2014 Composer in Residence: Amy Beth Kirsten
We first performed Amy’s music at The Magic Bass Flute concert in 2013. Her interview with us before that concert gives you some insight into what we love so much about her music:
I’ve had the experience recently of being asked to compose a piece that is music first and theatre second. It really seemed like a strange request because, to me, there is no difference. I can’t listen to a live performance without thinking about how the musicians bodies are moving, or without taking in their facial expressions or unintended vocalizations like breaths and grunts. As soon as you put music, movement, and attainment together, you have a kind of dance – a kind of drama.
Amy’s music featured on nearly every concert of the 2014 Riot Ensemble season, and she will write us a new piece for our collaboration with the Juice Vocal Ensemble in November.
Call for Scores 2014
Our 2014 Call for Scores received 126 applications from composers in more than a dozen countries. We were absolutely blown away by the exciting music being created by artists all over the world, and we’re extremely proud of the two commissioned pieces from Holly Harrison and Benjamin Oliver that resulted (below).
Holly Harrison wrote Tweedledrum – a piece for two percussionists. Holly is from the Blue Mountains, Sydney. She describes her music as being “driven by the nonsense literature of Lewis Carroll, embracing stylistic juxtapositions, the visceral energy of rock, and whimsical humour.” Holly was the winner of the inaugural 2013 Pyeongchon Arts Hall International Chamber Music Composition Competition (Korea).
Benjamin Oliver wrote Songs for Stanley for the Juice Vocal Ensemble for this concert. Ben is from Chatham, Kent, and his music has been performed internationally and in the UK by ensembles including the London Sinfonietta, Orkest de Ereprijs, and The Mobius Ensemble with Hackney CYM Children’s Choir. Ben is the conductor of the Workers Union Ensemble, and was recently appointed as Lecturer in Composition at the University of Southampton.
Other composers we performed in 2014
Jose Manuel Serrano
Augusta Read Thomas