2014

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A work in lauda form for electric guitar, cello and bass clarinet.

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Note : Lauda Rubata a Tre

Lauda Rubata a Tre

Commissioned by the York Late Music Festival this piece draws on the fact that three of Gavin Bryars' musicians, who have played with him in various ensemble configurations over the years, were performing together in the rest of the programme, though he had never previously written for these three players as a self-contained unit. The dedications help clarify the musical imagery.

One part of the dedication is "In Memoriam Chico Hamilton". Chico Hamilton led a number of interesting and innovative quintets/sextets in the 1950s, having been the drummer in the original Gerry Mulligan quartet, and in the film Jazz on a Summer's Day (Newport Jazz Festival 1958) there is a lovely drum solo in which he just uses mallets.

His own groups employed imaginative and unusual combinations of instruments, and in the late 1950s he led a group that included electric guitar, cello and the bass clarinetist Eric Dolphy (though generally playing flute at that time) - and this trio is what we have here. The guitarist was Dennis Budimir (later replaced by Jim Hall) and the cellist Fred Katz (almost certainly the only jazz jazz cellist of the period who, unlike Red Mitchell or Oscar Pettiford, had not stepped down/up from the double bass).

Chico Hamilton died quite recently, within a few weeks of Jim Hall and Fred Katz... Dolphy, of course, died in the 1960s.

The other dedication is to my friend and former student Craig Vear, who had a work in the same concert. I first met Craig I interviewed and auditioned him as a drummer. In the absence of any drum kit in the vicinity, I had him play rudiments on my metal brief case - which would not have been so severely damaged had he, like Chico Hamilton, used mallets...

 

 



Full length ballet, choreography by Carolyn Carlson, for orchestra with interludes by Philip Jeck (improvised electronics)

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Note : Pneuma

Pneuma

Pneuma is a full length ballet, around 80 minutes, which falls into 8 sections. Carolyn Carlson breaks the work into eight sections with each section taking its title from the work of Gaston Bachelard Airs and Dreams. It was commissioned  byt eh National Ballet of Bordeaux and was premiered there on March 17 2014

 



Work for unaccompanied solo bass voice

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Note : Gallus et Agnus (After Demantius)

Gallus et Agnus (After Demantius)

The piece was written for Clive Birch, bass in the Australian vocal ensemble The Song Company, at the suggestion of the group's director Roland Peelman. It was to be placed in the short break between Demantius' St John Passion and David Lang's The Little Match Girl, during which the group had three minutes to get into costume. As there is no part for bass voice in the second work, this short piece formed a kind of bridge. The first text (Gallus) takes the passage of Peter's three denials of Christ linked to the cock crowing, which is abbreviated in the Demantius setting, while the second (Agnus) sets Jesus' reinstatement of Peter after the Resurrection through his three-fold injunction to "feed my lambs".

As Clive Birch was retiring from the group after this performance, it formed a kind of retirement gift.