— Richard Craig

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seirenes

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The release of John Croft’s portrait disc Seirenes is in September this year on FHR. My collaboration with John Croft has produced several works for various flutes in various chamber settings, and I am very pleased to have had the chance to record them here. Also, to have worked alongside fantastic musicians such as Alice Purton, Emma Richards, Diego Castro Magaš, Séverine Ballon and Marij van Gorkom in the process.

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Photo from Richard Craig

(rehearsal – Photo S.Saviet).

The end of 2019 has been a productive period for me with the brilliant Riot Ensemble, and concerts of my own music too. As a guest musician, I performed with the Riot in the Dutch festival November Music (featuring works by Rebecca Saunders and Laurence Osborn), and also in HCMF, giving the UK premiere of Ann Cleare‘s work for me: Eyam IV (Pluto’s Farthest Moons) scored for solo contrabass flute and ensemble. The concert, alongside other works by Cleare, was a portrait event, set in the epic surroundings of Huddersfield’s Town Hall (see above). Alongside the HCMF concert and November Music, I stepped in to play with the Riot ensemble again in Liverpool, and more performances with them will happen in March, July and September 2020, playing Ferneyhough, Grisey and Muttendorf (in Liverpool, London and Tel Aviv).

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(Hortulus Animae in Bangor. Photo A. Cooke).

My own compositions had two performances this Winter: one in the opening of an experimental music series in North Wales called SCRATCH, and the other in York, with the Experimental Performance Platform, AMOK. On both occasions I played Hortulus Animae which is my ongoing composition for flute/s and fixed media (2015 – ).

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Finally, this year has had an important CD release (John Croft’s Seirenes), and another is on the horizon. With the Riot Ensemble, I contributed to the final recordings of Patricia Alessandrini‘s portrait disc, which will be released sometime in 2020 on the Huddersfield Contemporary Records label.

 

 

 

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Looking to the Autumn and Winter brings new projects, a CD release, and a chance to highlight other events that have slipped through the net. Writing (as in texts) has taken up a lot of my time in the past months, notwithstanding my PhD submission. Last year, I composed a text for Örat Idétidskrift för experimentell, kritisk och komplex musik. The text ‘Lost: a Pathology’ is featured in the third edition of Örat on the subject of Förlorad Musik (Lost Music), alongside other bekantar from my time in Stockholm, such as Lisa Streich and Krister Lindwall.

 

 

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More of my writing will appear in a forthcoming journal collated by the Orpheus institute’s Performance, Subjectivity and Experimentation Research Cluster, destined for publication in an edited collection by Leuven University Press.

Changes in location are afoot too this Autumn – I will be in based in Scotland for the coming months, while fitting in performances of my own work Hortulus Animae in the Summit series in Manchester and Berlin (Unerhörte Musik). Hortulus Animae is an ongoing composition/art project that encapsulates my time in North Wales, and is a reflection upon the many geological and prehistoric artefacts in the area – the following are extracts from the cycle, recorded by Chiaro Audio.

 

Other concerts include an appearance at HCMF as the soloist in Ann Cleare‘s Eyam VI Pluto’s Farthest Moons with the brilliant Riot Ensemble. Shortly after HCMF, I will play in the Riot’s Amsterdam concert too – the November Music Festival (works by Rebecca Saunders and Laurence Osborn).

Although soon to be based in Glasgow, I have been developing plans for performances in Cymru for some time now, and working with the Dukes of Scuba, we have planned a new experimental music night in Bangor, Wales. More information about that to follow.

Last but not least, John Croft’s monograph disc is now available on FHR, which features several works for flute in various chamber music settings. It is now on general release.

 

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After a productive Summer of performances in Sweden, Spain and the premiere/recording of John Croft’s Seirênesthis Winter includes a trip to Helsinki to work with Mieko Kanno and Alex Harker. Thanks to an ERASMUS+ scholarship I will also be discussing my work in contemporary music at the University for the Arts, Helsinki. There is a return to Alba New Music in October to give a solo concert, and to HCMF with the Grizzana ensemble, to perform new works by Granberg and Frey, recording both compositions for Another Timbre.

Early in 2018, I will be running a workshop on improvisation and electronics as part of the Estalagem da Ponta do Sol Residency – any performers interested in participating should refer to the website linked, and are welcome to write to me for more information. The workshop will be focussed on how electronics shape an improvisation from a compositional perspective. As part of this workshop I will be discussing Rodrigo Constanzo‘s brilliant work with live electronics, and looking forward to working with him again on a new project.

Lastly, plans are afoot to tour Feldman’s Crippled Symmetry in 2018 with Philip Thomas and Damien Harron.

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The Summer period brings the release of new recordings and concerts in Sweden, Spain and London. VALE (2011 – 2017) has been an ongoing project for some years now, and finally ready for release on the métier label. The disc contains world premiere recordings of Barrett, Croft, Pauset, Johnson, Fitch and Järnegard, performed by myself, Distractfold and the soprano Cora Schmeiser. The release date is provisionally the Summer of this year.  Another work which stems from this period is Kristian Ireland’s luminous for solo alto flute. I have performed luminous several times now, and as of April, recorded the work for a release in the near future. I will be performing luminous alongside Ann Cleare’s eyam iii (if it’s living somewhere outside of you) at the Kalv festival, Sweden in August.

In July I will be joining Bertrand Chavarría- Aldrete, Éric-Maria Couturier and Carola Schlueter for the VIPA in Valencia, Spain. And, in August I will be working with Distractfold and Diego Castro Magas, performing new works by John Croft Seirēnes in the Warehouse, London

 

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A list of released discs can be found here, while work in development, live recordings of ensemble performances, my own compositions, and solo concerts can be found at soundcloud.

 


Seirēnes

Summer/Autumn 2019

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World Premiere recordings of composer John Croft‘s chamber music. To be released on FirstHand records in sometime in the Summer/Autumn 2019. I am playing alongside cellist Alice Purton, violist Emma Richards and Diego Castro Magas in the Seirēnes cycle. Other performers on the disc include the cellist Séverine Ballon and bass clarinetist Marij van Gorkom.

 

VALE

July 2017

“Craig owns the works here”

Gramophone Magazine

“The flute is one of the instruments closest to the audible human breath and is caught in the process of continually becoming something other than a metal cylinder. Listening to Richard Craig’s playing, one becomes aware not of the limitations of the flute but of its expansion into a vibrant sonic biosphere. We listen, not just to the flute, but to the flautist; singing, whistling, humming are added to his palette and become integrated with the sound of the instrument”

Linear Note – John Hails

 

new music::new Ireland three

February 2018

 

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Produced and curated by the Contemporary Music Centre of Ireland, my live performance with the RTÉ Orchestra of of Ann Cleare’s Eyam V (woven) with Carol McGonnell was selected to be part of this disc of works by Irish composers.

Early to Late

February 2018

 

 

Recordings with Another Timbre – new compositions by Jürg Frey and Magnus Granberg recorded with the composer and ensemble Grizzana.

 

GRIZZANA

2015

The Jürg Frey portrait disc is now on general release from Another Timbre. The disc was recorded by Ensemble Grizzana consists of Jürg Frey (clarinet), Mira Benjamin (violin), Emma Richards (viola), Philip Thomas (piano), Seth Woods (cello) Ryoko Akama (electronics) and is alongside some other fantastic releases on the Another Timbre label. Extracts can be found here.

 

Amp/Al

August 2013

My experiments with various flutes and amplifiers with volume pedal are finally ready for release. The limited edition disc with specially designed art work will be available here after the 28th of August, as well as a download.

AMP/Al are a series of works that thrive on the constraints of the equipment and the potential of feedback within, across and through the instrument. The disc also contains a new work by Rodrigo Constanzo for feedback snare drum with feedback flute. Thanks to collaborators Rodrigo Constanzo and Angela Guyton who contributed enormously to both the cover art of the disc and the music herein.

The disc was released as part of a Distractfold concert in the IABF on the 29th of August.

 

 

INWARD

July 2011

 

From the initial idea to make this disc (circa 6 years ago) until the last recording in August 2010, it serves as a document of my work during this period and the fruitful contact with composers. The CD is now available to purchase here on the METIER label, as well as major distributers such as iTunes, Amazon and Play.com.

inward was nominated for Scottish Album of the Year 2011

 

Recordings: Almost all of the recordings were made in the Antonin Artaud building of Brunel University, Uxbridge, under the supervision of John Croft from April 2009 until August 2010, with the exception of Inward for flute and percussion, which was recorded by Jamie Fawkus in Capitol, Stockholm, Sweden. The disc also features stellar performances from Karin Hellqvist (violin) and Pontus Langendorf (percussion).

Repertoire: The works span several instruments and styles of composition, all of them having a substantial impact upon my playing and approach to performing new music. INWARD refers to Richard Barrett’s duo for flute and percussion and also points towards toward the musical inclinations of some of the works and their sound world.

PDF of CD Linear notes, composer biographies and pictures- click here

Reviews/Response:

The first essential new music disc of 2011?”

[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.”

18/03/2011 Tim Rutherford-Johnson, an extract from the Rambler.

 


MusikFabrik – Michaels Reise um die Erde

July 2008

 

michaels reise um die erde by Karlheinz Stockhausen was a major project undertaken by MusikFabrik and La Fura dels Baus in 2007/8 performing throughout Europe at Venice Bienalle, Wiener Festwochen and Festival D’automne. Live recordings from our performances in Paris have now been released on CD by the WERGO/MusikFabrik label.

 

 

Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra with Evan Parker

December 2004

The first CD release from The Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra featuring Evan Parker. These live recordings performed at The Einstein, Munich and The Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow are a fine example of large group free improvisation and show the band in its early stages.

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August 2005

 

 

My first recording project with the Avant-Garde Project. The recordings were mastered by Douglas Whates, and then released in 2006. Unedited recordings of Sgothan by James Dillon as well as works by Sciarrino and Ferneyhough

 

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Richard Craig studied flute at the RSAMD (now the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) with Sheena Gordon and later with Richard Blake. After graduating with honours, he continued his studies at the Conservatoire de Strasbourg, France, with Mario Caroli.

Richard has performed with groups such as ELISION, Musikfabrik, Klangforum Wien, The Estonian Radio Choir, the RTÉ Orchestra and Das Experimentalstudio Ensemble, which has taken him to international festivals such as Maerzmusik Berlin, Wittener Tage für Neue Musik, the Venice Biennale, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the Festival D’Automne in Paris and the Lincoln Center Festival New York. Equally active as a soloist, Richard has given recitals throughout the world performing new work and presenting his collaborations, working alongside musicians such as Rohan de Saram and Roberto Fabbriciani. At the centre of Richard’s work in contemporary music is the development of new repertoire for the flute, and he is involved in commissions that expand the role of performer and instrument. As a chamber musician, Richard has performed with Distractfold Ensemble, the winners of the 2014 Kranisteiner prize, and was a member of the Spanish ensemble SMASH. Currently residing in Scotland, Richard is often invited to perform with groups across the UK (including Explore Ensemble, Ensemble Octandre and the Riot Ensemble).

As a lecturer he has given masterclasses and seminars in University Maryland Baltimore, Huddersfield University, St Andrews University, Aberdeen University, the Royal Northern College of Music, the Royal Scottish Conservatoire, Lawrence University Wisconsin, and was appointed as Visiting Fellow in Performance at Aberdeen University 2009-11. From 2012-2014 he was a visiting lecturer on the Post-Graduate performance course at Huddersfield University, and further to this he was appointed as Honorary Research Fellow at the same University 2014 -2019. Between 2015 -2019 he was Head of Performance at Bangor University, Wales.

Richard has recorded for the BBC, WDR Cologne, YLE Finland, Radio France, Radio Nacional de España, Swedish Radio, ARTE, Icelandic RUV, Wergo, FirstHandRecords and Another Timbre. His solo debut disc INWARD was released on the Métier label in 2011 to critical acclaim. His second solo disc with Métier VALE was released in 2017: it included premiere recordings of new works by Esaias Järnegard, Richard Barrett, John Croft, Brice Pauset, Evan Johnson and Fabrice Fitch, with support from Creative Scotland. Other CD releases of note include the composer John Croft’s monograph disc Seirenes in 2019 ( released by FirstHandRecords). Alongside his two solo discs, Richard has performed and participated in recordings with ensembles musikFabrik, Ensemble Octandre, SMASH ensemble, Distractfold ensemble and Grizzana Ensemble. As an improviser he has performed with Barry Guy, the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra and recorded with the group alongside Evan Parker.

As a performer/composer, he has released the disc AMP/AL in collaboration with Rodrigo Constanzo and artist Angela Guyton in 2013.

 

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