Meeting Ausiàs Garrigós Morant

It’s been quite a year at Riot HQ. Aaron had to buy a new sofa in order to squeeze in all our new members of the artistic board. (Maybe I’ll pop a picture of the sofa up on instagram.) Our final ‘unveiling’ of the year is the astonishing clarinetist Ausiàs Garrigós Morant. Ausiàs will be joining us at Cardiff University for our second performance of wonderful text scores by the late Pauline Oliveros on Tuesday April 4th at 7.30pm. You have to think quickly on your feet for those, and the same goes for these interview questions below (although don’t ask Ausiàs how long it took to answer them …).

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Welcome Ausiàs! Tell the ways in which you have Rioted so far …

Every day. Every morning. Against my alarm.

Teenage tearaway, or nerdy note-learner?

Tearaway. 100% impulsive.

Favourite musician?

Paquito d’Rivera has always been my musical (and clarinetist) hero and I would say one of the reasons why I play clarinet, too.

Favourite performance venue?

A half-improvised stage lost in the mountains of Sierra de Segura (Spain), a beautiful natural reserve that hosts a beautiful music festival – Musica en Segura.

People have said this about me …

‘Being as clumsy as you are, how is it possible that you have not dropped or broken your clarinets a thousand times?’ (By my mum – I still don’t know how!)

Strictly or X Factor?

Sorry, but this year, La Voz, the Spanish edition of The Voice, only because one of my best friends was in the final.

Salad cream or mayonnaise?

Mayonnaise (and french fries, and a touch of mustard, please).

I would most like to Riot about …

Climate change, and common sense – should they both not come together?

Meeting Louise McMonagle

Don’t double-take- this is not a magical christmas movie! It’s actually the amazing (and much more magical) Louise McMonagle. We’re so pleased to have Louise and her magnificent cello playing on our artistic board! Louise will be joining us at the recording sessions for our second album A Chest of Toys, which will be released in 2017. Take a peek at Louise’s website here, and find out where she stands on all the big issues of the day in our quick-fire interview below.

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In what ways have you Rioted so far?

In my first Riot Ensemble concert I had to play my cello with an electric razor. That was a riot.

Teenage tearaway, or nerdy note-learner?

Definitely the tearaway I’m afraid. Just ask any of my school teachers …

Favourite musician?

Impossible question but I’ll go with Truls Mork, due to the sheer hours I clocked up listening to him when I was getting into the cello.

Favourite performance venue?

Royal Opera House – I love the theatre atmosphere.

People have said this about me …

“She wears a lot of yellow.”

Strictly or X Factor?

Neither … but at a push, Strictly.

The best 007 is …

Daniel Craig!

Salad cream or mayonnaise?

Both are food hell for me.

I would most like to Riot about …

… where to start …

Meeting Andy Connington

We’re chuffed to bits to welcome fabulous trombonist Andy to our artistic board. Our first concert of 2017 features Andy playing alongside Goska Isphording (harpsichord), Sarah Mason (percussion) and Adam Swayne (piano) in the UK Premiere of Utku Asuroglu’s Hayirli Olsun. Come along to Brixton East 1871 at 7.30pm on Thursday February 16th! In the meantime, find out more about Andy in our quick question/answer below, and visit his website for more …riot_andy

In what ways have you Rioted so far?

I have Rioted a few times – the first time at The Forge playing trombone quartets, then a few scenes from Aaron’s new opera ‘The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst‘ and then last April in Djuro Zivkovic’s On the Guarding of the Heart.

Teenage tearaway, or nerdy note-learner?

I want to say teenage tearaway but nerdy note-learner would be more correct! At school I always practised when I felt like it, which meant quite often neglecting the homework …

Favourite musician?

I don’t have a favourite musician, but I have some favourite orchestras amongst the usual suspects – Berlin Phil, Vienna Phil, Chicago SO, LSO …

Favourite performance venue?

I spend quite a lot of time working in pits, so I’m normally very happy when I get to play anywhere with some space and a nice acoustic! In the UK, my favourite halls are Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and Symphony Hall in Birmingham. I’m a huge fan of the continental rectangular halls, but unfortunately I’ve only had a chance to play in the Herkulessaal in Munich. The Kölner Philharmonie is also quite an interesting hall.

People have said this about me …

I’m not sure anyone has really talked much about me! Trombonists don’t usually get noticed, but I have had the following mentions in reviews:

“the trombone solo – heroically executed by Andrew Connington …”

“special mention must go to trombonist Andrew Connington for his frolics in the paddling pool …”

“Andrew Connington’s plummy, rasping gusto was infectious …”

Salad cream or mayonnaise?

Neither! Would rather make my own vinaigrette!

As long as it’s not plummy or infectious (or in a paddling pool) that sounds delicious. Thank you Andy, and we look forward to seeing/hearing you in February!

Breathe AHR 14: Charcoal #3

Date: Monday 20th February
Venue: St. Thomas’ Central Hall

This is our fourteenth concert – free and open to the public – in conjunction with Breathe Arts Health Research and our third concert with charcoal artist Marcus Stefanelli.  The concert will be programmed by and feature soloists from Riot Ensemble’s Artistic Board. Continue reading

Jubilus

Date: Wednesday 3rd May, 7.30pm
Venue: Blackheath Halls Great Hall (SE3 9RQ)

Come celebrate Jonathan Harvey’s rarely heard masterwork Jubilus – with Artistic Board Member Stephen Upshaw on solo viola – alongside the world premiere of composer/clarinettist Scott Lygate’s Chamber Symphony, the UK premiere of Augusta Read Thomas’ Capricious Angels, and our second performance of Helga Arias Parra’s Incipit (commissioned and premiered by us in 2015)!

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Listen II: The Text Scores of Pauline Oliveros

Date: Tuesday 4th April, 7.30pm
Venue: Cardiff University Concert Hall (CF10 3EB)

We return to Cardiff University for an evening-length performance of Pauline Oliveros’ Text Scores, like the one below.  You can read Tim Rutherford-Johnson’s reflections on these scores on our blog. The music is joyous, fun and informal.  The concert will take place in two halves, with an interval.
Riot Ensemble will also do a workshop with Cardiff University composers the next morning.

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Speak, Be Silent

Date: Friday 3rd March, 7.30pm
Venue: The Warehouse, Theed Street (SE1 8ST)

We are thrilled to be bringing Liza Lim’s Violin Concerto Speak, Be Silent to the Warehouse for its UK Premiere with soloist Sarah Saviet.  Alongside Lim’s concerto, this concert includes an array of atmospheric, colourful and virtuosic music including the UK Premiere of Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s Ró, Edmund Finnis’ Frame/Refrain, and Rebecca Saunders’ A Visible Trace for 11 conducted soloists. A cash bar will be available at the concert.

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A Chest of Toys: Real World Sessions

Dates: Friday 17th – Sunday 19th February
Venue: Real World Studios

Back in 2014, on Radio 4, comedian Mark Steel quoted an anonymous description of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival: ‘Much of it sounds like a chest of children’s toys coming down the stairs.’

We think this is accidentally a wonderful description of the joyful, cacophonous and unpredictable musics that make up contemporary new music today, and we’re thrilled to be working with Coviello Music Productions to make our second CD recording – A Chest of Toys – for release on Coviello Contemporary in late 2017.

We’ll be recording Michael Cryne’s Celia’s Toyshop, and our 2016 Call for Scores commissions: In My Room (Yukiko Watanabe) and Florescence (Lee Westwood) alongside an array of other chamber music including Thomas Kotcheff’s death, hocket and roll for two toy pianos, Monica Pearce’s Kandinsky for soprano and toy piano, Television Continuity Poses by Jack Sheen, and Hayirli Olsun for Trombone, Harpischord, Percussion and Piano by Utku Asuroglu.

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Breathe AHR 13: Charcoal #2

Date: Monday 20th February
Venue: St. Thomas’ Central Hall

This is our thirteenth concert – free and open to the public – in conjunction with Breathe Arts Health Research and our second concert with charcoal artist Marcus Stefanelli.  The concert will be programmed by and feature soloists from Riot Ensemble’s Artistic Board. Continue reading

Celia’s Toyshop

Date: Thursday 16th February, 7.30pm
Venue: Brixton East 1871 (SW9 7JF)

The Riot Ensemble celebrates the beginning of 2017 with a return to Brixton East 1871 in an evening filled with chamber music from around the world.  Come hear some of Europe’s top performers in an array of World and UK Premieres, along with the customary £5 bottles of wine!
The concert includes Hayirli Olsun for Trombone, Harpischord, Percussion and Piano by Utku Asuroglu (UK Premiere); Shades of Silence for String Trio and Harpsichord by Anna Thorvaldsdottir (UK Premiere), Hammock by Kerry AndrewCelia’s Toyshop by Michael Cryne (World Premiere), Wolke über Bäumen for solo violin with gut strings and baroque bow by Evan Johnson (UK Premiere), and our second performance of Television Continuity Poses, which we co-commissioned with BBC Radio 3 from Jack Sheen.

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