Wednesday, 3 July 2019

15 premieres, 5 recent works: New Music Biennial on the Southbank and in Hull

New Music Biennial
New Music Biennial returns to the Southbank Centre for a fourth time this weekend (5-8 July 2019) bringing a celebration of new music across genres, classical, world music, folk, jazz, electronic and even music for ice cream vans. The event is a PRS Foundation initiative presented in partnership with Southbank Centre, Absolutely Cultured (Hull), BBC Radio 3 and NMC Recordings. There are 15 works from UK-based composers receiving their first performances, plus five pre-existing works composed within the last 15 years. There will be a chance to hear music from Gazelle Twin and Max de Wardener, Roderick Williams, Sam Eastmond, Claire M Singer, Khyam Allami, Sona Jobarteh, Arun Ghosh, Sarah Tandy, Forest Swords, Klein, Dan Jones, Edmund Finnis, 9Bach, Conor Mitchell, Jessica Curry, Shiva Feshareki, Aidan O’Rourke, Kit Downes, James Robertson, Rolf Hind, David Fennessy and Numb Mob.

The New Music Biennial then moves to Hull, talking place in various venues across the city from 12 to 14 July 2019.

The BBC Concert Orchestra is presenting Shiva Feshareki’s recent work for turntables and orchestra, plus a new piece by British electronic music composer and producer Gazelle Twin who collaborates with composer Max de Wardener, whilst the London Contemporary Orchestra is collaborating with Claire M Singer for a work featuring the newly renovated Queen Elizabeth Hall organ. BAFTA winning composer Jessica Curry uses the poetry of American feminist and poet Judy Grahn to create a powerful new work of hope for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain. Dan Jones’ Music for Seven Ice Cream Vans, sees a fleet of ice cream vans call out to one another to create a magical soundscape, created especially for the Southbank Centre site and the streets of Hull.

Cross-country and cross-cultural collaborations are very much a feature, with Sona Jobarteh, the first female Kora virtuoso to come from a west African Griot family, integrating West African and European instrumental interpretation, Iraqi oud player Khyam Allami's sound installation from broken and decaying ouds (a new commission from Opera North), Sam Eastmond whose piece Brit-Ish explores Jewish culture and identity in 21st century Britain, the alternative Welsh folk group 9Bach collaborating with actress Maxine Peake and acclaimed drummer Andy Gangadeen in a bilingual multi-media work, Rolf Hind working with gamelan, Roderick Williams setting poems evoking Chris Beckett's upbringing in Ethiopia and performing with Chineke!, Jazz pianist Sarah Tandy inspired by the work of Harlem Renaissance poet, Langston Hughes.

Interactive workshops include the art of storytelling with novelist James Robertson and an all-age vocal workshop led by conductor Dominic Ellis-Peckham exploring improvisation and compositional ‘play’, and there are a series of talks from Composers' Collective.

Full details from the New Music Biennial website, or the Southbank Centre website.

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