Elsewhereness, the third recording of Joe Cutler’s Music (and the second on the NMC label) is brought out this October. We caught up with Joe to find out more…
DG: Great to see a new portrait CD out on NMC and what a performer line-up!
JC: Thanks CE! I’m really excited about the line-up of performers, many are close friends who I’ve worked with for many years like Fidelio Trio, Noszferatu, Sarah Leonard (and of course Royal Birmingham Conservatoire). Then there’s new relationships like with Trish Clowes’ Emulsion Sinfonietta, Workers Union Ensemble, Project Instrumental and Mirga Gražinyté-Tyla.
DG : One thing I think the works on this disc exemplify well is the multi-faceted character of your work as pieces which turn from exuberance to introversion, darkness to splendid colour. Does that reflect your outlook?
JC: Perhaps, but hopefully the element that connects them together is playfulness. I’m a huge fan of the novels of David Mitchell and through playfulness he takes the reader to these different places or emotional planes. I think that lightness of touch is something I’m trying to capture.
DG: There’s lots of relationships to other artists and art forms in the works on this disc, whether it be other composers (Sikorski B, Frederic Lagnau) poetry (Akhmatova Fragments) or television (McNulty). What attracts you to working with these as a composer?
JC: I suppose through composing I can draw upon many things that I encounter in life and get to process them at a deeper level. I spent three years living in Poland and that’s where I got to know the pieces of Tomasz Sikorski; terrifyingly existential music that creates a powerful emotional resonance from the smallest of resources. The poetry of Anna Akhmatova has a bleak, autumnal beauty too. Frederic Lagnau was a composer-friend who I met in Darmstadt in 1992 and his music has an otherworldliness and lightness. And McNulty is a character in the Wire and I reference him as metaphor for a number of things that I wanted to deal with in my piece of the same name.
DG: Humour also seems key to your approach…
JC: I think I’d go back to playfulness here. I’m not trying to create laugh-out-loud music as that would fail instantly, but humour can be a good way to say something serious.
DG : Great also to hear new writing for orchestra from you with the title piece of this disc, something I’d like to hear more of.
JC: I really enjoyed writing Elsewhereness for symphony orchestra last year (into this year). It was the first orchestral piece I had written in quite a while, and it was wonderful to re-visit the medium. In fact I’m just beginning a new orchestral project right as speak, a 20-minute piece for saxophone and orchestra for Trish Clowes and the BBC Concert Orchestra which I’m really excited about.
DG: I’m happy to be able to offer all our CE Club members a full 15% discount on this release (in email inboxes, free to join). Thanks for chatting Joe!Joe Cutler Profile & Works
Works published with Composers Edition on this release:
Tags: Akhmatova Fragments, Elsewhereness, Emulsion Sinfonietta, Fidelio Trio, Frederic Lagnau, Joe Cutler, McNulty, Mirga Gražinyté-Tyla, NMC Recordings, Noszferatu, Project Instrumental, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Sarah Leonard, Sikorski B, Trish Clowes, Workers Union Ensemble