James Gardner has been commissioned to compose a piece for double-belled bass trombone and percussion by Melbourne-based Ossicle Duo (Benjamin Anderson & Hamish Upton) which will be premiered next year. This has been made possible with funding from Creative New Zealand.
While Bruce Collings of MusikFabrik has a double-belled trombone, the one that Ben Anderson is having built for him allows the player to “crossfade” between the two bells. Gardner tells us “I look forward to exploring the possibilities of this new instrument with Ben in Melbourne later this year, as well as working with Hamish Upton on the percussion part of the duet.”
In other news, in Cologne on 31 March, the WDR Sinfonieorchester [West German Radio Symphony Orchestra] under Ilan Volkov gave the world premieres of two pieces that Gardner has had a hand in realising. The first is Musique de l’Indifférence, a large ballet score by the British composer Bill Hopkins (1943–1981) which he wrote between 1964 and 1965. Over many years, with British pianist and musicologist Nicolas Hodges, Gardner has been deciphering and editing the piece from the only extant manuscript of the piece, which is in the Paul Sacher archive in Basel. Gardner also computer typeset the whole piece, which will be published by Ricordi of Milan later this year. The other is Hopkins’ orchestration of the Debussy two-piano piece Lindaraja, which again Nic Hodges and Gardner have edited and which Gardner typeset. This will be published by Universal Edition of Vienna later this year. More info.