- Rasp: Anselm McDonnell, New Antonine Brass
- Slate Song (from SLATE): David Fennessy, Robinson Panoramic Quartet
- Are you there: Darlene Zarabozo, Emma Lloyd
- Quadripartita: Raymond Deane, Robinson Panoramic Quartet
- Norman Norquoy recalls a mermaid (from SLATE): David Fennessy, Robinson Panoramic Quartet
- The Silence of the Blue Star: Siobhan Dyson, New Antonine Brass
- The way we cupped our hands / and how the water ran through our fingers and down to the sea: Rufus Isabel Elliot, Red Note Ensemble
by Anselm McDonnell
www.anselmguitar.co.uk Performed by the New Antonine Brass
The inspiration for Rasp was an exploration of rough, rasping sounds on brass instruments and juxtaposing these with smoother effects. I had a clear idea in my head of the opening gesture, a descending growl in the trombone, and the material develops out of this moment, often returning to this gesture to launch the piece forward. Commissioned by New Music Dublin and the Royal Irish Academy of Music, this short quintet is the preparatory work for a longer piece for brass band, which will be premiered at New Music Dublin 2022.
(2) Slate Song [6:18]
(5) Norman Norquoy recalls a mermaid [5:04]
by David Fennessy www.universaledition.com/david-fennessy-4082
Performed by the Robinson Panoramic Quartet
I’ve noticed that there is a lot of singing in my pieces recently. The instrumental pieces, I mean. I’m not sure why that is exactly but I know it has something to do with the individual personality of the player onstage expressed through a means other than the highly skilled and honed medium of their instrument. There always seems to be an emotional crux in the music – an ecstatic high where the voice kind of bursts out or an introspective hush where it is all that remains.
The composition of SLATE itself began with singing. I dictated the opening – optimistic, brash, energetic – into a voice memo on my phone while out walking one evening a couple of years ago, before, well, you know. When I finally came back to it this summer, a lot had changed. The piece winds up somewhere very different, although in a way, it’s the same music.
SLATE is in 5 sections, three ‘chorales’ interleaved with two transcriptions, The Dark Eyed Sailor as sung by Norman Norquoy (Flotta, Orkney) during a recollection of an encounter with a mermaid and An Ribhinn Alainn, from the ‘slate’ Isle of Seil.
by Darlene Zarabozo
Performed by Emma Lloyd
This piece is meant to challenge whether or not You are present.
It requires You to be able to listen and to hear Your sound before You arrive at the note; to use Your imagination; and to trust Your instincts.
You must force yourself to think beyond the stage and to question the limits of not only the violin, but Your own as well.
What feels right?
by Raymond Deane www.cmc.ie/composers/raymond-deane
Performed by the Robinson Panoramic Quartet
Composed in Dublin and at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, Annaghmakerrig, between March and July 2014, Quadripartitawas commissioned by Malachy Robinson with funds from The Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon. The gulf between the depths of the double-bass and the heights of the violin, and the dialectic between the individualisation of the 4 instruments and their aspiration to homogeneity provided the main challenges in writing for this combination. The work is partly based on a chorale that only reveals itself towards the end, and partly on a more melodic element that is unrelated to it. These materials engage in a play of attraction and repulsion that remains unresolved. Quadripartita is dedicated to Malachy Robinson and the Panoramic Quartet.
When I started work, I was reading the strange little book Eternity Through the Stars (1872), an “astronomical hypothesis” written by the socialist revolutionary Auguste Blanqui during his imprisonment in the Fort du Taureau, a castle on a rock in the bay of Morlaix, Brittany. It propounds an imagery of infinite repetitions in space and time far more hellish than Nietzsche’s “eternal recurrence”. Freed 7 years later, old and ill, he immediately returned to the work of agitation in defiance of his own fatalistic vision.
The opening of the work, exploiting the gulf between the depths of the double-bass and the heights of the violin, evokes Blanqui imprisoned on his rock and contemplating the stars. Beyond this there is no explicit programme, although I feel that Blanqui’s ghost somehow hovered over the piece.
- The Silence of the Blue Star [7:56]
by Siobhan Dyson www.siobhandyson.com
Performed by the New Antonine Brass
This piece was inspired by the recent disappearance of a blue star.
(7) The way we cupped our hands
and how the water ran through our fingers and down to the sea [12:15]
by Rufus Isabel Elliot https://www.ambf.co.uk/
Performed by Red Note Ensemble
“Hills cupped their hands
And the rain shone over knuckles of rock and dropped to
—George MacKay Brown
Emma Lloyd is an international performer, improviser, composer, and artist. She performs as a soloist and in small ensembles, working often with live electronics, and collaborating regularly with composers. In addition to the modern set-up, she plays a baroque violin and performs both baroque and contemporary music written specifically for this instrument.
As an improviser, Emma’s performance tends to be quiet and intimate in nature, exploring the innate timbral qualities of the violin, and discovering some of the often hidden sounds that can be found with her unique combination of technique and tools.
The New Antonine Brass was formed in 2014 by musicians studying at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Lloyd Griffin, Mark James, Hayley Tonner, Lewis Bettles and Danielle Price make up the group which is the standard brass quintet format of two trumpets, french horn, trombone and tuba.
As a group they have enjoyed many highs, most recently performing at the Usher Hall in Edinburgh as part of the Emerging Artists concert series and giving recitals and workshops as part of the Loch Shiel Festival in the Highlands of Scotland. Other memorable moments include performing James Macmillan’s ‘Exsultet’, with him in the audience at the AEC conference hosted in Glasgow and giving a highly commended performance in the David James Chamber Music Competition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. The quintet also holds affiliations with the prestigious Gleneagles Hotel, and with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, where they are involved with coaching and have performed promotional concerts.
New Antonine Brass are proud to work alongside Live Music Now Scotland. This partnership allows the group to travel country performing recitals and workshops in schools, care homes and in areas that would not usually have access to music. Outside the quintet all the players regularly freelance with orchestras such as Scottish Ballet, Scottish Opera, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Manchester Camerata and the Ulster Orchestra.
The diversity of the group’s engagements stem from covering a broad range of genres such as classical, contemporary, jazz, Scottish traditional and pop, including many of their own arrangements.
Since its formation Red Note Ensemble has taken up a leadership position as Scotland’s contemporary music ensemble, performing and developing an extensive, highly-varied and critically-acclaimed programme of new music to the highest standards, and taking new music out to audiences across Scotland and internationally.
Red Note performs the established classics of contemporary music, commissions new music, develops the work of new and emerging composers and performers from Scotland and around the world, and finds new spaces and new ways of performing contemporary music to attract new audiences. Within Scotland the ensemble has performed from the Outer Hebrides to the Borders in concert halls, bothies, pubs, clubs and aircraft hangars, amongst other unusual settings. Outwith the UK it has a growing international reputation, performing to great acclaim at festivals in France, Germany, Belgium, Holland and Australia in recent years. The ensemble also undertakes an extensive programme of Access, Engagement and Participation (AEP) work, focusing particularly upon working with younger and older people, people with multiple disabilities, people living in areas of multiple deprivation, and also working to address inequalities of access and representation due to race/ethnicity and gender imbalances. We also undertake an extensive performer and composer development programme within schools, universities and conservatoires nationally and internationally.
The Robinson Panoramic Quartet : Anita Vedres violin, Robin Panter viola, Kate Ellis cello, and Malachy Robinson bass
This grouping is definitely not just like a standard quartet with a few extra low notes: the shift in roles for viola and cello changes everything, and the double-bass adds a wealth of potential textures and timbres. Having four distinct voices rather than two identical ones at the top invites the composer to explore four identities and also facilitates greater overall equality because no instrument has timbral dominance. The range of the violin extends far beyond the upper limit of the human voice and the extension to the lower range afforded by the double bass seems an entirely logical balance.
This pioneering group explores the possibilities of an alternative to the conventional string quartet in which both tonal palette and range are extended. Composers have reacted very enthusiastically and we have already built a significant repertoire for Panoramic String Quartet. Audiences have been delighted by this revelation in string chamber music, and excited by the dynamic and rapport of the ensemble.
RPQ were ensemble-in-residence for Kaleidoscope Night 2014, resident tutors for Music Generation Carlow‘s Outstanding Young Musician programme 2014-15 and resident ensemble for the Irish Composition Summer School 2016.
The RPQ in association with Kaleidoscope Night received Arts Council funding to commission a significant new work from Raymond Deane, Quadripartita, which was delivered at Kaleidoscope on the 3rd December 2014. This was the final of four premieres commissioned by us and performed during our 2014 residency.
Recorded live between January and December 2022 in Daygate, Glasgow, and Summerhall, Edinburgh
Recording Engineers: Timothy Cooper & Matthew Whiteside
Mixed and Mastered: Timothy Cooper
Produced: Matthew Whiteside & Timothy Cooper
Executive Producer: Matthew Whiteside
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℗ 2023 The Night With…
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TNW Music is the record label for The Night With… (SC048739)