Sunday 10 October 2021, 7.30pm
Apartment House perform the first performance of an epic 60 minute work ‘The Great Liberation Through Hearing’ for amplified just-tuned string quartet and computer-transformed vocal sounds from 1995, by American composer David Dunn. It is constructed entirely from a phonetic analysis of the Tibetan transliteration of the Sanskrit names of the peaceful and wrathful deities described in the sacred Buddhist text known in the West as The Tibetan Book of the Dead, correctly translated as The Great Book of Natural Liberation Through Understanding in the Between. Dark, resonant, liberating and expansive, the work is an extraordinary deep and sonic, meditative journey.
Preceding the work will be a performance of The Text on the Opposite Page by Jackson MacLow, with Elaine Mitchener and Apartment House. MacLow was himself a Buddhist practitioner.
Jackson MacLow The Text on the Opposite Page (1965)
David Dunn ‘The Great Liberation Through Hearing’ (1995) (first performance)
Gordon MacKay, Mira Benjamin violins, Bridget Carey viola, Anton Lukoszevieze cello, Elaine Mitchener voice.
David Dunn is a composer and sound artist. He creates text and sound compositions and environmental installations. He is an expert wildlife recordist and a bioacoustic researcher. His music straddles the world of sound and science. ‘Much of my work attempts to convince others of the diversity of auditory worlds that surround us and the surprising nature of the acoustical mediums through which they pass. I am also interested in establishing a context of relevance for this awareness and in inventing affordable tools for its exploration. Underlying all of this is a polemic that argues for the necessity of an aural art form that positions itself both within a discourse between art and science, and where the non-human living world consequently takes center stage.’
Jackson Mac Low (1922-2004), was a poet and composer who also wrote performance pieces, essays, plays, and radio works (mainly produced at Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Cologne). He was also a painter and multimedia performance artist, often with the poet/visual artist, Anne Tardos and sometimes with Pauline Oliveros and many others. Author of 31 books, his work has also been published in more than 90 anthologies and periodicals and read publicly, exhibited, performed, and broadcast all over the World.
The group, created by cellist Anton Lukoszevieze in 1995, has been captivating audiences with performances of avant-garde and experimental music all over the World, from Moscow to Vancouver and from Barcelona to Vilnius. Recent performances further afield include tours of Russia, Canada and a nine-concert series in Melbourne, Australia.
The ensemble has been a firm fixture on the British concert scene, with regular performances at Café Oto and a recent residency at the Wigmore Hall. Apartment House is the most frequently featured UK ensemble in the history of the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and its 2011 concert of music by John Cage sold out the Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre. The ensemble has made a substantial number of live and studio recordings for BBC Radio 3 as well as live recordings for many European stations including Danish Radio DR, Swedish Radio 2, WDR Cologne, ORTF Austria, Radio France and Deutschlandfunk, Berlin.
Over the past 20 years or so it has championed music by emerging or undeservedly little-known composers and has commissioned over 100 new works. Highlights along the way include Jennifer Walshe’s radical ‘Barbie’ opera XXX_LIVE_NUDE_GIRLS!!!, with performances in six countries, and Saskia Moore’s Dead Symphony, a fusion of social documentary, art, biological science and music on near death experiences. Notable portrait events have featured composers Christian Wolff, Luc Ferrari, Alison Knowles, Christopher Fox, Vitalija Gloivackyte, Laurence Crane, Helmut Oehring, Claudia Molitor, David Behrman, Jobina Tinnemans and Richard Ayres.
Unusually for a new music ensemble, Apartment House is equally at home at classical music venues (Wigmore Hall, Southbank Centre), crossover venues (Cafe Oto), art galleries (Serpentine Galleries, Turner Contemporary, Whitechapel Gallery) and international festivals (HCMF, MaerzMusik, Wien Modern, Ultima, Witten New Music Days), demonstrating its appeal to a wide range of audiences.
Over the years Apartment House has gradually increased its recording output, focusing on key releases by experimental composers such as George Maciunas and Laurence Crane, which received widespread acclaim (‘compellingly beautiful’ The Guardian). The group recently began a long term relationship with the UK label Another Timbre, releasing albums of music by Joseph Kudirka, James Saunders, Chiyoko Slavnics, Linda Catlin Smith and Martin Arnold.
Elaine Mitchener is a contemporary vocalist, movement artist and composer working between the worlds of contemporary new music, experimental jazz / free improvisation and visual arts. She is founder of collective electroacoustic trio The Rolling Calf (with Jason Yarde and Neil Charles) and her sound works are held in a curated collection by George E Lewis at Darmstadt Festival. Recent recordings includes Some Good News – a live album with Hamid Drake, William Parker, Orphy Robinson and Pat Thomas (OTOROKU label) – and a special radio commission for Sons d’Hiver (Paris), and she is one of 50 selected exhibiting artists featured in the British Art Show 9 touring exhibition 21/22 and is a Wigmore Hall Associate Artist.
"Any attempts at categorisation are doomed to fail" – The Wire
"Mitchener is a genre crossing virtuoso" – Financial Times