L.O.Q.Shun

Yesterday marked the start of a week for premieres including:

He korokoro tūī : a soundscape for a site-specific dance work by Karen Barbour, featuring taonga puoro by Alistair Fraser. This will be premiered at a conference held at Waikato University.

- Flutter and Cut Away the Masts on Saturday at the Otago Museum.

But first, was the premiere of a new vocal piece L.O.Q.Shun premiered on Radio NZ on Sunday afternoon during the Standing Room Only show. It was part of a larger interview about my ongoing work as the Mozart Fellow.

You can check out the full interview here:
http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/remote-player?id=20158331

This piece was developed through discussions with the singer Julia Booth about the work of Alexander Melville Bell on the study of elocution. We started talking about creating a loop-based performance piece in November 2013, and finally ended up in November 2014 with a completed recording of the work!

I had found a book online that he had written called “The Principles of Elocution” from 1887, and based the text of snippets from that book – particularly the second on difficult combinations.
The work is all voices (with reverb and delay effects).
Two vocalists:
soprano – Julia Booth
vocal noises – Jeremy Mayall

Here the work in the audio player below:

Flutter

At the end of November I am presenting a concert at the Otago Museum which will feature the world premiere of two new pieces: Flutter and Cut Away the Masts. This is all being put together as part of my work as the Mozart Fellow at the University of Otago Music Department.

Flutter web image2 600x800px simple

1) Flutter – a multi-sensory, site-specific performance piece including: the feel and smell of the Tropical Rainforest (with hundreds of free-flying butterflies); the sound of brilliant musicians – Julia Booth, Tessa Petersen, Rob Burns, John Egenes, and Feby Idrus (with words by Shoshana Sachi, and technical enhancement by Stephen Stedman and Daniel Buchanan); the sight of the space and performers, as well as video by Dan Inglis and lighting by Martyn Roberts; and taste in the form of tasty morsels that correspond with the musical sections, created by the master baker at the Tart Tin boutique bake house.

2) Cut Away the Masts – a song cycle created in collaboration with 2014 Robert Burns Fellow Majella Cullinane The poems in the songs are inspired by The McIlrath Letters, a series of letters which were written by two brothers, who emigrated from Northern Ireland to New Zealand in 1860, and wrote back to their family there for over fifty years. The songs will be performed by Julia Booth – Singer.

There are two sessions available starting at 8pm and 8:30pm. Tickets cost $35 and include a drink and canapes (the selection of food has been specifically designed for this event and is quite delicious!!).

This performance serves as a gift/celebration of my time as the Mozart Fellow so far, and a public thank you for having me here in Dunedin!

Limited tickets available from the Otago Museum Front Desk.

Concerts, Albums and Scores

The end of last week got kind of manic with a range of projects reaching finishing points.

- sending scores, parts, backing tracks and other performance details for the performers of a new multimedia chamber work “Flutter”.

- submitting full score and parts for a new orchestral piece “convoluted” for the NZSO SOUNZ Recordings in February next year (alas I won’t get to hear it live because I will be in Nepal)

- A fun concert at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery. Audience relaxed on beanbags, a great big reverberant space, acoustic piano drenched in electronics – All good things. Here are a few pics from the concert.

The setup for the concert.

The Grand Foyer space (top floor) in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery

 

PLUS! on the weekend we also released the Scorelocks Collective Album “A Collection of Cues – Vol.1″. It is available on bandcamp now!

Live in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery

I will be performing a live concert of ambient music for piano and electronics at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery on Saturday 25th October.

poster

 

Along with the live performance there will be a number of sonic art installations I have created for you to become immersed in.

Entry by donation to the Himalayan Trust – as part of my fundraising for the Step Higher Award.

Here is a pic of my practice setup for this concert:

image

New Funk Music

As a break between “serious” music projects, I put together a little funk track for fun.

I was inspired by the music of Prince and Nile Rodgers, but presented with my own twist.
Very lucky to have had Nick Granville lay down some tasty guitar for the track. It will eventually have lyrics, but in the meantime it is just a fun funky jam to kick back and listen to.

Tumbling Water

Busily working away on a couple of vocal pieces that will be premiered at the end of November (more on that soon!), and trying to finalise the mix on a compilation album of cues from various film scores by The Scorelocks Collective… to be released very soon.

Meanwhile, here is a cue from the natural history documentary I co-composed some music for with Chris Lam Sam. This piece was to accompany some footage of waterfalls. Powerful and majestic. It was a fun project to work on.

 

Another World Asleep

Have spent the last few days working on the score for a natural history documentary. It has been an interesting experience, capturing the drama and power of nature in musical ways. Very fun. I will share some of that music in the coming weeks!

In the meantime, here is an ambient soundscape piece I created for the Sound and Light show I did in August. This track is essentially a cosmic lullaby. Based on the electromagnetic vibrations of the planets… this track is a perfect soundscape for getting in sync with the universe and finding a quiet moment of meditation in your life.

 

Those Remarkable Peaks

I recently released my new album of music for piano and electronics called Imaginary Communications.

A Dunedin-based filmmaker heard the track ‘Those Remarkable Peaks‘ from that album and decided to make a landscape film with the track.

You can watch the video here:

R. from Merr Leslie on Vimeo.

PhD done + ‘Late Song’ live recording

Monday 22nd September was the day I submitted my PhD. After 4 years and 205 days; many hours of music; multiple thousands of words – I am very pleased to have this thing done… or at least done until the examiners look at it.

Now that I have some extra time on my hands it means I can really get stuck in on a few new projects, and finishing of some older projects… like the live recording of the premiere performance of ‘Late Song’.

hillaryshow

Late Song: was commissioned by the Sir Edmund Hillary Scholarship Programme – a cross-disciplinary multimedia piece to be performed by a range of Hillary Scholars.
The work is based on the poem ‘Late Song’ by Lauris Dorothy Edmond, and the performance was directed by Karen Barbour.
Featuring: Blaire White, Andrew Leathwick, Lauren Grout, Rachel Twyman, Nathaniel Smorti, Anne Mahon, Jonathon Eyres, Niamh Lovelock, Hannah Martin, Megan Harrop, Leah Parkinson, Samantha Rowe, Te Tira O Rangi Nikora, Kaharau Keogh, Hannah West, Cian Gardner.

Here is the mix from the live recording of the premiere performance:

And here is the background visuals (by Hannah West) from the performance synced with the live recording:

 

Mozart Fellow 2015

I am very excited to have been awarded the Mozart Fellowship at Otago University for a second year! This means I will get to spent 2015 engaging in full time creative work. It is an absolute privilege to have received this position. You can read the announcement here: http://www.otago.ac.nz/news/news/otago078803.html

Having another year to focus on composition is an exciting prospect. Here is a collection of most of the work I have created so far this year:

Films:
Flare – with Dan Inglis and Dujon Cullingford
Whakaika Nei - with Louise Potiki Bryant, Rua McCallum and Horomona Horo
Partiality – with Tim Evans
To Darkness – with Chris Lam Sam
Princess Rose and the Rose Flowers and the Other Princesses - with Joe Hitchcock and Chris Lam Sam
Blonde – with Joanna Strange
on a trouvé l’horizon grand – with Ben Woollen and Chris Lam Sam
Penny Black (soundmix) – with Joe Hitchcock
Lapwing (soundmix) – with Joe Hitchcock

Compositions:
Imaginary Communications – a suite for piano and electronics
Whit-woo – for solo bass
convoluted – for orchestra
Infinite possibilities – for various recorded instruments
Late Song – for soprano, chorus, piano, violin, flute, clarinet and backing track
#tinyelephants – a sound art piece
Signature Asymmetry – for percussion and fixed media
Seaward Moments – for bansuri, field recordings and backing track with Adam Page
The Song of Kauri – a musical interpretation of childrens story by Melinda Szymanik
Through the pulsating debris – for four pianos
L.o.q.shun – for voice
Without Contact – soundscape and light with Martyn Roberts
Another World Asleep – soundscape and light with Martyn Roberts
Cosmic Outlaw – with Chris Lam Sam
Suburban Wires – with Chris Lam Sam
Feathered Resonance – soundscape to accompany artwork by Madeleine Child in Wallace Art Awards

Remixes:
John Egenes – Little Bird
John Egenes - Crazy Sons of Bitches
Subject2change – #22
Ed Zuccollo – Marianas Trenchcoat
Nick Granville – Get Lucky

Plus some various production, arrangement and orchestration work for various projects!

And there is a bunch of new stuff to come!! Exciting times ahead.

Here is a sneaky little hint toward a new project for the end of the year!
synth and butterflies

 

Thanks everyone for your support!