Catching up

Been away for a week, as you may have guessed. On a sort of epilogue/prologue/transitional trip to Warsaw and Budapest, the two cities whose shadows lay over my PhD. Were meeting friends (from the UK) in Budapest, and had planned to catch a few days of the Warsaw Autumn Festival as part of the same trip. However, these plans were embarrassingly and frustratingly thwarted when WA changed its dates from those advertised when we booked our flights (last week) to those it actually is (this week). Grrr. Anyhow, this did give me a better opportunity to show Warsaw to my girl, and on re-visiting it remains the European city most powerfully burnt onto my memory. Ugly and bruising like a concrete knuckle yet unmistakable and visceral. I don’t know anywhere else quite like it, and I love it.

Budapest remains a beautiful historic town, even if it is becoming more and more Euro-phied every time I visit. One thing to say – don’t read too much into reports (such as this one) that Budapest is currently overrun with thugs and fighting some sort of pitched battle on the streets. It’s not. There is, however, a colossal energy about the place, focussing on the 24-hour rally outside Parliament, where anti-Gyurcsany protesters are organised, peaceful and bedded in for the long haul (they have an impressive infrastructure set up on the square after only a few days – even a military field kitchen has been unearthed from somewhere). More on this in a later post when a) I’ve finished (in)digesting some of the coverage in the UK press I’ve glanced over this morning, b) figured out how to download pictures from my girl’s phone, and c) translated some of the slogans on display around the square.

In the meantime, a few announcements from my inbox:

Rational Rec

After a well-deserved summer break, Rational Rec, the monthly inter-art social occasion returns to its
spiritual home at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club.

Rational Rec incorporates sound, music, text, performance, film into a good night out. Come along and be artistically, intellectually and alcoholically stimulated.

Tuesday 3 October
Doors open at 8pm; £5 on the door
Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club,
44 Pollard Row, London E2 6NB
(5 minutes walk from Bethnal Green tube)


Helmut Lachenmann — Guero (1970) for scraping &
plucking pianist

Vinko Globokar — Corporel (1985) for body percussion

John Lely — Desk Bells (2006)

Milhaud — Scaramouche Suite (1936)

Tom Johnson — Same or Different (2004)

Roderick Chadwick — Claire Edwardes — Mark Knoop —
Kerry Yong

For more details about confirmed future Rational Rec
dates please visit

Camberwell Composers’ Collective

c3 celebrates second birthday with upcoming tour

Following their acclaimed performances at the Aldeburgh, iF and Camberwell Arts Week festivals, c3 are excited to announce their autumn series of gigs in London and Edinburgh.

The Camberwell Composers’ Collective is Mark Bowden, Emily Hall, Chris Mayo and Anna Meredith, four of the most successful young composers working in the UK today.

The tour includes an evening at the National Portrait Gallery, an appearance at the SPNM Shortlist launch party and the group’s first concert in Edinburgh at the Bongo Club as the opening event of the Edinburgh Contemporary Arts Trust’s concert season, ending at the c3 home venue – The Crypt jazz club in Camberwell.
Camberwell Composers’ Collective Autumn 2006 concerts schedule

Fri, 27 October 2006, 6.30pm
National Portrait Gallery
St Martin’s Place
London, WC2H 0HE
020 7312 2463

Wed, 1 November 2006, 6.30pm
Louise T. Blouin Institute
Crown House
72 Hammersmith Road
London, W14 8TH
Invitation only

Wed, 8 November 2006, 7.30pm
Bongo Club
37 Holyrood Road
Edinburgh EH8 8BA
0131 558 7604

Sat, 25 November 2006, 7.30pm
The Crypt
St Giles Church
Camberwell Church Street
London, SE5 8QU

c3 is very grateful for the support of the PRS Foundation and Awards for All.

Reviews for spnm’s New Notes online magazine

This month sees publication of my first offerings as a regular reviewer for the Society for the Promotion of New Music (spnm), in the online version of their magazine New Notes. If you’re a member of spnm you can read the reviews here. In summary, though – ECM’s new CD of Tigran Mansurian, Ars poetica, is a strong follow-up to 2004’s Monodia, with subtle depths; and the Colmore Consort‘s first release, of David Matthews and Jonathan Dove, is a lovely thing, recommended for all admirers of English choral music.


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