It was a productive first quarter of 2015 for Curated Place Collaborative Composition 2014 project – with one new composition premièring each month as a result of last year’s project. In its second year the support of Nordic Culture Point allowed us to work in collaboration with SICC productions to invite young Nordic and British composers to develop new choral and contemporary classical works with professional ensembles through series of production-based residencies. Supported by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union the project has now been developed to our new Moving Classics – European Network for New Music programme taking place throughout 2016. During 2014 three young up-and-coming composers from three countries were invited to participate in the programme:
Jack White (UK)
Jack White worked in Norway with the Pinquins to develop a new work exploring the connections of folk tales in Northern Europe combining electroacoustic composition with traditional ensemble in ‘live’ performance.
Jack worked with Sangkraft and choirs at the Umea International Choir festival to research the connections between Nordic and British Folktales that became the inspiration for his new sister works “East of the Sun and West of the Moon” and “The Cat On The Dovrefjell” before having the works performed as part of a touring programme of Nordic inspired music from his oeuvre. As well as creating the new works Jack also ran a series of masterclasses with post-graduate students from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and worked closely with contemporary Welsh writer Rachel Trezise who took the Nordic folk tale “The Cat on the Dovrefjell” and created a new short story which provided the electroacoustic elements of the solo piece.
Project performances: Salisbury International Festival, Umeå International Choir Festival, Islington Mill, The Norwegian Church Cardiff.
Halldór Smárason (Iceland)
Halldor Smarasson from Iceland worked with Psappha developing a new piece for Piano Trio as well as gaining professional development opportunities with their Patron Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
Smárasson’s work took place separate from the more chorally driven activity of the project. Smárasson undertook a series of residencies with Psappha in the UK working out of the Anthony Burgess Foundation and being given unprecedented access to their archive thanks to their enthusiasm for the project. “It means what you think it means” was the resulting work written for amplified piano trio and video inspired by the literary giant’s own passion for composition and storytelling.
Project performances: The International Anthony Burgess Foundation.
Emil Rådberg (Sweden)
Emil Råberg residencies with the South Iceland Chamber Choir resulted in a new work exploring Icelandic literature and exploring how the choir can embody the text.
Råberg worked in Iceland with the Choir initially drawing on the Icelandic classic literature, the Sagas and Edda, as inspiration. During his visit we ensured that he met composers, musicians, dancers and became immersed in the vibrant creative community of Reykjavik. It was a conversation with the writer Gerður Kristný who introduced him to her book “Bloodhoof” (Blóðhófnir is/en) that ultimately inspired the new work.
Project performances: Reykjavik Arts Festival,Umeå International Choir Festival, Dark Music Days Festival.