8x6 This all-première concert marks the début of Prometheus, a flexible association of composers and performers whose aim is to bring to the attention of the public new works by its associated composers, in the same way that, according to ancient Greek mythology, the Titan Prometheus brought fire to mortals from Zeus. Future concerts will include further first performances, repeat performances of recent premières and works from the contemporary repertoire. … for 7 players and tape This work is the first part of what will be a larger, two-part work for ensemble and tape, hence the incomplete title. The piece is an exploration of the harmonic spectrum of a small Darabuka drum, given to me by my father, a set of Turkish cymbals and a traditional copanitser (Arabic) rhythmic pattern of two-three-two. The Darabuka drum and Turkish cymbals feature heavily on the tape both in their natural form and in electronic manipulations alongside synthesised sounds. The piece can be divided into four sections. The first, a gradual exploration of pitch material, is brought to an end by the revealing of the copanitser rhythm in the tape. The ensemble then picks up on the rhythm and asserts some form of control over the development of material as ideas are hocketed across the ensemble into a strong unison. The third section is characterised by the return of the Darabuka drum spectrum, this time in synthesised form. Melodic distortions pass across the ensemble before an 'ultimate' distortion brings in the final chaotic section with powerful low Abs as the copanitser rhythm returns. Andrew Thomas studied at City University, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the University of Cambridge and studied with composers as varied as Robin Holloway, Jonathan Harvey, Rhian Samuel, Ken Hesketh and Richard Causton. His music has been performed throughout the UK and on the continent by ensembles including Kokoro (contemporary music ensemble of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra), Britten Sinfonia, Cambridge Gamelan Society, London Contemporary Music Group, Cambridge New Music Ensemble and Duo Noveau. From 2003-2006 Andrew was an SPNM shortlised composer for his trio Ni Hon No Hu Kei and his solo piano piece From That Eternal Silence was selected by the British panel of ISCM for inclusion in the ISCM's prestigious World Music Days. Andrew is currently active as a freelance composer and flautist and will begin studying for a doctoral degree in September. - - - o0o - - - Hail to the thief and his accomplice In this piece I wanted to depict the cultural conflict that I believe the world is going through at the moment. For this I used two very different and contrasting styles namely, electronic music, sometimes unmetered other times very rhythmic, versus the more traditional string writing of a quartet, though not necessarily tonal. The overall form alternates electronic movements, sometimes together with string instruments, with movements for purely acoustic instruments. There are 11 movements in all, each bearing a descriptive title which fall in two groups, thus heightening the rift between the two dovetailed blocks. Political Promise What happens when a political promise does not materialise? Suddenly the politicians remind us of the fact that their aim was not what we initially thought it was but something else and they amaze us by their mastery of the art of improvisation. In no time at all, they invent another promise in order to get them out of an embarrassing situation. This is a satirical piece composed to describe how I see political situations around me. The score is interspersed with comments such as Politicians discussing, The charismatic politician and Oh, yet another politician. These are not intended to be read aloud but only act as an indication for performers. Approach - Deproach This is a set meant to explore sounds as they move towards us or recede. In formal terms, Approach will be the theme and Deproach will be the variation. Only the first variation was composed out of all the possibilities. I do plan to write the others one day. Approach describes the journey of an approaching acoustical gesture up to when it reaches us and overwhelm us. All the sounds in this composition are synthesised sounds in contrast with the sounds found in Hail to the thief and his accomplice which are mostly modified from recorded sounds. Anthony Bonello is a Maltese composer, conductor and sound designer with a multi-disciplinary background ranging from science to art. After graduating with a B.A.(Hons.) from the University of Malta, he was awarded a scholarship by the Italo-Maltese Commission to pursue his music studies at the Florence Conservatorio 'Luigi Cherubini'. Consequently, he was awarded an MMus with Distinction from the University of Surrey, majoring in Composition under the direction of Dr. Stephen Goss. He is currently doing Doctoral research at this same University, with special emphasis on electroacoustic composition. He was prize-winner in several competitions and his music has been performed in various countries. - - - o0o - - - Diversas Vias was conceived from three medieval Latin texts, which appear in the music as three different layers: a drone or ‘tenor’ based on ‘O Rubor Sanguinis’ by composer abbess Hildegard Von Bingen (1098-1179) which is basically a transcript from the original music, but with a several times longer length; a plainchant-style melodic line on a text from ‘Ultima audientia Fr. Guillelmi apud Mangu’, which is a debate between the Franciscan friar William of Rubruck, who travelled to Mongolia in 1253 and returned in 1255, and the Mongol leader Mangu Khan; and a spoken text with sung interventions from a letter by the Mongol leader Guyuk Khan written to the Pope Innocent IV in 1246 as a response to the pontifical initiative of converting the Tartars to the Christianity. Each text has received a particular treatment in the piece as to show the underlying interfaith values, such as the diverse paths of faith (‘diversas vias’) and the notion of religious tolerance, but also showing the dark aspect of both Mongol and Christian belligerence. From those ideas, different layers of sound mutually interweave, ignore, unite, and repel along the music. The mysticism of ‘O Rubor Sanguinis’ is represented in the piece as a radically slow chant, as if its nearly immobile nature contrasted the troubled relations between West and East aroused by the other texts. The use of temporal strata, as well as the contemporaneity found in the writings, was a strong impetus to the composition of this work. Diversas Vias is dedicated to my friend Virginiah Garekwe in memoriam. The Crimson Singers is a University of Surrey student-led close harmony choir consisting of 14 members of both past and present music students. Founded in 2006, the Choir has regularly performed in and around the University. The group has endeavoured to cover many musical genres, from Vaughan Williams to Nat 'King' Cole and Billy Joel. Christian Benvenuti (born 1975 in Porto Alegre, Brazil) writes music that draws on a great variety of impetuses. His works have been performed in Germany, Brazil and the United Kingdom in venues as diverse as a planetarium in Porto Alegre and the South Bank Centre in London. Many of his pieces reflect a significant level of pluralism and explore different types of approached time in music, revealing a keen interest in multimedia resources, sampled sounds, temporal strata, Japanese traditional arts, early music, and communication theory. Christian is currently studying for a PhD in music composition at University of Surrey under supervision of Stephen Goss, and his research looks into an information theory approach to composition and music analysis. - - - o0o - - - Clouds (2007) - dedicated to C P Leong Clouds takes its inspiration from photographs of clouds taken by the composer. The photographs were given descriptive textures which were then translated into musical textures. This textural basis was formulated into a structure for the piece. In keeping with the movement of clouds, the piece flows linearly in an ever-changing musical mood and texture. To aid this, the first part of the music is mostly un-metered so as to give the impression of this constant unhindered movement. The climax is a non-tonal, but timbre-pitched cascade signifying rainfall. The Addison Singers, founded over 25 years ago, consists of two classical (Oratorio & Chamber) and jazz choirs based in West London. Both classical choirs have sung in Italy, Poland and France and made their US debut at the Carnegie Hall, New York, under the baton of Bob Chilcott in 2004. The Chamber Choir sings a wide variety of music but has become particularly well- known for singing new music and has had new works written for them by Kenneth Hesketh, Jill Jarman, Howard Skempton, Gavin Bryars and William Bolcom. The Director of the Addison Singers, David Wordsworth, studied at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and has been musical director of the Addison Singers since 1995. In addition to this and a busy career in music publishing, David has recently conducted, adjudicated and taught in the USA, Holland, Hungary and Poland and records a CD of music by John Gardner for Toccata Records later this year. Jill Jarman is a contemporary classical composer and jazz pianist. Her compositions reflect these genres, effortlessly merging the boundaries between both. Recent compositions include; Soundwaves of light (2006) an orchestral tapestry based on the light frequencies of the stars in the sky and Shadows (2008) a percussion, wind and brass ensemble work based on the interplay of shadows. Jill also writes prolifically for choirs and two recent London premieres included The listening tree (2006) for classical choir, performed by the larger of tonight’s guest choir, and Voices of change (2008) performed by Addison jazz choir and jazz ensemble. Jill conducts and orchestrates music for many recording sessions including work with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for the Commonwealth games, BAFTA Premiered film The Troop and a ballet for BMG. She is currently in her final year of a PhD by composition here at Surrey. - - - o0o - - - Piano Sonata (2007) Julie Ainscough's Piano Sonata (2007) takes a fresh look at the Classical sonata. It is written in three movements: Prelude, Nightscape and Variation in Blue. The Prelude, marked 'Andante con moto', follows the general structure of traditional sonata form. The first movement opens with an accompaniment figure in which two adjacent black notes and two adjacent white notes, played by each of the thumbs, are alternated. Fragmented bell-like notes played by the little fingers of each hand, become more frequent until they develop into melody. The second subject evolves from this melody, giving way to improvisatory arpeggio figuration. In the Development, the thumbs spread themselves over three-note clusters with occasional bell notes before breaking into a more extended section of arpeggio figuration. In the Recapitulation, the second subject is shortened, making room for the Coda in which the opening figuration returns, becoming increasingly fragmented towards the end of the movement. Julie Ainscough studied piano, organ and composition at Trinity College of Music, graduating with First-class Honours and gaining the Fellowship Diploma in composition and winning the Royal Philharmonic Society Prize for Composition. Later, she undertook part-time study for a Master's Degree in Composition at Goldsmith's College (University of London) while continuing to be active as a full-time professional musician , teaching piano both privately and in schools, performing and accompanying on piano, organ and harpsichord and working as a parish church organist. Julie is currently Director of Music at St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church in Dorking. She also teaches organ, both privately and at Hampton School in Middlesex. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. A busy piano teaching practice is based at home in Leatherhead, where she lives with her husband, Michael Harrold, and their two sons. Julie is engaged at present upon doctoral composition and research work at the University of Surrey, in the course of which, she has been awarded the University's 2005 David Lovatt Prize for Composition. She is presently working on setting Spanish Renaissance poetry for counter-tenor and instrumental ensemble. - - - o0o - - - Quantum Passacaglia was composed in response to a personal study of Messiaen’s Treatise on Rhythm, Colour and Ornithology by the composer. Taking the quantum physical theory of discontinuous time as a loose basis, the piece unfolds around three main thematic areas related to each other, but moving within individual time frames. The first is a chromatically embellished flute ostinato, the second a series of seven symmetrical chords played by the strings, and the third an angular piano phrase. Section 1 presents these ideas unaltered, in juxtaposition, before they are developed freely by the whole ensemble in Section 2. Philip Singleton is a graduate of the University of Surrey, studying originally as a trumpet player with Alastair Mackie of the Philharmonia Orchestra. As a performer he has played all of the major solo works for trumpet, including appearances in previous editions of the Guildford International Music Festival. Philip is in increasing demand as a conductor and composer. As well as conducting Prometheus, Philip is Music Consultant to The Lightbox in Woking, and Musical Director and conductor of Surrey Brass. Future projects include a major work for jazz ensemble which will be performed in June at the 2009 Croydon Jazz Festival.
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