Tuesday, March 07, 2006

After all that, I realised that I had got completely confused about whether the numbers I had in front of me referred to the tape loops (represented by numbers 1-8) or the speaker layout (represented by numbers 1-8). I had used them interchangeably. Doh! So I started again.
This time, I went for the sensible option. I drew some diagrams of the speaker layout and applied the tape loop distribution over them. This made a lot more sense than any kind of mathematical modelling (it's rather obvious now I come to actually think about it) and produced an answer that I'm fairly sure is what I want. This just leaves final proofreading and making pretty. The plan is to have this done by Saturday, when I'm going to Birmingham to visit C.

Speaking of C, following her comments concerning my blog, she's started her own: http://spaces.msn.com/claireg-nearly-clergy. I suppose that this may begin to function as a complement to my own blog. She may well tell you the stuff about my life that I don't include here.

Today I listened to last Saturday's (04/03/06) Hear & Now. It featured a concert from LSO St Luke's in London, and excerpts from a concert given at Huddersfield.
The first concert, from LSO St Luke's, was given by the Arditti quartet with Nicholas Hodges. This was my first chance to hear the new lineup of the Ardittis. I didn't realise that Rohan de Saram had left... The theme seemed to be British and German composers.
The first piece was Wolfgang Rihm's Interscriptum for piano and quartet. I found this quite nice, but I didn't really feel that I grappled with it. It's an over-writing of his 12th quartet and I would be interested to compare the two pieces. Does the piano add anything to the piece?
Philipp Maintz's Inner Circle (or its first movement at least) was more satisfying for me. I can't say that I really listened to it intently, in order to hear the circular references, but it did something for me, and I'm going to listen again.
Hanspeter Kyburz's String Quartet was also very appealing. I wasn't completely convinced by the Bergian harmonies that were going on at times, but it was certainly very expressive and very interesting.
Paul Newland's Mie was less convincing for me, but having said this, it grows on me each time I hear it. I don't think that the soundworld is entirely confident but the balance that emerges, between sound and silence, motion and petrification, mechanism and organism is very attractive. I just felt it was a shame that this balance emerged during the piece, rather than being stamped on it from the start.
Finally James Dillon's The Soadie Waste was disappointing (this goes for a lot of recent Dillon as far as I'm concerned). In his earlier work, the folk-like melodies were problematised sufficiently to make them interesting sub-strata, but now, as they are pushed more and more to the fore, they strike me as a little tired and (dare I say it?) obvious.
Next, the Cikada quartet with Frode Haltli on accordion, recorded at the Huddersfield festival in Hans Abrahamsen's Three Little Nocturnes. This fell between two stools. It was neither short enough to form an appealing set of miniatures, nor was it substantial enough to do interesting things with either the oompah of the accordion, or the rhyming of the sound of the accordion with high harmonics in the strings. Both were there in embryo but neither really became anything.
The last piece in the concert was Fabio Nieder's Sogno 10 lunedi/in una casa/molte gente/musiche son tornato a casa. This was kind of Sciarrino meets Accanto (Lachenmann) and was dedicated to Lachenmann. There was a percussionist/DJ whose role it was to include some 'cheesy Italian pop', of which HL is apparently a big fan. So far so good. But it was too short. The inserts from the DJ weren't really long enough for us to work out what it was, until the end where it kind of erupts (Sciarrino does this sort of thing in pieces like Introduzione al'oscuro, where I think it works- the material that erupts is archetypal and characteristic enough for it to stamp its authority before evaporating). The whistling was also a nice touch, but over a longer duration this piece would have worked incredibly well.

Tomorrow, two friends are coming to dinner and I'm going to pop round to see F and have a coffee. No idea if I'll get to write anything during the day... Watch this space.


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