‘The Scream’ for String Orchestra - Thomas Simaku – World Premiere

Based on Edvard Munch’s iconic painting, Thomas Simaku’s new work, The Scream, will receive its world premiere in Cambridge on 17 November 2017. It will be performed by the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by King’s College Director of Music Stephen Cleobury. 

Of this substantial piece lasting 20 minutes, Thomas Simaku writes:

‘The iconic painting by Edvard Munch was the main impulse for writing this piece - hence the title. Its “silent scream” whose echo spans (and can be heard) well beyond the painting's time and frame, struck a chord with me for its resonance with our modern times.

In no way programmatic, the music here focuses on the concentrated form of expression that emanates from the space, the colours, and the gritty intensity of the “deafening silence” in Munch's painting.

 

Stemming from a single line - hence, the vocal quality imbedded in the overall melodic expression of the strings is at the centre here - there are a variety of “screamingly-based” sonorities, “vocal” or otherwise, throughout the piece. They cover a wide spectrum of dynamics, and range from very soft and delicate to furiously loud and tumultuous textures, as if reaching our modern times from the remoteness of time itself.

 

These linear manifestations occupy the whole registral gamut of the strings in a symphony orchestra, and are presented in a variety of formats ranging from static (sometimes tenaciously motionless) horizontal lines, through various heterophonic bundles progressively moving at their own pace, to different ‘diagonal’ sliding lines (microtonally inflected or otherwise) that overlap with, and echo, one another.'

Tickets are available from https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ex5d2m .

 

(2 Oct 2017)

Recent news

  • Blake's 'Scoring a Century' London triumph

    Photo credit: Robert Workman

    British Youth Opera gave a dazzling London premiere of David Blake’s (composer) and Keith Warner’s (librettist) millennial opera ‘Scoring a Century’ on Saturday night, at the Peacock Theatre, Holburn. Previously performed only by Birmingham Conservatoire, in 2010, both the libretto and the score had been revised for the current production. Blake’s deft scoring leads Mr and Mrs Jedermann (Everyman) unwittingly through Warner’s entertaining snapshots of life in various countries in the ever-changing 20th century, in an expert pastiche of musical styles.  

  • Thomas Simaku Broadcast on National Radio in Finland

    Following the success at the 2019 International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM)  – World Music Days , Thomas Simaku’s most recent work, La Leggiadra Luna for mixed choir a cappella, has been broadcast by four European radio stations. The latest programme was on National Radio of Finland on 3rd September – the programme is available for 30 days at the following link: https://areena.yle.fi/1-50234960

  • Launch of Northern Composers' Co-operative

    Photo credit: Lynette Quek

    Thanks to the support of the Mayfield Trust, in June UYMP hosted a meeting of 20 composers who are based in the Yorkshire region.  Peter Wiegold was an inspiring facilitator and the meeting generated lots of ideas for dealing with the isolation composers can experience once they leave formal education.  The composers present decided to form a Co-operative and UYMP is proud to have initiated it and be supporting it. 

  • Thomas Simaku CD Release

    Thomas Simaku’s new CD, Solos and Duos for violin and piano has been released worldwide on Naxos 21st Century Classics Series.

  • Launch of Stef Conner's album 'Riddle Songs'

    UYMP is delighted to announce that Associate Composer Stef Conner is embarking on a project to create a new CD in Old English.  Stef writes that her album will be a combination of 'beautiful new music with very old words, for voices and lyre; a medieval-meets-modern choral concept album'.  To read more about the CD and to support Stef's fund raising campaign, please go to: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/stefconner/riddle-songs-an-album-by-stef-conner?ref=b3i7et&token=39fe9e26