Blogariddims 38: The mouth, the feet, the sound

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This mix is as much a collection of recent pre-occupations as anything else.

[00:00] La Bocca, I Piedi, Il Suono: I ­ – Salvatore Sciarrino (col legno)

I’ve become a little obsessed with this piece, for alto saxophone quartet and 100 ‘peripatetic’ saxes walking around the performance space. The music is composed not only of pitches and rhythms, but the touch of fingertips on keys, the smack of lips on mouthpieces, the sound of breath, the footsteps of all those walking performers. The whole 35-minute piece is an intense close-listening experience that doesn’t really climax until the very end (see track 16 of this mix). Anyone into lower case music, Wandelweiser, all of that, needs to know Sciarrino. Although I didn’t consciously think about it this way, almost everything else on this mix grows out of this piece: there are saxophones everywhere, from Berio, Burtner and Takemitsu; there’s also one buried in Manfred Werder’s conceptual piece.

[01:38] Dulcinée Du Toboso ­ – Jean Schwarz (Celia)
[03:40] Sequenza VIIb ­ – Luciano Berio (BIS)
[07:20] Journeys on the Winds of Time: I ­ – Alan Lamb (New Albion)
[09:47] Lux Animae (Rambler edit) ­ – Horatiu Radulescu (Sub Rosa)
[16:58] … sofferte onde serene … ­ – Luigi Nono (col legno)

With its intense focus on sound in both minute detail and enveloping ambience, La Bocca makes a real connection with … sofferte onde serene …, one of my favourite Nono works. Written for the pianist Maurizio Pollini, it combines live piano with recordings of Pollini himself rehearsing the work such that it’s impossible to tell where live ends and recording begins. Every note tolls inside an echo chamber of its own past.


[19:06] The Intermediary with a Rendition of Stardust ­ – Blue Gene Tyranny (Lovely Music)
[19:38] Triple (Remix) ­ – Mark Applebaum (Innova)
[26:18] Shur ­ – Alireza Mashayekhi (Prospectives 21e siècle)
[27:05] Distance ­ – Toru Takemitsu (BIS)
[30:00] More Things in the Air than are Visible: Section 3 ­ – Christopher Fox (Metier)
[33:00] 2006/1 – Manfred Werder (skiti)
[36:06] Isle Remix ­ – Evelyn Ficarra (Critical Voices)

Fox takes the piano–tape relationship further in More Things in the Air than are Visible. The third section of the piece combines quiet piano chords that sound like a half-distracted improvisation with a tape of the outdoor ambient sounds of an English summer day – birdsong, a dog barking, traffic noise, etc. Werder’s conceptual work is a grandchild of Cage’s 4’33”: “a place, natural light, where the performer, the performers like to be. a time. (sounds)”. Ficarra turns to the radio waves of the British Isles for her sounds.

[36:33] Split Voices ­ – Matthew Burtner (Innova)
[39:19] Unheimlich Schön ­ – Luc Ferrari (Metamkine)
[43:00] Jour, Contre-jour ­ – Gérard Grisey (Accord)

Ferrari makes an extended piece from the noises – breath, lips, tongue, heartbeat – around the repeating phrase ‘uncanny beauty’. Grisey finds whole worlds in the spaces between two notes.

François Bayle - Erosphère

[43:43] La Bocca, I Piedi, Il Suono: VIII ­ – Salvatore Sciarrino (col legno)
[50:25] un fini I ­ – Mark André (live)
[50:51] Toupie dans le ciel: I ­ – François Bayle (INA-GRM)

Having returned to Sciarrino, the mix finishes off with two tracks that are complimentary opposites: André’s harp solo empties out the space around us as it takes us into the heart of a sound; Bayle dissolves that central core, spreading us thin across the universe.


16th Festival of Experimental Music, London

LMC festival flyer

LMC’s 16th Annual Festival of Experimental Music :: Cochrane Theatre, Southampton Row, London WC1B 4AP :: November 29 thru December 1, 2007 :: Tickets: 02072691606 :: Festival Pass: £35/ LMC Members £20 :: Day Pass: £15 / LMC Members£10 / Students £5.

International in its sweep, uncompromising in its substance – Time Out :: Two dozen performers from around the world are given free reign to redefine music. Over three days they coax incredible sounds from all manner of instruments, in every conceivable way. Performers include: The elder statesman of Japanese sound-art Yasunao Tone; mesmeric minimalist legend Charlemagne Palestine; and Norbert Möslang, enigmatic torturer of household electrical goods. Group improvisations feature: Tony Buck, superlative drummer of Australia’s best export, The Necks; brilliant Belgian string virtuoso Julia Eckhardt; and sensational American trumpeter Peter Evans. And to surprise ourselves, Taku Sugimoto, whose guitar playing is so restrained as to stretch the laws of time; Bob Levene, who uses turntables as audio sculpture; and Helena Gough, who reveals the laptop as a landscape teeming with twittering life.

Thursday 29 November:
Yasunao Tone + Taku Sugimoto + Bob Levene + Angharad Davies & Julia Eckhardt & Michael Duch

Friday 30 November:
Charlemagne Palestine + Norbert Möslang + Robin Hayward & Matt Davis + Billy Roisz & Angélica Castelló

Saturday 1 December:
Peter Evans & Steve Beresford & Mark Sanders + John Butcher & Tony Buck & Burkhard Stangl + Margarida Garcia & Barry Weisblat + Helena Gough

BMIC’s The Cutting Edge

I seem to be plugging a lot of concerts of outstanding new music at the moment, but I make absolutely no apology for that.The latest smorgasbord to point your diary in the direction of is the BMIC’s Cutting Edge series, details of which have just been released. Hard to pick the standout concerts from an especially tasty season, but on a first glance the following look essential:

18th October, 7.30pm
Mary Dullea / Julia Bardsley

Rolf HindTowers of Silence UKP
Joe CutlerClavinova Music UKP
Pavel SzymanskiTwo Etudes
Stephen MontagueStrummin’
Jennifer Walshenew work WP
George CrumbProcessional
Benedict MasonSix Piano Pieces

25th October, 7.00pm
Stephen Gutman

Richard BakerBreaking the Ground WP
Gyorgy LigetiCanon, White on White
Luke StonehamNobody here but us chickens WP
Iannis Xenakisà r.
Tansy DaviesLoopholes and Lynchpins LP
Gyorgy LigetiPour Irina
Howard SkemptonCampanella

5th October, 8.30pm
Joby Burgess

David LangThe Anvil Chorus
Giacinto ScelsiKo-Tha
Luke StonehamLude
Tansy DaviesDark Ground
Richard BakerSleepsong LP
Gabriel Prokofiev new work WP
Iannis XenakisPsappha

1st November, from 7.00pm
Jonathan Powell / Jørgen Hald Nielsen and friends

7pm — Jonathan Powell
Charles IvesThe Celestial Railroad
Morgan HayesStrides 3 WP of complete version
Jonathan PowellSonata VI WP
John WhiteSonata no.154 WP
Alexander ScriabinSonata no.9 ‘Black Mass’
Andrew TooveyOut Jumps Jack Death

8.15pm — Jonathan Powell and friends
Michael FinnissyPiano Concerto no.6
Michael FinnissyPiano Concerto no.5

9.15pm — Jonathan Powell and Jørgen Hald Nielsen
Claude DebussyEn blanc et noir
Paul NewlandReadymade I
Ferruccio BusoniDuettino concertante
Andrew TooveyEmbrace
John WhiteOverture to Stanley and the Monkey King; Saki Waltz
Percy GraingerSpoon River; Green Bushes

15th November, 7.00pm
Richard Craig

Matthew ShlomowitzThinking, Speaking EM
Michael Finnissy Sikangnuqa
John Croft…ne l’aura che trema WP
Brian FerneyhoughCarceri d’inventione IIb LP
15th November, 8.30pm

Matthew ShlomowitzYou Close Your Eyes Again LP
Joanna BailieTwo Things UKP
Trond ReinholdtsenIn Context LP

29th November, 7.30pm
Sarah Nicolls

Ruth Wall/NicollsImprovisation: prepared harp, piano, electronics WP
Jonathan Cole/Nicollsnew work WP
Jonathan GreenInto Movements LP
Richard Barrettnew work: Duo LP
Michael Clarkenew work LP
David Sheppard/Nicollsnew work WP

Alvin Curran: Maritime Rites, outside Tate Modern

Via Networked Music Review: Tate Modern hosts Alvin Curran’s Maritime Rites. Details:

Friday 14 September 2007, 17.30–19.00, free, Millennium Bridge and Thames banks.


Thames + Tate Modern + Alvin Curran. I make that Pimm’s o’clock, and a spiffy way to end your working week.


Plus: The Tate want volunteers to come and help perform a new Curran score as part of the event. Details:


Call For Volunteers

Tate Modern wants to form an ensemble of volunteer musicians to play a new Alvin Curran score on the Millennium Bridge as part of UBS Openings: Live, Alvin Curran: Maritime Rites on Friday 14 September.

If you are interested and can play a portable acoustic instrument (one that does not need a chair), please contact Cleuci de Oliveira for more information at

We need to know the instrument you play, the length of time you have been playing it, and if you can attend a rehearsal the day before the performance. The rehearsal will take place at Tate Modern on the evening of 13 September 2007. You will also be asked to come in advance of the performance on 14 September 2007.