the cmrc blog

Showing posts from September 2016
  • Posted on 19 September 2016

    I was invited to the Royal Irish Academy of Music to give a lecture-recital on the resistance of the flute in indeterminate compositions. The indeterminacy of the pieces I was performing seemed to coincide with the indeterminacy of the city and the event in multiple ways. For instance, for one of the pieces, Umbrella resistance, I need a second performer who acts as an umbrella operator. Since I couldn’t bring my own performer to Dublin, Dublin had to provide one for me. This was very exciting.

  • Posted on 5 September 2016

    On a secluded backstreet in the ancient Italian town of Spoleto, there is a house full of statues. Open its heavy oak front door, and you are greeted immediately by an imposing stone figure guarding the central courtyard. Entering the main body of the house, you meet a reclining figure; climbing the stairs, a vast mask stares down upon you with unblinking eyes. On the first floor, in a stately music room flooded with light, and lined with scores, a series of busts of musical luminaries – Mahler, Schoenberg, Klemperer – look down unwaveringly across the curved form of a Steinway grand.

  • Posted on 1 September 2016

    Berlin, Germany initially felt like an intimidating city to me — the graffiti-filled walls, the language I was unfamiliar with*, and its long history and heritage. But having been there recently, my views took a complete turn. Berlin is beautiful, beautiful in a way that you have to experience it yourself. It had an inner beauty shared among the friendly locals, artistic culture that was part of daily life, and a sense of warmth that made me feel safe travelling alone.

  • Posted on 1 September 2016

    Working with Michael Finnissy this year at one of his many birthday celebration events (this was a performance of Plain Harmony with COMA and the BCMG in Birmingham), I was struck by one of his tangents. It seemed he was a reviewer for the press at one point and gave a good review of a piece by Michael Tippett (I forget which). He received a handwritten note from Tippett thanking him for what appeared to be the only good review, remarking that composing was “Like crossing a desert, without any friends” (paraphrase).