, and stimulate thought, reflection and discussion.'
About the Scheme
LSO Jerwood Composer+ supports early career composers in programming, planning and delivering chamber-scale concerts in the Jerwood Hall at LSO St Luke’s, including work of their own developed through the scheme.
Two composers each year develop two concerts over a 16-month placement. Mentored by key LSO staff, they build skills and experience in programming, event planning, budgeting, marketing, fundraising and evaluation.
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✒️1987 |⏰11 minutes
Kip Johnson © Jake Duncan
Kip Johnson © Jake Duncan
Cricket Voice is a musical exploration of a cricket, whose song I recorded in the stillness of a Mexican desert region called the 'Zone of Silence'. The quiet of the desert allowed for such acoustic clarity that this cricket's night song – sung coincidentally very near my microphone – became the ideal 'sound object' for this soundscape composition. Slowed down, it sounds like the heartbeat of the desert; in its original speed it sings of the stars. The quiet of the desert also encouraged soundmaking. The percussive sounds in Cricket Voice were created by 'playing' on desert plants: on the spikes of various cacti, on dried up roots and palm leaves, and by exploring the resonances in the ruins of an old water reservoir. Cricket Voice was completed with the financial assistance of the Canada Council. The composition is dedicated to Norbert Ruebsaat, who wrote:
It's hard to be a night in the desert
without the crickets.
You make it with stars.
You make it with the skin
of the desert night.
You stitch those two together
sky and earth.
You find it with your cricket voice.
Note by Hildegard Westerkamp
Hildegard Westerkamp was born in Osnabrück, Germany in 1946, emigrated to Canada in 1968, and since then has lived on the ancestral lands of the Coast Salish peoples. After completing her music studies at the University of British Columbia in the early seventies she joined the World Soundscape Project under the direction of R Murray Schafer at Simon Fraser University (SFU). Her involvement with this project not only activated in her deep concerns about noise and the general state of the acoustic environment, but it also changed her ways of thinking about music, listening and soundmaking. Vancouver Co-operative Radio – founded during the same time – provided an invaluable opportunity to learn much about broadcasting, and ultimately enabled her to produce and host her weekly program Soundwalking in 1978/79.
Westerkamp’s compositions have been performed and broadcast in many parts of the world. The majority of her compositional output deals with aspects of the acoustic environment: with urban, rural or wilderness soundscapes, with the voices of children, men and women, with noise or silence, music and media sounds, or with the sounds of different cultures, and so on. She has composed film soundtracks, sound documents for radio and has produced and hosted radio programs such as Soundwalking, and Musica Nova on Vancouver Co-operative Radio.
In a number of compositions she has combined her treatment of environmental sounds with the poetry of Canadian writer Norbert Ruebsaat and Sharon Thesen. She also has written her own texts for a series of performance pieces for spoken text and environmental soundtrack. In addition to her electroacoustic compositions, she has created pieces for specific "sites", such as the Harbour Symphony and École Polytechnique.
More recently she involved her two grandsons in the creation of her work Once Upon a Time and collaborated with composer and recorder player Terri Hron on Beads of Time Sounding and with pianist Rachel Iwaasa on Klavierklang. The latter had its world premiere at ISCM’s World Music Days in Vancouver, November 2017.
✒️2016 |⏰15 minutes
Roseanna Anderson © Jake Duncan
Roseanna Anderson © Jake Duncan
Bird calls have an incredible intensity - brought about by the syrinx of the bird's throat. They have no larynx at all, but rather several bronchial tubes with inner and outer membranes, the tympanic membranes, which are controlled by a complex muscle system. 'This allows the jumps, which almost appear to sound in two parts, and rapid adornments to be created.
The violin is the only instrument that can produce this extreme height - but through a completely different process. That is precisely why it is so appealing to bring both worlds together, like a 'narrowing' in counterpoint.
Double exposure is a technique from analogue photography in which one image is exposed on top of the previous one. In this way, several levels of reality are captured in one picture. The piece was commissioned by Karin Hellqvist and was created in close co-operation.
'In my dark hours, when I suddenly became aware of my own uselessness, when every musical idiom – classical, oriental, old, modern and ultra-modern – seemed to me only as an admirable, arduous experiment, without any final justification, what was left for me but this: to look for the true, lost face of the music somewhere outside, in the woods, in the fields, in the mountains or on the coast, among the birds'.
Note by Carola Bauckholt
Carola Bauckholt was born in Krefeld, Germany, in 1959. While working at the Theater am Marienplatz (TAM), Krefeld, she studied composition at the Musikhochschule Köln with Mauricio Kagel (1978 -1984). She founded the Thürmchen Verlag (music publisher) along with Caspar Johannes Walter in 1985, and six years later they founded the Thürmchen Ensemble.
In 2013, she was elected as a member of Akademie der Künste in Berlin. In 2015, she was appointed as professor of composition at the Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität in Linz, Austria. In 2020, she was elected as a member of the North Rhine-Westphalian Academy of Sciences, Humanities and the Arts.
A central theme of Bauckholt's work is the examination of the phenomena of perception and understanding. Her compositions often blur the boundaries between visual arts, musical theatre and concert music. She is especially fond of using noisy sounds, which are often produced by unconventional means (such as extended instrumental techniques or bringing everyday objects to the concert hall). It is important to note that these noises are not just part of some kind of a pre-determined compositional structure, but rather they are carefully studied and left free to unfold and develop at their own pace lending the compositions their own unique rhythm.
Five Loops for the Bathyscaphe
✒️2018 | ⏰10 minutes
George Monbiot © Jake Duncan
George Monbiot © Jake Duncan
On 23 January 1960, oceanographers Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh journeyed to the deepest known part of the ocean, the Mariana Trench, reaching the ocean floor nearly eleven kilometres down.
Their vessel for the five-hour descent was the Bathyscaphe Trieste, a tiny sphere with just enough room for the two men inside, built to withstand the enormous pressure of the water, mounted beneath a huge float chamber filled with petrol for buoyancy, and iron pellets for ballast.
The austerity of the music is intended to be analogous to the inhospitableness of the deep ocean, where sunlight is unable to penetrate and the temperature approaches freezing point.
The recorded voiceovers (by actor Gemma Saunders and myself) act as timekeepers, speaking numbers, fragments of scientific text, the names of deep-sea creatures and lines derived from Piccard's poetic recollections of the experience.
Note by Leo Chadburn
Leo Chadburn's unpredictable, wide-ranging work includes music for ensembles, solo performances that merge his voice with electronic music, and music for artists' film and installation art. It has been broadcast on BBC Radio 1, 3 and 6 Music, Resonance FM and internationally. His collaborative work with visual artists has been exhibited at Matt's Gallery, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Serpentine Gallery and the V&A.
Formerly working under pseudonym Simon Bookish, he released a trilogy of subversive pop albums and numerous remixes for international artists including Owen Pallett, Grizzly Bear, Seb Rochford, Serafina Steer, The Chap and Franz Ferdinand.
Releases under his real name include the extended drone and stream-of-consciousness piece The Subject / The Object (2020) and the RED & BLUE EP (2015), an elaborate collage of music based on Cold War data and correspondence. His most recent album is Slower / Talker (2021), featuring the ensembles Apartment House and Quatour Bozzini.
He won a 2016 British Composer Award (The Ivors Composer Awards) for his piece Freezywater, written for Apartment House, and was nominated for a second award the following year for Affix Stamp Here, written for the vocal ensemble EXAUDI.
Fragments from Cold
✒️2005 | ⏰9 minutes
Fragments from Cold for cello and snow blends recorded sounds of snow and cello into an electro-acoustic work exploring movement across environmental and inner landscapes. The performer vocalises breath sounds with the bowed cello to shape an acoustic noise part, accentuating the physical activity of bowing. Like a skier moving across the snow, I imagined the cellist sliding the bow across the surface of the cello. The performer’s breath and the sounds of snow reveal contours of two parallel terrains. Fragments from cold: the snow from outside, the breath from within. The tracks of both crossings are left in noise.
Note by Matthew Burtner
Matthew Burtner is Founder and Director of the Alaska-based environmental music non-profit organization, EcoSono. He is also the Eleanor Shea Professor of Music at the University of Virginia where he Co-Directs the Coastal Future Conservatory . In the 1990s, Burtner developed musical ecoacoustics to compose sound art from environmental change during a time of dramatic global warming in the north. His climate-change music has been performed in concerts around the world and featured by NASA, PBS NewsHour, the American Geophysical Union (AGU), the BBC, the US State Department under President Obama, and National Geographic.
He published three evening-length intermedia climate change works including the IDEA Award-winning telematic opera, Auksalaq. In 2020 he received an Emmy Award for Composing Music with Snow and Glaciers a feature on his Glacier Music by Alaska Public Media. In 2021 he published the album Avian Telemetry/Six Ecoacoustic Quintets (Parma Records), and the immersive multimedia environment, Dwelling in the Enfolding (Anchorage Museum) with Mona Kasra, a work available through the Oculus platform. In addition to ecology, his music focuses on embodiment, temporality and noise.
✒️2011 (2021 edit) | ⏰10 minutes
Playing during the interval
Oslo-Emmaus was created in 2011 for Ensemble Fanfaronner – Charlotte Lund Sager, Ingvild Storhaug and Marita Vårdal Igelkjøn – who all appear in the film. The version presented here is shorter than the original, which acted as a kind of guide or score for the three musicians, who also performed live. Oslo-Emmaus was premiered in 2011 as part of a Borealis festival event, which took place in the historic Norwegian industrial town of Odda.
Note by Alwynne Pritchard
Alwynne Pritchard is a British composer, performer and writer based in Bergen, Norway. She also occasionally works with video. Alwynne has created work for musicians and other performers internationally, and has appeared in stage productions in Norway, France, Italy, Germany and the UK. In 2016, she was commissioned to create a ‘marker’ to celebrate the opening of Snøhetta’s building for the University of Bergen’s newly created Department of Art, Music and Design, for which she wrote the book of text scores, up without an insistent casting away. In 2021, Alwynne's short film I am Dog, co-created with the Italian artist Domizia Tosatto, was premiered at the Bergen International Literature Festival.
For her ongoing solo music-theatre project, DOG/GOD, Alwynne has commissioned many composers to create work for her, including Kaj Aune, Laura Bowler, Adam de la Cour, Hollie Harding, Vinko Globokar, Felix Kubin, Helmut Oehring, Trond Reinholdtsen, Gerhard Stäbler and Øyvind Torvund.
Alwynne’s professional life has also included stints as a writer and presenter for BBC Radio 3, a composition teacher at Trinity Laban and as Artistic Director of both the Borealis festival and BIT20 Ensemble in Bergen. In 2015, she co-founded the music-theatre company Neither Nor.
John Luther Adams
Three High Places
✒️2007 | ⏰13 minutes
Gordon Wright was the friend of a lifetime. For 30 years Gordon and I shared our two greatest passions: music and Alaska. Gordon was my musical collaborator, my next-door neighbour, my fellow environmentalist and my camping buddy. These miniatures are musical sketches of three moments and places in our friendship.
Like Alaska, Gordon was larger than life. He always lived his own way. And he died just as he would have wanted. We found him lying on the deck of his cabin in the Chugach Mountains, curled up against his favourite birch tree, looking across the waters of Turnagain Arm toward the Resurrection Valley and the tiny settlement of Hope.
This music contains no normal stopped tones. All the sounds are produced as natural harmonics or on open strings. There are no harmonics higher than the sixth. So these sounds should be clear and resonant. Even so, balancing the harmonics with the open strings requires careful attention.
Note by John Luther Adams
John Luther Adams
For John Luther Adams, music is a lifelong search for home –an invitation to slow down, pay attention, and remember our place within the larger community of life on earth.
Living for almost 40 years in northern Alaska, Adams discovered a unique musical world grounded in space, stillness, and elemental forces. In the 1970s and into the ’80s, he worked full time as an environmental activist. But the time came when he felt compelled to dedicate himself entirely to music. He made this choice with the belief that, ultimately, music can do more than politics to change the world. Since that time, he has become one of the most widely admired composers in the world, receiving the Pulitzer Prize, a Grammy Award, and many other honours.
In works such as Become Ocean, In the White Silence, and Canticles of the Holy Wind, Adams brings the sense of wonder that we feel outdoors into the concert hall. And in outdoor works such as Inuksuit and Sila: The Breath of the World, he employs music as a way to reclaim our connections with place, wherever we may be.
A deep concern for the state of the earth and the future of humanity drives Adams to continue composing. As he puts it: 'If we can imagine a culture and a society in which we each feel more deeply responsible for our own place in the world, then we just may be able to bring that culture and that society into being.'
Since leaving Alaska, Adams and his wife Cynthia have made their home in the deserts of Mexico, Chile, and the southwestern United States.
Artificial Environment No 8
✒️2012–13 | ⏰17 minutes
And the dreams that you dare to dream ... A recording of a famous song is passed through a filter resembling a Venetian blind. At the beginning, the gaps through which sound can enter are very narrow, gradually opening up until the very end of the work when the identity of the source becomes apparent. The piano reinforces certain components of the filtered sound, occasionally hinting at the song that lies beneath and at other times forming its own song out of the available material.
In Babel, the piano is paired with excerpts from a long recording that was made while walking along the queue of tourists waiting to enter Notre Dame de Paris. The title refers to the density of languages encountered at this tourist spot and it is speech itself which is the focal point of the composition. Even if the speech cannot be understood, its sonic components, highlighted by the rhythmic 'freezing' of the recording, are analysable and form a random harmonic progression from which the piano material is drawn. Central to the piece is the idea that a musical proposition exists within the accidental narrative of the field recording, to be outlined by the piano part and accessed by a listener willing to play his or her part in this framing of the sound of real life.
Street is a piano adaptation of the middle movement of Symphony-Street-Souvenir, a piece for large chamber ensemble originally commissioned by the Ives Ensemble. It was intended for a concert dedicated to the music of Aldo Clementi and the fact that the recording features a carillon in addition to the gradual slowing down/lowering of pitch is of course a nod to the music of the Italian composer. The piano part is a kind of equally-tempered filtering of the bell analysis and provides a strange half-fitting counter-melody to the tape.
Note by Joanna Bailie
Joanna Bailie was born in London in 1973 and now lives in Berlin. She studied composition with Richard Barrett and Sonology at the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague. She completed her PhD at City, University of London in 2018.
Her music has been performed by groups such as Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Contrechamps, The Ives Ensemble, Ensemble Nadar, Ictus Ensemble, Asamisimasa, EXAUDI, Ensemble Mosaik, Explore Ensemble, Ensemble Plus-minus, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and The SWR Vokalensemble.
She has been programmed at events such as the Donaueschinger Musiktage, Musica Strasbourg, Darmstadt, ECLAT, Wien Modern, Huddersfield, MaerzMusik, Rainy Days Festival Luxembourg, Venice Biennale, November Music, Borealis Festival, and Ultima.
Her recent work includes chamber music and installation, and is characterised by the use of manipulated field recordings and other sound media together with acoustic instruments. She is also interested in the interplay between the audio and visual as evidenced by her works incorporating camera obscura, and film.
She has taught composition at HMDK Stuttgart, the Luxembourg Composition Academy, The Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, City, University of London, and at the Darmstadt International Summer Courses. In 2016 she was a guest of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin-program.
FERAL (world premiere)
✒️2021 | ⏰15 minutes
Joshua Ben-Tovim director
FERAL is a new audio/visual work by composer Hollie Harding and director Joshua Ben-Tovim. The piece takes as its starting point a desire to explore some of the themes and ideas in George Monbiot’s powerful and important book Feral: Rewilding the Land, Sea and Human Life (2013), and in particular human loss of connection with the natural world.
The film portrays intergenerational experiences of the moving body in evocative elemental hinterland locations. Filming took place at several locations across the UK including Avonmouth estuary, Wistman’s Wood (a high-altitude miniature oak forest on Dartmoor), and the flooded fields of Oxfordshire.
The audio seeks to weave a tapestry of text, instrumental music, foley and raw and manipulated on-location field recordings – playing with ideas of the natural, the processed, layering, association and dissociation.
We hope that we have in some way managed to capture the shocking, overwhelming and powerful content of George’s book and the hope that he offers for the future.
Note by Hollie Harding and Joshua Ben-Tovim
Hollie is a composer, researcher and curator of contemporary music events in the UK and overseas. She is interested in looking at different ways of constructing musical performance scenarios and exploring the impact this has on compositional processes and the listening experience. Her 2019 piece Melting, Shifting, Liquid World was the first composition to incorporate the use of open-ear, bone-conduction headsets alongside live acoustic and amplified instruments to create a multi-layered sonic environment for the audience to move around and within.
Harding has worked with Alwynne Pritchard, Sjøforsvarets Musikkorps (Norwegian Navy Band), Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, CHROMA ensemble, Castallian String Quartet, Ensemble Via Nova (Weimar), DeciBells (Basel) and players from Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Her work has been broadcast on Radio 3, Resonance FM and BBC4. She has a passion for working with amateur musicians and was 2017 Composer in Residence with CoMA, subsequently led workshops on their Summer School in Orkney, and had pieces performed at their 2018 and 2020 Festivals of Contemporary Music for All. Recent projects include a Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize commission to write a work for nine players from the Philharmonia Orchestra, which is soon to released by NMC in Spring 2022, and a new solo harp piece for the Royal Academy of Music's 200th Anniversary Series. Nic Pendlebury and Trinity Laban String Ensemble are also planning a tour of her performance installation Melting, Shifting, Liquid World in spring 2022.
Joshua Ben-Tovim is a Bristol based dancer, choreographer, director and producer. Josh set up Impermanence, a Dance Theatre company with Roseanna Anderson in 2011. Impermanence makes work for cabaret, stage and film, touring nationally and internationally to critical acclaim and working with many artists, partners and funders to develop a unique work and aesthetic. Recent work for the stage includes Baal (Bristol Old Vic, The Place, Jakarta Theatre Platform), Sexbox (British Council Edinburgh Showcase), Da Da Darling (Guardian top 10 Dance Production) and The Major Arcana (an eco drag cabaret tarot reading ritual). Recent work for film includes The Ballet of the Nations (Best art film – New Renaissance Film Festival, Amsterdam) and Blast (Commissioned by BBC Arts).
Impermanence also curate and present a regular programme of dance at the Bristol Old Vic, and in 2021, they took up residence at The Mount Without, a newly renovated Norman Church that will become a much-needed dance centre and theatre in the centre of Bristol.
Josh has worked repeatedly with visual artist Jasmina Cibic, most recently choreographing the dance for her new film The Gift, which premiered at Steirischer Herbst '19, Graz, as well as performing in two of her previous films.
He has performed with Lea Anderson, Isla Badenoch, TC Howard, Sue Smith, Landance, Sian Hopkins and The Invisible Circus amongst others, was an apprentice at Phoenix Dance Theatre, trained at the Rambert School, and has taught and choreographed at various universities.
Biography from the Cohan Collective
Kip Johson © Jake Duncan
Kip Johson © Jake Duncan
LSO Principal Second Violin
Born in London, David Alberman received his LRAM diploma from the Royal Academy of Music at 16. After playing with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the LSO, he became a Concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. A long-standing interest in contemporary music led him in 1986 to join the internationally renowned Arditti Quartet, with whom he took part in the world premieres of more than 200 works, and made a number of recordings which won prizes internationally. In 1995 he formed a duo with pianist Rolf Hind, and, in 1998, became Principal Second Violin of the LSO.
David enjoys coaching, has appeared as Guest Concertmaster for the LSO, London Philharmonic, BBC Symphony, BBC Scottish Symphony, Scottish Chamber and Bergen Philharmonic Orchestras, and the Bayrischer Rundfunkorchester, and as soloist with the Orchestre de Lille, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra in Vienna, among others.
Laure Le Dantec
Laure Le Dantec was seven when she started playing the cello. After studying with Marc Coppey and Raphael Pidoux at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris, she began studies at the Paris Conservatoire at the age of 16. Already very interested in symphonic repertoire, Laure moved to Amsterdam to be part of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Academy for the 2014/15 season, and the year after travelled to Berlin, where she performed with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra for one year. During this time, she continued her studies and started a second Masters course at the Hanns Eisler Musikhochschule with Troels Svane.
Laure is also passionate about chamber music and plays in ensembles of all sorts with the Camerata RCO, formed by players in the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, and performing in festivals in Italy, Spain, France, Netherlands, Russia, Colombia, Canada and even Hawaii.
Eliza McCarthy is a London based pianist who spends her time playing new and experimental music. Winner of the 2013 British Contemporary Piano Competition, she performs in concert halls, art galleries, theatres and living rooms across the UK, Europe and US as a soloist and band member.
She has had the great pleasure of working with, commissioning, premiering and recording works by many living composers including John Adams, Thomas Adès, George Crumb, Tansy Davies, Donnacha Dennehy, Andrew Hamilton and Laurie Spiegel. She was featured on Alex Groves’ debut EP Curved Form No 4 which was performed at Kings Place.
Alongside her life as a performer, Eliza teaches Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and University of Birmingham helping performers engage with fear, anxiety and depression. She is also a professor at GSMD teaching contemporary repertoire studies to pianists.
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Soweto Kinch: White Juju
Friday 19 November 7.30pm, Barbican
The LSO and composer/performer Soweto Kinch present the world premiere of his new piece White Juju, as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival.
Music written in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, Black British history and the past 18 months of lockdown, White Juju melds Kinch's distinctive approach to jazz, hip hop and classical music.
Ayanna Witter-Johnson & LSO Percussion Ensemble
Saturday 20 November 8pm, LSO St Luke's
Composer-cellist-singer Ayanna Witter-Johnson appearing with the LSO Percussion Ensemble brings the promise of a vibrant, jazz-infused evening.
Together the LSO Percussion Ensemble and Ayanna give the world premiere of her new work Forever – music inspired by West African Dance. Alongside this they perform music from Gwilym Simcock, Joe Locke and Makoto Ozone.