The Squid's Ear Magazine

  Rapid SSL

  PayPal

  Mastercard

  Visa

  Discover

  American Express



© 2002-2018, Squidco LLC

Denyer, Frank

The Boundaries of Intimacy

Denyer, Frank: The Boundaries of Intimacy (Another Timbre)

A set of varied compositions from Frank Denyer, most of them of a delicate acoustic intimacy, with works for female singers & flute, two works for koto, a string quartet, one for flute and electronics and the two-part "Frog" for a bowed stringed instrument of Denyer design, the "sneh"; uncategorizable music of sublime imagination and unusual approaches.
 

Price: $15.95


Quantity:

In Stock


Shipping Weight: 2.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Log In to use our Wish List
product information:


Label: Another Timbre
Catalog ID: at148
Squidco Product Code: 28334

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: UK
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Track 1 recorded in Amsterdam, The netherlands, on July 12th, 2017 by Robert Bosch, The Cabin Recording Studio, Walthamstow, London, UK, on January 28th, 2017 by Rupert Gillett.

Tracks 2-7 recorded at Sweelinck Conservatorium, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on January 27th, 2017, by Robert Bosch.

Tracks 8-9 recorded at Sawai Koto Institute, in Tokyo, Japan, on March 1st, 2018, by Robert Bosch.

Track 10 recorded at Splendour, in Amsterdam, the netherlands, on May 30th, 2018, by Robert Bosch.

Track 11 recorded in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on January 29th, 2017 by Robert Bosch.

Tracks 12-13 recorded in Amsterdam, on August 5th and 6th, 2018, by Robert Bosch.




Personnel:

Juliet Fraser-soprano vocals, voice

Janneke van Prooijen-violin

Layla-vocals

Carlos Anez-flute

Jos Zwaanenburg-flute

Juliet Fraser-voice

Sophie Fetokaki-voice

Nobukata Yoshizawa-Koto

Katharina Gross-cello

Luna String Quartet-ensemble

Elisabeth Smalt-viola, strings

Diamanda La Berge Dramm-violin

Janneke van Prooijen-violin

Frank Denyer-composer

Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.

Highlight an instrument above
and click here to Search for albums with that instrument.

Artist Biographies:

"Juliet Fraser was educated at the Purcell School as a first-study oboist and then at Cambridge University where she read Music and History of Art. It was whilst a student there that she started singing, in the chapel choir of Clare College; subsequently she sang with professional choirs such as Polyphony, Tenebrae, the Monteverdi Choir, The King's Consort, The Tallis Scholars and BBC Singers. In early music, she has worked with European consorts Ensemble Polyharmonique and Gli Angeli Genève. She was a regular member of the soloists of Collegium Vocale Gent, directed by Philippe Herreweghe, for six years, performing and recording Renaissance polyphony by Lassus, Vitoria, Gesualdo and Byrd.

In new music, Juliet has performed as a soloist with Klangforum Wien, ICTUS, Plus-Minus, We Spoke: New Music Company, London Sinfonietta and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in festivals such as hcmf//, Tectonics Glasgow, Transit 20/21, Donaueschinger Musiktage, MaerzMusik and Wien Modern. Recently, she has created duo projects with pianist Mark Knoop and percussionist Maxime Echardour. She has premièred well over 100 works, many of which have been written for her, working particularly closely with composers Michael Finnissy, Bernhard Lang, Rebecca Saunders, Stefano Gervasoni, Frank Denyer, Christopher Fox, Matthew Shlomowitz, Cassandra Miller and Andrew Hamilton.

Juliet is principal soprano of EXAUDI, the acclaimed contemporary music vocal ensemble, which she founded in 2002 with composer/conductor James Weeks and with whom she makes regular appearances at major European festivals such as Aldeburgh, Spitalfields, hcmf//, ManiFeste, Festival d'Automne, Ars Musica, Wittener Tage and Darmstadt Ferienkurse. Opera roles include Neige in Catherine Kontz's NEIGE at Grand Théatre de Luxembourg (2013), Tina in Limbus Limbo by Stefano Gervasoni at Musica Strasbourg, Automne en Normandie, Opera de Reims and Opera Comique, Paris (2012), and Grace Hartigan in Larry Goves's I do this I do that (2011). Juliet has been nominated twice for an RPS Award in the Singer category and is currently supported by Aldeburgh Music's Open Space scheme. Her first dedicated solo disc, a recording of Morton Feldman's Three Voices, was released on the HatHut label in November 2016."

-Juliet Fraser Website (https://www.julietfraser.co.uk/biography/)
12/4/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Janneke van Prooijen: concert violinist at Prisma String Trio, Atlantic Piano Trio, Lunapark.

-Linked In (Translated by Google) (https://nl.linkedin.com/in/janneke-van-prooijen-54458576)
12/4/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"My Name is Carlos Añez. I obtained my master degree in 2017 at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, specializing in flute and contemporary music. I also play piccolo and would love to have a position at an orchestra as a piccolo player.

I believe music still has the power to change people and that one of the reasons that keeps my strength to go on with my career as a musician. I have experience playing with an entire orchestra, chamber music groups and as a soloist. I have been teaching children between 5 until 18, being a great experience to get in touch with people and learn about myself.

I speak Spanish as a mother tongue. Also English and Dutch as secondary languages.Education

Conservatorium van AmsterdamSeptember 2014/June 20179.0 over 10.00

Master in music (Flute)Specialization in contemporary music ( Western music through non western techniques)Conservatorium van AmsterdamSeptember 2012/June 20148.0 over 10.00

Bachelor in music (Flute)Universidad Javeriana (Bogotá, Colombia)August 2005/ May 20105.0 over 5.0

Bachelor in music (Flute)

Experience

YOA (Youth orchestra of the Americas)July 2015/August 2015Principal flutist

Co-Principal flutist from YOA touring in Canadá.Orchestre de la FrancophonieJune 2015/ July 2015Principal flutist

Co-Principal flutist touring CanadáColombian National Symphony Orchestra2007/2010Second flute / piccolo player (substitute)"

-Audition Cafe (https://auditioncafe.com/resume/carlos-ubhxkavb4-professional-flutist-freelance-flutist-freelance-piccolo-player-flute-teacher-advanced-rhythms-teacher-amsterdam-paises-bajos/)
12/4/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Jos Zwaanenburg (1958) studied at the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, flute with Joost Tromp, composition with Wim de Ruiter, and finished his studies with distinction in 1985. He was one of the prize winners of the International Gaudeamus Interpreters Competition 1984. He gave numerous solo concerts in Europe, USA, South-America (solo-recitals, as soloist with various orchestras and as member of different chamber music ensembles like the Barton Workshop, the Gaudeamus Solisten Ensemble, the Xenakis Ensemble, the Cornelius Cardew Ensemble and The Interval Chamber) and made radio and TV recordings. Although he concentrates on present-day music, his repertoire contains works from all style periods.

He teaches at the Amsterdam School of Arts and the Music Department of University College Bretton Hall (Leeds, G.B.), where he is also artistic leader of their ensemble in residence The Cornelius Cardew Ensemble. Furthermore he is guest teacher at the University of Oxford Brookes. His compositions were published by Donemus and Ascolta Music Holland.

A selection of compositions by Jos Zwaanenburg: Solo for prepared flute (1984), Texts for nothing (4 electronic flutes and tape) (1985), Paraphrasen über Grass (4 acting singers) (1986), Sol (concert for open-hole alto flute and ensemble) (1987), à Aphonie (organ) (1990), May be tomorrow (tenor saxophone) (1990), Manamanamania II (open-hole alto flute and life electronics) (1991).As far as the flute is concerned, the greatest number of playing possibilities is achieved on an "open-key" flute with a "B foot joint". Until now this system was only available on the normal C-flute. Hence the idea for the alto flute - which previously had a covered key system - by giving it similar keywork to the open-key flute, the possibilities became the same as the C-flute. The new alto flute was realised in 1986 by Kuiper-Kingma, flutemaker in Nederhorst den Berg, the Netherlands. Due to this system with keys with small holes, extra keys, and new playing techniques, the alto flute has become a very flexible instrument, possible of creating many tones. The new alto flute has about 192,000 fingering combinations - a dramatic improvement to the 8000 on the old alto flute. The "Zwaanenburg" model alto flute also is in production by Kuiper-Kingma. The alto flute project was made possible due to the support of the Ministerie van WVC/Raad voor de Kunst, The Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunst, and Foundation Gaudeamus. Special thanks to Dirk Kuiper, Eva Kingma and Henk Heuvelmans.

He composed Cherubs' Chirrup in 1992 by request of Joop van Goozen. The work is composed specifically for 31-tone organ, the aforementioned open-key alto flute (which can faithfully reproduce a 31-tone scale) and live-electronics. It's on the CD 50 jaar Stichting Huygens-Fokker. The 31-tone system is approximated here as an equal tempered scale wherein all 31 tones in the octave are equally important: no tonal principles are used.

Zwaanenburg succeeded Marian Van Dijk in 1998 as director of the Stichting Huygens-Fokker and fulfilled this job until September 2000 after which Ned McGowan became director. He currently teaches at the Conservatory of Amsterdam in "Contemporary Music Through Non-Western Techniques", "Advanced Rhythm" and "Live Electronics". Zwaanenburg is also guest lecturer at the music departments of the University of York and Oxford Brookes University."

-Huygens-Fokker Foundation (http://www.huygens-fokker.org/whoswho/zwaanenburg.html)
12/4/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Juliet Fraser was educated at the Purcell School as a first-study oboist and then at Cambridge University where she read Music and History of Art. It was whilst a student there that she started singing, in the chapel choir of Clare College; subsequently she sang with professional choirs such as Polyphony, Tenebrae, the Monteverdi Choir, The King's Consort, The Tallis Scholars and BBC Singers. In early music, she has worked with European consorts Ensemble Polyharmonique and Gli Angeli Genève. She was a regular member of the soloists of Collegium Vocale Gent, directed by Philippe Herreweghe, for six years, performing and recording Renaissance polyphony by Lassus, Vitoria, Gesualdo and Byrd.

In new music, Juliet has performed as a soloist with Klangforum Wien, ICTUS, Plus-Minus, We Spoke: New Music Company, London Sinfonietta and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in festivals such as hcmf//, Tectonics Glasgow, Transit 20/21, Donaueschinger Musiktage, MaerzMusik and Wien Modern. Recently, she has created duo projects with pianist Mark Knoop and percussionist Maxime Echardour. She has premièred well over 100 works, many of which have been written for her, working particularly closely with composers Michael Finnissy, Bernhard Lang, Rebecca Saunders, Stefano Gervasoni, Frank Denyer, Christopher Fox, Matthew Shlomowitz, Cassandra Miller and Andrew Hamilton.

Juliet is principal soprano of EXAUDI, the acclaimed contemporary music vocal ensemble, which she founded in 2002 with composer/conductor James Weeks and with whom she makes regular appearances at major European festivals such as Aldeburgh, Spitalfields, hcmf//, ManiFeste, Festival d'Automne, Ars Musica, Wittener Tage and Darmstadt Ferienkurse. Opera roles include Neige in Catherine Kontz's NEIGE at Grand Théatre de Luxembourg (2013), Tina in Limbus Limbo by Stefano Gervasoni at Musica Strasbourg, Automne en Normandie, Opera de Reims and Opera Comique, Paris (2012), and Grace Hartigan in Larry Goves's I do this I do that (2011). Juliet has been nominated twice for an RPS Award in the Singer category and is currently supported by Aldeburgh Music's Open Space scheme. Her first dedicated solo disc, a recording of Morton Feldman's Three Voices, was released on the HatHut label in November 2016."

-Juliet Fraser Website (https://www.julietfraser.co.uk/biography/)
12/4/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Sophie Fetokaki is a singer, poet and interdisciplinary artist. In her practice she explores the experience of being a contemplative and desiring body, and the delicate process of moving from what is known to what can only be intuited. She approaches song as ritual and sacrament, and singing as a practice of recollecting, realising and transmitting embodied knowledge. Besides singing, she can be found writing and performing poetry, devising performance works, and dismantling pianos very slowly. She is currently preparing the release of her debut album 'Abundance' (featuring her own songs, folkloric songs from a range of traditions, and reinventions of Bach and Schumann), the publication of her poetry book epigraphē with 1913 press (U.S.A), and the submission of a practice-based PhD at Huddersfield University."

-eavesdropping.london (https://www.eavesdropping.london/artists/)
12/4/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Nobukata Yoshizawa, koto: "Born 1982 in Tochigi pref. Began koto at the age of seven studied with Fumiko Waku.

2001-05 studied at Tokai university art department musicology course and 2005-07 studied at Tokai university graduate school Acoustic art course: koto music with Chieko Fukunaga.

2006, adopted rising artist training institution by Agency for Cultural Affairs: koto and 17 strings koto studied with Teiko Kikuchi, Kazue Sawai and Chieko Fukunaga, JIUTA Sangen studied with Miho Ashigaki, analyse studied with Takehito Shimazu.

2007, held "Nobutaka Yoshizawa koto recital" in Tokyo.

2008, took Kenjyun award (1st prize) at The Kenjyun commemorative whole country koto music competition.

2009, awarded Utsunomiya citizen prize in Utsunomiya city, and performed "Three elegies for Koto" (composed by Tokuhide Niimi) be broadcasted art quintessence TV program "This shining young performers" in Japan National TV - NHK, and appeared "Salome" (sponsored by TV Asahi Broadcasting, original: Oscar Wilde, direction: Katsuhide Suzuki ) and held " Nobutaka Yoshizawa Koto recital - take a new turn " in Tokyo.

2010, appeared on「MATSURI 2010 GAZIANTEP」(Republic of Turkey)

2011, awarded Utsunomiya Esuperu prize, took Japanese music tour in Minneapolis (US), held "KOTO Nobutaka Yoshizawa" 34th Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival 「hcmf// shorts」(UK).

2012, held "Planet and KOTO" koto concert with Planetarium machine in Tochigi pref. performed Ryohei Hirose's Metamorphosis of the "MIDARE" for seventeen strings bass koto at 90th anniversary concert of seventeen strings bass koto in Tokyo.

2014, released solo performance CD"KOTO Nobutaka Yoshizawa", held "Nobutaka Yoshizawa Koto recital -UNITE-"(Organizer: Utsunomiya Arts and Culture Foundation)Member of Japan Finland Contemporary Music Society."

-Nobukata Yoshizawa Website (https://www.nobutaka-yoshizawa.com/profile.html)
12/4/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Katharina Gross studied at the Musikhochschule Lübeck with David Geringas, at the Musikhochschule Cologne with Frans Helmerson (Diploma 2003) and at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester with Ralph Kirshbaum (Diploma in Professional Performance 2005). She took part in masterclasses with Mstislaw Rostropovich, Martin Lovett, Harvey Shapiro, Karine Georgian and Philippe Muller. She is prizewinner of several international competitions. She was soloist with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Kiev, the Philharmonic Orchestra of Klausenburg, the Staatsorchester Kassel, the Symphonic Orchestra of Thüringen and with the Salzburg Chamber Soloists on tour to the USA (Kennedy Center/Washington DC, The Old Cabell Hall/Charlottesville, the American Theatre in Hampton, at "Abendmusik" in Lincoln, the Bethel Performing Arts Series a.o.).

Katharina Gross performed as a soloist and chamber musician at the Muziekgebouw aan ´t IJ, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Musikverein Vienna, Konzerthaus Vienna, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Bodenseefestival, Nafplion Festival, Festivals Limone sul Garda and Caldonazzo, Cello Biënnale and Berio Festival Amsterdam, Europäische Wochen Passau and the Al Bustan Festival amongst others.

Since 2010 she is artistic director of the concert series concertello based in Austria. In 2014 Katharina Gross started the project cellomondo: composers from all around the globe and their students write pieces for cello solo. The first eight compositions of the project were premiered in November 2014 at the Institut für Elektronische Musik und Akustik in Graz."

-Austrian Music Export (https://www.musicexport.at/artist/katharina-gross/)
12/4/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Elisabeth Smalt is a Modern Classical living in Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands. She is a member of The Barton Workshop, Musica ad Rhenum, Nepomuk Fortepiano Quintet, Oxalys, Trio Scordatura, and Zephyr Quartet.

-Rate Your Music (https://rateyourmusic.com/artist/elisabeth_smalt)
12/4/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Diamanda La Berge Dramm (1991) grew up in Amsterdam, the Netherlands playing the violin since the age of four. Growing up among the leading figures of the Dutch classical, avant-garde and improvisation scene, her own concerts reflect all of these elements. At the age of thirteen, she premiered "Raadsels" by Louis Andriessen in the Concertgebouw for the opening of the Holland Festival 2005 and has gone on to perform internationally as a soloist, chamber music player and band member. In April 2018 Diamanda won the Dutch Classical Talent Tour & Award, the first ever string soloist to do so.

She has worked extensively with modern music luminaries such as Christian Wolff, Alvin Lucier, Gunther Schuller, Chaya Czernowin, Garth Knox and George Benjamin. Recent performances include a collaboration in Florence with Georg Friedrich Haas and concerts in Brussels and London with avant-garde rock legend John Cale.

You can hear her on New World Records as a soloist on Burr van Nostrand's Voyage in a White City, and on Tzadik Records with Anthony Coleman.

She completed her Bachelor of Music at the New England Conservatory in Boston with James Buswell and Nicholas Kitchen, and previously studied with Lex Korff de Gidts (Conservatory of Amsterdam). At graduation, she was awarded the John Cage Award for her contribution to new music.

Diamanda received her Masters of Music from the Royal Conservatory of the Hague, studying with Vera Beths. She was awarded the Nicolai Prize for the most exceptional recital.

Current projects include the editing and premiering of a new series of violin studies by Garth Knox, and a duo with pianist Helena Basilova focusing on early 20th century Eastern European repertoire.

As a Splendor Founder she plays and hosts concerts regularly.Splendor is a collective of 50 musicians, composers, and stage artists who transformed an old bathhouse in the heart of Amsterdam into a local cultural paradise."

-Diamanda La Berge Dramm Website (https://diamandadramm.com/biography/)
12/4/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Janneke van Prooijen: concert violinist at Prisma String Trio, Atlantic Piano Trio, Lunapark.

-Linked In (Translated by Google) (https://nl.linkedin.com/in/janneke-van-prooijen-54458576)
12/4/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Frank Denyer is an English composer whose brilliantly coloured and imaginatively rich compositions fall between several and into none of the accepted categories of contemporary music.

Born in London in 1943, he was a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral by the age of nine, the director of the experimental music ensemble Mouth of Hermes in London at the age of twenty-five, and a Doctoral student in ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University, Connecticut at the age of thirty. He has lived and worked in east Africa and India.

Denyer's music is distinguished by a keen sensitivity to sound. Each of his works is written for a unique combination of instruments, more often than not a combination that no composer has dreamed of before. Each work finds its own individual form, laying down the path for its journey as it proceeds. In some cases even such basic musical materials as the scales and the tuning system are invented from scratch.This music is handmade in every detail; it is engaged in a complex process of affirmation and negation, accepting no easy solutions.

For Denyer, a fine pianist who has composed not one note for his own instrument since his student days, the whole question of musical instruments is a central one. His compositions present an astonishingly varied array of sound sources - new instruments of his own invention, adapted instruments, instruments of non Western traditions, rare or virtually extinct instruments, and conventional Western instruments. This whole concern with what his friend Morton Feldman called 'the instrumental factor' is not a postmodern mixing-and-matching of instruments from different 'ethnic' traditions: rather, his work suggests that all instruments bear the imprint of the tradition of which they are a part, whether that tradition be nascent, mature or decaying, and that at the beginning of the twenty-first century we cannot afford to be complacent about which musical traditions we consider to be 'ours.' Neither is his music that of a composer making do with ready-mades or whatever lies to hand (like Cage's percussion ensemble works of the 1930s and early 1940s). Nor, at the other extreme, does one have the sense of the composer gradually assembling an instrumentarium of his own, creating the illusion of an alternative musical universe (like Harry Partch): for one thing, Denyer's assembly of new instruments hardly ever plays together; for another, they rarely recur from one work to the next - each new composition wipes the slate clean and starts afresh. The instruments are like flowers that suddenly spring up between the cracks in a wall; they seem to be there because the opportunity has arisen for them to exist, to fill the gaps between isolated islands of instrumental sound.

Denyer's concern with musical instruments can also be seen as a metaphor for the larger question of what can be salvaged, artistically, from the chaos of civilization as we begin our new century. Compositions like A Monkey's Paw (1987-88) and Finding Refuge in the Remains (1992) confront this central issue - the sense of new life emerging from a morass of dead or decaying matter - an urgent issue for him both compositionally and culturally."

-Frank Denyer Website (https://www.frankdenyer.eu/)
12/4/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:


1. Mother, Child And Violin 6:02

2. Two Female Singers And Two Flutes 1 2:12

3. Two Female Singers And Two Flutes 2 2:11

4. Two Female Singers And Two Flutes 3 1:46

5. Two Female Singers And Two Flutes 4 2:04

6. Two Female Singers And Two Flutes 5 1:25

7. Two Female Singers And Two Flutes 6 2:26

8. Piece For Koto (Version 2) 4:50

9. Piece For Koto (Version 1) 3:15

10. String Quartet 18:23

11. Beyond The Boundaries Of Intimacy 12:31

12. Frog 1 3:58

13. Frog 2 4:50
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Most of the music on this CD is soft, some of it very soft indeed. To achieve the optimal listening level, think of the musicians as being just over the other side of the room in which you are listening, rather than in another grander space. Imagine them performing intimately, without amplification, and often in an under-voice in order not to disturb the neighbours. This will give you a realistic idea of the listening level. You may find it takes a few minutes to get used to it, but your ears will soon re-adjust.

Mother, Child and Violin (2005)

A musical family portrait. The woman as mother leads, the child follows, often in imitation. The violin is more remote, more abstract but its melodic span is wider. The piece is self-contained, at times playful, at others perhaps a little anxious and there are even moments of distress. All is nevertheless subsumed within its formal unifying linearity. Questions arise: is the violin the real father or just acting as a surrogate father? The child hints at playfulness but nonetheless is restrained and on her best behaviour. Is the unity between these family members their underlying strength or an unnecessary inhibition?

This is one of the four pieces I wrote with 'woman' in the title, but it is the only one of the set requiring more than a single performer. The others are: Woman Viola and Crow (solo violist), Woman with Jinashi Shakuhachi, and A Woman Singing (solo voice).

Two Female Voices and Two Flutes (2013)

Nestling inside this single span of music are six smaller pieces. The two singers, in addition to their vocal sounds, knock and scrape a cloth board, and fleetingly tap one of four tuned porcelain bowls. Later on a heavy wooden pole is used. The first flautist plays the standard silver flute and a bamboo flute, the second plays baroque traverso, bass flute, and piccolo.

Piece for Koto version 2 (1975)

When I began studying the koto in 1974 I was immediately attracted by the austerity and emotional restraint of the traditional repertoire. I was also interested in the traditional tablature.

All musical notations, including stave notation, specify just a few of the music's essential ingredients, the rest is left to the oral tradition. Certain facets are thereby highlighted and given a privileged status. What exactly falls into this category is peculiar to each system but reveals a great deal about the underlying musical aesthetic of the culture which created it.

This little piece of mine started as a simple exercise to better understand traditional koto tablature and to discover how it would affect my own musical thinking if I used it as a composer. At first I found that the notation was drawing my attention to musical parameters I had previously considered ephemeral, such as the precise string to be used for a particular pitch, the exact finger to be used and whether it was to be an upstroke or downstroke. On the other hand, the notation made it next to impossible to think about absolute pitch or any fine rhythmical detail.

As I proceeded I became more acclimatised to these new circumstances, which amounted to a real shift in orientation. It gradually became clear that what I was writing was no longer a mere exercise, but was adding something essential to my compositional work.

Piece for Koto version 1 (1975)

The two versions of this piece started to develop quite early in the compositional process. Even before I knew exactly what it really was, it started branching out in two irreconcilable directions. As a composer I am familiar with this situation, but normally this soon resolves itself as one version becomes dominant while the other is eventually abandoned. However, in this case I remained very much attracted by the restraint and austerity of line in version 1 but could not bring myself to negate the many delicate techniques of version 2. Although the underlying structure remained the same, the two were irreconcilable and I continued to work on them both still half-believing that at some point an accommodation would suggest itself. This never happened and so the two versions resulted. Even now I can't say which I prefer.

String Quartet (2017/18)

The emotional differences between a note being played by a single instrument and the same note played by two similar instruments in unison, are significant. This changes again when three instruments combine, and is different again with four. All such changes affect the music's 'tone of voice'. Intimacy diminishes in inverse proportion to the number of players. Even richer changes occur when octave doublings are in the mix. In this string quartet I wanted such perceptions to become a major part of the music's dialectic, as it delicately carries its single melodic strand through time.

A central part of all my recent work has been the exploration of the under-voice and the problems of making it manifest. Aspects of playing are heard that are usually subsumed under a more sparkling surface, but beneath this surface there is another world with its own ways of articulating time. In this work all four instruments use heavy practice mutes.

Beyond the Boundaries of Intimacy (2015) for flute and electronics

Composed and dedicated to Jos Zwaanenburg, a long-time friend and colleague to whom I owe much. In this piece, the almost imperceptible use of electronics (my one and only step in this direction) is simply a friendly nod of recognition for Zwaanenburg's ground-breaking new interfaces between flute and electronics.

For this piece, the performer does not stand back from the audience but comes as close as is practicable. No visible wires or connections connect the player, or the flute, to the sounds coming from the speakers, and neither should the flautist appear to control them. The speakers are placed far apart, invisible to the audience and preferably high up so that it is impossible for the audience to locate the source of these sounds in any particular direction. These 'other' sounds are all pitched and conventionally notated in the score but are so soft that they have little recognisable timbre except when they imitate the live flute (8'42" to 8'52"). The precise dynamic level of these sounds ranges between ppppppp and ppppp. This piece is unsuitable for large concert halls.

Frog (1974) for a bowed stringed instrument

Written in Ahmedabad, India, the odd title popped into my mind while composing and wouldn't go away, although I had no idea at the time what it might mean. A week or so later I tentatively pencilled it in at the top of the page and it just seemed to belong there, so I kept it. The generic instrumental designation 'for a bowed stringed instrument' merely reflected my desire to keep open the doors to musicians from other cultural traditions, but it would be fair to say that at the time this was no more than an aspiration for the future.

In 1980 I designed a new bowed stringed instrument for Frog and parts of Melodies. I called it sneh. It is a bowed instrument with a skin covered belly and it has a timbre that I thought particularly suited this music. For some reason, such a family of instruments never developed in Europe, although they are quite common in other parts of the world, and so I decided to fill the gap with a design of my own. One of my first problems was finding the skin to cover the sound box. I was living in Kenya at the time, and through my fieldwork, monitor lizard skin was easily obtained. This had certain advantages over animal skin because it does not stretch with humidity and is also very long lasting. It also looks really beautiful. The new instrument was given an extended viola neck so that at least some western string players would not find the idea of learning a new instrument too daunting. A few sneh performances did take place at that time, but players found it heavy and unwieldy and it soon took up a silent residence in my study where it lived for the next 35 years. But one day it was spotted by Elisabeth Smalt, who instantly took it off the shelf and started to tune it despite the fact that it had lost one string and looked a little neglected. Immediately it sprang back to life and she decided then and there to seriously take up the challenge of mastering the instrument. Her long experience with Partch's adapted viola was clearly a help.

For some years I referred to it as my lizard viola, but my wife asked me to name it after her sister, who sadly had died prematurely from cancer. Her name was Sneh."-from the Sleevenotes by Frank Denyer

Related Categories of Interest:


Compositional Forms
Avant-Garde
Stringed Instruments
Woodwinds
Unusual Vocal Forms
Electronic Forms
Solo Artist Recordings
Duo Recordings
Quartet Recordings
European Improvisation and Experimental Forms
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
New in Compositional Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers


Other Releases With These Artists:
Recommended & Related Releases:

Search for other titles on the Another Timbre label.