Sunday, 3 February 2013


MANTIS presents a weekend of new electroacoustic music featuring works by composers based at the NOVARS Research Centre (University of Manchester) and invited guests. This edition features guest percussionist Miquel Bernat  performing a unique 'key-percussion and electronics' concert for Timbila (xylophone-like instrument of Mozambique), marimba and vibraphone. Bernat's event comprises commissioned works with electronics for Ricardo Climent, Jose Manuel Lopez Lopez and music by Martin Wesley-Smith and traditional timbila music. 

The Mbila (plural timbila) is a xylophone-like instrument from Mozambique ancestor of the modern marimba, first mentioned by a Portuguese missionary in the 1300s. The Timbila's orchestras serve many purposes, ranging from religious to traditional ceremonies of the Chopi people. This hand-made instrument and its associated culture were close to extinction since the liberation from Portuguese colonial rule in 1975, which was followed by a horrendous ca. 15 years of civil war. Among a number of efforts to reinvent the instrument's approach, a group of percussionists Drumming-GP from Porto led by Miquel Bernat and with the advice and training of Matchume Zango brought a complete set of timbilas to put together a full Orchestra in Europe and commissioned Western composers to write for these instruments including electronics. 

Price: £7.50/ £5/ £3

Offers: Special 2-concert rate: £12/ £8 / £4.80 Special 3-concert rate: £18 / £12 / £7.20

Venue: John Thaw Studio Theatre. Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama
Bridgeford Street, M13 9PL. Manchester, UK
Pictured above, Miquel Bernat performing the Mbila (timbila)


Saturday 2 March 2013
    18:00-19:30 Concert One: Works by Guests and NOVARS composers
    20:00   Concert Two: key-percussion and electronics concert with Miquel Bernat
Sunday 3 March 2013
   12:00 Timbila workshop with Miquel Bernat (room to be confirmed)
   14:00 Concert Three: Works by NOVARS composers


Saturday 2 March 2013  

18:00-19:30 Concert One : Works by Guests and NOVARS composers

Requiem77  for Cello and Fixed media by Kevin Malone 13' (Cello Alice Purton)
Frictions_Storms  for Fixed media by  Danny Saul 12'
Contrarreforma laboral III  for Fixed media by Julian Avila   8
The Visions of Ezekiel for Fixed Media by Lee Fraser 10'16"
Invader  for Fixed media  by Mark Ferguson 
Nick Casswell Træsko Fixed media 5mins 46 secs
beeps  for Fixed media  by Constantin Popp 14.45'

20:00 Concert Two: key-percussion (including timbila) and electronics concert with Miquel Bernat

VibraZoyd  for Vibraphone and electronics  by Jose Manuel Lopez Lopez 
For Marimba and Tape by Martin Wesley-Smith 
Traditional Timbila music excerpts

Xi for Timbila of Mozambique and electronics  by Ricardo Climent

Sunday 3 March 2013

14:00 Concert Three: Works by NOVARS composers

Myth for Fl, Bsn, Perc, Accordion, Vc by Haruka Hirayama 10'
Telchines for Fixed media  by Dimitris Savva 7'33
Behind My Living Stereo  for Fixed media  by  Michael Lau 10'
Articulating Space for Fixed media  by Mario Duarte 4'
The Doors Piece for Fixed media  by Donal Sarsfield 25'

Pictured above, Miquel Bernat

MIGUEL BERNAT  - percussion

Born in Valencia (Spain) in 1966, Miguel Bernat received his musical education at the conservatories of Valencia, Madrid, Brussels and Rotterdam, and participated in the Aspen Summer Music Course.  He was granted the "Premio Extraordinario Fin de Carrera" at the Conservatory of Madrid, the GAUDEAMUS Special Percussion Prize" in 1993 and the 2nd prize at the Aspen Nakamichi Competition (USA).
Being an eclectic musician, he has played with the Orquesta Ciutat de Barcelona and with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, as well as in the contemporary music ensembles "Ictus", "Ictus Piano and Percussion Quartet", Trio Allures", "Duo Contemporain", etc...
As soloist in numerous recitals, he premièred the "Concerto pour Marimba et 15 instruments" by David del Puerto at the Ars Musica festival in Brussels and in Valencia ENSEMS Festival, and the Premier of “Campos Magnéticos” of Cesar Camarero in Porto and Madrid.
Formerly a professor at the Rotterdam and Brussels Conservatories, he is now intensively engaged in pedagogical activities at the “Escola Superior de
 Musica de Catalunya” at Barcelona. "Escola Profesionalde Mùsica de Espinho (Portugal) and the "Escola Superior de Mùsica do Porto". There, he founded DRUMMING   Grupo de Percussão,  who was selected as a Resident Music Group of Porto 2001  Cultural Capital of Europe and gave concerts in Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Brasil. 
He is regularly invited to the most reputed international contemporary music festivals (France, England, Brasil, Venezuela, Australia, USA, Finland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Thailand etc...) to perform, among others, as a solo percussionist and to give Master Classes. In 1998 he performed as a soloist in scenic music (Xénakis) during the production "Just Before" by the Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa de KEERSMAEKER.and with the Ballet Gulbenkian of Lisboa  the coreography “Psappha” of italian Mauro Bigonzetti. A passionate performer of new music, Miguel BERNAT has worked with numerous composers (many works being dedicated to him), thus contributing to the expansion and constant evolution of the contemporary repertoire for percussion.