CATEGORIES

Feature

Introducing our Next Wave 2 composer: Peter Wilson

Emma WildePeter Wilson grew up near the Dandenong Ranges in Australia. He studied dance at The Australian Ballet School, then Composition at the Royal College of Music. Peter has worked internationally as a dancer, and now practices as a composer for concert hall, theatre, art installations, and dance. In addition to composing for Lore Lixenberg and the Royal Northern Sinfonia for ‘Next Wave 2’, he has worked collaboratively with Peter Neville and Richard Haynes (ELISION), The Australian Ballet dancers, Gildas Quartet, and Kaldor Public Arts.

Peter's piece A sweet, wild note features on the Next Wave 2 album which is available to pre-order here.

 

His piece will be performed at the New Year New Artists concert at Sage Gateshead on 27 January 2018. For more information and tickets click here.

 

 

What was your route into composing?

Inspirations:

Age six: A-minor triads

Age ten: Phillip Glass

Age twelve: Yann Tiersen

Age thirteen: John Williams

Age sixteen: Ennio Morricone

Age twenty: Thomas Ades

Age twenty-two: Brian Ferneyhough

Now: Birds and waterfalls

I was doing a secondment with a contemporary dance company called Chunky Move when I met Richard Gill, veteran music educator and (then) artistic director of the Victorian Opera. He introduced me to contemporary music and helped me to find my feet in the music world.

 

You trained as a ballet dancer before studying composition. Do you think your experience as a dancer informs your approach to composition and your musical style in general?

I think that all music is a product of the composer’s personality, memories, and experiences. For most of my life I’ve been trained to respond physically and expressively to music, and this has definitely impacted upon the type of music that I write. I went through a period of trying to exploit this fact however - to push the physicality of my music as far as possible - and this, for the most part, didn’t work too well. So I’m not sure that my recent compositions are ‘informed’ by dance in any conceptual sense. More just that dance has been an integral part of my life, and I write the compositions that I write because I am who I am.

 

Read the full Q&A on the British Music Collection website.

 

Find out more about our Next Wave 2 project.

 

This work was created as part of Sound and Music’s Next Wave 2 programme. It was recorded and premiered in collaboration with Sage Gateshead and NMC Recordings. Next Wave 2 was funded by Arts Council England, PRS for Music Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust and The Angus Allnatt Charitable Foundation.

 

Sound and Music logo   Sage Gateshead    RNS

 

Feature

Introducing our Next Wave 2 composer: Emma Wilde

Emma WildeEmma Wilde is a Manchester-based composer who is completing a PhD under the supervision of Professor Camden Reeves at the University of Manchester. Her compositional interests include taking inspiration from the structures from Greek tragedy alongside musical characterization and stratification. Her works have also been inspired by techniques used in visual art and Latin American popular music.

Emma's piece El Hilo del Tiempo features on the Next Wave 2 album which is available to pre-order here.

 

Her piece will be performed at the New Year New Artists concert at Sage Gateshead on 27 January 2018. For more information and tickets click here.

 

What was your route into composing?

I have always been obsessed with music, particularly pop music, and as a young child I would invent songs and tunes on my keyboard but I never considered myself a ‘composer’ as such, although now I realise that composing is what I have always done. I started playing clarinet when I was 12 years old and I decided to study music at university primarily because of this. When I first attended composition seminars as an undergrad I wasn’t really sure if composing was for me. I had never really heard any contemporary classical music and at first it seemed quite strange and alien and I struggled to understand where I fit in in this world. My composition teacher Camden Reeves had a big influence on me as he encouraged us to think about our own individual compositional voices, and this gave me the confidence to write what I really wanted to hear. In my final year as an undergraduate I wrote a song cycle setting texts by Percy Shelley. I really enjoyed composing for voice and I realised that I wanted to pursue composing further. I was at the end of my music degree but had only just realised what I was really interested in so I decided to continue studying for a masters in composition and things developed from there.

 

Your piece developed very quickly after the first workshop and was already almost complete in the second workshop. Did you always have a clear vision of the final work going into this programme?

I always had a clear idea of the source of inspiration for the piece, which was the Mayan calendar, and I knew that I wanted to compose a piece about time. This helped me come up with musical materials quite quickly although I didn’t always have a clear vision of the final work. The first workshop really helped me refine my ideas as after that workshop I realised that I wanted to work with a smaller symmetrical ensemble of accordion, two violins and percussion which offered coherence of sound. The original sketches included brass instruments aswell but after the first workshop I didn’t feel that this ensemble was suited to my materials. Once I had the smaller ensemble in mind the work formed quite quickly and the ideas became more coherent and I was able to put together a full draft very quickly. This is usually how the compositional process works for me, once I understand the roles of the instruments within the ensemble and have a clear source of inspiration; I generally compose pieces quite quickly.

 

Read the full Q&A on the British Music Collection website.

 

Find out more about our Next Wave 2 project.

 

This work was created as part of Sound and Music’s Next Wave 2 programme. It was recorded and premiered in collaboration with Sage Gateshead and NMC Recordings. Next Wave 2 was funded by Arts Council England, PRS for Music Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust and The Angus Allnatt Charitable Foundation.

 

Sound and Music logo   Sage Gateshead    RNS

 

News

Gallery CafeOn Tuesday 12 December we welcomed NMC friends and industry colleagues to the Gallery Cafe in Bethnal Green for our annual Friends event/office-warming party.

With a mincepie and a glass of wine in hand, our guests were welcomed by our Executive Director Anne Rushton, who highlighted key events and acheivements in 2017 (see our Roundup of 2017 blog), and the launch of our education resources for schools. Anne also announced our first releases in 2018, which include Next Wave 2 (pre-order available here), and albums from Brian Ferneyhough, Philip Venables and Andrew Hamilton.

 

 

 

 

 

Rebecca HepplewhiteThe first performance of the night was of Colin Riley's lyric piece Something In Our Minds Will Always Stay from his recent release on NMC, Shenanigans, expertly played by cellist Rebecca Hepplewhite. Christopher Fox then talked to Colin Riley about his influences and compositional style and you can listen to the full interview (complete with the party 'ambience'!) below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second performance of the night was from Retorica (Philippa Mo and Harriet Mackenzie) who played John McCabe's Spielend from their portrait disc on NMC (available here). It was followed by Colin Matthews in conversation with Christopher Austin to discuss John McCabe's latest release on NMC, Silver Nocturnes, as well as Imogen Holst's legacy album String Chamber Music.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Wave 2 composer Robin Haigh with RAM students, Joshua Hickins and Thomas Jones

 

NMC trustee Jackie Newbould with Harriet Mackenzie and Monica McCabe

 

NMC's Label Assistant Rachel Wilmot and Development Assistant Lucile Gasser

Feature

NMC Highlights 2017: awards, accolades and reviews

String Chamber Music IMOGEN HOLST: STRING CHAMBER MUSIC

'A touching and beautifully presented tribute to a significant figure in 20th-century British music' The Guardian ★★★★★

'The recorded sound, full of presence and atmosphere, is state-of-the-art' BBC Music Magazine

Simon Hewitt Jones violin | David Worswick violin | Tom Hankey viola | Oliver Coates cello | Thomas Hewitt Jones cello | Daniel Swain piano

BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE AWARD WINNER 2010
(originally released on Court Lane Music)
THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP 100 BEST ALBUMS OF 2017
THE SCOTTISH HERALD 20 BEST CLASSICAL RELEASES OF 2017

 

 

 

 

Rime of the Ancient MarinerHOWARD SKEMPTON: THE RIME OF THE ANCIENT MARINER

'If you buy just one disc of contemporary music this year, get this one' The Arts Desk

Roderick Williams baritone | Christopher Yates viola | Birmingham Contemporary Music Group | Martyn Brabbins conductor

BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE ★★★★★

GRAMOPHONE EDITOR'S CHOICE JUNE 2017

PRESTO CLASSICAL TOP 100 RECORDINGS OF THE YEAR 2017

SPOTIFY TOP 100 CLASSICAL RECORDINGS OF THE YEAR 2017

Official charts

 

 

COLIN MATTHEWS' SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT GRAMOPHONE AWARD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read the full blog with his acceptance speech.


A Celestial Map of the SkyTARIK O'REGAN: A CELESTIAL MAP OF THE SKY

'Luminous beauty ... glows with jewel-like warmth' The Guardian ★★★★

Official charts

 

I am I sayKATE WHITLEY: I AM I SAY

‘Capricious yet cogent, Whitley’s music has admirably user-friendly surfaces that conceal hidden intensities. We will hear much more of her’ The Times ★★★★★

Official Charts

a table of noisesSIMON HOLT: A TABLE OF NOISES

'One of Simon Holt's finest achievements to date ... Unreservedly recommended' The Guardian ★★★★★

THE GUARDIAN TOP 10 CLASSICAL ALBUMS OF 2017

 

 

 

 

BRIAN ELIAS: ELECTRA MOURNS

‘An outpouring of grief and outrage’ Financial Times ★★★★

Official charts

 

Bracing ChangeVARIOUS: BRACING CHANGE

'Totally compelling ... intriguing, vivid new music’ The Guardian ★★★★

Official charts

 

FluxVARIOUS: FLUX

'Showcases the incredible diversity of music written for dance ... compelling' BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'

Haunting electronica ... an ambitiously expansive piano trio ... [and] a succinct piece played by Onyx Brass with perfectly balanced wit and melancholy' The Guardian ★★★★

 

 

 

ShenanigansCOLIN RILEY: SHENANIGANS

'Every sound is precisely conceived. The performances sparkle with character' Financial Times

'Wry, understated and slightly bonkers' The Guardian ★★★★

 

 

 

 

JOHN MCCABE: SILVER NOCTURNES

'The finest performance of this work I have heard ... NMC's sound, mastered by David Lefeber, is superb' Gramophone

THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP 100 BEST ALBUMS OF 2017

Official charts

 

News

 

In 2017, without our supporters we would only have been able to release 4 of our 13 new albums. So, we wanted to say a special 'Thank you for helping us to #KeepTheMusicGoing!' for #GivingTuesday. On Tuesday 28th November 2017, we opened our #KeepTheMusicGoing playlist to you and you added your tracks, which were the soundtrack to our day in the office. We had a great time listening to your suggestions and the almost 4 hours of music you gave us in total! The playlist is now closed but you can listen to it here or with the player below.

 

 

 

Every year, NMC has to fundraise almost 70% of its income from private sources, such as charitable trusts and individual donors. Revenue from sales income and our Arts Council grant covers only a small proportion of our costs, and we rely on our many funders to help us release exciting, innovative, and bold new music from the British Isles.

Our charitable status means we can embark on projects based on artistic merit, rather than commercial return alone. It is the generosity of our supporters that enables us to release all the exciting new music you find in our store every year, and preserve it for generations to come. 

We're looking forward to hearing your suggestions and to a day filled with music curated by you!


If you want to find out more about the ways in which you can support NMC’s work, please click here.


What is #GivingTuesday?

#givingtuesday is the day to do good stuff for charity. On the day you can choose to support any charity you want in any way you want. Whether you bake good stuff, make good stuff, donate good stuff, tweet good stuff or even say good stuff ‐ how you support your favourite cause is totally up to you!

#givingtuesday arrived in the UK in 2014. Since then, the day has gone on to become one of Britain’s biggest days for charities, raising millions of pounds for good causes. #givingtuesday now runs in over 70 countries around the world including the US, Canada, Russia, Germany, Spain, Singapore, Australia and Brazil.

Click here to discover more about #givingtuesday.

 

 

Feature

Gareth Moorcraft is a composer and pianist from South Wales. He read music at Worcester College, University of Oxford, where he studied composition with Robert Saxton. He was later awarded an AHRC scholarship to study for an MMus degree in composition with Gary Carpenter at the Royal Academy of Music (RAM). Gareth is currently working on his PhD with David Sawer and Simon Bainbridge (also at RAM). His ongoing studies are generously supported by the Arts Council of Wales. He is one of the winners of the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize.

Gareth Moorcraft's piece Reflections (After Gibbons) features on the Philharmonia Composers' Academy album which is available to download here.

 

Can you share with us your top five contemporary composers and/or pieces?

Tricky! I don’t have a top five - it changes too often! Still, some pieces I keep returning to at the moment are:

Steve Martland - Crossing the Border (available on NMC)

Benedict Mason - String Quartet No. 1

Michael Finnissy - The History of Photography in Sound

Niccolò Castiglioni - Inverno In-Ver

Hans Abrahamsen - Schnee

 

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

My first performance was part of a composition workshop during my first term at university, so I would have been 18 years old. It was a piece for piano and tape delay performed by a fellow student, who did an excellent job! I remember there was something wrong with the venue’s computer patch controlling the delay, so we had to react to some unexpected timings and looping effects during the performance! The results were actually very interesting - there was a good lesson in this experience, I think!

 

Any stories of unusual jobs you had prior to entering the music world?

I’m afraid not, I have always worked in music one way or another! Then again, perhaps a PhD in music composition is a fairly unusual thing to do.

 

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?

Oh dear! Cage, Stockhausen, Handel (with an instrument each)? Perhaps we could redefine lift music.

 

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on a new quintet (for piano and winds) for the Presteigne Festival and I’m about to start a new work for the Britten-Pears Brass Performance Course in Aldeburgh. Next year, I’ll also be writing a new work for pianist Tom Poster as part of a residency at MusicFest in Aberystwyth and collaborating with UPROAR, a new contemporary music ensemble in Wales. So I have lots to look forward to!

 

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

I find the work of dancer/choreographer Jonathan Burrows very interesting. In a piece like The Stop Quartet, he finds a wonderful balance between spontaneity and order; it creates (for me) a mystery or secrecy which I find fascinating. I also enjoy the playful element of his work. I’d love to explore some of these ideas in a new music-dance piece.

I’m also really keen to write for viol consort in future; it’s one of my favourite ensemble sounds. I’d love to learn how to write for these historical instruments and try to find a new way to explore their unique sound.

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