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Oliver Coates releases Towards the blessed islands

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 December 2013 (comments: 0)

Oliver Coates: Towards the blessed islandsDavid Fennessy’s The room is the resonator is the first track of Oliver Coates’ recently released album Towards the blessed islands, which features eight cello pieces that were recorded in “churches, tombs, disused oil rigs and […] railway stations at night.”

Listen to a complete recording of The room is the resonator on Fluid Radio.

Oliver Coates, who performed the world première of The room is the resonator in 2009, in an interview on Towards the blessed islands.

The recording is available here.

Universal Edition Newsletter November 2013

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 November 2013 (comments: 0)

Newsletter Universal Edition November 2013
The latest Universal Edition newsletter, with information on world premières by David Fennessy, Wolfgang Rihm, Georg Friedrich Haas, and Alban Berg, is avaialble here.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Rehearsals for David Fennessy’s Hauptstimme at the hcmf

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 October 2013 (comments: 0)

David Fennessy with the Red Note Ensemble, conductor Garry Walker, and violist Garth Knox (c) Richard GreerPhotos from another (intensive) day of rehearsals for David Fennessy’s Hauptstimme, showing the composer, violist Garth Knox, conductor Garry Walker, and the Red Note Ensemble. The piece for amplified solo viola and ensemble will be premièred on 16 November at the huddersfield contemporary music festival.

David Fennessy on Hauptstimme:

The notion of the individual and how he/she contributes or functions in a group setting as well as how that group can meaningfully make a collective statement has been central to a number of my works over the years – starting with graft for string quartet (2000), through to 13 Factories for ensemble (2009). Once again, it seems to be at the core of this new piece for solo viola and ensemble.

For much of the time, the solo viola is buried in a thick ensemble texture with the primary goal merely to be heard. Once it has achieved this, a more complex question emerges – what to say?

David Fennessy with the Red Note Ensemble, conductor Garry Walker, and violist Garth Knox (c) Richard GreerAlso on the programme: James Dillon's New York Triptych, the third and final instalment in a series of three-part pieces, and Bruno Mantovani's D'un rêve parti, a brief homage to the auld alliance.

Many, many thanks to Richard Greer for taking – and sending us – these photos!

Find a blog entry by John Harris, chief executive and artistic co-director of the Red Note Ensemble, in which he writes about the preparations for the ensemble’s concerts at the hcmf on the festival’s guest blog.

Happy Birthday David Fennessy

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 July 2013 (comments: 0)

David fennessy (c) Tanya KiangHappy Birthday David Fennessy!

UK première of David Fennessy's 5 Hofer Photographs

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 June 2013 (comments: 0)

David Fennessy (c) Tanya KiangThe UK première of David Fennessy’s 5 Hofer Photographs takes place tonight, 5 June 2013, at Sloan’s in Glasgow. Robert Irvine plays the five short pieces for solo cello that were inspired by the work of German photographer Evelyn Hofer.

David Fennessy: 5 Hofer Photographs
for solo violoncello | 10’
5/6/2013, Glasgow; Robert Irvine, vc

David Fennessy: Piano Trio | Music for the pauses in a conversation between John Cage and Morton Feldman

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 June 2013 (comments: 0)

Here’s a short video from the ON - Neue Musik Köln on Ensemble Preasenz’ In die Nacht mit John und Morton [into the night with John and Morton]:

The video was taken on 28 November 2012 at the Kunst-Station Sankt Peter in Köln and features an excerpt of David Fennessy’s excellent Piano Trio | Music for the pauses in a conversation between John Cage and Morton Feldman.

Among the pieces performed on this evening, which focused on the friendship between Cage and Feldman, were also Feldman’s For John Cage, Steffen Krebber’s Konfusion IV and John Cage’s Imaginary landscape No. 1.

New Music Dublin: Bedford, Fennessy, and Staud

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 May 2013 (comments: 0)

http://www.universaledition.com/tl_files/News_Bilder/Blog/2013/rte_ue.jpg

Tonight at 21:00 CET/CEST: RTÉ lyric fm broadcasts Bedford’s Chiaroscuro, Fennessy’s Piano Trio and Staud’s Für Bálint András Varga. The concert was performed by the Fidelio Trio and recorded on Saturday 2 March during the three-day New Music Dublin festival.

RTÉ lyric fm offers a live stream, which you can find here.

Luke Bedford: Chiaroscuro
David Fennessy: Piano Trio
Johannes Maria Staud:
Für Bálint András Varga

Fidelio Trio
RTÉ lyric fm | Listen live
Tuesday, 28 May 2013, 21:00

A short video on Tectonics 2013

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 May 2013 (comments: 0)

David Fennessy, STV GlasgowHere’s a short video from the Scottish Television channel stv Glasgow featuring composer David Fennessy and conductor/curator Ilan Volkov. Enjoy.

Tectonics 2013: Impressions

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 21 May 2013 (comments: 0)

David Fennessy, Prologue (c) Sarah Standke, Universal EditionThe world première of David Fennessy’s Prologue (Silver are the tears of the moon), which opened the second Tectonics Festival in Glasgow on 11 May 2013 (the first took place in Iceland in March 2012), was a great success. Ilan Volkov conducted the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Tectonics Festival, Panel (c) Sarah Standke, Universal EditionWe also took a photo of the panel discussion with David Fennessy, Hildur Gudnadóttir, Alvin Lucier, Ilan Volkov and Fiona Talkington in the Candleriggs Bar.

If you didn’t manage to attend the two-day festival, here is a short introductory video of Volkov talking about it. I’d say that the festival’s mixture of genres is a great idea, and am eagerly awaiting to see who will be on the programme next year:

Prologue (Silver are the tears of the moon)

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 May 2013 (comments: 0)

Werner Herzog: Eroberung des NutzlosenPrologue (Silver are the tears of the moon) constitutes the first part of a trilogy of pieces I am composing based on the diaries of the German film director Werner Herzog which he kept during the troubled production of his 1982 movie Fitzcarraldo and later published as the book Conquest of the Useless. The movie itself concerns the doomed efforts of a turn of the century rubber baron to build an opera house in the middle of the Peruvian jungle and the central, iconic image from the movie of a steamship being hauled over a mountain has been somehow translated here into a gigantic glissando, starting in the depths of the orchestra and slowly climbing. I wanted this piece to have all the grandeur and over-the-top emotions of a romantic opera overture and as I began to compose, that wish became more and more literally realised with snatches of Rigoletto writhing in the undegrowth accompanied high above by the “melancholy peeping” of tree-frogs.

(David Fennessy)

The world première of David Fennessy's new orchestral work Prologue (Silver are the tears of the moon) will be held on 11 May in Glasgow. Ilan Volkov conducts the BBC Scottish SO.

David Fennessy: Prologue (Silver are the tears of the moon)
for orchestra | 10’
3 3 3 3 - 4 2 3 1 - Table Guitar, timp, perc(3), pno, str(12 10 8 8 6), frog guiros
world prem. 11/5/2013, Glasgow; BBC Scottish SO, cond. Ilan Volkov

David Fennessy: 13 Factories available for stream

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 May 2013 (comments: 0)

Talea Ensemble (c) Talea EnsembleWQXR offers a stream of the Talea Ensemble’s performance of David Fennessy’s 13 Factories. You can stream a recording of the US première, which was given by conductor Eduardo Leandro and the Talea Ensemble on 20 April 2013.

WQXR stream

Happy Birthday David Fennessy

Posted by Jonathan Irons on 23 July 2012 (comments: 0)

David Fennessy (photo: Eric Marinitsch)

Happy Birthday David Fennessy!

David Fennessy Portrait Concert in Stuttgart

Posted by Jonathan Irons on 14 June 2012 (comments: 0)

Horch / Listen Stuttgart - click for a PDF file of the folder

This Friday, David Fennessy presents what you could call a “staged concert” (to use Heiner Goebbels’s term) at the Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart. The concert starts at sunset, and the audience walks for about 10 minutes into the forest adjoining the Schloss, where in the little hut there Sabine Ahrendt will perform Little Bird Barking for violin (or as the composer writes “for violinist and forest sounds”).

“The violinist is not attempting to 'harmonise' with the forest sounds but rather seems like an alien creature transplanted from a different habitat who nevertheless attempts to add their voice to the chorus!”

The audience then returns towards the Schloss and arrives at the Scheune (barn), where Sonia Cromarty will perform The room is the resonator (for cello and electronics) followed by Rest (for violin, cello and electronics). The recorded part was created at the hut mentioned above during Fennessy’s residence at Schloss Solitude last year.

As Fennessy writes: “There is a kind of narrative running throughout the three pieces, including in a way, the walking between them. The resounding question is one of the performers’ ‘voice’, literally and metaphorically, and how it adapts to its surroundings. All three pieces contain extended vocalising from the performers which, I feel, helps to imprint their individual identity onto the performance. In all three cases, the fragile voice emerges from behind the instrumental shield.”


Click the image above for a PDF file of the brochure.

Pass The Spoon – A sort of opera

Posted by Jonathan Irons on 22 May 2012 (comments: 0)

Pass The Spoon

Pass the Spoon is a ‘sort of opera’ composed by David Fennessy in collaboration with visual artist David Shrigley and director Nicholas Bone.

Watch the full video now on the new thespace.org website.

David Fennessy on BBC Radio 3 this afternoon

Posted by Jonathan Irons on 14 November 2011 (comments: 0)

Pass the SpoonDavid Fennessy is on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune programme this afternoon talking about Pass the Spoon, his “sort-of opera about cookery” created with visual artist David Shrigley.

Listen live online at around 6pm London time today (Monday 14th).

Pass the Spoon opens at the Tramway in Glasgow on Thursday 17th November.

As the website says:

What can we say about Pass the Spoon?

Well …

It’s a show with actors, music and food.
It’s a bit like an opera, but with vegetables and fruit.
It’s about cooking.

It’s possibly the only show you’ll see this year featuring a dung beetle.

Oh and someone gets eaten. Did we mention that?

There’s also coverage in the Guardian, the Observer and Scotland on Sunday.