A cool review

Adam Stanovic was born in Leeds, now has residency at Sheffield. Here he is with Ténébrisme(IMED 18153) 1 showcasing very recent compositions 2015-17. He exhibits the now-commonplace concerns with transforming musical instruments, pieces of metal, audio travelogues and such like, but his feisty essays indicate he is trying to challenge the received wisdom of contemporary electro-acoustic music, expressing a certain frustration with over-used tropes in the genre. A dull-witted noise-lover like me can certainly dig his roary pieces, which have a lot more fire and chaos than we’re used to in the field; plenty of tidal waves of digital information surging and rebounding around imaginary spaces like titanic forces, sometimes with quite shocking dynamics, cut-offs, and wild timbral shifts. Ctrl CMetallurgic and Inam all have this rather threatening density to them, and Foundry Flux is as alarming a portrait of Sheffield’s industrial past as you’re ever likely to hear. Bonus points too for composing a homage piece to Beatriz Ferreyra, the Argentinian wild lady of electro-acoustic music.

Ed Pinsent, The Sound Projector, June 9, 2019

A year of collaborations

I realised earlier on today, that this year will include more collaborations than I have ever previously attempted: I have four pieces planned, including:

  • a new film with director Vishal Shah
  • a percussion and electronic piece collaborating with percussionist Thierry Miroglio
  • a fixed media accordion piece based on the quantum scales of
    Miloš Katanić
  • a collaboration with Kelham Island Industrial Museum – where 8 of my (ex) students, Adrian Moore and I will work with sounds recorded on site.

A view of Corfu

Last week, I had the pleasure of delivering a masterclass and concert on the beautiful island of Corfu. I was a great experience, and I am extremely grateful for the invitation, support and help of Dimitrios Savva, Andreas Mniestis, and Nikos Kanel. Hard to believe. but the white building in the center of this photos is the music department, where the masterclass was held:

Concert and Masterclass in Corfu

I’m very excited about next week, where I’ll be delivering a solo concert and masterclass in Corfu. I’ve pasted my abstract below…

State Changes: composing with contrasting sound materials

Over the past ten years, I have been developing a compositional method for work with contrasting sound materials. This started back in 2009 when I composed a large-form piece called Point of Departure; at this point, I realised that I could make a seamless transition from pitched sounds to noisy sounds, whilst simultaneously transitioning from discrete, delicate materials towards brutal saturation. This realisation fascinated me because, at least in part, it contrasted my previous approach to materials, in which contrasting materials were simply layered to highlight their dissimilarity. In this new approach, contrast is apparent at the start and end, but a seamless process (leading from one start to the other) preventing one from identifying any particular moment of change. It is, in my mind, state change by stealth. This talk introduces such an idea. It offers a range of examples, drawn from the last ten years of compositional activity, to demonstrate some of the different ways in which it has been employed. More importantly, it shows some of the specific techniques used to achieve these transitions, with some basic technical demonstrations.

For details of the programme, see:

New piece at Sound Junction

On Sat evening, I performed a new piece – Hymn without Words – at Sound Junction. The piece is a present for my one-time tutor (then colleague and now friend) Dale Jonathan Perkins, and the title a play on his amazing suite of pieces Voice without Words. Sound Junction was again spectacular – with performances from Manuella Blackburn, David Berezan, James Andean, JTTP prize-winners, and many of my colleagues and students.

I’ve put an excerpt of the piece on soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/adam-stansbie/hymn-without-words-excerpt

The GRM coming to Sheffield!

I’m delighted to announce that I applied for – and received – funding from the French Embassy to coordinate a workshop run by the Group de Recherches Musicales (GRM) in Paris. The GRM will be travelling to Sheffield at some point in June, to take a part in the workshop which, as currently planned, will include a series of talks, presentations, demonstrations and – hopefully – concerts.