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29 March 2022 Comments Off on April 2022 New Release Round-Up Views: 1848 CE News

April 2022 New Release Round-Up

March brings works for varied instrumental and vocal formations by Richard Birchall, Odaline de la Martinez, Bushra El-Turk, Richard Emsley, Christopher Fox, Michael Zev Gordon, Torbjörn Hultmark, Brian Inglis, Rob Keeley, John Palmer (including a series of acousmatic works), Colin Riley, Susannah Self, Naresh Sohal, Ian Stephens and Daniele Venturi.

Also available as a PDF and as an MS Excel Spreadsheet.

Richard Birchall


for basset clarinet and orchestra


Barbara Strozzi arr. Richard Birchall

Che si può fare

for soprano (or solo viola) and string quartet

Composed by Barbara Strozzi and arranged by Richard Birchall.


Odaline de la Martinez

Cuban Dances

for flute, oboe, clarinet and cello

Cuban Dances was commissioned, recorded and premiered by the Lilith Ensemble, and is dedicated to them.


Bushra El-Turk

Saffron Dusk

for string quartet

This piece was commissioned by the Young Concert Artists Trust (YCAT) for their 2021 String Quartet auditions to be performed and filmed at the Wigmore Hall in May 2021.


Richard Emsley

Still/s cycle

Complete Collected Edition – Hardback

220pp A4 collectors hardback edition with introductory texts by Richard Emsley and Tim Rutherford-Johnson, plus an interview with the composer by Dan Goren.

Richard Emsley’s still/s cycle started life in 2002 when the composer together with painter Joan Key were commissioned by the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill to collaborate on a work on the still life – a painting or drawing of an arrangement of inanimate objects. Key’s Six White Paintings for Composition were subsequently included in the Colour White exhibition, during which the cellist Anton Lukoszevieze premiered Still/s 1. Over the following 17 years Emsley created 23 further pieces for every possible permutation of instruments in a standard Pierrot ensemble: flute, clarinet, violin, ‘cello and piano.

This special 220-page hardback edition (297mm x 210mm) comprising the complete cycle with an introduction by the composer provides a unique source for anyone looking to explore and understand the contemporary moment in music today from the view of one of it’s most focussed and skilful composers.

Read an interview about Still/s with Richard Emsley here.


Christopher Fox

From hand to mouth

for choir (SATB)

Texts from Jeremiah, Chapter 1, Verse 9 (Then the Lord put forth his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, ‘Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth’), the Westmorland Gazette (January 1948), and place-names on the bus route between Ambleside and Chapel Stile in Cumbria; for the Choir of St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and premiered by them in St Catharine’s College Chapel, 11 March 2022. Dedicated to the memory of Kurt Schwitters, who died in Ambleside, 8 January 1948.


Michael Zev Gordon

A Small Folly

for clarinet, violin, cello and piano


Torbjörn Hultmark

Brian Inglis

Antiphon for Virgins

for voice and string trio

Antiphon for Virgins is a companion piece to Responsory (1992), a Hildegard text-setting also published by Composers Edition (ce-bi1r1).


Rob Keeley


for piano

This exuberant single-movement jeu d’esprit is basically a conflation of rondo and variation: the overriding principle is of palindromic rhythms, subjected to change, decay and contrast. While this was not a conscious influence, something of Nancarrow’s player-piano studies might lie behind much of this piece. The performer is invited to add a certain ‘swing’ to much of it, and even, if so inclined, to play it, or passages of it, even faster than written… The title has no meaning whatever beyond a suggestion of joyful abandon.


Between the Boughs

five songs to poems by Ivor Gurney for tenor and piano

1.Walking Song
2.Between the Boughs
3.Song of Urgency
5.Old Martinmas Eve

Written for and first performed by Brian Smith Walter with the composer, December 2018, Studio Sienko Gallery, Borough.


Relics and Echoings

for guitar and piano

This piece was originally written in 2008 for Jonathan Leathwood and Heidi Brende Leathwood, who performed in in Denver in April 2010. It was subsequently been much revised and shortened, with the invaluable assistance of my friend Fabio Zanon. I have tried to explore the many different ways of combining and contrasting these two apparently incompatible instruments, with one often being an echo (or distorted ‘relic’) of the other.


John Palmer

“…as it flies…”

acousmatic work

Over the past 20 years I have become increasingly receptive to the mystery of the elusive, the intangible… a distinct perception of the ineffable as experienced in my daily life. “…as it flies…” is by no coincidence my first work for tape, a musical medium which provides a most direct access to the world of imagination. The sound sources I have used are words extracted from a poem called Eternity by the English poet and painter William Blake (1757-1827). All the sounds heard in this work derive from a female – spoken – voice reciting the Blake’s poem.


Boann’s Song

for Celtic (non-pedal) harp

In Celtic mythology Boann is a water goddess, creator of the River Boyne in Ireland. Legend has it that Boann challenged the power of the Well of Wisdom (the magical well of Segais) by walking around it anti-clockwise, thus causing the waters to rise fiercely, rush to the sea, and ultimately create the River Boyne. Boann herself was swept along in the rushing waters and died in the flood.


Children’s Pieces

for piano

I wrote Children‘s pieces in 1984-87 for my piano pupils and revised them in 2017. The ten pieces are suited for beginners (children or adults) in the third year of piano study. Each piece reflects a different musical character, a specific technical preoccupation and can be easily integrated in any kind of contemporary piano curriculum. From traditional dance to jazz-inspired phrases, from lyrical to rhythmic textures, and from sorrowful to joyful character, the musical flow of these pieces is constant while remaining always vibrant and enjoyable.


Double Games

for 4-hands piano

Double games was written in 1989 and consists of ten short pieces initially thought of an educational nature. Each piece is based on a specific image, dance, musical character and piano technique. Double games may be played as a complete cycle, and each piece may also be performed separately.


I Am

acousmatic work

The idea of “I Am” came to my mind during a visit to Japan in Autumn 2001. This work reflects some of my perception of the inner dimension of existence in terms of searching for spiritual transcendence and self-realisation. It illustrates a double journey taking place simultaneously: one physical, to Japan, the other metaphysical, into the world of inner perception. The journey to Japan is based on sonic references of that country, while the inner journey articulates itself not only through sound transformations, but also through sparse literary texts (in English, and very few in German) scattered throughout the piece.

Commissioned by DeutschlandRadio Berlin, Department of Hörspiel Werkstatt.


In the Temple

acousmatic work

Dante’s opening of The Divine Comedy resembles an extraordinary event that occurred to me in the Spring of 2003: the “discovery” of an underground temple at the foot of the Italian Alps. As I plunged into the cave I descended a secret underworld of thousand colours, a labyrinth of halls and corridors rich in sound and architecture.

The concept and form of In the Temple is connected to the architectural and conceptual structure of the temple itself: seven halls, one labyrinth and interlinking corridors. Each space being built according to precise mathematical, acoustic and spiritual laws where architecture becomes a medium between the spiritual and the material.

In the Temple is a 52’ long acousmatic work consisting of nine movements. Each movement may be performed as an independent piece.



acousmatic work

I wrote Mémoires in the summer of 2011 and dedicated it to the memory of Luc Ferrari. All the sounds used in this work belong to the Luc Ferrari sound archives and have been kindly offered by the Presqué Rien Association for which this piece has been written. No other sound sources have been used for the realization of this work.

Mémoires was awarded First Prize of the 2011 Presque Rien International Composition Prize in Paris. The composer wishes to acknowledge the Luc Ferrari Foundation as the owner of the 15 sound sources used in this work.



acousmatic work

In 1993 I wrote Phonai for a Yamaha SY-77 synthesizer with the intention to explore some of the instrument’s sonic potentialities. Four years later I added a concréte counterpart to the synthesizer’s part based on some voice recordings of my children Grace and Iris, at that time being 5 and 3 years old.

This acousmatic version of Phonai may be diffused in stereo format.


Present Otherness

acousmatic work

In 2007 Jonathan Harvey invited me to write a work for tape based on trumpet samples played by Markus Stockhausen for his piece “other presences”. The condition being to use only the studio recording of the trumpet.

When listening to the trumpet recordings I decided to dismantle the original phrases and manipulate the spectral characteristics of single sounds in order to create new sounds and reconstruct a new music from scratch. The only exception being two phrases which I processed after leaving them in the original form.



acousmatic work

Based on a text I wrote in 1988 in memory of a friend who had just died, Transient was written in 2008 initially for soprano, prepared piano and two electronic sources: one consisting of the processing of the singing voice, the other including the text being whispered, spoken and sung by the soprano and transformed in the electronic studio.

Transient was awarded with a special mention at the 36th Bourges International Competition of Electroacoustic Music 2009 in Section II: Trivium.

Two acousmatic versions of Transient are available: stereo and quadraphonic.

In memory of Kilaa (1951-1988)


Three Girls

for piano

I wrote Three girls for my children when they were toddlers, respectively in 1994, 1996 and 2002. The first piece was written for Grace at a time when she would spend hours playing in the sandpit, suddenly standing up and beginning to walk, and, of course, fall on the ground. The second piece was written for Iris on occasion of her first whims and self-conscious assertions. Helen’s piece was written at a time when she would sleep on a small matress next to the piano while I was playing a lullaby.

The three pieces are equally suited for children and adults perhaps on their third or fourth year of piano study.


Colin Riley

Close Quarters

for string quartet


Susannah Self


for flute and piano

For Anna Hopkins and Brenda Blewett.

Premièred by Anna Hopkins and Brenda Blewett at Cley Church in Norfolk, Saturday 2nd April 2022.


Sea Requiem

for soprano, mezzo, tenor and baritone soloists, SATB chorus, two horns and string orchestra

Premièred by the Orbita Orchestra and singers in Chichester in October 2022.


Naresh Sohal


for violoncello and piano

Commissioned by the BBC for Rohan de Saram and Ananda Sukarlan.

First performance 6th June 2006, Rohan de Saram and Ananda Sukarlan at the Spitalfields Festival, Wilton’s Music Hall, London.


Ian Stephens

Three Miniatures

for violin and cello

Three Miniatures was originally written for clarinet and cello in 2001. I made this version for violin and cello at the request of Heather Tuach, cellist in the Fitzwilliam Quartet, in 2022.


Daniele Venturi


for mezzo-soprano

Poetic text by Kobayashi Issa (1763 – 1827).

Yo no naka wa
Jigoku no ue no
Hanami kana


James Wood

Tapping the Source

Hardback First Edition

In Tapping the Source, the author brings different times and diverse musical cultures right into the heart of contemporary music making. This extraordinary book brings to life a concept which the German philosopher Helmuth Plessner referred to as Fern-Nähe: the faraway comes closer and merges into today’s understanding of the superdiversity of music as theory and practice. Perusing the histories and cultures of the systematisations of rhythm, temperament and modes, and tapping the very earliest known sources from ancient Greece and early India, Wood unfolds the sheer infinity of present possibilities. In so doing, he has produced a book which bears resemblance to few theoretical works in music history and theory, although it could without effort be compared to the rigorous and explorative attempts of Harry Partch in the twentieth century, or Gioseffo Zarlino in the sixteenth century. These are as much treatises as they are narratives to be taken up and continued not only by composers, but by readers from many fields.

Find out more in this interview with the author.


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