CATEGORIES

Feature

Dublin born composer Andrew Hamilton studied in Ireland, England and The Netherlands. His composition teachers included Kevin Volans, Anthony Gilbert and Louis Andriessen. In 2004 he was awarded the Macaulay Fellowship by the Arts Council of Ireland and from 2005 to 2006 he was a fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart. Currently he is a visiting tutor in composition at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

 

Andrew Hamilton's album music for people is available on NMC here.

 

 

What was your route into composing?

Very conventional: sang relentlessly, learned the recorder which I didn't stick with as I found it slightly upsetting (massed groups of six year old children playing Frére Jacques did not live up to my six year old concept of the transcendental ), started the violin at seven and started writing stuff down aged 10.

 

Where and when was your first composition performed? What was it?

At 13 I wrote a piece for myself and the three other students in my music class and we played it in school assembly.  It was about a mountain in Ireland called Slieve Gullion, it did not go down well.


You're stuck in a lift with three people of your choice (dead or alive)! Who are they and what would be the topic of discussion while you wait to get rescued?

I would choose my heroes Agnes Martin, Marcel Proust and Mozart. Proust and Mozart would keep our spirits up with hilarious stories but after a while we would need Martin to bring a bit of calm and silence to balance the situation.  I would like to ask them about the things that are not often discussed in social media and the PR side of the arts- how they dealt with the isolation and loneliness, the failures, passing fashions- i.e. the real stuff.  Hopefully, St. Francis of Assisi would be on the other end of the emergency line as he could cut through our ramblings and lack of organisation.

 

If you could collaborate with anyone across any genre or art form who would it be and why?

Lately I have been really inspired by the work of the choreographer/artist Yvonne Rainer. I would love to emulate the freedom, clarity and humour she brings to her work.

 

What do you listen to when you are not composing?

Mostly no music and then intense bouts of Mozart.

Feature

Debut Discs

We're finishing our Debut Discs Series 2 composer focus with David Fennessy.

Our Debut Discs Series 2 Appeal is still going and we still need your help to make Debut Discs 2 happen! Just click here if you'd like to donate.

 

David FennessyDavid Fennessy talks about his Debut Disc: ‘Although several works of mine have been recorded commercially in the past I have not yet had the opportunity to present a full disc of my music. This Debut Disc presents a valuable chance for me to display the broad range of my musical activities in recent years, from purely acoustic chamber works to pieces for large ensembles involving electronics. Although I approach each new work as a closed entity with its own arguments and set of rules, there is a thread which runs through these pieces to do with the hierarchies that exist within ensemble music making and also how that music relates to the outside world.

Music is for me all about relationships. An integral part of my process is the close collaboration with performers and the four works on this CD are the product of endless tryouts with the ensembles involved; their personalities are imprinted on the music. The result is, I believe, a level of commitment and passion in the delivery that speaks directly to the listener.'

 

About David Fennessy

David Fennessy first became interested in composition whilst studying for his undergraduate degree at the Dublin College of Music. He moved to Glasgow to study for his Masters Degree at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama with James MacMillan and was subsequently invited to join the composition faculty where he has held a teaching post since 2005. He has developed a long-standing relationship with Ensemble Modern since 2006, including numerous commissions and premieres. Recent works have been performed by RTE National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, Rednote Ensemble, Hebrides Ensemble, and Psappha. In March 2017, he won the Scottish Award for New Music Small/Medium Scale work for Panopticon which will appear on his Debut Disc.

 

David Fennessy's Debut Disc is due for release in 2019.

 

Photo by Tanya Kiang.

Feature

Debut Discs

Next in our Debut Discs Series 2 composer focus is Linda Buckley.

Our Debut Discs Series 2 Appeal is still going and we still need your help to make Debut Discs 2 happen! Just click here if you'd like to donate.

 

Linda Buckley

Linda Buckley talks about her Debut Disc: ‘While being active as a composer for many years in live performance contexts, there has been little opportunity for presentation of this work in a tangible form through professional recording. I am delighted to have been selected for a Debut Disc - I feel it is the right time in my journey as a composer to make this album, which brings my music to a more wide-reaching pool of listeners, and as a milestone to showcase a body of diverse and cross genre work. Much of my work is rooted in landscape and atmosphere, exploring sonic connection between acoustic instruments and electronics, as well as being strongly connected to the voice and the Irish tradition of Sean-nós singing.'

 

About Linda Buckley

Linda Buckley is an Irish composer based in Glasgow who has written extensively for orchestra, and has a particular interest in merging her classical training with the worlds of post punk, folk and ambient electronica. Her work has been described as ‘fantastically brutal, reminiscent of the glitch music of acts such as Autechre’ (Liam Cagney, Composing the Island) and ‘engaging with an area of experience that new music is generally shy of, which, simplified and reduced to a single word, I’d call ecstasy’ (Bob Gilmore, Journal of Music). Awards include a Fulbright scholarship to New York University in 2016, and the Frankfurt Visual Music Award 2011 (Silk Chroma). She has worked with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, RTE National Symphony Orchestra, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Icebreaker, Fidelio Trio, Iarla O’Lionaird, Joby Burgess, Ensemble Mise-En and Crash Ensemble.

 

Find out more about Linda on her website. Linda Buckley's Debut Disc is due for release in 2020.
 

Photo by Shane Scollard.

Feature

Debut Discs

 

We continue with our Debut Discs Series 2 Composer focus with Edmund Finnis. Find out more about him and his forthcoming release below.

Our Debut Discs Series 2 Appeal is still going and we still need your help to make Debut Discs 2 happen! Just click here if you'd like to donate.

 

Edmund Finnis

Edmund Finnis talks about his Debut Disc: ‘The NMC Debut Disc of my music that is currently being planned comes at a very important stage in my development as a composer. Having built up a body of work ranging from solo instrumental pieces to works for full orchestra over the last decade, at this point I am eager to share my music with as wide an audience as possible, beyond the confines of the concert hall. Together with NMC we have chosen a selection of these pieces to record and release which will both demonstrate the breadth of my music to date and work well alongside one another as a coherent album. 
I am thrilled and honoured that the album will feature world-class ensembles and soloists including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, BCMG, LCO, Vikingur Olafsson and Mark Simpson, along with conductors who have demonstrated a deep understanding of my music: Ilan Volkov, Richard Baker, Robert Ames and Andrew Gourlay.
In recent years, my music has had an increasing number of international performances. I have found that many of the people who programme these pieces first come across them online, via my Soundcloud or personal website. With a first commercial release on NMC, a far greater number of people will become aware of my music and I'm hopeful that this will lead to many more live performances of these and other works of mine around the world.’

 

About Edmund Finnis

Edmund Finnis is a London-based composer. His music is performed internationally. He has enjoyed particularly close associations with both the London Sinfonietta – who have variously performed, toured and recorded six of his works, including three that they commissioned (Veneer, Unfolds and Seeing is Flux) – and the London Contemporary Orchestra (LCO), with whom he was Composer-in-Association from 2013 to 2016. Recent works include The Air, Turning for orchestra and Shades Lengthen, a violin concerto that was shortlisted for an RPS Music Award. 

 

Find out more about Edmund on his website. Edmund Finnis's Debut Disc is due for release in 2019.

 

Photo by Marie Kaus.

Feature

Debut Discs

Get to know our new Debut Discs composers with our series of blogs. Over the next four weeks, find out more about each of them and their forthcoming Debut Disc. 

Our Debut Discs Series 2 Appeal is still going and we still need your help to make Debut Discs 2 happen! Just click here if you'd like to donate.

 

Joanna BailieJoanna Bailie talks about her Debut Disc: ‘The opportunity to have my own Debut Disc is quite significant for me. Although my music has been widely commissioned and performed throughout Europe, only a few of my works are available on CD, and I possess unsatisfactory concert recordings of others. The pieces on my first album will showcase a particular period of my output as a composer when I began mixing field recordings and other found audio material alongside partial transcriptions for instruments derived from these recordings. Symphony-street-souvenir, Trains, Artificial Environments Nos.1-5 and No.8 represent a cohesive body of chamber work exploring the location of musicality in the auditory world we live in, and the possible job of the composer to squeeze this sound out of its original context and shape it into a new one. The release will be doubly important for me since it will be recorded by a group of musicians I am very happy to be associated with: Ensemble Plus-Minus, the group I have been running with Matthew Shlomowitz since 2003.’

 

About Joanna Bailie

Joanna Bailie was born in London in 1973 and now lives in Berlin. She studied composition with Richard Barrett, electronic music at the Koninklijk Conservatorium in Holland  and has recently completed her PhD at City, University of London. Her work includes pieces for chamber ensemble, orchestra and installation, and is characterized by its interest in recorded media and the interplay between the audio and visual. Her music has been performed by groups such as Ensemble Musikfabrik, L'instant Donné, EXAUDI, Ensemble Mosaik, Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, Asamisimasa, The London Sinfonietta, The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the SWR Vokalensemble and the Ives Ensemble. She has been programmed at events such as the Donaueschinger Musiktage, Venice Biennale, Huddersfield, SPOR Festival, MaerzMusik, Eclat Festival, Darmstadt, the Borealis and Ultima festivals in Norway and the Transit festival in Belgium. She has taught composition at City, University London, The Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus and at the 2014 edition of the Darmstadt Summer Courses. Joanna is also active as a curator, running Ensemble Plus-Minus together with composer Matthew Shlomowitz, and acting as the guest programmer at the 2010 SPOR Festival in Denmark, as well as at the 2015 edition of the BBC Radio 3 Cut and Splice Festival. In 2016 she was a guest of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin-program.

 

Find out more about Joanna on her website. Joanna Bailie's Debut Disc is due for release in 2019.

 

Feature

NMC has released over 270 albums since its inception in 1989, but do you know the people working behind the scenes, making this musical magic happen? The NMC team has evolved over the years, but one thing has remained constant: it’s a small team. Today it consists of 4 full-time and one part-time members of staff, working tirelessly to ensure that new music enthusiasts everywhere get their supply of bold and innovative new releases. We are devoted to our organisation and the first advocates for broadening new music’s horizons. Here is a little bit more about us.


Anne RushtonAnne Rushton, Executive Director


How did you come to NMC? I’d known about NMC from the early nineties, owning some recordings and crossing paths with NMC and getting to know Colin as I was then running the Collins Classics label. I joined the team back in 2003 – though the extent of what we now do does seem unrecognisable compared to those days! 


What do you like best about your job?  Working with a great team and developing exciting new projects – and hearing and learning new things every day!


In another life, what job would you be doing?  Human Rights Lawyer


If you could spend time with any composer, who would it be and what would you do?  Stravinsky and go to the ballet!


What couldn’t you live without? My sense of touch – I’d miss hugging those I love, playing my violin and digging in the allotment.


If you had to choose an alarm clock ringtone, would it be Gerald Barry’s smashing plates in The Importance of Being Earnest or John Tomlison’s rendition of the Green Knight in Birtwistle’s Gawain? Plates!


What is your favourite biscuit? My daughter’s homemade cookies


How do you take your tea? Often


Clotted cream on jam or jam on clotted cream? Is this even a question – cream on jam, of course!


Are you a cat or a dog person? Both – plus rabbit and fish!

 

Eleanor WilsonEleanor (Ellie) Wilson - General Manager 


How did you come to NMC?  My first introduction to NMC was at university. I had to borrow a copy of Jonty Harrison’s Klang from the library to study for my composition class. I came to NMC after working at Hyperion Records for nine years.


What do you like best about your job?  Variety. I’m a jack-of-all-trades – you kind of have to be when you work for a small organisation on a budget!


In another life, what job would you be doing? An environmental scientist, or more likely a garden designer.


If you could spend time with any composer, who would it be and what would you do? Folk song collecting with Ralph Vaughan Williams.


What couldn’t you live without? Mushrooms. Seriously, being a vegetarian they are in nearly everything I eat!


If you had to choose an alarm clock ringtone, would it be Gerald Barry’s smashing plates in The Importance of Being Earnest or John Tomlison’s rendition of the Green Knight in Birtwistle’s Gawain? Gerald Barry’s plates! Maybe we could create an NMC branded alarm clock in the shape of a plate that you throw across the room to turn off.


What is your favourite biscuit? Cantucci, or the humble Mcvities digestive dipped in coffee!


How do you take your tea? Builders tea – tiny bit of milk, no sugar.


Clotted cream on jam or jam on clotted cream? Clotted cream on jam


Are you a cat or a dog person? 100% dogs. Cats are evil.


Alex WrightAlex Wright - Development and Partnerships Manager


How did you come to NMC? I joined NMC in 2016 from Northern Ballet in Leeds. Prior to that, I was at Birmingham Contemporary Music Group for 4 years and before that, I studied for a music degree at the University of Sheffield.


What do you like best about your job? I enjoy the variety of my role, split between fundraising and managing education projects. Apart from all the wonderful music we get to hear, meeting and talking to so many different people is my favourite part of the job – whether that’s donors, listeners, composers, teachers or musicians. 


In another life, what job would you be doing? Working for a record label is a dream job, but if I had to choose something else to do for a living then I’d love to be a composer (writing/performing noisy electronic music). Away from music, if I had more of a creative eye then I think being an architect would be fascinating.


If you could spend a day with a composer, who would it be and what would you do? I’d spend a day with Olivier Messiaen bird-watching and sketching bird-song.


What couldn’t you live without? My glasses – I’m nearly blind without them. 


If you had to choose an alarm clock ringtone, would it be Gerald Barry’s smashing plates in The Importance of Being Earnest or John Tomlinson’s rendition of the Green Knight in Birtwistle’s Gawain? The 40 smashing plates from Earnest. I’d need all 40 to get me out of bed most mornings. 


What is your favourite biscuit? Chocolate covered hob nob. 


How do you take your tea? Usually tea first then milk.

 

Clotted cream on jam or jam on clotted cream? Clotted cream on jam.


Are you a cat or a dog person? I have an app called ‘Cat-swipe’ on my phone that provides a never-ending stream of cat pictures, read into that what you will… 


Rachel WilmotRachel Wilmot - Label Assistant


How did you come to NMC? I studied Communications and Popular Music at university and really enjoyed my music industry modules so I knew I wanted to work in that business. I started looking for opportunities in the music industry and came across a position at NMC. It seemed like the perfect label for me as NMC is a charity and I had a background in the third sector so I could combine my knowledge of that with my interest in music.


What do you like best about your job? Co-ordinating recording sessions, from researching venues and accommodation for artists to making sure everyone is happy and things are running smoothly on the day.


In another life, what job would you be doing? I was originally going to university to study journalism but changed my mind on results day and asked to switch to a music course. So, I would probably be a journalist/writer.


If you could spend a day with any composer, who would it be and what would you do? Go for lunch with Imogen Holst and listen to all her amazing stories - reading Colin’s memories of her on our blog she seemed like such an interesting woman.


What couldn’t you live without? Headphones and lip balm.


If you had to choose an alarm clock ringtone, would it be Gerald Barry’s smashing plates in The Importance of Being Earnest or John Tomlison’s rendition of the Green Knight in Birtwistle’s Gawain? Gerald Barry smashing plates because I wouldn’t be able to sleep through it!


What is your favourite biscuit? Chocolate hobnob


How do you take your tea? Just a little bit of milk


Clotted cream on jam or jam on clotted cream? Jam on clotted cream


Are you a cat or a dog person? Both!


Lucile GasserLucile Gasser - Development Assistant


How did you come to NMC? My last year of Foreign Languages Applied to International Business Master’s degree involved doing a 6-month internship. I wanted to do it in the music industry and I came across NMC’s website, which looked like a very interesting organisation, being a charity as well as a record label. I met with Anne and a few months later I started my internship and (almost) never left – I did run off for about a year to travel but was lucky to be able to come back to NMC when I returned.


What do you like best about your job? Being in touch with our supporters and making sure they’re enjoying their association with us. It sometimes feels like they don’t realise the impact their donation has on NMC but we literally couldn’t do it without them. They’re all very passionate about music and it’s always great to hear about the history they have with NMC.


In another life, what job would you be doing? Probably something manual. My grandad was a carpenter and I always liked being around him when he worked, so maybe that.


If you could spend a day with any composer, who would it be and what would you do? Musical saw shopping with Quinta.


What couldn’t you live without? My books, they’re my home away from home and I go back to my favourites when I need comfort.


If you had to choose an alarm clock ringtone, would it be Gerald Barry’s smashing plates in The Importance of Being Earnest or John Tomlison’s rendition of the Green Knight in Birtwistle’s Gawain? Definitely plates, The Importance of Being Earnest is one of my favourite albums in the NMC catalogue.


What is your favourite biscuit? Caramel digestives


How do you take your tea? With gradually increasing amount of milk throughout the day – I can’t take too much caffeine.


Clotted cream on jam or jam on clotted cream? I would tend to do it French style (we put butter then jam on bread), so I’d say jam on clotted cream.


Are you a cat or a dog person? Dog, I don’t like how you never know what cats are thinking.

 

It is passionate new music supporters like you that make our work so worthwhile. It is thanks to all of you that we can continue our work and that we do it with passion and dedication. You support NMC’s work by purchasing albums directly from our online store, and by being a part of our loyal Friends. Without the support of individual donors, NMC would not be able to release as much new music as we currently do. So, thank you very much to all our donors and customers for your support!


If you’d like to take your support of NMC further by becoming a Friend or making a donation towards our activities, please visit our Support Us page or contact us and we’ll be happy to be in touch!

CATEGORIES

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All entries in chronological order
25 August 2016
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27 July 2016
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25 April 2016
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14 March 2016
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16 February 2016
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9 December 2015
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