|Notes and coffee during Trey's presentation|
(and actually the more I listen to them both the more I think I would love to hear them programmed in the same concert), and I especially like Trey's piece, "Study in Water Colour". Originally an assignment where an Asian influence was required in the piece, Trey did state his fear that any Asian influence he might write would potentially appropriate the culture, and inevitably sound cheesy. On hearing the piece I would say he created a really beautiful piece that was idiomatic of a Japanese style (and reminiscent of Joe Hisaishi, composer for the film 'Spirited Away'), particularly in his piano writing. Trey also openly admits that he never writes a title for any piece first, he prefers to write through ideas first, and then create meaning of it all later. It's an interesting approach, not one I do often (although it does happen from time to time), and it just highlights really that there's always more than one solution to any problem.
Next up was Zack Pentacost, who states that, as a composer, he has been most successful in writing for guitar. A guitarist himself, I found it intriguing when he said he stopped playing guitar when he started his MA, but continues to write for it. I don't know if I could ever stop playing an instrument, especially one I know so well and want to write for. I'm currently in the middle of writing for solo cello for my speedwriting, and it is driving me a little nuts having to mime everything I'm wanting to achieve because I've no cello to hand. But clearly, after hearing Zack's work, this is something that's worked and is still working for him, as his guitar writing is very, very good. I find his use of harmony and counterpoint really natural, and it just seems to generate itself in a really unprocessed way. Zack also writes electronic music, but unlike some other electronic composers I've heard so far this week, I feel Zack's music has much more emphasis on melody, and a certain 'filmic' quality to it, which I really like.
Last up for the morning was Andrew Binder, who's style seems to come from many different sources and influences, giving him a very eclectic sound. As a bass player Andrew's work is focused on feels and grooves in the music, and this is evident across his work, be it his octet 'Potential Energy' which very contemporary, his romanian/gyspy-esque string quartet 'Boshomengro", or his big band piece 'Limbo'. I sometimes wonder if I'm stretching my style too broad in the many things that I do and what I write for (and the way it varies depending on the instrumentation), but hearing Andrew's eclectic sound gave me a certain sense of comfort that it is perfectly acceptable to be eclectic, and that you can maintain your own voice across any instrumentation or genre.
|Presentation from Armando Bayolo|
|We're even social when we're working hard.... and in silence!|
The evenings concert featured the Beo String Quartet and Mixed Ensembles, featuring works of the guest composers, and some of the workshop composers as well. A really great array of new music works, and the first to set the ball rolling as to what the rest of the concerts will be like for the reset of the festival. There was one particular piece of music for solo Flute, "A turn Inwards" by Maxwell Dulaney which really resonated with the audience for it's extended flute techniques (and epically immaculate playing), but in particular, I really like the Beo String Quartet: how they present themselves, their sound as an ensemble, and just as people in general, they are really great people to talk to (And I must thank the cellist, Hannah, for introducing me to Bulliet Bourbon - very happy with that!) - The more I talk to these guys and the more I hear them, the more I really want to try and get them over to Guernsey for a concert or two. New music in Guernsey is pretty behind (especially in comparison to what I'm experiencing at this festival), but I think these guys would really sell it well. Something I'm thinking about at least (very seriously though, I might add!)
|Speedwriting delirium may have set in by this point....|
|American measures will sort it out!!|
other thing I really love is to have the Great Noise Ensemble staying in our dorms with us as well - it's bridged the gap (or 'broken the 4th wall' as Armando says) between composer and performer, and I must say I really enjoy being able to just talk to these people openly and in the comfort of our living space - it makes the whole process much more human. Plus there's the added hilarity of realising that you've been up until 3am talking about incredibly nerdy music things and that you have to be up in 5 hours to go to a classroom to talk even more about nerdy music things #bliss
And, of course, the #bantermobile has hit it's stride in hilarity: not only was I crying with laughter tonight, but our wheel man Jeff seems to be a big hit with other male drivers..... Let's just call it a "hit-on-and-run" and leave it at that :)
|#CNMF2015, L-R: Niki, Marc, David, Bill, Cassie, Cody, Chih-Liang, Michael, Myself, Scott & Calvin|