Over the past months I have been making recordings that will be featured on a new disc for the métier label, to be released sometime this year. Some of themes I have in mind revolve around linearity in music – my other disc inward was influenced by creating texture and an acoustic layering that can be achieved with one instrument. With the new disc I am returning to a more restrained and focussed way of playing. It felt apt to attempt to create an antithesis or response to inward in the more recent recordings, and yet to join both discs as a kind of bi-partite project which covers the past 10 years of my playing career. Creative Scotland are supporting the new disc and it will feature new works by Richard Barrett, John Croft, Fabrice Fitch, Esaias Järnegard and Evan Johnson. Soundcloud clips can be found here. Since being awarded a Creative Scotland Artist Bursary, I am also working on new projects involving composition/film and performance. More will be revealed later in 2015. Forthcoming concerts include SonADA in Aberdeen, Glasgow University and a trip later in the year to the US to perform Stockhausen, and a new solo work by David Revill.
The Grizzana ensemble recorded the ensemble works of Jürg Frey with the label Another Timbre this November, and a double disc of our playing will be available next year. Hopefully more performances will appear in the coming months, and of course the discs, which will be in good company alongside Another Timbre’s recent release of Feldman works. Shortly after this I was off to Spain for the second performance of the triptych anticommeDia by José Luis Torá. The SMASH ensemble performed the series in Palma de Mallorca as part of the XXXV Encontre Internacional de Compositors. des Lallens) que plor e vau cantan (die Blüte for contrabass flute and soprano (Carola Schleuter) is inspired by Purgatory, the second instalment of the Divine Comedy by Dante, and written for both Carola and I. Later in November I have an appearance in Cora Schmeiser‘s concert at Brunel University, and the premiere of Ann Cleare‘s new work for contrabass flute and ensemble with the SWR Experimental Studio.
Angela Guyton captured three videos of my performance at the Noise Upstairs in Manchester
The performance featured my experiments into feedback and takes up from where the disc Amp/Al
left off. More of these can be found here alongside my own video work.
A review of my CD Amp/Al appeared on the website 5against4. It described my first foray into my own pieces and improvisation as ”passing through episodes of ferocious confidence & unexpected reticence” and noted Rodrigo Constanzo’s contribution also. There are several other interesting articles on the website too which are well worth the read. To continue the performer/composer theme, I’ll be performing at the Noise Upstairs, Manchester on the 10th of April performing new work.
In 2014 there are two recording projects to look forward to. inward, my first disc with Métier, was originally intended to be single project, but since its release in 2011 I’ve decided to take up some of the threads left from the first encounter and incorporate them into my new disc. The repertoire will include new works by Richard Barrett, John Croft, Fabrice Fitch, Esaias Järnegard and Evan Johnson, among others. Alongside this, the label Another Timbre will be recording works by Jürgen Frey which I am involved in. Finally, I’ll be returning to the Experimentalstudio in Freiburg at the end of the year to premiere Ann Cleare‘s new work for contrabass flute and ensemble at the ZKM Karlsruhe.
2014 has premieres of new work by Ben Issacs, John Croft, Kristian Ireland and Richard Barrett in solo concerts in Edinburgh University, London City University as well as alongside the ensemble Distractfold in their concert season which spans from their Manchester hub to Poland and also France this coming year. The group have also been invited to join the young ensembles program at the 47th International Music Courses in Darmstadt in 2014. A glut of live recordings have been just been released from various promoters, in particular my performance of ORDER by Esaias Järnegard with Pontus Langendorf at the 2013 Gaudeamus Week – you can experience this along with the score (!) here, and Dominik Karski’s Pre-Seed with SMASH. Amp/Al has been played on P2 (Swedish Radio) and 2014 also sees me taking my experiments to the Noise Upstairs improvisation sessions in Manchester. An interview with me ahead of the sound festival appeared in the Glasgow Herald, thanks to Kate Molleson
CDS – CONCERTS and PREMIERES
The winter season started with my release of Amp/Al – the collaborative efforts of artists Angela Guyton and composer Rodrigo Constanzo. The reactions to the disc so far range from ‘wild’ to ‘revelatory’! Being a departure from the terrain of contemporary classical flute and involving amplification>feedback making the disc has spurred on several other projects and ideas. There is a new review of the earlier disc inward which has appeared in the Swedish magazine Nutida Musik. A translation will follow.
A brief stop to Utrecht to perform in the Gaudeamus festival happened in September. ORDER, The flute and percussion duo by Esaias Järnegard was selected for the composers prize and I was performing alongside with the stellar percussionist Pontus Langendorf . The premiere of Pre-Seed by Domink Karski took place in San Sebastiàn on the 3rd of October and a second performance in Salamanca. Commissioned in 2009, the work focuses around solo flute/s and small ensemble. A performance was finally realised thanks to the Smash Ensemble. Several trains, planes and hours later, the tour later continued performing alongside guitarist Bertrand Chavarria-Aldrete performing works by Brice Pauset, Inaki Estrada, Takemitsu and Ferneyhough in the music academies of Krakow and Gdansk. A return to Smash is planned for December, in San Sebastián.
Winter holds several performances, starting with an appearance at the LiveWire festival at the UMBC in Baltimore, USA, giving classes and performing some of my own works as well as James Dillon, Brice Pauset and longtime collaborator Evan Johnson‘s émoi. Distractfold, have programmed a volley of concerts including a performance of Lotuses by Jonathan Harvey and a premiere of a new work based upon the Agricola solo flute work by Fabrice Fitch. Another exciting addition to the repertoire is Kristian Ireland‘s new work for alto flute and amplification.
My connections to the sound festival in Scotland continue with the summation of an Arts and Science collaboration and a concert in Aberdeen Art Gallery. An engagement in Glasgow Universities concert series also sees the premiere of a new work for chamber ensemble by Halfidi Hallgrimson.
The premiere of Malédictions d’une furie was held in the Turner Gallery, Margate, on the 10th of May as part of the Sounds New Festival. Musicians: Lore Lixenberg as the Furie, Richard Craig (bass and contrabass flute), Robin Michael (Cello), Simon Limbrick (Percussion) and Carl Faia (electronics) and Video by Richard Craig. Live footage and recordings can be found here.
“..In a compelling 45 minutes, Lore Lixenberg recreated virtuoso gasps, arching melismas and vocalisation in the company of the haunting whispering and wailing of Richard Craig’s bass and contrabass flutes..”
Hilary Finch – The Times 13/05/12
[Unity Capsule] “Craig instills the piece – so often caricatured as a Sisyphean struggle against an unyielding notation – with fearsome confidence, swagger even. Thirty-five years on its challenges may have been parried, absorbed, reflected and dispersed anew, but it speaks now with a commanding and often beautiful authority.” Tim Rutherford-Johnson The Rambler.
(Cover image courtesy of Howard Lynk)