Some recent CDs, briefly reviewed


Pianist Philip Thomas has recorded a solo album of works for piano by Christopher Fox. The Rambler review…

Originally posted on The Rambler:

Vicious Circus are Elo Masing (violin, cello, electric guitar, whistle), and Dave Maric (analogue synth and electronics). The 20 short tracks on Troglodytes Troglodytes (squib-box) are all improvised, and on some the duo are joined by David Turay on alto sax and Matthew Lee Knowles on voice. The sound is oddly gothic, the howls and scratches of of Masing’s strings rubbing strangely along with Maric’s synth. I rather like it; I hear something of both Radulescu and 80s synth-pop in it (among much else), a combination of avant garde and trash that brings to mind the narrow streets of East London, appropriately enough where Vicious Circle do most of their performing.

Pianist Philip Thomas has been busy, with two solo recordings out in the last few weeks (there’s also a new disc of Feldman multiple piano music on another timbre). First music by Christopher Fox (Hat…

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Of nymphs and live electronics with Carl Faia in a new work by Patricia Dallio


The first full performance of a complex multi-media work that has been workshopped and in residence for some time will take place the 9th and 10th of December before going on tour in France. Composer and performer, Patricia Dallio, will be premiering Le Mystere Des Oreades with video performer and creator Mathieu Sanchez. Dallio is performing on a unique instrument — looking like something between Minority Report and Tinguely — with a Max patch created for her by Carl Faia. The Dallio Instrument (for want of another name) has been developed over many years in collaboration with Mr Faia and others working on the construction of the apparatus. Impressive and massively musical. To be seen.


Sarah Nicolls and the Pendulum Piano


Sarah Nicolls  Pendulum Piano

World premiere
Experimental pianist and earsthetic’s artist in residence Sarah Nicolls has recently created her second Inside-Out Piano. Motivated by reaching inside the instrument more easily to play unusual sounds and revealing this ‘extended’ playing to the audience, the new instrument has some unexpected extra characteristics.

Sarah explores these and her parallel journey into motherhood in this brand new commission, specially created for earsthetic. 

Come and see this strange new piano, hear the beautiful melodies and textures of Sarah’s piano-songs and contemplate the intense moments of life where everything seems to stand still in this funny, wry and surprising show.

Part of earsthetic – a week of immersive audio-visual events

Brighton Dome Corn Exchange
Tickets: £5 (unreserved seats)

Jennifer Walshe at Cafe Oto

Another incredible event at Cafe OTO with Jennifer Walshe + Sharon Gal & Andie Brown + People Like . A programme of sound and vision in three sets; presenting new music by four unique performers, and including a preview of Citation City by People Like Us.


The last seminar for the Autumn season of the CCMP seminar series will be presented on the 9th of December: MARIJ van GORKOM reading through new works for bass clarinet and live electronics by Brunel doctoral composers Oliver Brignall, Matthew London, Adam Bell and Graham Flett with Max patches developed by Sonic Arts students Otess Gordon and Ben Fox.

Tuesday 9 December 18:30

Room ANTR 109, Antonin Artaud Building

Brunel University, UB8 3PH

free event – all welcome


Colin Riley Hanging in the Balance (electronics by James Waterworth)

You can catch Kate Halsall, Colin RileyJames Waterworth and other great Brunel associated musicians and more at an evening concert this Saturday entitled, Miniature Concertos. Among the works performed will be Riley’s Hanging in the Balance for piano duo with electronics created by Brunel Alumnus and Sonic Artist, James Waterworth.

Goldsmiths, SE14 6NW

6 December 2014

Sunday with Bob Gilmore and his podcasts galore…

BobGilmoreDear friend and ex-Brunel colleague, Bob Gilmore (of the famous Bob Gilmore Prize for Excellence in Musicology), has been busy making some rather hefty podcasts. Apparently, he still has time after all the teaching, researchingpublishing, editoring and performing he does (and it is no secret that he also had quite a full private life…). You can find these podcasts, for now, on his website here -> Tentative Affinities (would be nice if they found their way over to the iTunes Store to easily download them directly to our iplaythings). Not exactly the Dan Carlin of contemporary music podcasts (that ma be seen as a good thing), but with the same passion and depth, and, maybe, more focus and a distinctly Irish lilt. Bob takes apart a composer or theme per podcast (the first 45 minute long installment is on the English Composer [sic] Christopher Fox, someone with close connections to Bob and Trio Scordatura). Other podcasts are consecrated to Frank Denyer, Horatiu Radulescu, The Partch Effect, Ben Johnston: memories and reflections, Field recordings and new music, Canada: the music of Generation X, and more to come (it is, as he says, an ongoing project). In each of the podcasts there is music, historical background, examples as played by Bob to clarify a point or idea, biographical information, etc., etc., etc… and, again, lots of music. What a great way to spend a Sunday, listening to the lilting Irish intonations demystifying all those notes… or a nice companion in the ears on a commute between St Pancras and the far reaches of West London. We will be looking forward to further installations of Tentative Affinities.

Christopher Fox: Too Far

The last concert in a mini-festivalMarijjevanStalen-LR series held at Durham University will be the venue for the world premiere of Christopher Fox’s song cycle Too Far, commissioned by Musicon. The work is based on five pieces of music and five texts: We might hear snippets reminiscent of composers such as Gesualdo, Biber, Satie and Eisler; but then again, we might not, as they are often transformed beyond the point of recognition. The texts by the medieval mystic Julian of Norwich occupy a domain between sexual and religious ecstasy, while the poems by Emily Brontë and Emily Dickinson reveal death as the portal to a higher state. The extracts from Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s short story The Yellow Wallpaper reveal a mind tipping over into madness. Unique. Intriguing. Too Far to be premiered by Marijje van Stralen & Ives Ensemble.

Hearing Voices 3

30th November 2014, 19:30 to 21:30,

University Music School, Palace Green

Musicon Concert Series

CCMP presents: Seminars by Seth Josel and Martin Arnold

upcoming CCMP seminars

Two more seminars in the CCMP series will be presented on the 3rd and 4th of December (check the flyer for details).

Seth Josel will be talking about innovations in contemporary guitar technique and present The Techniques of Guitar Playing, co-authored by Ming Tsao and published by Bärenreiter (students attending the seminar will receive a discount for the book). Check out the link to Josel’s web site and peruse the works in his repertoire and his gear page… and try not to get wonderfully lost.

Martin Arnold‘s seminar, On Not Being Exemplary, Radical Specificity and the Aesthetic of the Wonderful, will be about his music… and probably a little disruptive? You can check out the link below to have a listen to some of his music performed by the Quatuor Bozzini.

hcmf// The 2014 Harvest


Just in case you don’t know, “hcmf” is the abbreviation for Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. One of the most important contemporary music festivals in Europe, and probably the world… It is, in any case, the big event for classical contemporary music composers, performers and fans to gather in the north of England and enjoy 10 days of intense music making by both acknowledged experts and professionals, as well as the up-and-coming.

As every year, there are many events to chose from including workshops, concerts, presentations and pedagogical happenings. Brunel will be present throughout the festival, starting this Tuesday with the UK premiere of Widerstehen by Christopher Fox where he will perform and give a post-concert talk. A series of workshops — called Composers Kitchen — with young composers mentored by Jennifer Walshe will be held between the 25th and the 28th with the Quatuor Bozzini as main ingredient… And as part of the Next Wave event on the 27th, Sarah Nicolls will be on her inside-out piano and Brunel PhD student Paul McGuire will have his new work, Panels, performed.

CCMP Presents Thomas Buckner: My Circle of Friends in Electronic Music

Thomas Buckner CCMP

A rare event with a unique artist, specialist baritone Thomas Buckner will be talking about his collaborations with composers Robert Ashley, David Wessel, Annea Lockwood, Alvin Lucier, David Behrman and Phil Niblock.

Monday 24 November 17:30
Room ANTR 109, Antonin Artaud Building
Brunel University, UB8 3PH
Free admission – all welcome

Christopher Fox Writes About Some Recent British String Quartets

coverEverything (almost) you wanted to know about contemporary British string quartet literature can be found in the recently published Some Recent British String Quartets by Christopher Fox published here by the Contemporary Music Review.

Club Inégales and EFG London Jazz Festival bring you 5 unforgettable evenings


Quoted directly from the latest update by the unique London Club Inegales:

“This is a Rolls-Royce of a Band – it can turn on a dime”
Will Self on house band Notes Inégales
Next Thursday to Sunday, Club Inegales welcomes four stunning international guest performers as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival, each at the forefront of new jazz – the electric Byron Wallen (20th) – then Norwegian power guitar Hedwig Mollestad Trio (21st), hot Amsterdam band Cactus Truck (22nd) through to the beguiling Swiss voice and drums of Andreas Schaerer and Lucas Niggli (23rd).

Alongside their own set, the guests will perform with Peter Wiegold’s resident top-line ensemble Notes Inégales creating the unique musical alchemy that makes Club Inégales unlike any other.

Click here for more info and tickets -> EFG London Jazz Festival.

CCMP Presents Cora Schmeiser: “Heer and thare” The impact of the score in musical performance

Cora Schmeiser CCMP

CCMP seminar with Cora Schmeiser at Brunel University London, Thursday 20 November on Thursday 20 November 17:30, Room ANTR 109, Antonin Artaud Building

Plus this jewel of a concert program the following day as part of the Arts Centre Lunchtime Concert Series:

CONCERT: Friday 21 November 13:10
Roberts Room, Floor 3, Lecture Centre
With special guest Richard Craig, bass flute


Laus trinitati – Hildegard von Bingen (1098 – 1179)
Ich spür ain tier – Oswald von Wolkenstein (1367 – 1445)
Ursonate – Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948)
Cant l’erba fresq’e.l fuelh apar- Bernart de Ventadorn (c. 1135 – 1200)
Deux méditations d’une furie for voice and bass flute - John Croft (1971)
Can vei la lauzeta – Bernart de Ventadorn (c. 1135 – 1200)
Récitation 8 – Georges Aperghis (1945)
Worldes blis – Anonymous, England (13th cent.)
Eurydice for solo flute – Brice Pauset (1998)
If I were a poet –  Beth Anderson (1950)
Veritas veritatum – Philipp der Kanzler (c. 1165 – 1236)

Both events free – all welcome

Exploring Experimental Music at Brunel University London for your Masters

We’re looking for students — freshly graduated or with a certain acquired experience — with the motivation necessary to complete a major project as a key element of the course. We are all practicing professionals with radically varying backgrounds coming together to create the first Masters course in the UK to focus specifically on Experimental Music. The programme is designed to create an environment in which you can learn from and interact with colleagues and expert tutors. From advanced composition and theory techniques to extended performance repertoire, passing though musicology, interactive installations combined with computer music design, and highly developed improvisational practice, you will have the possibility to refine your skills and develop a portfolio of work which culminates in a major project. Interested? More information and enquiries here or here-> Professor Christopher Fox