New Music Biennial 2014
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Piers HellawellPiers Hellawell & Bourne Davis Kane

Sound Carvings, Strange Tryst


Artists: Matthew Bourne, piano

Stephen Davis, drums

David Kane, bass


Avant-garde composer Piers Hellawell and zany improvising virtuosi Bourne Davis Kane collide in a shared space; the goal is music created by all of them. Both parties leave behind established writing methods to learn from one another, undermining assumptions about the improvising and notation of music.

"For a composer, to have musical heroes is often to dream of collaborating with them. I have long admired Bourne Davis Kane for sharply defined musical ideas that lie beyond stylistic categories, and it is a dream to be given a platform for feeding my own materials into their unique imaginative machine." Piers Hellawell

"We are delighted to have been selected to commission Piers Hellawell to collaborate with Bourne/Davis/Kane. It fits exactly what Moving on Music aims to do as a company: provide opportunities for fearless creative musicians to present new, challenging work to as wide a public as possible." Moving on Music

About Piers Hellawell

Piers Hellawell’s work has been commissioned, broadcast and performed in many countries. He has for some years taught composition at the Queen’s University of Belfast, where he has the Chair of Composition; from 2000 to 2003 he was also Gresham Professor of Music, a visiting post in the City of London.

He has been commissioned by the BBC Proms, the Schubert Ensemble (recorded on NMC) and Stockholm Chamber Brass, with performances at numerous British and overseas festivals. Collaborators have included Michala Petri, Evelyn Glennie, Psappha, The RTÉ Vanbrugh String Quartet and Trio Medieval.

In 1999 Inside Story was premiered at the Henry Wood Promenade Concerts; along with other works it was recorded for the Metronome label. 2002 saw the premiere of The Pear Tree of Nicostratus, by the Hilliard Ensemble and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, at Finland’s Kaustinen Festival, where Hellawell was featured in a major retrospective. Hellawell’s set for vocal ensemble, The Hilliard Songbook, gave rise to the Hilliard’s ECM album of that name in 1996; in 2004 it was part of their 30th anniversary celebration events, and has been performed across the world by the group.

Other projects include Degrees of Separation, for the opening of The Sage Gateshead in December 2004, Maquette for COMA's Open Score project at the 2005 Spitalfields Festival and Dogs and Wolves, for the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in 2006. Sound Carvings from the Bell Foundry was premiered by Stockholm Chamber Brass in Norway and Ireland in 2006, at events to mark Hellawell’s 50th birthday year. His second string quartet, Driftwood on Sand, was released in 2007 on Hellawell’s third disc for Metronome. A major recent project is Agricolas, for Robert Plane (clarinet) and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, premiered at the 2008 Vale of Glamorgan Festival.


Bourne Davis Kane

About Bourne Davis Kane

Bourne Davis Kane (BDK) are one of the most sought-after jazz trios in the UK and Ireland.
Emerging from the Leeds music scene, the trio met for the first time in 2002, playing a completely improvised set at the Belfast Festival at Queens that was regarded as one of the festival highlights.

Each member of the trio is an adventurous musician and composer in his own right, wowing critics, breaking boundaries and challenging conventions.

Last year they embarked on a ten-year anniversary tour of Ireland, the UK and Europe to celebrate the enduring appeal of their humorous, experimental, intelligent and soulful music.


Moving On MusicAbout Moving On Music

Since its establishment in 1995, Moving On Music has grown to become one of the leading promoters of electronic, jazz, folk, traditional, classical and world music in Northern Ireland. It endeavours to provide an eclectic array of entertainment and education services to the entire community. It is dedicated to ideals of innovation and originality, championing new developments in music, inspiring and nurturing musical talents and providing opportunities for everyone to get involved in music in Northern Ireland.



Sound Carvings, Strange TrystBBC Radio 3





The performance of 'Sound Carvings, Strange Tryst' was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 12 July 2014 and is available as a digital download in MP3 and FLAC formats here.


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