sky-me, type-me

Date: Wed 29th April, 2020
Venue: University Hall, University of Nottingham NG1 4FQ

Following our appearance in October, the Riot Ensemble returns to the University of Nottingham with a concert that explores themes of virtuosity and aspects of performance and communication.

In Beat Furrer’s Lotófagos I, a soprano and double bass appear to be trapped in an echo chamber. In Jagoda Szmytka’s sky-me, type-me, four performers resort to walkie talkies and megaphones to try to make themselves understood. Rebecca Saunders’ Fury is a virtuoso exploration of the extremes of musical gesture. In between these works are examples of a different kind of challenge. The music of the late avant-garde pioneer Pauline Oliveros – in the form of texts written for rocks and other unconventional ways of making sound – seems to leave lots to chance, but requires a unique level of spiritual commitment instead.

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Open Circuit

Date: Sat 14th Mar, 2020
Venue: Leggate Theatre, University of Liverpool L69 3DR

Centered around Brian Ferneyhough’s feverishly virtuosic sextet Liber Scintillarum (Book of Sparks) and Grisey’s spectral masterpiece Talea, this programme explores the extremes of contemporary ensemble writing.

Siemens Prize winning composer Clara Iannotta’s mesmerising string duo in which, “like skaters in a concrete bowl, the bows of violin and viola glide across their strings, creating hushed, airy harmonics”, sits alongside a new work by Israeli composer Hadas Pe’ery and Ben Hackbarth’s thrilling Lockstep Variations which features two speakers placed inside the percussionists snare drums creating “a pair of phantom musicians, two disembodied drummers who are spatially and gesturally enmeshed with the acoustic ensemble.”

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