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19.30 Doors
20.30 Programme begins
22.30 Programme ends

Fresh Klang: Joseph Houston performs Antonia Barnett-McIntosh, The thing is, I think –, (2017), for piano and tape, 10′


David Helbich, No Music – A performative rehearsal


Matt Rogers, Weep at the Elastic as it Stretches (UK premiere)

Scenatet Ensemble
Vicky Wright, clarinet
Gijs Kramers, viola
My Hellgren, cello

Programme notes

No Music – A performative rehearsal
– score by David Helbich

Weep at the Elastic as it Stretches
An adaptation of N.F. Simpson’s Prayer

The prayer in question is part of Simpson’s 1958 play ‘A Resounding Tinkle’, and takes place as a radio broadcast within a scene which is both domestic and ludicrous.It takes the form of a prayer of thanks, but the content is entirely atypical, asking that we rejoice in all manner of unexpected objects, situations and concepts, taking great delight in the most categorical of descriptions and in a complete lack of distinction between the mundane and the exotic.

As is typical of Simpson’s work the effect is both ridiculous and sublime, encapsulating the ineffability of an existence somehow both arbitrary and profound.

Weep at the Elastic as it Stretches wishes to embody the attitudes and spirit of Simpson’s prayer, the final stage direction of which reads:

The introductory bars of ‘Sweet Polly Oliver’ in an orchestrated version are heard from the wireless…

– Matthew Rogers


photograph by Axel Schütt

Scenatet was founded by artistic director Anna Berit Asp Christensen in 2008 and moves in a cross-genre field of music, drama and happenings towards areas with yet undefined genre. The ensemble aims to create conceptual art works where music is part of a larger whole. They work with many types of productions, in close collaboration with composers, directors, artists, filmmakers, festivals and art spaces. Scenatet consists of 12 permanent musicians and works with the younger generation of Danish and international composers, including Peter Ablinger, George Aperghis, Kaj Aune, Joanna Bailie, Jeppe Just Christensen, Christian Winther Christensen, Juliana Hodkinson, Jacob Kirkegaard, Simon Løffler, Jessie Marino, Sarah Nemtsov, Marianthi Papalexandri-Alexandri, Niels Rønsholdt, Francois Sarhan, Salvatore Sciarrino, Simon Steen-Andersen, Bent Sørensen, Manos Tsangaris and Jennifer Walshe. Scenatet has performed at festivals such as SPOR, Wundergrund, Klang and Pulsar in Denmark, Ultima, Bergen Festspillene and Borealis in Norway; Transit Festival in Belgium; November Musik in the Netherlands, MaerzMusik and Heroines of Sound in Germany, Nuit Blanche in France, Shanghai New Music Week in China and and the UK’s Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

Scenatet is supported by the Danish Arts Council, the Danish Arts Foundation, Conductors Association, KODA, Sonning-Fonden and Wilhelm Hansen Fonden.

Matt Rogers

photograph by Stephen Cummiskey

The British composer Matt Rogers has written for and with a host of leading instrumentalists, ensembles and technologists, creating music and installations for concert halls, theatres, galleries and public spaces. He has received the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Composers and has been Artist in Residence at the Southbank Centre and Tokyo Wonder Site. He was also the first composer to be commissioned by London’s Art on the Underground. Previous commissions include The Virtues of Things for Royal Opera, Aldeburgh Music and Opera North. Rogers is currently collaborating on new work with the American chamber orchestra Alarm Will Sound.

David Helbich

David Helbich studied composition and philosophy in Amsterdam and in Freiburg. He has lived and worked in Brussels since 2002. He creates various experimental works on stage, on page, online and in public space. His trajectory moves between representative and interactive works, pieces and interventions, between conceptual work and actions. A recurring interest is in the understanding of an audience as active individuals and the search for an opening up of experiences in an artistically restricted space. Tonight he will perform No Music – A performative rehearsal.

No Music is no music, but still a musical experience. No music, still for your ears.

Since 2010 I have worked on scores for pieces that could be performed right at the spot, in whatever context, as long as one could freely use both hands and had two functioning ears. The pieces offer notated situations of organised listening and simple ear manipulations.

I understand this material more as a practice than as a series of composition, even though they can appear as such. Pieces appear in printed form as well as in spontaneous performances or entirely set theatrical or concert performances.

These interventions are entirely personal and therefore not so much interactive as ‘inner-active’, self-performative. The reader as the performer as the listener.” – DH

Antonia Barnett-McIntosh

photograph by Leena Kangaskoski

Antonia Barnett-McIntosh is a composer, sound artist, performer and sometimes curator with an interest in working across disciplines. She has collaborated extensively with musicians, theatre and filmmakers, dancers, visual artists and poets. Antonia’s compositional concerns lie in the specificity of sound gestures and their variation, translation and adaptation, often employing chance-based and procedural operations.

Antonia’s music has been performed in the UK, Europe, Scandinavia, New Zealand, and the United States: by Aurora Orchestra, Phaedra Ensemble, Chroma, Red Note Ensemble, Riot Ensemble, NorthArc, SoundPlay, and Tudor Consort; at the Wigmore Hall, Barbican’s Pit Theatre, Kings Place, Wellcome Collection, Robin Howard Dance Theatre, Chisenhale Dance Space, Traverse Theatre, and Strahler Berlin; at City of London Festival, Taste Festival Berlin, Festspillene i Nord-Norge (North Norway Festival), Capital Fringe Festival Washington D.C., 4 Days at Arnolfini Bristol, and as part of BBC 3’s Hear and Now concert for ‘Why Music?’.

Joseph Houston

Joseph Houston is a pianist based in London and Berlin. His wide-ranging curiosity has led to activity in a variety of fields, particularly in contemporary and experimental music. He has performed all over Europe and in China, and his playing has been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4.  He has worked with a wide range of composers, including, among others, Christian Wolff, Simon Holt, Brian Ferneyhough, Colin Matthews, Rebecca Saunders, Christian Mason, and Klaus Lang.
“Emerging as [an] expert interpreter of experimental music” – The Observer
With thanks for the support from City Music Foundation in commissioning this new piece.