Pretty far out

This May I’ll be reviving my directed piece, Sensual Emergency, in the UK as part of the Brighton Fringe Festival, using my experimental performance initiative Pazzia Collective. Sensual Emergency was commissioned by Cluster New Music and Integrated Arts Festival in 2011 for an evening of Surrealist cabaret.

A commentary on freedom and constriction, classical and jazz improvisers were physically bound while being made to perform a free improvisation. An original text was written by composer Matthew Ricketts in response to Frederic Rzewski’s 1968 Parma Manifesto. Ricketts’ text was then performed as a beat poem by award-winning Canadian performance poet Andrea von Wichert, against improvisation by, among others, Montreal’s Trio ’86.

The Brighton New Music organisation, Music Of Our Time, is hosting a concert series dedicated to Frederic Rzewski at Brighton Fringe this year, under the season headline The Musicians Body. We understand Rzewski saw some clips from our Winnipeg performance, and has since gone on the record to say that we’re “pretty far out”. That’s all the encouragement I need from a modern day master.

A press release for the production is now available at this link.

Make like a composer

During my recent residency at Cluster Festival, I was interviewed by one of Winnipeg’s local papers, The Uniter. In the article in question, which is online at this link, I was mistakenly referred to as a composer, which I figured high praise in the context of a New Music festival.

My final commission for the festival was to devise a structured improvisation using Heidi Ouellette’s 2009 opera The Gashlycrumb Tinies as its foundation. By far the most common question I’m asked as a conductor is whether I also compose. Having torn Heidi’s original apart at the seams and sat rocking among the remnants, I’d realised that, in a way, that was what Cluster was asking me to do. Without a score to clutch, I managed to build up our eventual production from the ashes.

Best of British

Today I found myself staring out at the world from the pages of Britain Magazine. The article, previewing my City of London Festival performance with Ruthless Jabiru last July, had evidently gone to print unbeknownst to my entire team! The piece in full can be reached through this link.

Piloting the dark laughs

Today the Winnipeg Free Press ran a story on Cluster New Music and Integrated Arts Festival in preparation for our opening night tonight. My Artist Residency as a conductor and director here at the festival comes to a head over the next three days, with the three operas expanded upon in the article. To illustrate what’s in store, they’ve accompanied it with a photo from my piece at the festival last year, Sensual Emergency, by Pazzia Collective in conjunction with Trio 86. The article is online at this link.