Tuesday 1 February 2022

New Music Biennial 2022

New Music Biennial 2022

The PRS Foundation and Southbank Centre have announced the new works to be performed at the New Music Biennial Festival 2022. The festival was launched by the PRS Foundation in 2012 as New Music 20x12 to celebrate the London 2021 Cultural Olympiad, and since then it has launched critically acclaimed pieces by a wide range of creators. This year's festival is being presented in partnership with Coventry UK City of Culture, BBC Radio 3 and NMC Recordings, and there will be 20 works performed - 10 new commissions and 10 existing works from across the festival's ten year history.

The music is being performed in Coventry as part of the UK City of Culture celebrations, 22 to 24 April 2022, and in London at the Southbank Centre, 1 to 3 July 2022. Additionally, performances will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and will be available through NMC Recordings.

Many of the new commissions cross boundaries and genres, pushing the envelope in a variety of different ways. A number of the commissions feel remarkably specific in intention and it will be interesting to see how the resulting music develops and what lives these new pieces take on after 2022. In that context, it is helpful to be reminded of some of the stronger works from previous festivals as well.

The ten new commissions are:

  • The Moon has Become, a sonic art-work commissioned by WOMAD from British-Bahraini trumpet player Yazz Ahmed who seeks to blur the lines between jazz and electronic sound design
  • A new piece commissioned by Capsule - Supersonic Festival from Paul Purgas, an artist and musician working with sound, performance and installation
  • A new piece commissioned by Manchester Camerata and NEWFORM from AFRODEUTSCHE, otherwise known as Henrietta Smith-Rolla, is a British-born Ghanaian/Russian/German artist, composer, producer and DJ based in Manchester
  • Split the Air, commissioned by The National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain and Lepus Productions, from composer Martin Green
  • A new work by violinist and composer Rakhi Singh (co-founder of the Manchester Collective), electronic music artist Vessel & NYX Electronic Drone Choir, collaborative drone choir, re-embodying live electronics and extended vocal techniques
  • Bog Body (working title), commissioned by Sound UK from Keeley Forsyth, a composer, singer and actor from Oldham
  • From the Vestry, commissioned by Serious from Coby Sey, a vocalist, musician and DJ from South East London. Coby will create a new 15 minute work in collaboration with a group of entirely acoustic instrumentalists and singers – a radical departure for a musician and producer most known for his electronic work
  • The Crossing, commissioned by Opera North from sitarist Roopa Panesar and jazz pianist Al MacSween
  • Breathlines, commissioned by Armonico Consort from composer Toby Young, to be performed by Armonico Consort and saxophonist Amy Dickson, a piece somewhere between concerto and meditation
  • A new piece commissioned by the BBC Concert Orchestra from composer Philip Herbert

The existing works to be performed are by Anna Meredith, Brian Irvine and Jennifer Walshe, Daniel Elms, Errollyn Wallen, Philip Venables and David Hoyle, Aidan O'Rourke and Kit Downes, Jason Yarde, Jessica Curry, Arlene Sierra, Gazelle Twin.

Full details from the New Music Biennial website.

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