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.’
Thomas Simaku has received a PRS Foundation award from the Composers’ Fund in association with Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
A new CD including Animus for Flute, Clarinet, violin, Cello and Piano (2015) by Chang Seok Choi has been just released today by ABLAZE Records. Chang completed his PhD at York in 2016.
PhD composition students James Mainwaring and Ben Eyes have collaborated on the new Roller Trio Album “New Devices” released today on Edition Records.
A new version of Ann Cleare’s work on magnetic fields will receive a world premiere in London this Thursday, June 14th at Goldsmith University’s Great Hall.
Rika Zayasu gave the Japanese premiere of John Stringer’s Disquiet II at Tokyo’s Art Space in March and Joseph Houston will give the Italian premiere in October in Ascoli as part of the Nuovi Spazi Musicali festival.
Thomas Simaku visited the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna where he gave a lecture for the composition class of Professor Michael Jarrell on 25 April 2018.