A festival of new music curated by the American composer David Lang has been announced

seanlclancy:

Delighted to be part of this!

Originally posted on Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland:

The festival, presented by New Music Dublin, takes place at the National Concert Hall, Dublin from 6–7 March 2015 and will feature Bang on a Can All-Stars, Crash Ensemble, So Percussion, Trio Mediaeval, and RTÉ ConTempo Quartet performing a series of new music concerts over 2 days.

The concerts include 5 premieres alongside a number of Irish premieres, as well as some well-known contemporary works from the past. Highlights include an 8-hour Bang on a Can Marathon with performances of works by Irish and international composers, including works by Irish composers Linda Buckley, Donnacha Dennehy, Seán Clancy and Andrew Hamilton.

The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland also features with a programme of works by Irish composer Irene Buckley, John Luther Adams, Anna Clyne, and festival curator David Lang.

Further information and booking is available from the National Concert Hall.

The festival is supported by…

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Forthcoming Performances

Below are some forthcoming performances I have just found out about. Maybe you can make it along!

23 August 2014 9:45pm – Greenbelt Festival, Big Top, Boughton House, Kettering, Northamptonshire, UK: Thumb perform Strange to See you Again by Seán Clancy (Click to Buy Tickets)

6 October 2014 8:00pm – Little Missenden Church, Little Missenden, UK: Octandre Ensemble perform Fourteen Minutes of Music on the Subject of Greeting Cards by Seán Clancy (Click to Buy Tickets)

If it doesn’t exist on the Internet, it never happened…

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(Ensemble KROCK recording at Guerrilla Studios in Dublin)

Much has happened since the last post on this hidden corner of the Internet that has been left undocumented and as Kenneth Goldsmith says: ‘If it doesn’t exist on the Internet, it doesn’t exist.’ This post then, aims to give life to recent events…

Towards the end of May, I was fortunate to receive a second performance of ‘Thirteen Minutes of Music on the Subject of the Transformation of Things‘ from Matthew Schellhorn in Dublin’s National Concert Hall. It was a great and diverse concert hosted by the CMC including other works from fellow Irish composers Ian Wilson, Linda Buckley and Gráinne Mulvey all performed fantastically and fastidiously by Matthew. It was also wonderful to have such a large and attentive audience. 

Moving into June, teaching at Birmingham Conservatoire began to wind-up and examining started reminding myself and my colleagues what fantastically gifted, imaginative and original students we all have and what fantastic work they are all producing. June also saw the second part of our joint festival with Third EarFrontiers. Similarly to Part one earlier in the year this had many highlights, particularly the World Premiere of David Lang‘s stunningly conceived and executed Crowd Out produced by BCMG and Rhys Chatham‘s A Secret Rose produced by Clare Edwards and Bobbie-Jane Gardner. Both pieces relied heavily on the participation of local musicians and even those from further afield. The enjoyment and excitement of these musicians was completely tangible, lending such power to fantastic compositional ideas. The highlight for me however, (for obvious reasons) came with the first performance of my forty-five minute electric guitar quartet Forty-Five Minutes of Music on the Subject of Football, written especially for the Swedish group Ensemble KROCK. It was such a wonderful experience to hear almost a year’s worth of work and planning come to fruition and performed with such exactitude, dedication and energy, by a group whom I now count as not only amazing colleagues, but friends. This concert also featured the wonderfully post Ironic work of my dear friend Joe CutlerChords on the Shore and the brilliantly eccentric Where a powerful Song of the Earth is Unleashed by Swedish maestro Monolog X. Each piece complemented the others perfectly and it was such a joy to be able to bring the same concert to Dublin’s National Concert Hall a few weeks later on the 11 July. I am incredibly fortunate to have met Ensemble KROCK and I hope we can work together long into the future.

Not only did July bring the second performance of Forty-Five Minutes on the Subject of Football, but we were fortunate enough to be able to record and video the piece in Guerrilla Studios with the help of The Practice Tapes. I’m very much looking forward to getting to work on mixing this and it’s future release on Birmingham Record Company later in the year. This neatly brings me to the establishment of our nascent record label: Birmingham Record Company. Established by myself and my colleagues at Birmingham Conservatoire (Ed Bennett, Joe Cutler, Howard Skempton and Michael Wolters), our aim is to release as much of our music as possible as well as other like-minded composers from further afield. July saw the launch of our website and shop and we hit the ground running with three fantastic releases by Joe Cutler and Michael Wolters which are available to stream and/or buy in both digital and physical manifestations. We hope to have at least two more releases before the end of 2014.

Also in July, I finally returned to live in Dublin after many years of living abroad in the UK and France. I’m enjoying very much living back in Dublin and it’s only after returning that I realised how much I’ve missed it. I’m very much looking forward to re-engaging with the musical life of Dublin as well as maintaining my links with the UK (where I will still be working for three days of the week in Birmingham Conservatoire). I’m also incredibly excited about organising projects between the two countries as well as negotiating some kind of dual existence. The challenges will be many, but I feel the move will have a positive impact on my art, temperament and mental health! 

For now I am engaged with preparing and revising courses for September at Birmingham Conservatoire as well as writing two pieces for violin. The first, with electronics for Simon Goff based on texts by Frank O Hara; the second, without electronics for Roberto Alonso Trillo based on Bach’s BWV 1002 which will be recorded and released in 2015. Additionally, I am as always, thinking, thinking, thinking about music… 

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KROCK perform a work by Seán Clancy on 11 July at the Kevin Barry Room, Dublin

seanlclancy:

Looking forward to welcoming this amazing group in Dublin!

Originally posted on Contemporary Music Centre, Ireland:

Ensemble KROCK

Ensemble KROCK

Swedish ensemble KROCK specialise in playing contemporary music for electric guitars and electronics and since forming in 2005 have commissioned and premiered more than 30 pieces from internationally renowned composers.

Fresh from Birmingham’s recent Frontiers Downtown Festival, they present Three Objects in a Concert Hall featuring Seán Clancy’s Forty-Five Minutes on the Subject of Football, Monolog X’s Where a Powerful Song of the Earth is Unleashed, and Joe Cutler’s Chords on the Shore.

The concert, which takes place in the Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall on 11 July at 8.30pm, will be the first time Ensemble KROCK performs in Ireland.

Commissioned by Ensemble KROCK, Seán Clancy’sForty-Five Minutes on the Subject of Football relives the intense minutes that took place during a game 20 years ago. With the players needing to find stamina equal to professional football players, you can hear the different…

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IICS & Future Performances

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I’m just back from two weeks in Izmir in Turkey with my friend and colleague Ed Bennett where we were both teachers on the Interdisciplinary Involvement and Community Spaces project with Students from Birmingham City University. This project involves 30 students from across Europe coming together in a city that many of them will never have been to before. They form smaller groups with people they will never have met before and work together with a community in the host city to create a piece of interdisciplinary art that resonates with the given community in some way. The students come from a variety of different walks of life and a variety of different disciplines and over the course of ten days or so hammer out ideas, foresee and resolve problems and create something beautiful that usually has a lasting impact on the community.  It was such a fantastic project to be involved in and such a wonderful experience to see the six people in my group, all of whom spoke different languages and came from different countries coming together to create something that resonated with each individual student and the space in which they were placed. I was very fortunate to have six fantastic students and co-mentor Mantautas Krukauskas in our group and we were all very fortunate to have such a wonderful host community in Cafe del Mundo who allowed our students free rein to create whatever they wished. They all came together to create something wonderful, of which I was very proud. Likewise did the other groups in the project, whom all created something that was poignant, funny, observant, significant and beautiful. If politicians can learn anything, they can learn from this project.

Furthermore, it was a fantastic opportunity to meet and talk with other artist colleagues working across Europe in a variety of different disciplines and media. Many heated conversations about art and education took place over some lovely Turkish food and Effs Malts. Special praise should be given to host organisers Emre Yildiz and Payam Susanni who in spite of relative political anxiety, handled the whole project with sensitivity, precision, safety and integrity, at all times maintaining the ethos of the project and the safeguarding of every student present.  In them along with the other IICS staff members I have made some new friends.

For now I’m back to reality and marking our wonderful student portfolios at Birmingham Conservatoire. It is always refreshing to see and hear what they’re all up to! In addition, I’m preparing for some concerts and recording an extended piece which I’ve listed below. I hope you can make some of them!

28 May 2014 at 1800 National Concert Hall, Dublin 2, Ireland. Matthew Schellhorn performs Thirteen Minutes of Music on the Subject of the Transformation of Things alongside works by Ian Wilson, Linda Buckley and Gráinne MulveyDetails 

3 June 2014 at 1930 Recital Hall, Birmingham Conservatoire, Birmingham, UK. Ensemble KROCK, perform Forty-Five Minutes of Music on the Subject of Football alongside works by Johan Ericsson and Joe Cutler. Details

11 July 2014 at 2030 National Concert Hall, Dublin 2, Ireland. Ensemble KROCK perform Forty-Five Minutes of Music on the Subject of Football alongside works by Johan Ericsson and Joe CutlerDetails

Well, Well, Well

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So after our fantastic Frontiers Festival there was but a small respite in work before another group of performances of my music in the UK and Ireland as well as a current trip to Stockholm (where I am now writing this blog post) and a future trip to Izmir.

This period of work began with a brilliant and delicate performance of Five Minutes of Music on the Subject of Noszferatu performed by Noszferatu as part of Wednesdays at the Forge Series in London. It was the first time (but hopefully not the last) that I have worked with Noszferatu and it was an absolute pleasure to hear them play my piece with such conviction, pinpoint accuracy and sensitivity.  As ever it was also great to be featured alongside my colleagues at Birmingham Conservatoire Ed Bennett, Joe Cutler, Howard Skempton and Michael Wolters.

From London, I travelled to Dublin to work with the ever-fantastic Crash Ensemble on Fourteen Minutes of Music on the Subject of Greeting Cards as part of Free State 8. This is the third time Crash Ensemble have performed my music and I always relish working with them. They performed my piece with such energy and poignancy that left me taken aback, whilst a nicer bunch of people to work with would be hard to find. It was also incredibly wonderful to be featured alongside Barry O’Halpin, Bebhinn Nic Dhomhnaill, Elis Czerniak, Chris McCormack, Dermot McDermott and Raymond Deane, and really great to hear how exciting, fresh and engaged the current musical climate in Ireland is.

I am currently on a residency in EMS in Stockholm working on my largest piece to date Forty-Five Minutes of Music on the Subject of Football with the Electric Guitar Ensemble KROCK. It is absolutely incredible to be working in this studio with such fantastic facilities and wonderfully friendly staff whom have been incredibly nice and helpful, making me feel right at home. As I write this, KROCK are working on Joe Cutler’s exciting new piece Chords on the Shore which is shaping up fantastically and displaying a really visceral soundworld.  KROCK and myself have been working on this project for the best part of a year now and they have been such a great group to work with. Not only are they wonderful guys whom I would count as friends, they are also amongst the finest musicians I have worked with, ever excited by the sonic possibilities of both myself and Joe’s Pieces.  We will be presenting the fruits of our labours in Birmingham on June 3 as part of Frontiers Festival and in Dublin on 11 July. Stockholm is also an incredibly beautiful city with wonderful people. Yesterday evening when misfortune befell me, I was saved by the kindness of the staff at The Bishops Arms Bellmansgatan.

On Tuesday I travel to Izmir with Ed Bennett and Conservatoire students to work on the final year of the IICS project. It its my first time on the project and also my first time to Turkey. I’m really looking forward to having this new experience and working with the students on their creative endeavours. So it’s all go, go, go! For now though, back to working on a forty-five minute piece for electric guitars!

Behind the Door by Giulia Berto

A number of weeks ago, I was invited to be photographed in my workspace for a project. Now, my workspace is not very exciting, it is the room in which I sleep with a desk in the corner. There are a few images around the place mostly from art exhibitions I have been to over the years, it is very tidy and everything is in the right place, but for the most part it is not what most people would consider very inspiring. Yet this is where the majority of my work has been composed since 2006. (Not in this exact room, I have moved many times but in rooms like it – a bed in the corner a desk in the other corner and images on the wall). The whole project made me think about what it is about workspaces that fascinates us. I think of Francis Bacon’s studio in the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin and how chaotic it is, and I think of the many composer’s workspaces I have visited over the years and how often their space is a reflection of their art and what great work was created in these rooms. But why do we find this interesting? More to the point, what it is about the lives of others that interest us?

I mention these things because I was recently taken aback by Behind the Door a photo essay by Giulia Berto in which she has documented the inhabitants of 83 Meserole Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York. I was attracted to this photo essay because I think the images are incredibly well composed and very beautifully shot, but I think the most striking thing is that she has managed to capture a sense of ease about the subjects.

In today’s society, it seems as if many people have two personas (particularly in the art world), the public and the private. Often the public persona is a little more guarded, a little less edgy and a little safer. However, what I like about Giulia’s photos is there is a sense that all of the subjects are comfortable. They don’t seem to be putting on their public faces.

Maybe this is why we have a fascination with people behind closed doors. It is here, either in their workspaces or dwellings that they are most at ease, where there is no pretence.

Morton Feldman talks in his interview with Walter Zimmermann published in Desert Plants about artists having to be comfortable with loneliness and having to deal with this sense of loneliness for six or seven hours a day to create. I think this is what Giulia has captured in these photographs: A sense of ease with loneliness facilitated by being behind the door.

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