Tuesday 5 April 2016, 8pm
Ruaidhrí Mannion & Antoine Françoise - Hommage without permission (2016), for piano and electronics (10')
Michael Finnissy - Above Earth's Shadow (1985), for solo violin and ensemble (18’)
Oscar Perks, solo violin
Conducted by Mark Knoop
Cphon (2005), electronics in playback (20’)
Untitled, improvised work for electronics (20’)
Oscar Perks enjoys a varied performing career playing both violin and viola. For two years he has been the second violinist of the Dante Quartet, and also works as an assistant violin teacher at the Yehudi Menuhin School while pursuing an interest in composing and arranging. Perks also leads the Perks Ensemble, a flexible chamber group he co-founded with his brother and sister, Elliott and Ursula. They have performed widely around the UK and have developed a reputation for their energetic and committed performances, playing their own arrangements of other composers alongside the great chamber music classics. They recently collaborated with Shadwell Opera for a critically acclaimed rendition of Philip Glass’ “In the Penal Colony” in the West End.
Michael Finnissy was born in London in 1946. He was a Foundation Scholar at the Royal College of Music, London, where he studied composition with Bernard Stevens and Humphrey Searle, and piano with Edwin Benbow and Ian Lake. Afterwards, he studied in Italy with Roman Vlad. He created the music department of the London School of Contemporary Dance, and has been associated as composer with many British dance companies including London Contemporary Dance Theatre, Ballet Rambert, Strider and Second Stride. He has taught at Dartington Summer School, Winchester College, the junior department of the Royal College of Music and Chelsea College of Art. Finnissy’s epic piano cycle, “The History of Photography in Sound”, the product of several years’ work and lasting over five hours, received its complete première in January 2001 at the hands of Ian Pace. “History”’s fame has been increasing ever since with numerous performances, both of the complete cycle or individual movements, in many countries and by pianists including Nicolas Hodges, Marilyn Nonken, Mark Knoop and Philip Howard. 2006 was the composer’s 60th birthday year, and highlights included ‘The Finnissy Weekend’ – a series of concerts at the BMIC Cutting Edge series, the premiere of “Brighton!”, commissioned by the Brighton Festival and performed by Robert Murray and the Dante String Quartet, and a full performance of “The History of Photography in Sound”.
John Wall “weaves an unprecedented fabric of sound that effectively lays bare the essence of recomposition previously only hinted at by the likes of Oval, John Oswald, Albert Ayler, Nurse With Wound, Pierre Henry, Stockhausen (from ‘Gersang der Juenglinge’ through ‘hymnen’), and even Stock, Hausen and Walkman. Wall invites comparison with David Shea as a composer who works by sampling direct from other musical sources, however, whereas Shea makes a point of dramatising the cultural associations of his samples into collaged cinematic narratives, Wall takes a completely opposite turn, using digital technology to homogenise sonic textures from many sources into a coherent aesthetic. The result is a stunningly complex mix.”–Kenneth Goldsmith