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The RNCM and Moving Classics – Open Call

The RNCM in partnership with Moving Classics invite its students to take part in a residency project working with an internationally recognised composer and an opportunity to perform at Hull 2017 – UK City of Culture.

Instrumentalists and ensembles (up to a maximum of 5 players per group) from any year are welcome to apply, please note you will be required to take part in the full residency programme which will include two performances.

Applications now closed

After six successful residencies with European composers in three countries over a two-year period we are launching a new strand of our Moving Classics – European Network for New Music in collaboration with the RNCM. Bridging the gap between university education and professional practice this project is a great opportunity for RNCM musicians to work with one of Moving Classics’ alumni composers, to access a network of experienced professionals in their field as well as perform for public audiences.

Moving Classics aims to explore the boundaries of presentation and performance and to bring new music to new audiences through a series of exciting and unexpected collaborations between composers, musicians, and artists in unusual venues and spaces.Curated Place with RNCM and Hull 2017 – UK City of Culture will première the new work in May 2017.


The Project:

Starting from January over the course of 5 months, composer Eyvind Gulbrandsen will work closely with RNCM students to develop both a new musical work and performative for presentation at Hull 2017 – UK City of Culture and at a RNCM Showcase concert.

Through a series of workshops a new piece will emerge as a result of a close collaboration between the composer and the musicians involved. The material for the piece will be created through different forms of experiments, including improvisation exercises, working with the concept of co-creation and investigating different approaches to how we act as individual musicians within a group – both musically and creatively. Both the unique musical skills and the different personalities of the attending musicians will serve as an important inspiration. The goal is to create a piece which is personal and inseparable from the musicians involved and which is so connected to the musicians that the piece may develop further over time, making a traditional score superfluous.

We are looking for students who enjoy working flexibly and are eager to engage in an experimental process – and to work with an experienced composer on a new piece through a series of intensive residencies. This is a great opportunity to gain experience working with an established composer on a new composition and to gain access to a network of experienced professionals working internationally.

Commitment to the Project:

Over the project period the composer will travel three times to Manchester to work with musicians, this will be for initial meet, second meet and for performance rehearsals. During the composition periods the composer will work remotely from Denmark on the new composition and might ask for input from you as collaborators. Before the second session and performance rehearsals participants will receive music from the composer and be asked to prepare individually.

10.01-12.01 – Initial meet, two half day sessions with the composer
16.01-10.02 – Composition development period, composer works remotely.
08.03-10.03 – Musicians individual rehearsals
13.03-17.03 – Second meet, two to three half day sessions with the composer
20.03-21.04 – Composition development period, composer works remotely.
23.04-24.04 – Musicians individual rehearsals

25.04-28.04 – Performance rehearsals, three to four half day sessions with the composer
04.04           – Performance rehearsals, full day with the composer and evening performance

29.04-01.05 – World premiere as part of Hull 2017, UK City of Culture (Date to be confirmed)
04.04           – RNCM Showcase performance + composer Q&A (Date confirmed)

Travel expenses from Manchester to Hull for the premiere performance will be covered by the project.

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Moving Classics:

Moving Classics European Network for New Music (MClass) seeks to embrace the strong connection and long history shared between music and storytelling in the construction of identity beyond national borders. We want to connect classical European art forms to new audiences by refiguring the means of presentation and production – taking work to audiences by removing the orchestra from the concert hall, exploring alternative narratives and freeing the experience from the inherited cultural baggage of the sanctioned art-space.

The project aims to develop new ways of producing and presenting classical music inspired by literature and landscape to explore how stories and sounds have acted as the precursors to our rapidly shifting modern experiences of space and place – always travelling freely across political boundaries to be interpreted in different ways by musicians and audiences throughout Europe. It highlights how in a digital age the value of shared experience in physical space is paramount to creating art meaningful for the 21st century.

Created with the intention of engaging modern audiences that may not have experienced contemporary classical music (believing it to be elitist, exclusive and demanding) the project will seek to reshape the perception of taught musicianship by embracing the emergent experience economy and moving the performance space from the concert hall to found spaces, urban hinterlands and the public realm as well as creating a rich online media experience to introduce new audiences to the new possibilities for music that reaches beyond its own discipline.

How to apply

Student instrumentalists/ensembles should apply through the application form and provide:

• Instrument and a year of study
• An outline of how your involvement in the project would impact on your professional development (300 words max)
• A brief outline demonstrating your ability to work in a collaborative fashion (300 words max).
• Example recording with a piece of music you feel represents the direction you want to go in (This is optional but will make your application stronger).
• A biography
• An up to date CV


Applicants must be students of the RNCM.
Applications are accepted both from individuals and collectives (maximum five musicians)
No restrictions to the instruments accepted.
Please do not apply unless you can commit to the project schedule.

Eyvind Gulbrandsen

Eyvind Gulbrandsen is educated at the Royal Academy of Music in Aarhus, Denmark and the Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo, Norway under guidance by a.o. Karl Aage Rasmussen, Bent Sørensen, Rolf Wallin and Olav Anton Thommessen. For the last 15 years Gulbrandsen has lived and worked in Denmark as a freelance composer and a teacher in composition. His works include solo/chamber music, music for orchestra and theatre, electronic/electro-acoustic music and installations. His works often include performance, installations and scenery. He always work in close collaboration with his musicians to develop his compositions, often resulting in pieces where a traditional score is superfluous. In the recent years has been focusing on the possibilities in co-creation with either the musicians, the audience, or both.

His main inspiration is the people he works with, the raw material for each piece being stories, objects or melodies regarding a certain topic or theme. Whichever route he explores his inspiration is most often the collected narratives of musicians’ lives seeing his pieces often being presented as a combination of a concert, intervention and installation; more an event, or happening, than a conventional performance. His 2012 piece “The Changeling”, co-created with the acclaimed folk singer Jullie Hjetland, won a special award from the Danish Arts Council and his works have been performed by acclaimed ensembles and musicians across the Nordic countries, Germany, England, USA and Canada and at festivals such as UNM, Nordic music Days, SPOR festival, and Klang: Copenhagen Avantgarde Music Festival. Eyvind worked as a residency composer with the South Iceland Chamber Choir as part of Moving Classics 2015 and premiered this work ‘Surrounded by Strangers’ at Cycle Music and Art Festival in Iceland the same year.

This project is organised in by Curated Place in collaboration with the RNCM and supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

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