BBC Radio 3 / Wellcome Collection festival features Martin Suckling premiere
The world premiere of Martin Suckling’s String Quintet at 1pm on Sunday 15th October at the Wellcome Collection will be broadcast live on Radio 3 as part of Why Music? The Key to Memory. Martin’s quintet, alongside poetry by Frances Leviston, was commissioned by Poet in the City and Aurora Orchestra, supported by Bio Nano Consulting Ltd for the dissemination of PETMEM (piezoelectronic Transduction Memory Device), an EU Horizon 2020-funded project exploring low-voltage memory technologies.
About the collaboration, Martin writes:
‘Among the many fascinating aspects of the PETMEM project that frequently arose in conversations between Frances and myself were the strange otherworldly landscapes revealed under the scanning electron microscope, and the piezoresistive effect, where a material under sufficiently high pressure changes state from a resistor to a conductor of electricity.
There are many ways in which the idea of pressure can be translated into music – squeezing material into shorter and shorter timeframes, squashing the pitch space around a given note, increasing the density of activity – and all of these have a role to play in my quintet. In the first section, a viola melody is surrounded by a filigree tapestry of echoes and fragments and distorting mirrors across a series of compressions until all that remains of the available space is a single trill. At this point of extreme pressure, the properties of the material suddenly change: bright, gleaming, sudden bursts of sound in a highly microtonal environment.
All of this is haunted by the ghost of Schubert, above all the incomparable Adagio from his String Quintet in C major. A memory of this music, perhaps my favourite piece by my favourite composer, increasingly asserts itself on the surface of my quintet until the final passages become as if hypnotised by Schubert’s harmonies, crystallising around them like frost on a fallen leaf.’
PhD students Beau Stocker, James Cave and Ben Eyes have collaborated with professional singer Supriya Nagarajan and musician Matt Redman on a world music project that brings together classical Bollywood themes and jazz music. The project, backed by the Arts Council, has been devised by Supriya to bring Bollywood music to a new audience and has recently completed a successful UK tour with an international tour to follow.
Ann Cleare’s work the square of yellow light that is your window will receive its UK premiere at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival on Saturday, November 25th.
Ensemble-in-association Quatour Diotima have been working with undergraduate and postgraduate students as part of their residency in the Music Department.
Thomas Simaku’s new work, ‘The Scream’ for 34 solo strings, will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Monday 20th November 2017.
Ann Cleare’s new piece surface station #2: the relighting of the sun receives its Australian premiere in Perth’s Totally Huge New Music Festival on October 28th, and from there will tour to venues in Sydney and Melbourne on November 1st and November 2nd.
Thomas Simaku’s work for solo piano, raggio lunare, will receive its world premiere at the Academy of Performing Arts, Martinu Hall, in Prague on 4 November 2017.