Thomas Simaku – World Premiere: ‘The Scream’ for String Orchestra, Cambridge, 17 November 2017
Based on Edvard Munch’s iconic painting, Thomas Simaku’s new work will receive its world premiere in Cambridge on 17 November 2017 as part of the Concerts at King’s series.
The BBC Concert Orchestra is conducted by King’s College Director of Music Stephen Cleobury. http://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/events/concerts-at-kings/index.html
Of this substantial piece lasting 20 minutes, Thomas Simaku writes:
‘The iconic painting by Edvard Munch was the main impulse for writing this piece – hence the title. Its “silent scream” whose echo spans (and can be heard) well beyond the painting’s time and frame, struck a chord with me for its resonance with our modern times.
In no way programmatic, the music focuses on the concentrated form of expression that emanates from the space, the colours, and the gritty intensity of the “deafening silence” in Munch’s painting. Stemming from a single line – hence, the vocal quality imbedded in the overall melodic expression of the strings is at the centre here – there are a variety of “screamingly-based” sonorities, “vocal” or otherwise, throughout the piece. They cover a wide spectrum of dynamics, and range from very soft and delicate to furiously loud and tumultuous textures, as if reaching our modern times from the remoteness of time itself. These linear manifestations occupy the whole registral gamut of the strings in a symphony orchestra, and are presented in a variety of formats ranging from static (sometimes tenaciously motionless) horizontal lines, through various heterophonic bundles progressively moving at their own pace, to different ‘diagonal’ sliding lines (microtonally inflected or otherwise) that overlap with, and echo, one another.’
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.