Programme Note by dfhrf555fcg


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.

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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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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