20.30 Programme begins
Fresh Klang: Martyna Poznańska
Sam Salem, Untitled Valley of Fear, for three object operators, tape and video (2016) (UK premiere)
Liza Lim, Inguz (Fertility), for clarinet in A and violoncello (1996)
Mauricio Pauly, Charred Edifice Shining, for amplified string trio (2016) (UK premiere)
Distractfold Ensemble: Rocío Bolaños, clarinets; Linda Jankowska, violin; Emma Richards, viola; Alice Purton, cello; Daniel Brew, electric guitar; Mauricio Pauly, artistic co-director; Sam Salem, artistic co-director; Constantin Popp, technical director
Miles Cooper Seaton + ensemble (UK premiere), Transient Music #2
photograph by Ana Blagojevic
For over a decade Miles Cooper Seaton’s work has defied genre and discipline, spanning immersive ambient installations, intimate sets in sacred spaces and festival stages from Los Angeles to Tokyo – as a solo artist, with his own band Akron/Family and as a member of Michael Gira’s Angels of Light. Their common thread is the raw emotional charge that infuses every performance with incendiary energy, leaving listeners hyper-sensitised to their own feelings and bodies, to each other and to the world around them.
Tonight he will lead a performance of Transient Music, an evolving composition for modular ensemble.
Music as an art form is truly realised when it is perceived. It is reciprocity that gives it life. Given this fact, it is the field of perception or awareness that is the context in which a composition is experienced. Though we have a visceral and instinctual relationship with music as primordial utterance, our modern experiences of music are often bound more to the intellectual barriers we place around sound in order to compartmentalise and understand its intention. Transient Music aims to engage the intuitive or pre-descriptive space that exists in the gap between experience and understanding. Members of the ensemble are given principal guideposts and cues that relate to their own cosmologies in order to encourage the cultivation of a spontaneous and empathetic awareness. This awareness is then activated sonically and energetically, and finally made manifest as a collective gesture of inclusivity as the tonal field gradually extends to the perceiver.
The Manchester-born ensemble Distractfold specialises in performing instrumental, electro-acoustic and mixed chamber music from the 21st century. In 2014, the ensemble was awarded the Kranichstein Prize for Performance at the International Summer Courses for New Music Darmstadt. Past seasons include concerts at Le Bruit de la Musique Festival, International Poznań Spring New Music Festival, Gdansk, Lódz, the IGNM concert series at Gare du Nord in Basel and Kompakt am Montag in Zurich, amongst others. The group has been in residence at the University of Huddersfield, Ithaca College in New York and Brunel University in London, and holds a quarterly residence at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation. In 2015-16 Distractfold was in residence at Harvard University and presented concerts in New York and Chicago. In summer 2016, the group returned to Darmstadt for a series of featured concerts. In 2016-17 it will be in residence at Stanford University and will be featured at Luxembourg’s Rainy Days Festival. Distractfold will also curate the 2017 Cut and Splice Festival, which takes place in Manchester for the first time since the festival’s inception.
Liza Lim is one of Australia’s leading composers. She has received commissions and performances from some of the world’s pre-eminent orchestras (Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Orchestra, BBC, WDR, SWR), festivals (Festival d’Automne Paris, Salzburg, Lucerne, Holland, Venice Biennale and major Australian festivals) and ensembles (Musikfabrik, Ensemble Intercontemporain, ELISION, Ensemble Modern, Arditti String Quartet and others). Since 2008, she has been Professor of Composition and Director of the Centre for Research in New Music, CeReNeM, at the University of Huddersfield. Her compositional practice is connected to Australian Indigenous aesthetics; Asian ritual forms and performance practices; a Sufi poetics of bewilderment, loss, communion and ecstasy; and the textilic arts of weaving and knot-making as a cross-modal technology for thinking.
Sam Salem’s work is focussed upon the sounds of urban environments: each of his pieces focuses upon a specific geographical location. His music aspires to illuminate and explore the hidden musicality and beauty of his geographical subjects, as well as his own relationship to his environment as both a source of inspiration and musical material.
Sam (b. 1982) currently resides in Manchester (UK), where he completed a MUSM in Electroacoustic Music Composition in 2007 and a PhD in Composition in 2011 at the University of Manchester.
He has undertaken a number of creation residencies at institutions around the world, including Ems (Stockholm, 2013-14), La Muse En Circuit (Paris, 2012-2013), Technische Universität (Berlin, 2012), STEIM (Amsterdam, 2011-12) and Musique et Recherches (Ohain, 2011). He has also been nominated and awarded in a number of international composition competitions, including: Concours Luc Ferrari (2012, Winner), Luigi Russolo Competition (2012, Audience Award), Metamorphoses (2012, Nomination), Competition Destellos (2012, Nomination), Joensuu Soundscape Composition Contest (2011, Third Prize), 11th Musica Viva Composition Competition (2010, First Prize ex-aequo) and Musica Nova (2010, Honorary Mention).
Sam is co-director of the Distractfold Ensemble, and currently teaches at Canterbury Christ Church University.
Mauricio Pauly writes music for mixed ensembles, often integrating amplification, performative electronics & prefabricated sounds. He is the artistic co-director of Distractfold & one half of the improvising duo, Inner Helmet. In 2014-15 he was a fellow at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. His home is in Ancoats, Manchester.
Royal Northern College of Music – Manchester, UK
Senior Lecturer and MMus Pop Music Coordinator
//Electric Experimental Ensemble (MMus), Aural Analysis & Critique (MMus), Songwriting Workshop (BMus Y3), Original Ensemble Project (BMus Y3)//
Architectural Association Interprofessional Studio – London, UK
photograph by Gregor Pfeffer
Martyna Poznańska is a cross-disciplinary artist based in Berlin. Her artistic research focuses on listening and hearing as a transformative act within the urban sonic environment. Through her installations and live performances she investigates the transience of the affect between different modes of perception, where the listener’s experience becomes the focal point. Her practice involves field recording, writing, video and photography. Poznańska has showed works at the Akademie der Künste Berlin, Spor Festival, Deutsche Oper Berlin, The Place in London, ORF Graz and others. In 2013 she was the recipient of a grant from the Polish Ministry of Culture for the project Listening East. She studied Spanish literature and linguistics at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow, voice at the Laboratory of Olga Szwajgier and sound art at the University of the Arts London. In 2016 she obtained an MfA in sound studies from the Universität der Künste Berlin.
Monocreo is a Milton Keynes-based sound art and outer limits label pairing forever-available digital music with a limited-edition physical form. Initially born to document the work of its founder, the sound artist Jonny Hill, the label’s inaugural release was a collaborative graphic score between Hill and Edward Simpson, performed and recorded live in response to Stephane Cauchy’s Cascade at Fabrica Gallery, Brighton, in August 2011. The label has also released work by the drums and electronics trio Black Spring and post-punk multi-instrumentalist the Engineer. Its latest release is a split cassette featuring new material from Miles Cooper Seaton and Black Spring.