This concert presents recent chamber music by composer Alex Hills, much of which is an exploration of Viktor Shklovsky's concept of 'Ostranenie', or art as 'making strange'. The things made strange range from sung versions of Shklovsky's texts to the cello to songs by the Velvet Underground. Two pieces from his major, Shklovsky-based, cycle 'Everything in Life Can be Montaged' frame the concert, which also features work chosen by some of the soloists. Performers include OTO regulars Lucy Railton, Aisha Orazbayeva and Serge Vuile, the French cellist Severine Ballon, pianist Roderick Chadwick and extraordinary soprano Natalie Raybould.
Alex Hills is a composer, pianist and teacher, born in 1974 and based in London.
His music has been played at events such as the events in the UK such as the Cheltenham Festival, the London Sinfonietta State of the Nation Weekend and the Cutting Edge series, at venues ranging from Carnegie Hall and the SouthBank Center to the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and the German SWR, featured on the BBC4 Classic Britannia series and recorded on the American Innova label. Recently he's worked with the US groups Earplay and Either/Or, and a major new work will be given its premiere in London by Plus-Minus in October 2012. He has especially enjoyed developing long-term collaborations with performers, including pianist Roderick Chadwick, singer Natalie Raybould, the violinst Aisha Orazbayeva, and the cellists Lucy Railton and Severine Ballon, all of whom are taking part in a CD project for 2013.
After studies with Michael Finnissy in London and a doctorate at Stanford with Brian Ferneyhough he is now a full-time lecturer at the Royal Academy of Music, where he co-ordinates the analysis and theory programme. He also teaches piano and, rather improbably, writes a monthly review column on rock and pop music for Clash Magazine.