Composers Edition is delighted to have two works nominated for this year’s Ivors Composer Awards (formally the British Composer Awards).
Mark Bowden’s Sapiens for soprano saxophone and ensemble was commissioned by London Sinfonietta and premiered with soloist Simon Harem in December 2018. Find out more about the work with this interview with Simon Haram, Mark Bowden and author Yuval Noah Harari who’s writing inspired the work:
Mark Bowden Profile & Works
The idea for Sapiens was sparked after reading Yuval Noah Harari’s books Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. In Sapiens Harari takes the reader on a 200,000 year journey as he makes sense of how our foraging ancestors came together to create cities and kingdoms, gods, nations and human rights. In Homo Deus he asks the fundamental question: where do we go from here?Mark Bowden
The books inspired me to use Harari’s concepts as starting points for new musical ideas. But my piece is not a simple depiction of the books. Rather, it is a response to some of the wonderful stories Harari tells whilst also having its own musical tales to share.
Charlotte Bray’s Invisible Cities for viola and piano was commissioned by Verbier Festival and features on her 2018 RTF chamber music CD which Composers Edition’s Dan Goren talked with Bray, Huw Watkins and Philipp Bohnen in October 2018
Charlotte Bray Profile & Works
In his book ‘Invisible Cities’, Calvino describes one city, Venice, in many ways. The reader believes that different cities are being depicted, yet the cities still resemble one another. The imaginable cities are assembled with a connecting thread, an inner rule, a perspective, a discourse. This could be thought of as the essence of the musical work: one city is described, with memories and glimpses of this original place referred to as the piece progresses. Whilst one is led on a diverse journey, fragments of melody form a connecting thread through the score, linking movements together.
This title represents more than just the inspiration of its source however. Separate ideas are often presented in each part. They exist alongside and are sometimes even influenced by one another, but they are – for the most part – invisible entities, inhibiting separate worlds. These are my imagined invisible cities.Charlotte Bray
Composers Edition is immensely proud to be working with Mark and Charlotte and wish them all the best for the Ivors Composer Awards ceremony on Wednesday 4 December.