Posts Tagged ‘Sound & Fury’


Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

This is my first autumn back in the real world…and November has an unprecedented 5 gigs in England, including new works by Gavin Bryars at King’s Place and the first London performance of Being Dufay…

October 3

Robert Kirby memorial event

Cecil Sharp House, London

October 15

Sound & Fury live broadcast from Mauerbach ORF 22.00

October 15- 19

Kloster pic
Sound & Fury recordings (Vienna)

Josquin Desprez: Missa Gaudeamus & Missa Sine Nomine

Marbrianus De Orto: Missa Mi mi & Missa L’homme armé

November 3

Dowland Project (Prague)

Strings of Autumn Festival

November 6

Gavin Bryars Ensemble

King’s Place (London)

to include new versions of Madrigals by Gavin Bryars to poems by

Blake Morrison

November 11

A Musicall Banquet (Birmingham) with Ariel Abramovich

Birmingham Early Music Festival

November 18

Being Dufay

The Albany, Lewisham

part of the Sampler Festival

November 24

Roger Marsh 60th birthday concert (York)

to include new works by Ed Jessen and Morag Galloway

November 25

Launch of UYMP Songbook (compiled by John Potter & David Blake)

Birmingham Conservatoire


Saturday, June 19th, 2010

The Dancity Fesival, where Ambrose Field and I present the next Being Dufay  on June 26, is a riot of multi-media events with a siginificant ECM flavour. We were all asked to provide some footballing thoughts, the festival presumably thinking that if you can’t beat them, join them (Ambrose being the Field of play, of course).

These were mine:

“Ho conosciuto mia moglie nel 1966 quindi non potevo a quel tempo interessarmi di calcio.
Nel 1994 la canzone per i mondiali dei ‘Tre Tenori’ era numero 1 in tutto il globo dunque l’album ‘Officium’ dell’Hilliard Ensemble era fermo al Numero 2.
Quest’anno però ‘Being Dufay’ ha avuto un successo inaspettato, come Totò Schillaci in Italia 90…”

(with thanks to Ned for the Schillaci reference…)

We have performances in Germany and Slovakia over the summer, and we will soon be scheduling performances of the new programme (once we’ve thought of a title) for 2011.  Ambrose’ new piece will be a stunning audio experience (the extracts I’ve heard are like nothing I’ve heard before). It still has the old/new agenda, but this time he tributes fifteenth century composers who are tributing their own predecessors.  I’ve always found composers working with other composers’ music very moving (even just thinking about singing the three note ‘Ockghem’ motif in Busnois’ In Hydraulis can bring a lump to the throat), and this album and its associated multi-media event will do that in excelsis.

The Sound & The Fury in Vienna

The Sound & The Fury get together twice a year to record Franco-Flemish polyphony. The line-up varies at top and bottom depending on the music, but normally consists of David Erler (countertenor), Klaus Wenk and me (tenors),Thomas Bauer (bass) – whose idea the whole thing was – and Richard Wistreich (bass).

Kloster MauerbachThe recording project is a collaboration between Bernhard Trebuch of ORF and the artists Markus Muntean & Adi Rosenblum. We’ve made 10 albums to date, all on ORF’s label, and this July we will return to Kloster Mauerbach just outside Vienna to sing more music by Ockeghem and Caron. There will be a live broadcast on ORF at midnight on July 9th (probably including the Ecce Ancilla mass). The eccentric timing is at least an improvement on the last live brooadcast,  when the temperature in the church was minus 12 with all of us wearing all the clothes we had with us and the audience covered in blankets.

It is, of course, a bunch of (mostly) old (-ish) blokes getting together to do the music we love and have been doing for longer than most of us can remember, and our sessions locked away in the monastery (we sleep in the cells) are among the most enjoyable things I do.  There is an added frisson provided by the fact that although we ‘know’ how the music goes, it’s nearly always new material that none of us knew existed, and there’s always lots of it so little time for re-takes. It’s a high-risk process…

Tampere Vocal Music Festival 2011

Details of how to apply for the ensembles and choir competitions have just been announced. You can download entry forms here. Tampere Concert HallThe Tampere Festival is one of the great vocal music weeks of the year anywhere, and I’m delighted to be back chairing the ensemble jury after doing my year as artistic advisor last time. For vocal ensembles the festival means maximum fun, lots of networking and plenty of performance opportunities. Some 30,000 people reckon it’s THE place to be in the second week of July every other year.

Work not in progress…

Liz Haddon and I have postponed what would have been our final ‘work in progress’ session. We’ll be finding interesting places to do similar events once I’ve left the day job at the end of September.

Another leap in the dark

Monday, March 1st, 2010

This is a bit of an experiment – I’ve added WordPress so that I can update the News page but also make it into a blog (largely inspired by my son Ned ). Not quite sure how this will work yet, and it may not even have come out on the right page, but if you fancy helping me out do leave a comment. At the moment I’m just intending to update it more frequently and less formally, but I hope to introduce more polemical stuff from time to time, especially once I leave the day job.

In the meantime I can’t resist raising a cheer for Nicholas Kenyon, who confirmed on the Today programme (Radio 4, Feb 27th) that the historical concept of ‘the composer’s intention’ was dead – very late 20th century, a time when we had very little confidence in our own taste… Say it loud Sir Nick!  – One day academia might listen…

Veljo Tormis in York

Wonderful Tormis concert on the National Day of Estonia – it was fantastic to have the composer here. It was my last concert in the Department and The 24 sang their socks off. Lots of great audience feedback – some thought it the best thing they’d ever heard in the Lyons. If you’re quick you can catch my In Tune ramblings on BBC iPlayer (complete with dodgy moment when Sean Rafferty  asked me to talk about a piece that I was pretty sure he wasn’t about to play).

Being Dufay shot to No 1 (from 93!) on the Amazon ECM chart within a few hours of my emerging from the British Broadcasting Cupboard at Radio York. The power of radio…

Sound and Fury: Caron CD of the Year

Todd McComb has written perceptively about early music recordings for many years. He’s chosen our Caron recording as his CD of the year

The first Obrecht album was a runner up, as several of our albums have been in previous years. We will next meet in July (at Kloster Mauerbach again) .