Category Archives: Chamber ensemble

New string quartet inspired by museum collections

Devon Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum have come together to commission new chamber works in response to objects in the museum, as part of the 2020 CoMA Festival. Anna’s commission, inspired by the case of 18th and 19th century pocket watches in the local history gallery, is timepiece.

timepiece is a minimalist work for string quartet with elements of percussion – a chime and optional mechanical metronome – played by the string players. It brings to life the cabinet of tiny clockwork mechanisms, building a multilayered euphony as motifs gradually layer upon each other. Rhythms, harmonies and textures grow as the structure evokes seconds, minutes, hours, and the night-chimes of the early pocket watches on the
quarter-hours which allowed the carrier to tell the time in the dark before gas or
electric light was invented.

Members of Devon Philharmonic Orchestra will give the world premiere performance of timepiece in Exeter, beside the case of pocket watches that inspired it, on Saturday 7th March. Tickets are on sale from the museum.

 

Meet the Contras

rarescale

Following a call by rarescale for music for the unusual and rather exciting combination of contrabass flute, contrabass clarinet and contrabassoon, Anna’s newly-composed work Contradanza has been selected for the ‘Meet the Contras’ concert programme this Thursday.

Thursday 21st June, 7:30pm
ADMISSION FREE
St James’ Church, Sussex Gardens, London W2 3UD
(nearest station: Paddington)

These three instruments are pretty much as low as you can go with woodwind. It’s all about the bass – and bass means big. They are definitely a sight to behold! In rarescale’s words:

The concert is FREE and we’d love to show you what our amazing low instruments can do!

The performance is part of Make Music Day UK. Full details here: www.facebook.com/events/2092882854304485/  Just turn up!

 

A Quiet Night In

A new piece by Anna will be performed at ‘A Quiet Night In’ at Exeter’s Spacex Gallery on Friday 29th January. AQNI is an Exeter new music concert series with a rapidly growing following. Curated by Emma Welton, the programme asks the audience to listen in a new way with a focus on quiet music. Anna’s new piece is under development and will explore this theme.

Tickets for January’s Quiet Night In are available from Exeter Phoenix.

AQNI

Flute duet score now available

The score of ‘Statik’, a new flute duet, is now available to preview online. The work was premiered in the Bike Shed Theatre Bar in Exeter this summer. If you’d like to give it a go, do get in touch – it’s not too tricky, just requires good breath control and lots of listening!

Reasons to be at the Bike Shed this Sunday

Stop press… Yearnings and Fears for solo piano is to be performed at Exeter’s Bike Shed Theatre, marking ten years since its first performance in Durham. The green piano that usually blends into the decor of the theatre’s bar will be wheeled onto the stage for this month’s ‘Nonclassical’ night, this Sunday, 30th June. Yearnings and Fears will be performed by pianist Alfie Pugh and a new piece for two flutes by Anna, Statik, will be performed by Ruth Molins and Anna herself. Anna says:

I would assert that an interval traditionally thought of as dissonant can sound relatively consonant when played by two flutes, given the airy, vocal timbre of the instrument. Inspired by Ligeti and Lucier, Statik explores this idea, focusing entirely on the different qualities of different intervals.

Slowly progressing without resolution and beginning in the lowest octave of the flute, fourths (perfect and augmented) and seconds produce a sound that is bleak but not harsh. Climbing to the highest octave, these and other ‘dissonant’ intervals become increasingly tense and unsettling. As the pitches fall again, the low-pitched intervals return offering a new experience of space, placidity and release.

Mixed into the experience of consonance and dissonance is the acoustic interference between the two different notes. The listener will hear their different frequencies generating ‘beating’ at different rates. For the player, this resonance is also a physical experience. Increasingly intense, the air feels as though it is electrified with static charge.

This weekend’s Nonclassical also sees performances of works by Pete Canter, Simon Belshaw, Phil Maguire, Peter Nickol and Michael Brailey. Arrive at 7:30pm to get a good seat, music from 8pm. £3 on the door.

Nonclassical at the Bike Shed