Concert Nov 2009

14 November 2009 – St Gabriel’s Vestry Hall, Pimlico

Material Cornelius Cardew
Devotions Derek Foster
Conversations with a Survivor Sally J Davies
Shredder Paul Burnell
Train Talk Deborah Broderick Edwards
imMaterialisations Kerry Andrews
The Gliss Ensemble Ann Wolff


Kerry Andrews

Karen Burnell

Paul Burnell

Deborah Edwards

Derek Foster

Ben Lane

Ann Wolff


Tenor Horn, Ocarina, Spring Drum

Oboe, Swanee Whistle

Piano, Keyboard, Kazoo




Material Cornelius Cardew

“Music is a vagrant; it has no fixed abode. It’s a menace to society. It
needs cleaning up. The impossibility of abolishing music. Its
omnipresence. Its uncatchability. Perhaps after all we have to step down
and let music pursue its own course.”  Cornelius Cardew, 1965 (diary entry)

Devotions – Derek Foster

The impetus for this piece was a visit to the Jain temple at Potters Bar, and by photos taken there, and computer-enhanced, by Jatin Shah. This piece, I hope, depicts the calm atmosphere, with the ringing of bells and chanting of prayers. The original idea was to accompany the music with projected photos, and I hope this will come about later with a more extended piece of music in collaboration with the photographer.

Conversation with a survivorSally Davies

The directness of the questions in the poem and the bleak replies led me to write a sparse and emotionally contained vocal line. The unmentioned but ever-present horror of the past is expressed in the instrumental outbursts.

Conversation with a survivor  Poem by Erich Fried

What did you do in those daysThat you shouldn’t have done?
What did you not do
That you should have done?
This and that.
A few things
Why did you not do it?
Because I was afraid.
Why were you afraid?
Because I didn’t want to die
Did others die
Because you didn’t want to?
I think they did
Have you got anything else to sayAbout what you didn’t do?
Yes, to ask you
What you would have done
In my place.
I do not know.
I cannot sit in judgment on you
Only one thing I know
Tomorrow none of us
Will stay alive
If today, we again do

Shredder – Paul Burnell

In 2008 I was at home recording myself playing the oboe and there was a tree surgeon down the road who was making a lot of noise feeding the remains of a felled tree into a mechanical shredding machine.  So I gave up trying to record the oboe and recorded the sound of the shredding instead.   I turned the recording into a piece for oboe with recorded backing and then started adding in other instruments to play with the oboe.   The piece is now being performed without the oboe and with the backing recording having only a small contribution to the overall sound.    Some of the melodic material in the piece is taken from the 19th century song ‘Woodman, Spare that Tree’, and the shredding of a tree is represented by the sound of tearing paper.

Train Talk – Deborah Broderick Edwards

Train Talk was inspired by my weekly train journeys from Teddington to Walthamstow, weird and wonderful sounds from the train itself, weird and wonderful (although sometimes boring and annoying!) conversations from the other passengers.
The piece takes us from the opening of the doors, through the sometimes noisy, sometimes desultory journey, to the sounds of the train disappearing in the distance, with comments from a Greek Chorus of one.

Here is what she ‘says’: (words by Lucy Lucy)

tight bootsscarves
laptops hanging from shoulders
mobiles clamped to ears
anticipation leaks
into the early evening air
eager to be home
spotted ties askew
mascara newly re-applied
gum-chewing shop assistant
surveyor’s clerk
hair spiked sharp
basketball cap
thick gold chain…pink jacket tries to press herself
further into aisle
to escape Man U hoodie
smiles as she is jolted into
yellow plastic of road mender,
his panels glittering in the tawdry light
and everywhere ears jammed to phone
or lifelined to mp3
Coldplay, Sway, Eagles, Sinatra, Ella…
windows steam upfogged
smoke drenched
target of phlegmy coughs
flu viruses hoveringEine Kleine Nachtmusik sings out
a hundred hands dive into pockets and
‘I’m on a train’
The commuters’ mantra
a magic charm to ward off delay
I’m on a train, I’m on a train, I’m on
a train…Vauxhall, Clapham Junction, Earlsfield,
Wimbledon, Raynes Park, New Malden, Norbiton,
Kingston, Hampton Wick, Teddington,
Strawberry Hill, Strawberry Hill,
Strawberry Hill…

imMaterialisations – Kerry Andrews

For many years I have admired the 1960s work of Cornelius Cardew – both in terms of its music and its politics. In my own way I have tried in imMaterialisations to use this notion of partial removal of the composer’s ‘given’ piece of music – that is, music finished in the score for the performers to follow.

My aim here is to allow the very separate voices (of performers and of instruments) to use the given material to explore their own spaces (literally and figuratively).

The electronic sound is derived from the three acoustic instruments and is meant to define a fourth, combined space – a kind of joint reverberation, but at the same time a specifically digitised space as well.

The Gliss Ensemble – Ann Wolff

The Gliss Ensemble is able to express moods with only moving sounds and without particular notes.  I wanted to see how far we could go in showing different moods using another set of musical forms.  The variations are many and here to start with is one of them.