Concert Nov 2015

21 November 2015 – Schott’s Recital Room


Tract Kerry Andrews
Re-jig Derek Foster
Is that you? (Or is it just me?) Paul Burnell
December ‘52 Earle Brown
Shrapnel Mosaic
Krakowiak Solutions
Two Notes Mostly
Dave Smith
Bunnahabhain Dave Smith
In modo langsando
In modo coolio
New World Order
Dave Smith
Cheap Imitation John Cage
A Very Short Trumpet Piece Morton Feldman
Intermission 6 Morton Feldman
Clapping Music Steve Reich
Oxleas Wood Hugh Shrapnel
Letter Derek Foster
Lullaby Hugh Shrapnel
OneTwoThree Ann Wolff
The Touring Machine Deborah Edwards
Kerry Andrews
Karen Burnell
Paul Burnell
Deborah Edwards
Derek Foster
Tenor horn

Tract: Piano Field/Lontano (2014/2000) – Kerry Andrews

Tract is a resetting of a much earlier very short piece for two pianos. It uses three pianos in Schott’s Recital Room principally for its spatial layout. The specific qualities of the recital and rehearsal rooms of Schott’s, alongside writing for Contakt, are subjects that I have explored and used in several previous works. Topodrome, Time Folds, Ghosts and Dream Machine have all developed out of this space and these performers.
Tract sets out to explore ‘place’ in two ways, using the physical rooms as mentioned, but also looking at two articulations of space/place. These might be characterised as ‘field’ and ‘object’, or as open ground and enclosure – two different but related sound worlds.

Re-Jig (Albumtracks no. 3) – Derek Foster

Between 1988 and 1990 I wrote three piano duets under the title of
Albumtracks. I had in mind updating the 19th century title Albumleaves to refer to tracks on a record album; the pieces had elements of jazz, pop and folk style. In Re-Jig, rhythmic disruption and harmonic expansion re-jig the folk style into a more complex idiom.

Is That You? (or is it just me?) – Paul Burnell

On encountering an inanimate or animate object do you ever feel it’s speaking to you?  Do you respond – would you be talking to yourself?  What would you think if you were eavesdropping?

December 1952Earle Brown

“…to have elements exist in space…space as an infinitude of directions from an infinitude of points in space…to work (compositionally and in performance) to right, left, back, forward, up, down, and all points between…the score [being] a picture of this space at one instant, which must always be considered as unreal and/or transitory…a performer must set this all in motion (time), which is to say, realize that it is in motion and step into it…either sit and let it move or move through it at all speeds…[coefficient of] intensity and duration [is] space forward and back.” EB

Six one-minute piano piecesDave Smith

The piano material is taken from the 10th Piano Concert which consists of 75 brief pieces featuring ideas appropriate to their duration, in particular those involving rhythmic trickery, pedal effects, various types of musical appropriation, unlikely interfaces and anagrams.

BunnahabhainDave Smith

Bunnahabhain is one of a set of 8 ensemble pieces named after one of the whiskies distilled on the Scottish island of Islay. Most of these pieces have no set instrumentation and are intended for flexible combinations. They are dedicated to Chris Shurety and CoMA.

Cheap Imitation 1969 – John Cage

Cage composed Cheap Imitation for a Merce Cunningham ballet. It was originally meant to be a two-piano transcription of Eric Satie’s Socrate, but the copyright owners wouldn’t give him permission for this, so he created a ‘cheap’ imitation of it for one piano. It matches the phrase structure of Satie’s music and so of Cunningham’s dance, which he called Second Hand.
This evening, Cheap Imitation will be played simultaneously with readings from Cage’s Silence.

A Very Short Trumpet PieceMorton Feldman

Morton Feldman composed A Very Short Trumpet Piece for Fanfares – New Trumpet Pieces for Young Players, a collection of pieces by some of the leading composers of the post World War II period, including Berio, Birtwistle, Kagel, Ligeti, Lutoslawski and Rihm.

Intermission 6Morton Feldman

Of the six Intermissions for solo piano, written between 1950 and 1953, only No. 6 has indeterminate notation and may be played on two pianos simultaneously. The score bears a resemblance to Stockhausen’s later Klavierstuck XI, with isolated events that can be played in any sequence. Here, however, each event is a single note or chord and played very softly. The title of these pieces means that they were written as intermissions between the other things he did during the day; none took more than 2 hours to write.

Clapping Music  – Steve Reich

Steve Reich’s Clapping Music is written for two performers and is performed entirely by clapping.  The initial unison rhythm is maintained throughout the piece by one player, whilst the other player gradually shifts the same rhythm until both players are in unison again at the end.

Oxleas WoodHugh Shrapnel

Oxleas Wood is the first piece from South of the River (1993-4), a suite for piano duet in 6 movements depicting various parts of South East London. Oxleas Wood is a 7,000 year old wood two miles up from Greenwich which, at the time I wrote the piece, was threatened by a motorway development through it, but stopped by a successful local campaign. The wood affords a magnificent view of Kent, and I attempted to capture a feeling of spaciousness in the music.  HC

Letter – Derek Foster

This is a piano accompaniment to a spoken poem by Jack Kerouac. Written in the 1960s when the ‘jazz and poetry’ genre perhaps gave me the idea, the accompaniment is loosely notated rhythmically to follow the speech rhythms of this short poem.

LullabyHugh Shrapnel

I wrote Lullaby in 1970 in the heyday of the Scratch orchestra of which I was a member throughout its existence. (Perhaps I saw this gentle lyrical little piece as a bit of an escape from the turmoil of the Scratch). Like many other pieces I wrote at the time, Lullaby just uses the ‘white notes’. The emphasis on the tritone B-F perhaps gives it a slightly unsettling character. Although it was originally written for solo piano I am delighted that there have been several arrangements done recently for different instruments – even one for two lutes! For tonight’s performance Paul has arranged it for alto recorder and piano. HC

OneTwoThree – Ann Wolff

Each piano plays its part in building the music, adding more and more contributions to the total, and leading finally to a joint and united ending.

The Touring Machine – Deborah Edwards

“The possible behaviour of the [computing] machine at any moment is determined by the m-configuration and the scanned symbol.” Turing
The possible behaviour of the performers at any moment is determined by the patterns of music they have been given and themselves.