On Magnetic Fields

Date: Thursday 14th June, 2018
Time: 8pm
Venue: Great Hall, Goldsmiths (SE14 6NW)

In our second 2018 performance at Goldsmiths we perform music with electronics by Ann Cleare (On Magnetic Fields), Patricia Alessandrini (De profundis clamavi [hommage à Alban Berg]) and Pauline Oliveros (Wheel of Time)

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Arrangements of Five

Date: Tuesday 8th May
Time: 8pm
Venue: Deptford Town Hall (SE14 6AF)

In the first of two 2018 concerts at Goldsmiths University, SIX Riot Ensemble performers arrange themselves in various groupings in the music of Patricia Alessandrini (Hommage à Purcell), Morton Feldman (The Viola in My Life), Matthias Pintscher (Janusgesicht) and Aaron Holloway-Nahum (Arrangements of Five).

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Tampere Biennale: My Life on the Plains

Date: Wed 11th April, 2018
Time: 7pm
Venue: Pakkahuone, Finland

Riot Ensemble travels to the Tampere Biennale with Lee Hyla’s masterwork My Life on the Plains, alongside Daniel Kidane’s Inner Voices (co-commissioned with Sound and Music in 2015) and Freya Waley-Cohen’s live score for Joris Iven’s 1929 film, Regen.

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Helsingborg Commissions

Date: Saturday 14th April, 2018
Venue: Dunkers Kulturhus, Helsingborg, Sweden

As part of our 2017 Nordic Music Days residency, and in conjunction with our 2017 Call for Scores, we have co-commissioned six new pieces which we will premiere in Helsingborg.  The composers of the new works are Asta Hyvärinen, Donghoon Shin, Georgia Rodgers, Ansgar Beste, Aaron Einbond, and Marcela Lucatelli.

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COMA Fest: Side by Side

Date: Saturday 3rd March | 8pm
Venue: The Chapel, University of Chichester, (PO19 6PE)

A collaborative concert where we perform alongside COMA members in Louis Andriessen’s Workers Union and Drew Baker’s Nox.  You can use this form to register with COMA, and perform alongside us!

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COMA Fest: Riot!

Date: Sunday 4th March | 4.30pm
Venue: The Chapel, University of Chichester, (PO19 6PE)

We’ll take the stage to give performances to Louis Andriessen’s Zliver and Mirela Ivičević’s Baby Magnify/Lilith’s New Toy, before we’re joined by members of COMA for a new work by Nigel Osborne.  You can use this form to register with COMA, and perform alongside us!

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A few moments with Bára Gísladóttir

We’re in Reykjavík today, and ready to make our Icelandic debut at Dark Music Days with music in our ‘Approaching Dutilleux’ project, built around his chamber masterwork Les Citations.  This concert features a new addition to the repertoire from Icelandic composer Bára Gísladóttir.  Bára is en route to Iceland to work with us today, but Aaron Holloway-Nahum caught up with her earlier to ask her about her new work Seven heavens (of different heights (and depths)), and her work in general.


Aaron Holloway-Nahum: You’ve written us a new pieced called Seven heavens (of different heights (and depths)). Could you tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind it?

Bára Gísladóttir: The piece deals with seven layers of different dimensions, both time-wise and texture-wise – that is – both vertical and horizontal (and everything between those).

AHN: In addition to composing, you play the double bass. This new piece includes double bass. Do you ever perform in your own compositions?

BG: Yes, I do! I mainly perform my music solo, but have also performed some of my compositions with different ensembles.

AHN: We’ve been enjoying listening to your new album, Mass for Some in which you play double bass and sing.  Can you tell us a bit about your work as a performer, and how it influences your compositions?

BG: I think I am a much more diverse performer than composer, and enjoy performing various types of new and old music. Performing my own music vs. others’ is something I experience as two very different things, mostly because I feel more freedom and a stronger link towards my own stuff. It is simply more personal.

I think the most characteristic influence when it comes to my compositional approach as a performer is that I’m constantly occupied with the performer while composing – somehow automatically leading to effects of motion and breath. I guess one could say that I compose “through” the performer most of the time. However, the same applies to my compositions as performing, writing for others vs. myself is something quite different – primarily I try to be more clear when it comes to writing for others, I take more time to considerate every little detail. When I compose for myself, I don’t spend too much time on expressing details, i.e. via notation, since I already know what I want. Hence, I’m not sure if the music I write for myself is on a sufficient format for others to perform.

AHN: We first came into contact at Nordic Music Days in 2017, where we played Suzuki Baleno, a work with a strong autobiographical inspiration. Do many of your works take events and/or memories as starting points?

BG: Actually, I think Suzuki Baleno is my only piece that is built on a truly autobiographical experience. Mostly, I build my pieces on ideas about space, mass and layers. I always try to find every possible aspect of an idea/word/event and try to place all of those aspects into an overall unity, that becomes a musical piece.

AHN: Now that you’ve finished this piece for us, what’s next?

BG: I’m working on a piece for solo saxophone, string quintet and three percussionists, commissioned by my friend Anja Nedremo, a Norwegian superhuman and outstanding saxophonist. The piece is called Yung Leo, and is built on young love, Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, young Leonardo DiCaprio, lions, the zodiac sign Leo, thugs, Yung Lean, milestones and more.

AHN: We certainly look forward to hearing that, and to seeing you in Iceland!

BG: Thanks so much for the questions, can’t wait to work with you very soon!

Seven Heavens: Dark Music Days, Iceland

Date: Friday 26th January, 8.00pm
Venue: Iðnó (Reykyavik) 

Riot Ensemble makes our Icelandic Debut at Myrkir Músíkdagar (Dark Music Days) with a new work by Icelandic composer (and performer) Bára Gísladottír for the same forces as Henri Dutilleux’s chamber masterpiece Les Citations.  Riot will also give Icelandic premieres to works for the same forces from Arlene Sierra, Jose Manuel Serrano and Chris Roe, along with the European Premiere of Aaron Holloway-Nahum’s Like a Memory of Birds.

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