Secret Music: January

Bored of the big branded new music institutions? Got a sense that there’s a lot of exciting music out there that doesn’t get through the official gatekeepers? Resolved to listen to more under-the-radar music in 2013?

Me too. That’s why I’m going to start posting short listings each month of out-of-the way new music that catches my eye.

This won’t be anything like a comprehensive list; it will be more like a clearing house for anything interesting looking, featuring new talent, rarely heard works, innovative programming or just stuff I think might be cool. Unlike the now-retired New Music on Shoestring listings there won’t be a price cap on inclusion for any events; although by their nature a lot of them will be terrific bargains. As usual, everything here will be UK-centric, but international contributions will be considered. Feel free to send me details of what you or your ensemble is up to, but inclusion is strictly at my discretion, and I can’t promise to reply to all emails.

Update: In the comments below, .fseventsd adds a couple more items of interest taking place in the US this month. For which I say thank you very much – people are always welcome to add stuff of their own in this way below Secret Music posts (I may start moderating things if threads get too spammy or out of control).

Monday 7 January: Cafe Oto: Hyperion Ensemble and Mats LindStröm play works by Iancu Dumitrescu, Ana-Maria Avram, 8pm | £8 in adv/£10 on the door.

Third event in an ongoing series co-curated by SUNN O)))’s Stephen O’Malley, featuring maverick electro-acoustic composer Mats Lindström and new works by Romanian spectralist composers Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana-Maria Avram performed by the Hyperion Ensemble, featuring the composers alongside Tim Hodgkinson, Chris Cutler and Stephen O’Malley.

Tuesday 8 January: Birmingham Conservatoire: Thumb: Black Bile, 7.30pm | £5.50/£3.

Works by Seán Clancy, Benjamin Graves and Andy Ingamels, plus WP of Black Bile by new composer-in-association Marc Yeats.

Wednesday 9 January: Kings Place: Birtwistles in Residence, 8pm | £14.50/£17.50/£21.50/£26.50/Online Savers £9.50

On the day painter Adam Birtwistle’s debut show opens at Kings Place Gallery, Hall One hosts a special concert featuring the music of his father, Sir Harrison Birtwistle.

The programme is based around two main works – the Orpheus Elegies for voice, oboe and harp to a text by Rilke which was first performed complete at the Lucerne Festival in 2004, and The Axe Manual for piano and percussion, described in Gramophone as ‘an exuberant, and, in its central stages, delicate essay in ‘extending’ piano sound by means of metal and wood percussion’.

Monday 14 January: Anthony Burgess Foundation: Lunchtime concert: Cassandra’s Dream Song, 1pm | Free, no need to book.

Flautist Anna Mari presents a performance of Cassandra’s Dream Song (1974) by Brian Ferneyhough, arranged and directed as a small stage performance.

Monday 14 January: Cafe Oto: The Music of Making Strange: Works by Alex Hills, 8pm | £7/£5.

Recent chamber music by composer Alex Hills, much of which is an exploration of Viktor Shklovsky’s concept of ‘Ostranenie’, or art as ‘making strange’. Performers include Lucy Railton, Aisha Orazbayeva and Serge Vuile, the French cellist Severine Ballon, pianist Roderick Chadwick and soprano Natalie Raybould.

Sunday 20 January: Cafe Oto: Outsider Music Collective, 8pm | £8 in adv/£10 on the door.

Following a critically acclaimed night at Bold Tendencies, Peckham, in summer 2012, the Outsider Music Collective come to Cafe OTO to present another programme of outsider classics from Britain and America. To include works by Conlon Nancarrow, James Tenney, Cornelius Cardew, Howard Skempton,  Michael Parsons, Moondog and new work by the collective.

Saturday 26 January: The Red Hedgehog: The Magic Bass Flute, 6.30pm | £10/£5 students from The Red Hedgehog Box Office (020 8348 5050)

Riot Ensemble perform music for bass, alto and c-flutes by Mario GarutiAmy Beth KirstenJulian AndersonRic GraebnerGeorge Benjamin and Terence Allbright.

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