What happens if the composer and the listener are the sameperson? This is exactly what Jō Kondō’s way of composingimplies. If the composer is to be nothing but a curious listener, he must be able to surprise himself. He must rid himself of all prior knowledge or intention. Born in Tokyo in 1947, Jō Kondō was influenced throughout his entire education almost exclusively by traditional Western art music. Like so many of his Western colleagues, he feels this to be both a limitation and the greatest challenge to the creative process. “The music one grows up with is like a cage one has to break out of.”
Sadie Harrison's The Flight of Swallows from Gallery (Room 1) for solo violin was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 Breakfast Show (Martin Handley) on Sunday 18th September, the beginning beautifully dovetailed with the sound of chattering swallows. The broadcast, of a recording by Peter Sheppard Skaerved, follows a number of performances of movements from the set of miniatures given by Sheppard Skaerved in the USA this month; a selection in Brandon, Vermont at the Compass Center (13th September) and then a couple of days later at Ithaca College in New York as part of his Autumn residency.
Hilda Paredes speaks about her new Mode Records CD Señales, in conversation with Ruth Prieto, on the El compositor habla website. The CD was awarded four stars by The Guardian's Andrew Clements. Paredes reveals that the CD is very special to her, since the featured works span nearly two decades.
Thomas Simaku’s new solo work Herkommann Aria received its world premiere at Kuks International Festival in Prague, on 23rd July 2016, performed by the leading Czech clarinettist Ludmila Peterkova.
The piece is based on a Czech baroque melody, Herkommann Aria, which serves as a ‘point of departure’; its character and salient intervallic properties are ‘freely elaborated into a textural format that focuses on the lyrical and echoes the remote atmosphere of the ancient melody’.
Robert Saxton's commemorative solo organ work Passacaglia on the name John McCabehas garnered praise in the Summer 2016 edition of The Organ magazine. Robert Matthew-Walker describes the piece as 'a very impressive short work indeed; brilliantly imagined and written for the instrument, to the extent that one feels Saxton should essay a much larger organ piece. The growing sense of majesty, as the music builds to a thrilling final E major tutti chord, is irresistible.'
Sadie Harrison’s CD on Toccata Classics ‘Solos and Duos for Strings and Piano’ has received another excellent review. Along with the recent 'The Rosegarden of Light' CD, has been called "a valuable pair of discs which challengingly introduce this composer to a wider audience."
Following the great success of The Rosegarden of Light European Tour this May-June, the related CD TOCC0342 (featuring music by Sadie Harrison, traditional music from the students at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music and arrangements of popular Afghan songs by Kevin Bishop) continues to receive excellent press.