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.’
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.