Category Archives: Listen/Watch

Performance at XVA Gallery, Dubai

I think of the Islands (and I sigh) for Harp and Flute was recently performed at the opening of an exhibition by the American artist Colleen Quigley at the XVA Gallery in the heart of the Al Fahidi Historical Area in Dubai, UAE. The intimate performance setting, the courtyard of an old traditional style Emirati house, coupled with the beautiful artworks enhanced the listening experience:

 

Performers:  Lidia Stankulova (harp) and Malena Avila (flute)

A Folding Screen

A Folding Screen is a collection of songs for Soprano, Clarinet and Pianoforte based on ancient Chinese poems. The structure of the piece is such that each performer has a solo, a duo with each of the others and three pieces for the whole ensemble. There are nine movements:

1. A Morning Time (Soprano, Clarinet, Pianoforte) – Liu K’o Chuang
2. Night Thoughts (Soprano, Pianoforte) – Li Bai
3. Kuan Ch’u (Clarinet)
4. Folding Screen I (Pianoforte)
5. Winter Nights (Soprano, Clarinet, Pianoforte) – Chien Wen-Ti
6. A Flower (Soprano) – Po Chu I
7. Folding Screen II (Clarinet, Pianoforte)
8. Dank Mist, Desolation (Soprano, Clarinet)
9. In the Empty Mountains (Soprano, Clarinet, Pianoforte)

In the performance recorded here, the soprano is Joanne Brown, the clarinettist, Andrea Gould, and the pianist, Naila Maharramova. It was recorded live at The Fridge, Al Quoz, Dubai 17/03/2014

So ito a Sperana

So ito a Sperana was written as a memorial to my father-in-law who passed away in 2002 after a long illness. Asperano (in dialect “Sperana” is the area where he had an olive grove that he owned. After his retirement, he would visit and tend his land daily for as long as he had his sight.

Structured in three slow sections the music is slow and contemplative. The opening section quotes a passage from a piano piece Bela Bartok, while central section uses a traditional song from the Monti Lepini, “Tira vento”.

 

Response

Written in conjunction with the choreographer Vivian Rojas Response uses two pieces Above the Canopy (from my CD Rainforest) and Six-Four-Two, written for this performance.

In this recording, the dancers are Vivian Rojas and Anne Cabanel, the Violinists, Emma Stansfield and Rachel Barton.

The recording was made at The Fridge, Dubai, November 2010

Of the dance, Vivian writes: Response is a contemporary dance piece that works with words such as giving, receiving, suggesting and reacting. When sharing that experience, the relationship between two dancing bodies inspired by two energetic violins, gives as a result a symphonic variety of possibilities on the stage.

On Time

On Time was written originally for a small four part choir using a text by John Milton. This arrangement, for string quartet, was written for inclusion in the SIKKA 2014 Art Week. The music closely follows the rhythmic structure of the original text.

Live performance at the XVA Gallery in Dubai (8th February 2014).

Anne Mouslmani & Natalie Oughourlian, violins,
Imogen Lillywhite, viola,
Helene Charleaux, violoncello

 

Text: John Milton

Fly envious Time, till thou run out thy race,
Call on the lazy leaden-stepping hours,
Whose speed is but the heavy Plummets pace;
And glut thy self with what thy womb devours,
Which is no more than what is false and vain,
And meerly mortal dross;
So little is our loss,
So little is thy gain.
For when as each thing bad thou hast entomb’d,
And last of all, thy greedy self consum’d,
Then long Eternity shall greet our bliss
With an individual kiss;
And Joy shall overtake us as a flood,
When every thing that is sincerely good
And perfectly divine,
With Truth, and Peace, and Love shall ever shine
About the supreme Throne
Of him, t’whose happy-making sight alone,
When once our heav’nly-guided soul shall clime,
Then all this Earthy grosnes quit,
Attir’d with Stars, we shall for ever sit,
Triumphing over Death, and Chance, and thee O Time.