Happy New Year! After a couple of weeks hibernating we're hitting the new year running with the premiere of Halldór Smárason's new work for Psappha written through our Collaborative Compositions programme - "It means what you think it means" on Wednesday the 7th January at 8pm in the International Anthony Burgess Foundation. Combining music and visuals from the Burgess archive Halldor's work has allowed us to work with one of the best New Music ensembles in the UK, activate the archive of one of Manchester's literary heroes and develop the work of a rising star of Iceland's music scene into a multi-media performance (rehearsed both in person and via FaceTime) that will open an evening of exceptional experimental music. Tickets are available now.
Halldór explained: "It means what you think it means is a new work written especially for Psappha after being able to spend time developing the work with them in Manchester thanks to Curated Place. During my residency in Manchester in the fall of 2014, I spent much of my time researching and working on a new piece at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation. After going through an extensive amount of Burgess' personal belongings, including handwritten poems, camcorder recordings, musical sketches and instruments I decided to base my piece on video footage from one of Burgess' numerous interviews on American television - where acoustic music and quotes from the interview echo each other to create a unity.”
György Kurtág's Scenes From a Novel is a setting of 14 texts by the Russian writer Rimma Dalos, texts that convey a loneliness born out of experience. Psappha's performance includes new choreography from Elaine Tyler-Hall in which film of dance, projected during the performance, explores the contradictions created by the fleeting nature of experience and the persisting presence of memory.
In the mid 1960s American composers John Cage and Morton Feldman recorded four conversations at a New York radio station. The exchanges are punctuated by silences that Fennessy has used as "a kind of mould into which I have poured my own musical material".
Music for Words - Kürtag & Fennessy, feat. Halldór Smárason
Wednesday 07 January 2015, 20:00 Tickets available now