Monday, 5 October 2009

pattern.time.memory has been reviewed in the Shoreham Herald

My new multimedia piece pattern.time.memory has been reviewed by Martin Ward in the Shoreham Herald. I'm quite surprised at this as we tend to put on small scale events and I wasn't expecting a review.

New Music Brighton
Multi-media Concert Brighton

July 23 2009

New Music Brighton (NMB) are to be congratulated on their outstanding July concert at the Friends' Meeting House. The concert reflected an unfailing creative energy in a wide variety of styles and influences, but no mere imitations. The sixty-strong audience showed their appreciation with enthusiasm.

Praise is due to the brilliant performances by Anne Hodgson (flute) and Adam Swayne (piano), for their unfailing commitment, skill and musicality in interpreting often difficult pieces.

Terence Albright's substantial Partita for flute and piano was characterised by a pensive lyricism and energy, while Peter Owen'sChaconne was based on a simple, powerful bell-like figure, which gradually acquired internal flesh and complexity, as it mounted to a climax and then, like a palindrome, slowly moved back into silence.

Joanna Flackfield's Seaside Revels will be required on many future occasions where a transparent and wholly happy conspiracy between flute and piano is called for, giving summery enjoyment equally to players and audience. It would be good if the drive and inventiveness of Jessica Curry's one-minute Unstoppable force meets immovable object for solo piano could be further developed in a more substantial piece. Gregers Brinch's Anforta's Dream for solo flute, provided a splendid opportunity for monologue and dialogue-within-monologue, as the flute moved through a whole range of lyrical or passionate tropes ideally reflecting its spirit.

Phil Baker's Study for piano - Roulette Boogie began amusingly at either end of the piano's range, then gradually filled in the middle bits with energy and bravado. As well as being musically challenging, this was a tremendously fun piece.

Jonathan Clarke's Prelude and fugue for flute and piano was another very substantial offering, shot through with the energy which characterised this whole concert, and providing the flute some very rich, dark pianistic harmonies to play against, with a result that was most exciting.

After the interval, Peter Copely's Secret sonata for flute and piano was the very last thing to keep secret about, as the strong mid-European influence of Copley's time in Poland was reflected in a concatenation of urgent rhythmic and melodic figures, whose fragmentation nevertheless added up to an overall and satisfying unity.

This fascinating and ambitious concert ended with two bold audio-visual pieces. Resurge, with music by Ric Graebner and poetry by Argyros Ioannis, skilfully read by Andrew Branch, combined richly chromatic projected images and pre-recorded music. The theme of literature and its habit of haunting our lives was matched on the screen by Roger Pinnington's vivid semi-abstract explorations of Italian church interiors. Roger Harmar's no less ambitious +/-.pattern.time.memory used a wider range of imagery but no text apart from screened phases. Unlike Resurge, the visuals here were possibly a little too diverse and, although brilliant and insistent, their point, and relation to the music, were not always obvious.

© Martin Ward (full review in Shoreham Herald)

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