SERIES | FEATURED ARTISTS
SÉVERINE BALLON is currently working on developing extended techniques for the cello, and their appropriate notation; in addition, her research as an improviser has helped her to extend the sonic and technical resources of her instrument. She has collaborated closely with composers Helmut Lachenmann, Chaya Czernowin and Liza Lim, and has premiered many solo works, including those by Rebecca Saunders, Mauro Lanza and Franck Bedrossian. She is a member of Elision ensemble (Australia) and has worked with ensembles such as Klangforum Wien, musikFabrik, Ensemble Intercontemporain and Ictus. Séverine was a fellow at Harvard University in 2014/15, and in 2016-2017 she was a Visiting Artist at CCRMA/Stanford University. Her solo CD, 'Solitude', was released on Aeon in 2015 to critical acclaim. She composed and performed the original score for the feature-length film 'The Ornithologist' (2016) by João Pedro Rodrigues.
MIRA BENJAMIN is a Canadian violinist, researcher, new-music instigator, and rescue dog enthusiast. She performs new and experimental music, with a special interest in microtonality and tuning practice. She actively commissions music from composers at all stages of their careers, and develops each new work through multiple performances. Current collaborations include new works by James Weeks, Gyrid Nordal Kaldestad, Scott Mc Laughlin, Cobi van Tonder and Taylor Brook. Since 2011, Mira has co-directed NU:NORD, a project-based music and performance network which instigates artistic exchanges and encourages community building between music creators from Canada, Norway & the UK. To date NU:NORD has engaged 79 artists and commissioned 62 new works. Originally from Vancouver, Mira lived for ten years in Montréal, where she was a member of Quatuor Bozzini. Since 2014 she has resided in London, where she regularly performs with ensembles such as Apartment House and Decibel. Mira was the recipient of the 2016 Virginia Parker Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts.
ALBA CABRAL is a Brazilian musician based in London since 2009. She composes, performs and collaborates in several projects including her own Let Drum Beat, an all-female Afro-Brazilian-influenced percussion & vocals band, and Tonzee, a quartet that fuses Brazilian rhythms with pop and rock. She took a Masters Degree in Music Leadership at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and leads workshops on Body-Music, Collective Music Making and Percussion Ensembles in various settings - Institutions, Schools, Community Centres, Universities, Festivals around the UK and abroad. Alba recently won an award for a research trip in Palestine/Israel by Help Musicians UK.
ELEANOR CULLY is an artist based in Huddersfield, UK from Norwich, UK. She composes pieces for instrumentalists and vocalists, makes installation work, and performs her own work and the work of others. Her recent interests lie in the spaces between tiny ideas and experiences and the moments when they join together as forms.
The name NAALA means 'First Daughter'. It comes from a Ghanaian naming ritual, which is intended as a blessing; it means to be a leader, an educator, a guardian and a pioneer. Naala’s sound is an embodiment of these powerful words: layered and multi-sensory, an electronic contemporary landscape built from sounds that have been self recorded, processed and produced. Naala’s songs overflow with the delicate complexities of modern British and African storytelling. A hybrid between electronica and elemental RnB, it's music for sharpening the mind and blurring the senses. London-based, Naala is a multi-instrumentalist, and she likes to incorporate ‘found sounds’ to create dynamic layers forming a fresh new sound. She takes influence from artists such as Joni Mitchell, Bjork, Nina Simone and Grace Jones.
Born in Canada, clarinetist HEATHER ROCHE lives in London. As a soloist and chamber musician she appears regularly at European festivals. She is a founding member of hand werk, and has also played with Musikfabrik (Cologne), mimitabu (Gothenburg), Alisios Camerata (Zagreb), Apartment House (London) and ensemble Proton (Bern). She wrote her doctoral thesis at the University of Huddersfield, where she focused on collaboration between composers and performers. Her blog on writing for the clarinet attracts 90,000 viewers each year. Her debut solo CD, 'Ptelea', is out on HCR/NMC, and her CD featuring the clarinet works of Christopher Fox, 'Headlong', appears on Metier.
ANDREA YOUNG is a Canadian performer and composer specializing in experimental voice and live-electronics. She performs an acoustic, amplified, processed and resynthesized voice, as well as a re-purposed sound-controlling voice enabled through feature extraction and data-driven live electronics. While her work relies on digital innovation, her musical output relies on the integration of her digital interface with analogue and re-purposed electronic media. Andrea is co-director of EXO//ENDO, an international ensemble that pulls from classical, avant-garde, noise, industrial, krautrock and new music, who has premiered works in Canada for Vancouver New Music, Calgary New Works and Open Space New Music, as well as REDCAT in Los Angeles. Andrea studied vocal performance and composition at The University of Victoria (2001), electronic music at The Institute of Sonology, The Hague (2007), and completed a DMA from The California Institute of the Arts, Valencia (2014).
SYMPOSIUM | SPECIAL GUESTS
RYOKO AKAMA is a sound artist/composer/performer, who approaches listening situations that magnify silence, time and space and offer quiet temporal/spatial experiences. Her sound works employ small and fragile objects such as paper balloons and glass bottles, creating tiny occurrences that embody ‘almost nothing’ aesthetics. She composes text events and performs a diversity of alternative scores in collaboration with international artists. She runs melange edition label, amespace and co-edits mumei publishing.
JENNIE GOTTSCHALK writes, composes, talks, listens and transcribes. Experimental music is the most
consistent focus of these actions. Some of the results can be found on soundexpanse.com, jenniegottschalk.com and in Experimental Music since 1970 (Bloomsbury, 2016). She got her doctorate in composition from Northwestern University in 2008 and is based in Boston,
LOUISE GRAY (MARSHALL) writes for The Wire, Musicworks and other publications, covering, since the late 1980s, experimental and contemporary classical music. For the last three years, she has been an AHRC-funded doctoral student at CRiSAP, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, where she has focused on the work of a select group of female experimental musicians as a way of considering their strategic compositional practices as a way of redressing what the composer Annea Lockwood has identified as “the black hole of no info” (Tara Rodgers 2010:2) in respect of the musicological neglect of so much female-originated work. With an academic background that includes psychoanalytic studies, Louise is interested in developing a theory of listening that will extend Pauline Oliveros’s practice of Deep Listening into new sonic articulations.
Soprano JULIET FRASER has a repertoire dominated by the very old and the very new. In new music, she has performed as a guest soloist with Klangforum Wien, Remix Ensemble, ICTUS, Plus-Minus, We Spoke: New Music Company, London Sinfonietta and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra. She co-founded EXAUDI vocal ensemble with composer/conductor James Weeks in 2002, and was Executive Director until 2014; she remains a core member of the group. Juliet has premiered well over 100 works, many of which have been written for her. Recent premieres include Bernhard Lang's The Cold Trip, part 2 at MaerzMusik, Rebecca Saunders's Skin with Klangforum Wien at Donaueschinger Musiktage and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Michael Finnissy's Andersen-Liederkreis with Mark Knoop at Transit Festival 20/21 and Cassandra Miller's modular work Tracery at the Kammer Klang series in London and Klangspuren in Schwaz. Her recording of Feldman's Three Voices was released in 2016 on Hat Hut Records and nominated for a Deutschen Schallplattenkritik prize.
The amazing LIZ POOLE, member of the BBC Singers but also a fiendishly good organiser, burgeoning promoter and fundraiser, baker and maker of tasty morsels and all-round whipper-upper-into-shape(r).