This week we welcome the talented Halldór Smárason to our base in Manchester as composer-in-residence to work with Psappha Ensemble as part of our Collaborative Compositions 2014programme. Today Halldór started researching the archive at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation before working on a new composition to be performed by Psappha early 2015.
One of Manchester’s most respected literary figures Anthony Burgess – best known for his novel A Clockwork Orange – always emphasized music as the ruling passion in his creative life. In his book This Man and Music he explored the meaning of music, the process of composition and the elusive relationship between literature and music which we’re trying to open up:
“Any serious literary artist envies music, which has an apparently self-referring language, cannot preach or inform, and totally identifies form and content.”
Burgess himself was a talented and prolific composer who wrote over 250 musical works during his career but his notoriety as a composer never reached the heights of his literary career. Nevertheless, it became important to him to provide others with the opportunities he never experienced. This week Halldór will get a chance to engage with the rich archive he left behind and to respond to it musically with one of England’s most exciting new music ensembles.
Read more about Halldór's meeting with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.