Thanks to Ilan Volkov, the director of Tectonics Festival in Tel Aviv, I got to work with two unique performers over the past few weeks: soprano Keren Motseri (who gave the Israeli premiere of You’ll drown, dear) and dancer Yuli Kovbasnian (with whom I explored my new persona as an improviser in a new show that we developed together). Tel Aviv seems to be bursting with creative energy these days, and I’m already looking forward to coming back in the Spring.
Cordelia and I just got back from the second residency for Like flesh - our opera-in-development. This time around we were very fortunate to have cellist Severine Ballon, dancer Vinicius Salles, and bass Jimmy Holliday join our team, which included movement direcotr Joseph Alford, soprano Juliet Fraser, and actress Carolina Valdés. Footage from the open session performance at the Britten Pears Studio coming soon!
Leading up to the premiere on September 9th, Durand just released two short videos documenting my work on Heave over the past few months. They include some beautiful footage from the gardens at Royaumont, as well as footage from recording sessions at IRCAM. Take a look HERE.
For the past year Cordelia Lynn and I have been developing ideas for our joint opera Like flesh. Thanks to support from Snape Maltings and the European Network of Opera Academies (ENOA), we were able to design two residencies to explore some of the core themes in the opera, and to build a dream-team of artists to explore with: movement director Joseph Alford, soprano Juliet Fraser, voice and movement artist Elaine Mitchener, and actress Caroline Valdès. The first residency ended this weekend and it was nothing short of inspiring. The second residency in October will end with a public open session, so keep an eye out!
It was a great honor to be programmed on ManiFeste's "Monologues" concert at the Pompidou Center alongside Franck Bedrossian and Rebecca Saunders. You'll drown, dear (IRCAM Cursus 2017) opened the show, and received a lovely review from Michèle Tosi. Read it HERE.
This weekend Augustin Muller and I were invited to Royaumont to sit on a panel with Jean-Philippe Wurtz, the artistic director of the Voix Nouvelles Festival. We spoke about our new project HEAVE (a Royaumont/IRCAM/Ulysses co-commission), and also had a chance to test the electronics at the Carré Magique - Royaumont's unique "sonic garden" - where the work will be premiered in September. Special thanks to sound engineers Martin Antiphon and Manuel Poletti for enduring many hours in the garden with us on this unusually hot spring weekend!
It's been three years since my last visit to Prague, and five years since I lived there as a Fulbright fellow. What an honor to be invited back, this time by the Prague Spring Festival. The Martinu voices choir sounded great, the audience was warm, the acoustics were perfect... It felt like a real homecoming.
I've spent the past week at IRCAM with computer music designer Augustin Muller. We are taking our first steps towards developing the electronics for our new work for Exaudi. This included a recording session in the anechoic chamber of some very delicate earthy sounds. It also included a special visit from playwright Cordelia Lynn, who had just finished the second half of the text!
Tarr has been performed by a few different ensembles over the past few years, but Switch~ was the first to do it without a conductor. During our days together in Berkeley and San Francisco, I watched them make it their own, with love and sensitivity. It made for a wondrous week.
Last week I took a quick trip from London to Paris to meet with my new publisher Durand. We will be working on my new piece for Exaudi together, and on my new opera Like flesh. I am absolutely thrilled to be joining the Durand-Salabert-Eschig family!
In her review of Festival de Royaumont, Michèle Tosi at ResMusica referred to me as the barefoot composer and compared any bed but one's to Sciarrino. Both are great compliments. Read her review HERE.
I've been hiding at an abbey for the past few weeks, listening to cows and mosquitos late at night, working on a nocturnal piece inspired by Fiona Sampson's beautiful poem Drowned Man. It's been intense and difficult. And also fun and exciting putting it all together with Juliet Fraser, Antoine Maisonhaute and Hélène Colombotti. They will perform it tomorrow in the abbey, at 17h45, just before the bells start ringing, with the sound of rain in the background...
Two years ago, set designer and director Aurélie Lemaignen introduced me to Rilke's play The White Princess. She read this section to me: "tout est le rêve que nous rêvons ; ce qui est court peut alors être long, ce qui est long l’est à n’en plus finir. Et le temps est espace." Time as space, she said, is your music.
A year later, through a commission from the Academie of the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, we began a collaboration with writer Cordelia Lynn on an operatic scene inspired by Rilke's play. It took us on a journey, which Aix documented beautifully in this interview. Yesterday evening, sopranos Jennifer Courcier and Magali Simard Galdes, and percussionist Dorian Selmi gave it a beautiful premiere at the festival.
Pierre Rigaudière at Diapason featured you'll drown, dear in his review of IRCAM's Festival ManiFeste earlier this week. Read it HERE (scroll all the way to the end of the article). My deepest thanks go to the production team at IRCAM for crafting every dimension of this performance in such a detailed and subtle way. This review is as much theirs as it is mine.
6 months in 9 minutes. This is the most collaborative works I have ever created. It wouldn't have been possible without the absolute dedication of Aurélie, Cordelia and Juliette. Even after so many rehearsals, I was moved at the premiere last night, watching and listening to the work we created together.
My composition for the Cursus has been in the works for the past few months, and the team at IRCAM has been documenting the process! Take a look HERE at episode 3 in this series of short video documentaries, where Juliette, Cordelia and I try out the first musical sketches for our composition you'll drown, dear, and receive feedback and advice from the brilliant Hèctor Parra.