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Aaron Holloway-Nahum Joins Composers Edition

29 May 2022 Comments Off on June 2022 New Releases Round-Up Views: 2310 CE News

June 2022 New Releases Round-Up

June brings works for varied instrumental and vocal formations by Terence Allbright, Vykintas Baltakas, Richard Birchall, Peter Copley, Rob Fokkens, Christopher Fox, Erika Fox, Liz Dilnot Johnson, Catherine Kontz, Anne LeBaron, Patrick Nunn, Robert Peate, Lynne Plowman, Susannah Self, Andrew Toovey, Jack Van Zandt, Marc Yeats, plus a first selection of works by newly signed Aaron Holloway-Nahum.

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

Terence Allbright

Nine Short Pieces

for piano

1. Preamble (30″)
2. Fugato (1’24”)
3. Etcetera (55″)
4. Barcarolle (45″)
5. Bling (35″)
6. 2:3:4 (1’42”)
7. Coup de Grâce (1’09”)
8. Innere Stimme (1’25”)
9. In extremis (42″)

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Vykintas Baltakas

Cladi IV

for accordion solo

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Barbara Stozzi arr. Richard Birchall

Che si può fare (version for string orchestra)

for soprano and string orchestra

Composed by Barbara Strozzi and arranged by Richard Birchall.

Also available for soprano and string quartet.

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Peter Copley

Suite for Sally

five pieces in first position for violin and piano

Originally composed on 27th December 2001 at a single sitting for a young niece whose playing I had just heard for the first time at a festive family gathering. They have had some very minor revisions before publication. Only the notes of the first position are used and they are intended for violinists of approximately Grade I / II standard.

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Seven Places in Poland

for piano

Seven Places in Poland were composed in 1990 with some minor revisions made in 2008 and again in 2022 prior to their publication. Although originally written for pianists of approximately Grade VI – VII standard, they are intended primarily as ‘recital’, rather than purely ‘educational’ music. The first part of the title for each movement indicates the character of the piece and the second, the specific place in Poland that is being evoked. Movements 1 and 2 refer to places in Krakòw. As there is a return to Krakòw for the final movement, the whole suite represents a wayward round trip but not one to be made in a single day!

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Six Position Pieces

for cello and piano

Pieces designed to introduce students to the ‘neck’ positions. Each piece may be played in just one of these positions, without shifts or extensions. All available notes in each position are included in the cello parts. The fingering and notes for each position on all four strings are given at the start of each piece. The pieces are designed for students of about Associated Board Grade III – V standard.

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Rob Fokkens

The Application

a short opera in three scenes

Commissioned by Cape Town Opera 2015 for the Four:30 project. Music and Scenario by Robert Fokkens. Libretto by Laurence Allan.

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Christopher Fox

The wind in the trees

for piano and video projection

The wind in the trees takes its title from a remark by the film director D.W. Griffiths who, in 1944, lamented that ‘what’s missing from movies nowadays is the beauty of the moving wind in the trees.’

The wind in the trees was commissioned by Zubin Kanga with the support of a UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship and Royal Holloway, University of London. It was premiered by Zubin Kanga on 28th April 2022 in Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge.

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Erika Fox

In Memoriam M.L.K.

for oboe and cello

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Aaron Holloway-Nahum

Ezra’s Nursery

for wind quintet

Filled with the joy (and noisy-ness!) of childhood and composed for the Peter Eötvös Foundation Mentorship Programme in 2018, premiered in Budapest.

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Like a Memory of Birds (ii)

for large ensemble

Commissioned by Peter Eötvös for Ensemble Plural to be premiered by them in Madrid, on 17 April 2019.

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Plane Sailing

for solo soprano and ensemble

Commissioned by The Riot Ensemble the instrumentation exactly matches that of ‘Song Offerings'(by Jonathan Harvey) and this work is dedicated to him. The piece sets the words from Sasha Dugdale’s poem Plane Sailing (Alzheimer’s) for A.W. Both the poem and the piece are a collection of motifs that spin around the central images of calmness, circling, and grief.

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The Geometry of Clouds

for piano quartet

Commissioned for the 2014 Aspen Music Festival and is dedicated with gratitude and admiration to George Tsontakis and Steven Stucky.

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the heavens can make light and flame and ice and water

for solo accordion and electronics

The piece takes as its starting point a reading of a translation of a poem by Ukrainian poet Kateryna Babkina, analysed (for pitch and rhythmic content), processed heavily (in the electronic samples) and reflected upon constantly during the composition of the piece.

“Though the piece was composed mostly in 2021, it was completed and premiered three weeks into the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, in March 2022. It carries within it every resonance of sadness, anger, helplessness, smallness, and loss which I have felt in watching that criminal tragedy unfold.”

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The New Hymns

for solo viola and live electronics

Commissioned by Stephen Upshaw and premiered at NonClassical in London, 2018

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Vernichtung

for solo bass clarinet and orchestra

A meditation on the decisions of those who’s life is such that they are impelled to take life-threatening journeys across open seas it was written for Horia Dumitrache, “who’s virtuosity, fierce humanity and deep care fill every corner of the piece”. Commissioned by the Pannon Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Liz Dilnot Johnson

The Grace of Her Hand

for SATB choir and organ

Created for the Platinum Jubilee celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II with words written by the composer. The music is from Liz Dilnot Johnson’s Our Fragile Land (2021) based on verses from Psalm 8, commissioned to celebrate Environment Day by the Church of St Matthias, Malvern Link.

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Catherine Kontz

Metallurgy

for solo percussion (min. 6 instruments) or percussion ensemble (up to 6 performers)

Originally created for a binaural recording set-up for the soundwalk Wou D’Uelzecht-Esch with 6 instrument-stations set up clockwise around a binaural microphone, with each part recorded individually.

Created for Esch2022 and composed for Guy Frisch (United Instruments of Lucilin). First Recording by Philippe Mergen at Centre national de l’audiovisuel Luxembourg (CNA).

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Anne LeBaron

Blue Harp Studies

acousmatic work

Blue Harp Study No. 1 and Blue Harp Study No. 2 were composed at Harvestwork’s PASS Studios in New York, in June, 1991, using my blue Lyon & Healy harp to create the original source material. I recorded and edited an extensive series of samples into the computer via Digidesign’s Sample Cell with Sound Tools. Intuitive manipulation of these samples eventually coalesced into the two Studies. Some of the more novel sounds were accomplished by unusual techniques that characterize my performances on the harp. These techniques include broken chain links and steel tuning keys used as slide mechanisms on the strings; cello and bass bows used on the bass strings; and an elongated coiled spring (like those found on older screen doors) that served as a textured bow in the middle and upper registers.

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Dish

for soprano and chamber ensemble (4-5 players)

A rarely performed and raucous postmodern ode emanating from the frontlines of the sexual battlefield, Dish, based on Jessica Hagedorn’s evocative poetry, invites freewheeling textual commentaries and embellishments. These appear as fragments of responses to late 1980’s interviews I conducted with strangers in New York’s Central Park about their go-to ‘pick-up’ lines, and as clips of high-voltage improvisations recorded by the poet, an actor, and a boyfriend.

Soprano Dora Ohrenstein, who commissioned and recorded Dish in 1990, writes in the liner notes that it is the “musical equivalent of a Rauschenberg collage.”

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This is Not a Carol

acousmatic work

This piece created in celebration of the winter solstice was composed and performed on the Chromelodeon, basically a pump organ retrofitted with new tunings reflecting Harry Partch’s microtonal scale of 43 tones to the octave.

The title of my composition, This is Not a Carol, (an oblique reference to “This is Not a Pipe,” the famous painting by René Magritte), seems to be appropriate for the seasonal festivities surrounding the winter solstice.

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Patrick Nunn

Maqamat

for solo quarter-tone alto flute

Maqamat, for solo quarter-tone alto flute, explores a subset of traditional Arabic scales that employ microtonal pitches (the other subset use standard chromatic pitches). The presence of these exotic tones within a scale (or Maqamat in Arabic) always form an intervalic distance of three-quarters of a tone, frequently dividing a minor third into two equal divisions.

The original version of Maqamat was commissioned by Carla Rees and was first performed by Carla on the 29th August 2002 at St Cyprian’s Church, London NW1.

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Robert Peate

January

from Mensus Meditations for violoncello and organ

January was premiered by Hilary Norris (organ) and Joris Boon (‘cello) in Leominster Priory on 10th April, 2022.

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Lynne Plowman

Small World

for chamber ensemble

Commissioned by The Merian Ensemble with funds from the PRS Foundation and the American Harp Society for a premiere in Atlanta, Georgia in March 2022.

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Susannah Self

Revelations of Divine Love

for two soprano soloists, mezzo soloist (or SSA choir) and strings

Julian of Norwich created Revelations of Divine Love after a high fever in May 1373. She may have had the Black Death but, unusually, survived. Her philosophy resonates with experiences of those with severe Covid. She also presents concepts associated with the ancient goddess which are concealed under the cover of Catholic doctrine. She suggests a non-patriarchal approach to spirituality and frequently references God as mother.

Composing Revelations of Divine Love presented the question: what does it mean when someone has spiritual visions?

Revelations of Divine Love is dedicated to all women.

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Andrew Toovey

21 Viola Duets

for two violas

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My Viola Tunes

seven tunes for solo viola

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Jack Van Zandt

Aether

acousmatic work

The classical fifth element of ancient Greek science (the others being Earth, Water, Fire and Air), Aether described the intangible substance that filled the void between Earth and the heavenly bodies.

In Aether, the composer set out to incorporate principles of the classical element into a musical depiction of it. Describing the Aether in music was special to the composer personally because of his lifelong interest in flight and space travel, and everything to do with the study of the cosmos. In composing Aether, Van Zandt aimed to create a musical space and context that had the qualities of the element, including the spiritual aspect.

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The Cloud of Unknowing

acousmatic work

Written in memory of Gyrogi Ligeti after his death in 2006, The Cloud of Unknowing incorporates some compositional techniques associated with Ligeti’s music, such as micropolyphony and atmospheric textures. The book of Christian mysticism that the work takes its title from essentially says that to find “God,” one must open their mind to the whole universe (the “unknowing”). I think this contemplative/meditative concept works perfectly in non-religious ways for composers and artists to find inspiration for their works in Nature.

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First Light

acousmatic work

First Light is an ambient soundscape that may be used for meditation and sleep events; sound, visual and multimedia art installations; film, television, and computer games; live musical event projection and choreographed dance.

Composed in memory of my mother, Jennie Childers Van Zandt, 1934-1995.

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From th’ Ethereal Skie

an Imaginary Ballet after John Milton Eve and the Serpent in Paradise for orchestra

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The Lost Ones

acousmatic work

The Lost Ones is an ambient soundscape that may be used for meditation and sleep events; sound, visual and multimedia art installations; film, television, and computer games; live musical event projection and choreographed dance.

The Lost Ones comes from the title of the prose work by Samuel Beckett.

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Tír na nÓg

acousmatic work

An ambient soundscape that may be used for meditation and sleep events; sound, visual and multimedia art installations; film, television, and computer games; live musical event projection and choreographed dance.

Tír na nÓg (“Land of Eternal Youth”) is the legendary afterlife island paradise in Irish Celtic mythology. It was said to be just over the Western horizon and was reached after a three day journey out to sea on an enchanted boat.

Composed in memory of my father, Jack Van Zandt, 1932-2005.

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Time’s Ocean

acousmatic work

An ambient soundscape that may be used for meditation and sleep events; sound, visual and multimedia art installations; film, television, and computer games; live musical event projection and choreographed dance.

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On the Shores of Eternity

acousmatic work

On the Shores of Eternity is an ambient soundscape that may be used for meditation and sleep events; sound, visual and multimedia art installations; film, television, and computer games; live musical event projection and choreographed dance.

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Marc Yeats

falling from the centre of night

concerto for piano, violoncello, string trio, harp and two percussion

Marc Yeats’ second piano concerto. The forces used here are economical, but the intensity and virtuosity of the music are no less than its predecessor. This concerto also differs from the former in that it is polytemporal, that is, a composition where all the instruments play together independently and at different speeds to one another simultaneously. With no conductor, the musical structure is organised by the players themselves using part-embedded timecode indicated through minutes and seconds printed above every bar in each part.

“The piano holds a particular relationship with the violoncello throughout the piece, making this work something of a double concerto, in my mind, at least.”

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