Monday, 30 May 2011

MANTIS Composers' new works

Tints of July for Flute, Guitar and a Computer by Haruka Hirayama

Ply for fixed media by Lee Fraser

192 for fixed media by Brona Martin

From The Dark Waters for fixed media by Andrew Andrew Garbett

empty rooms 10:27 for fixed media by Constantin Popp

Voices submerge , 3:35 by Michael Lau

Cyan (2011) For Stereo Tape, 7:38 by Rob Bentall

Tints of July for Flute, Guitar and a Computer (about 10 min) by Haruka Hirayama

Gavin Osborn (Flute), Paul Michael Labelle (Guitar) and Haruka Hirayama (electronics)

Tints of July : The timbres of Guitar and Flute sound best the tones of my July. Dappled sunlight, shimmering, pleasure, transience, quiet rain and a feeling of openness...

Gavin Osborn (Flute) is a flutist, composer, sound artist & teacher based in the North West. Predominantly a specialist in contemporary music (acoustic & mixed electroacoustic), he has performed in many prestigious venues & festivals (inc. SAN Expo, Sonic Skylines, Manchester International Festival, Futuresonic, Sonorities, YLMF, Brighton Festival & Kings Place), both as a soloist and as director/co-director with various ensembles (Kairos, Beacons of Sound, and currently Trio Atem). Current projects as composer/sound-artist include a multi-scoreform work for the Sterling Trio, sound director for a dance work directed by Charlotte Spencer, an electroacoustic work using texts by American experimental poet Jessica Smith, and a mixed dance/text/sound piece working with multiple dancers.

Paul Michael Labelle (Guitar) was born in Ontario, Canada in 1991. He began his musical studies with percussion; in which, he studied under Anthony Kiedis and Mark Joseph in his home country. After several years, he suddenly became fixated on the guitar, for reasons that are still unclear to him, and decided to seek out private tuition under the German guitarist Oliver Thedieck in Munich. There, he also studied composition under the British composer Graham Laack. It was in Germany that he began giving public performances on the instrument and premiering his compositions. He is currently studying under Craig Ogden and Gordon Crosskey at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester and continues to perform in England, Germany and Canada.

Haruka Hirayama studied composition and computer music with Cort Lippe and Takayuki Rai at the Sonology Department of Kunitach College of Music in Tokyo. She was a winner of the Residence Prize at the 32nd International Competition of Electroacoustic Music and Sonic Art, and invited to the Institute for Electroacoustic Music in Sweden (EMS) as a composer-in-residence. Her interactive pieces have been performed at the International Computer Music Conferences (ICMC) of 2005, 2006 and 2009 and in many European countries, Canada, US as well as Japan.

Ply for fixed media by Lee Fraser

Ply derives much of its colour and many of its recurring gestural features from the synthetic representation and extension of some of the harpsichord's most distinct sonic attributes. One might recognise the mark of the instrument in the fizzy, metallic textures which open and conclude the piece, or in the spiky, angular rhythmic statements that jut out at points of significant structural sway.

Another key aspect of the work is its use of symmetry as a guiding architectural principle. This can be found in the dynamic contouring of the piece and in the hierarchy of roles given to its forces. In the case of the latter, one can trace a kind mirror symmetry in the way these forces are deployed, where those that propel the material in the first half, become the subordinate factors in the second, and vice versa.

The title refers to the complex of materials featured, whose singular identities become subsumed into a coagulate whole during rare but pivotal moments of well-tempered accord.


Lee Fraser (UK, 1981) is an electroacoustic composer with a strong interest in the acousmatic practice. He studied composition with Frank Denyer and David Prior at Dartington College of Arts, before taking a degree in sonic arts at Middlesex University, and in 2009 completed an MA in electroacoustic composition with Denis Smalley at City University, London, for which he was awarded a distinction.

Lee is currently pursuing a PhD in electroacoustic composition under the supervision of David Berezan at the University of Manchester. His research, funded by the AHRC, is concerned with the aesthetics of acousmatic music. In recent years, he has been involved in a number of collaborative and performance-based projects, including the reworking of material for sound artist and composer Mikhail Karikis, released on the Sub Rosa imprint in 2009.

His music has been presented in concert and broadcast throughout Europe and America.

192 for fixed media by Brona Martin

Programme Note: '192' explores the sounds that we choose to ignore on a daily basis. Recordings for this piece were taken from the many bus trips that I have taken from Stockport to Picaddilly Gardens and The University of Manchester. Since moving to Manchester, my reliance on public transport has introduced me to a whole new soundworld, one in which you can choose to ignore with an MP3 player. I decided to really study and embrace this environment, becoming more and more aware of the multiple layers of this soundscape and perhaps embrace this 'noise pollution' that commuters ignore. This piece reflects the rhythms, tones, atmosphere of the '192'.

Bio: Following a BA in History and Geography at the University of Dublin and managing a hotel that resembled Fawlty Towers, I soon realised that working 100 hours a week was not my life long dream. I quickly decided to study music at the University of Cork where I had my first experience with computer music, noise and experimental music. At the University of Limerick I completed a Masters in Music Technology with Jürgen Simpson. I started my PhD in September 2010 under the supervision of Dr. David Berezan and Lamenting is my first Electroacoustic work composed at the NOVARS studios, University of Manchester. My research interests include soundscape composition, augmented auralities, acoustic ecology and narrative within Electroacoustic music.

From The Dark Waters (2010-11) [Acousmatic – 12 minutes] by Andrew Andrew Garbett:

The first part of a water-based electroacoustic cycle (the second part for string quartet and electronics was played by the Danel Quartet earlier this year), this piece combines various recordings of water (dripping and pouring, as well as garden fountains) with piano and a few percussive sounds.These are moulded into gradually transforming ‘sound spaces’ which in the simplest terms move from darkness to light, but actually contain many sonic layers.As far as possible I have tried to avoid direct ‘source-bonding’, instead creating new, abstract, surreal, almost dream-like spaces. Despite the fact that there is no specific programmatic narrative here, the psychological and mythic implications of water provide a dense web of potential meanings for the listener.


Born in Nottingham in 1980 Andrew is a graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music, where he studied composition with Adam Gorb, Paul Patterson and Anthony Gilbert. Under the supervision of Douglas Jarman and Ronald Woodley he specialized academically in the study of 20th Century and Contemporary Music, as well as studying conducting with Clark Rundell. During this time he also had lessons with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and James MacMillan. He graduated with a BMus (honours) Degree and then a Masters Degree (both in Composition) and is currently engaged in research at Manchester University for a PhD in Electroacoustic composition, under the supervision of Dr David Berezan and Dr Ricardo Climent.

Andrew’s compositions (which cover everything from solo, chamber, choral, orchestral and electroacoustic music for the concert hall, to music for dance, film, and youth ensembles), range from highly experimental avant-garde works through to very accessible music in a wide range of genres.

His music has been performed throughout England as well at the Montepulciano Festival, Italy.

empty rooms 10:27 for fixed media by Constantin Popp

in “empty rooms” several places and objects have been recorded and weaved together to form a subjective view of manchester and it's sound. the selection of sound and the usage of transformations abstracts the found sounds into the realm of subjectivity and it's representation of it's past and present in the memory. the sounding result takes shape in a slow evolving soundscape with different levels of blurriness and haziness.

the “empty” refers not merely to an “absence”, but also to a “presence” of “things” - machines and memories, creating a sense of space and atmosphere. “empty rooms” therefore becomes more an oxymoron and metaphor of rooms inhabited by machines and memories. consequently, “manchester's sound” evolves into a sign, signifying a personal context, state of mind and narrative

bio: Constantin Popp, born in Berlin 1980, studied electroacoustic composition at the Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt in Weimar with Robin Minard. Additional supervisions in composition were received from David Berezan, Franz Martin Olbrisch and Thomas Heyn.

He collaborated, among others, with Andreas Bick, laborgras, Jan Wagner, Johannes Mayr, Robin Minard and Markus Wintersberger, doing works for dance, film, radio and stage. He received commissions from "pèlerinages Kunstfest Weimar", "Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar", the "Deutscher Musikrat" and Swiss Radio DRS2. As a student he worked as a technical assistent at the Friedrich-Schiller-Universtity Jena, Hochschule für Musik Franz Liszt Weimar (HfM Weimar) and the ETH Zurich, as well as an teaching assistent in composition at the Studio for electroacoustic Music (SeaM) of the HfM Weimar since 2007 which has been changed into a lecture position in 2009.

In 2010 he received a DAAD bursary and the Victor Sayer Award to study electroacoustic composition at University of Manchester, UK.

Voices submerge , 3:35 by Michael Lau

‘Voices submerge’ is a miniature which about human voices and conversations. As we often treat our voice as a language tool rather than a musical instrument, this tool become my composing ‘tool‘ and ‘instrument‘. In this piece voices are longer for conversation, but some fragments, notes, rhythms, layers and textures.

Bio: Born in Hong Kong, Michael is an instrumental and electroacoustic composer. Graduated from 2009 in Hong Kong Baptist University with music composition, Michael's interests include acousmatic music practice, fixed media and sound spatialisation.

He is currently a MusM student in electroacoustic composition at the NOVARS Research Centre, University of Manchester, supervised by David Berezan and Ricardo Climent.

Cyan (2011) For Stereo Tape, 7:38 by Rob Bentall

Cyan is focused on two main compositional techniques – use of gesture and use of organically-structured harmonic content. The primary source-sounds used were the Marimba, the Vibraphone and the Viola Da Gamba. Unlike Surge (2010), the Gamba was used in this piece entirely in a non-pitched manner; the noises generated from the instrument’s low pressure-threshold create vast, dense gestures which act as a point of departure for other chordal material. The piece is inspired by old friends and new memories. It was realized in the University of Sheffield’s Sound Studios during January-February 2011. The opening of this piece is an abstract but personal homage to John Young’s Inner (1995), a piece that has endlessly inspired me during my formative years as an acousmatic composer.

Bio: Rob Bentall (b. 1989) is an electroacoustic composer and sound artist currently living in Sheffield, UK. Originally from North London, he read for an undergraduate degree in Music at the University of Manchester, studying acousmatic composition with David Berezan and winning the Peter J. Leonard prize for composition. He is currently reading for an MMus at the University of Sheffield, studying with Adrian Moore, and generously supported by a Julian Payne Postgraduate Scholarship. His compositions have been performed in Manchester, Sheffield, London, Edinburgh and Huddersfield, and his primary research interests are acousmatic music, sound diffusion and the aesthetics of electroacoustic music. Recent performances include Ten Times Out of Nine at Resound Festival 2011, Cornwall and Grayscale Confessions at MANTIS Spring Festival 2011. Upcoming perfomances include Vanity Procedure (2010) at Sound, Sight Space and Play 2011, De Montfort University, Leicester and also at ICMC 2011, Huddersfield. He will begin studying for a PhD at NOVARS in September this year.