split attention
split attention

The video of NTNU Sinfonietta’s performance of you are required to split your attention between different sources of information is now up on their website here, or you can watch it directly on Vimeo here. Thanks again to everyone for playing the piece!

NO CONCERT
NO CONCERT

We just screened a Parkinson Saunders online video streaming performance thing for here.here, hosted by Iklecktik. Emmanuelle Waeckerle and Harry Whalley at here.here (a project out of UCA) invited us to do a live show, but we ended up making a set comprising new video pieces (Tim) and video realisations of performances (me). We made […]

Parkinson Saunders at here.here and Iklecktik
Parkinson Saunders at here.here and Iklecktik

We’ve just about finished sorting out our show for the here.here event hosted by Iklecktik next week. It’s a 30 minute set of video pieces we’ve been developing over the past couple of months, involving the normal mix of speaking and moving things about on tables, but there are a few new skills we’re deploying […]

split attention in Trondheim
split attention in Trondheim

This week saw the second performance of the piece I wrote for the Arditti Quartet and Ensemble Modern in 2018 for Wien Modern. I’ve been working online with Michael Duch and musicians at NTNU in Trondheim in preparation for the performance at Only Connect, Ny Musikk’s new music festival. The piece, you are required to […]

Time’s Arrow play some pieces
Time’s Arrow play some pieces

Rodney Lister’s ensemble Time’s Arrow at Boston University have been working on online versions of some of my pieces recently and have made the videos available as below. There are some versions of people do things apart from last year, as well as some ensemble versions of my sequence studies. Great in particular to see […]

lots of stuff
lots of stuff

I’ve been doing a few updates to the site this week, mainly making sure all of the pages for my pieces are up to date. On all the composition pages there is a recording or video where I have them and images of the score (which can also be downloaded from the scores page, although […]

routine and keeping going
routine and keeping going

I’m reading Mason Currey’s excellent Daily Rituals: How Artists Work at the moment, and have just changed my daily routine as a result. The book is endlessly fascinating, examining the range of approaches writers, musicians, artists, and others use to get through the day having accomplished something. It’s pretty reassuring as everyone has a different […]

stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before
stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before

The video we made of Paul Whitty’s stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before is now available on the audiograft website after its screening tonight (video is also below). The piece involves working through repertoire that forms the performance history of the instruments being played, using a number of different reading […]

The Assembled do things apart
The Assembled do things apart

I’m very excited to be joining The Assembled on Monday 15 March for their streaming performance which includes my piece from last year, people do things apart. The performance is on Zoom starting at 6pm GMT and includes pieces by Pauline Oliveros and Morton Feldman. The Assembled are based at University of York and are […]

design
design

Yesterday we started a new topic in our postgrad composition seminar at Bath Spa, focusing on design. This has started me thinking about some aspects of my working methods and practice more widely. Matt Sergeant opened up some really amazing ideas about the nature of design and how we might apply it to what we […]

open scores lab online
open scores lab online

After sorting out my website, I’ve also finally made an update to the Open Scores Lab pages to reflect what’s going on at the moment with the group. We’ve had a slight change over the past year, with the previous Wednesday sessions turning into more of a weekly visiting composer talk, some of whom are […]

two things online.
two things online.

I’m dropping in on a performance by The Assembled from York on Monday 22 March as part of their streamed performance. As well as pieces by Pauline Oliveros and Morton Feldman, they will be playing my piece from last year, people do things apart which was written for an online video call. It’s with a […]

I changed my website.
I changed my website.

I just made a big theme change to my site, which took a little longer than anticipated. I nearly switched over to Squarespace, but in the end found it was possible to make pretty much the same thing in WordPress for a lot less cash and keep the amazing tech support from my host krystal.co.uk […]

interview for neue musik leben
interview for neue musik leben

A couple of weeks ago Irene Kulka interviewed me for her podcast Neue Musik Leben, and the episode is now out. It is a slightly more chatty interview and wider ranging than just talking about pieces, which was fun to do. Thanks to Irene for a lovely chat. It’s part of a really great series, […]

things to do at a distance
things to do at a distance

Well I finally made a lockdown piece. After all the seminars, tutorials, and meetings I’ve been involved with, it seemed like a good idea to make a version of things to do which uses video chat as a medium. So last week we recorded people do things apart. I was really pleased to get together […]

Distance learning
Distance learning

I’ve been making a new series of pieces with Tim over the past month or so which play with remembering sequences of actions in different ways. The series is called sequence studies and there are five to start with. They all have sequences of instructions read by artificial voices, and we respond once each sequence […]

Tectonics piece on iPlayer for a bit
Tectonics piece on iPlayer for a bit

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra have made a lot of their Tectonics archive available on iPlayer for a few weeks. The piece I wrote in 2017 for Parkinson Saunders with the orchestra, alternate between attention and ease, is now available to view. Lots of other amazing stuff there too! Really great to see all this archival […]

new videos
new videos

Tim and I have been making some new videos over the past couple of weeks. We started by making versions of two pieces we have played a lot live: Tim’s two cardboard boxes and Alvin Lucier’s Opera with Objects. Both work well as unsynchronised independent recordings, and we just edited them together. We also raided […]

Spring cleaning
Spring cleaning

I’ve spent the last couple of days doing a little tidying up of online things that I have some sense of control over. So this includes: Updating my main website and sorting out some things that needed reformatting. So there is now a videos page that brings together all the videos I have of my […]

Hausmusik Kollektiv
Hausmusik Kollektiv

I’ve just added a piece to Claudia Molitor’s Hausmusik Kollektiv, a collection of scores designed for home use. My piece is new(ish), and titled evolution occurs slowly or not at all. It stems from an exercise we did in the MA class at Bath Spa at the end of last year. It presents a collection […]

We made a Parkinson Saunders site.
We made a Parkinson Saunders site.

It’s just a few videos for the moment, but after making a Parkinson Saunders site that we never updated a few years ago, we decided to make a new one on tumblr. We’ve just started making some videos of pieces where we record each part independently, starting with Tim’s two cardboard boxes, so will put […]

paper opening
paper opening

Caitlin Rowley sent me this lovely picture of the remnants of with paper which she performed today with Vassilis Chatzimakris, Oogoo Maia and Robert Luzar at the opening of out new Locksbrook Campus. Really pleased it was played there as the link between the sonic and material aspects of the piece seemed fitting.

A little bit of Parkinson Saunders
A little bit of Parkinson Saunders

Tim and I are doing a set at Audiograft in Oxford on Friday 20 March. We’ll be doing two new pieces, one by each of us, and a new piece by Paul Whitty. My piece is called conversation with activities, and involves us having a chat while doing a lot of other things which distract […]

new performance of radius of action
new performance of radius of action

Loren Chasse, Matt Hannafin, and Branic Howard recently made a new realisation and recording of the range of outside factors influencing it, as well as its own radius of action at the Portland Garment Factory. Their recording includes traces of the previous performances from a river bank in Devon, a bar in Berlin, and my […]

new score design
new score design

I get slightly obsessed with fonts for specific projects or groups of pieces and then use them for all the scores I make in a series. Over the past couple of months I’ve been playing around with some new layouts and am now gradually converting some of my shorter text scores to this new format. […]

Inventory of Behaviours at Tate Modern
Inventory of Behaviours at Tate Modern

Last week I took part in the second run of Natasha Kidd and Jo Addison’s Inventory of Behaviours project at Tate Modern. They’ve been collecting a lot of statements from artists about their studio behaviours and reframing them as instructions in different ways. In the event, visitors and participants realise the instructions in an artlab […]

#[unassigned] recordings available
#[unassigned] recordings available

A year or so ago I added a few old recordings of #[unassigned] to bandcamp, mostly the first few versions from 2000-2001. I’ve just started updating this collection and there’s a new album of versions from 2002 available now. I don’t have recordings of every version unfortunately, but have added as many as I can […]

with paper
with paper

Here are some photos of the installation if with paper in Iceland in an exhibition curated by Thrainn Hjalmarsson. There’s a great video summary below, and a review of the exhibition here. The catalogue for the exhibition is also available here. It was great to be part of the show, and thanks to Thrainn for […]

no videos, again
no videos, again

So all my videos hosted on Vimeo have been removed as someone at work has uploaded stuff with copyright material and they’ve cancelled the account. Excellent. So I am now downloading everything, uploading to YouTube, and then rebuilding all the links on the website. That’s why none of the videos are there. It might take […]

some things to do in Berlin
some things to do in Berlin

I’m off to Berlin in March for a few days as part of KNM Berlin’s Contemporaries series, which features work by an interesting selection of composers including Joanna Bailie, Stefan Prins, and Martin Hiendl. The festival is based at Uferstudios and KMN will play the piece I made for them from my things to do […]

with paper in Iceland
with paper in Iceland

My piece with paper is being exhibited at the Hafnarborg Centre of Culture and Fine Art from 26 January to 3 March as part of their Phonemes exhibition. A selection of pages will be made available for visitors to play with as they walk around the gallery, with clipboards to aid portability. I’ve made bilingual versions […]

video from Leuven
video from Leuven

Here is the video of the Transit performance of it is impossible for everyone to achieve everything they want, played by the students from the Nadar Ensemble Summer Academy for whom it was commissioned. The piece plays with the influence of individuals over a group, and the problems of managing control when decision-making opportunities are […]

video from Wien
video from Wien

The piece I wrote for Arditti Quartet and Ensemble Modern was played at Wien Modern in November, and broadcast on Austrian radio. I made a video of the performance, albeit from a long way back in the Konzerthaus. This is a short extract which I’m allowed to post. It’s from the middle of the piece […]

revue & corrigée interview
revue & corrigée interview

The French new music magazine revue & corrigée have an interview with me this month by Alphonsine Houëves, which we did by Skype earlier in the year. My French is very bad, so I’m trying to read through and work out what I said. I know how my daughter feels having just done her GCSE mocks. The […]

Parkinson Saunders, with one double bass
Parkinson Saunders, with one double bass

Here’s the video from the Nonfiguartiv Musikk performance (this is a noise music series, in a library), played by Parkinson Saunders with Michael Duch. The pieces are: Louis d’Heudieres: Laughter Studies 3 James Saunders: reaching an acceptable and stable solution Luke Nickel: String Trio No.1 Tim Parkinson: House of Common

Parkinson Saunders, with seven double basses
Parkinson Saunders, with seven double basses

This is the video from the Trondheim performance at Avant Garden, where we were joined by Michael Duch’s colleagues and bass students from Trondheim Music Academy. This is probably the best backing band ever. The video starts with parallel performances of my piece overlay (1) / overlay (2) for double basses and bass drums. You might […]

some Norwegian experiences
some Norwegian experiences

Parkinson Saunders had a great time in Norway with Michael Duch, and it was really lovely to work with so many brilliant people and at some unusual venues. From the Borealis Listening Club in a torrential downpour to the Sund Folkfolkehøgskole afternoon class for jazz students, via concerts at Ny Musikk, Avant Garden, and Nonfigurativ, we […]

things to do at Being Human
things to do at Being Human

On Saturday 24 November The House of Bedlam are playing three of my things to do pieces at the Being Human festival at the RNCM in Manchester. The group are playing a series of concerts throughout the day at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm, each including a different piece from the series. Alongside this there is an exhibition, […]

A tour of Norway with Duch Parkinson Saunders
A tour of Norway with Duch Parkinson Saunders

Next week Tim and I head off to Norway for a five date tour with Michael Duch. This is I think the third trio project we’ve done, following a couple of previous things as Lukoszevieze Parkinson Saunders and Lely Parkinson Saunders. Although Duch Parkinson Saunders makes us sound like minor nobility. We’re playing at Borealis […]

On the beach in Suffolk
On the beach in Suffolk

Summer update part three: I had a lovely time working as a tutor on the CAPPA course at Snape Maltings directed by Larry Goves. Although Tim and I dropped in only right at the end when the composers were busy finishing off pieces, it was fantastic to work with them where we could. Tim and […]

Nadar Summer Academy
Nadar Summer Academy

Second update from the summer: I was at the Nadar Summer Academy in Sint Niklaas to work with the students on a new piece commissioned by Transit Festival and Matrix New Music for Nadar. The academy is an amazing week of intensive work with the students, who are aged between 14-21. We stayed in a […]

on tour in Norway
on tour in Norway

We’re just gearing up for a Parkinson Saunders tour of Norway with Michael Duch at the end of October. We’ll be playing in Bergen (30/10), Trondheim (31/10), Inderøy (1/11), Oslo (2/11) and Tønsberg (3/11). The programme will be a mix of Parkinson Saunders duos, solos by Michael, and trios for all of us. We’ll probably do […]

new piece for wind orchestra
new piece for wind orchestra

I’m heading out to Heidenheim on 1 July for the first performance of a piece written for the youth wind orchestra from the Musikschule Heidenheim. This was a commission from Netzwerk Neue Musik through the 2017 ad libitum prize and is one of four pieces being played by groups from the school. I’ve been watching […]

Recent scores available to download
Recent scores available to download

I’ve just added a load of pieces from the last couple of years to the scores page, including the pieces for Tectonics and Donaueschingen. These are free to download, and if you want to perform any of them just let me know.

Group Behaviours talk at Sound and Participation
Group Behaviours talk at Sound and Participation

In February I took part in the Sound and Participation seminar in Gent, organised by Q-O2, Ictus, and hosted at Kask & Conservatorium School of Arts Gent, supported by the Interfaces project (Creative Europe). I’ve been giving variations of this talk over the past few months, and the video of the Gent version is below […]

Here’s the video of the Ictus Ensemble concert at Donaueschingen Musiktage from Saturday, which included my piece know that your actions reflect within the group. The programme also includes pieces by Francesca Verunelli, Hanna Eimermacher and Martin Schüttler. The recording is from the third performance as some of the concerts were repeated multiple times to enable […]

Table layouts
Table layouts

I’ve been working on the setup for my Donaueschingen piece with Tom Pauwels from Ictus Ensemble this week. The piece is for eight instrumentalists, each with a table of auxiliary instruments and an iPad playing back samples through a local speaker. We’re working on the logistics, so Tom has mocked up this plan. I really […]

New piece for Arditti Quartet and Ensemble Modern
New piece for Arditti Quartet and Ensemble Modern

I’m about to start working on a new piece for Arditti Quartet and Ensemble Modern commissioned by Wien Modern for 2018. The festival theme is security, and the piece is going to explore social relationships between two unequal groups as a mechanism for generating the music. I am seriously excited about this project, especially as […]

sometimes we do what you say, but occasionally we don’t
sometimes we do what you say, but occasionally we don’t

Here are two videos of the latest piece in my things to do series, sometimes we do what you say, but occasionally we don’t. The piece uses the normal cueing system but the cues are given by audience members who step up to microphones to direct the ensemble. The first performance was by Grand Orchestre de Muzzix […]

Donaueschingen piece nearly complete
Donaueschingen piece nearly complete

I’ve nearly sorted out my piece for Ictus for this year’s Donaueschinger Musiktage after a few months of failing to make decisions. That is, of course, the fun part though. The piece continues the use of samples and words as cues that I began in like you and like you, and my recent orchestra piece alternate between […]

marking up parts
marking up parts

The instrumental parts for my orchestra piece arrived in the post this week, having been sent back after Tectonics by the BBC Music Library. As I tell all my students, look at what the players write on your parts as it will tell you a lot about what they need to know. Mostly, in this […]

alternate between attention and ease
alternate between attention and ease

We had a great rehearsal yesterday with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Ilan Volkov. It was a long trip (Parkinson 398 miles, Saunders 374 miles) and an early start, but great to get the piece sorted with the orchestra, who were lovely to work with and very patient. I was really pleased with how […]

all voices are heard
all voices are heard

Here’s a video of all voices are heard being played by Material and OUT-TAKE Ensemble in Bath at the Ludo2017 conference last week. We chose to do it with words and objects for the first time, and it’s a format that I really like. The words were chosen by random and grouped into arbitrary sets for […]

a piece for orchestra and Parkinson Saunders
a piece for orchestra and Parkinson Saunders

My new orchestra piece for Tectonics is done. It’s called alternate between attention and ease and will be performed by me and Tim Parkinson with Ilan Volkov and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in this year’s festival on 7 May. There will be speaking, sound effects, noises and lots of major and minor chords.

no videos
no videos

All the Vimeo videos of my work are currently unavailable as we are just reworking our institutional subscription at Bath Spa. They should be back soon I hope.

do the best you can
do the best you can

I’ve been thinking more about games over the past week as I’m working through Mary Flanagan’s Critical Play, and trying to finish my orchestra piece. The thing which draws me to games as a basis for music (apart from the fact they are fun) is the sense of purpose they present. The last couple of posts […]

end condition
end condition

Since beginning to tag my pieces, I’ve been looking at which of them might qualify as games. Perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s very few: only three. Although I’ve been investigating games a lot over the past year, I’ve not really translated some of the core requirements for the pieces to fit any of the common definitions. I […]

series, groups, tags?
series, groups, tags?

I like to categorise and organise things. I like groups of related items, and looking at the features that they have in common and those that distinguish them. For me, this is a useful creative strategy. When applying it to pieces, it helps me think about what I’ve already done, and what a small change […]

finding word associations
finding word associations

I’m trying to find a satisfying set of words and sounds to use as cues for my orchestra piece at the moment. Each cue needs to be the name of something that makes or describes a sound, and then I also need a sample for each sound. For the past month I’ve been thinking through […]

no mapping in Glissando
no mapping in Glissando

Polish journal Glissando has just printed a translation of the short text no mapping that I wrote for MusikTexte this year. It’s part of an issue exploring conceptualism and appears alongside Jennifer Walshe’s text on New Discipline and Matthew Shlomowitz’s on automata from the original volume, as well as texts by Volker Straebel and Harry Lehmann.

values and motivation
values and motivation

I’ve been reading Mary Flanagan and Helen Nissenbaum’s Values at Play as I’m exploring the ways in which theory developed through game studies might be applied to music. At the moment my interest is in how games can provide motivation for players as this is not always explicit in music. Of course there is a kind of […]

surfaces in Buffalo
surfaces in Buffalo

Colin Tucker has posted some documentation of the realisation of surfaces that he organised in May, as part of his null point series in Buffalo’s Echo Art Fair. It was performed at the Buffalo Gear and Axle Plant, with all the sounds being drawn from the floor of this decaying industrial space. The performers were Bob Fullex, Ethan Hayden, […]

constant interchange of the most various kinds
constant interchange of the most various kinds

The piece I wrote for CoMA’s Partsong Book was performed in the summer at the CoMA Summer School by participants in the course. The piece is for a small ensemble of at least three players, each of whom has six sound sources: a field recording played back through headphones laid on the table, a spoken […]

Open Scores Lab
Open Scores Lab

The new research group I’ve initiated at Bath Spa University meets for the first time on Wednesday 7 October. Open Scores Lab brings together creative practitioners and researchers in a range of disciplines including composition, improvisation, visual art, performance art, graphic design, and creative computing. We’ll be looking at approaches to score making and giving […]

New piece for Donaueschingen 2017
New piece for Donaueschingen 2017

I’m just beginning to work on a new piece for Ictus Ensemble, commissioned by Donaueschingen for performance at the 2017 festival. I’m at the early stages at the moment, but it will involve group decision making in a medium size ensemble of about 10 players, using a combination of instruments and other materials. Lots to do.

Experimental music since 1970
Experimental music since 1970

I’ve just finished Jennie Gottschalk’s Experimental Music since 1970, recently published by Bloomsbury. It’s a really useful book, with a ton of information about many practitioners, a lot of whom I know, and many I’ve not come across. It’s difficult to take in the wealth of detail at first reading as there is so much music […]

840 on tour
840 on tour

Alex Nikiporenko and Nick Peters’ 840 series will be on tour in September, playing in Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol. Joined by violinist Ruben Zilberstein, the programme includes the piece I wrote for the London performance, in which one thing depends on another. The programme also includes pieces by Alex, Nick, Jennifer Walshe, Laurie Tompkins, Michael Baldwin, Vitalija Glovackyte, […]

new piece for CoMA
new piece for CoMA

I’ve just finished a new piece commissioned by James Weeks and CoMA for the CoMA Partsong Book. It’s the first time I’ve made a piece directly for CoMA, and am looking forward to hearing how it goes this year. It’s a group behaviour piece, and the title – constant interchange of the most various kinds – is drawn […]

lots to do, slowly
lots to do, slowly

Daniil Pilchen and Alexey Zaitsev performed lots and lot for us to do at Sound Museum, St Petersburg on 24 July in what is one of the most extreme versions of the things to do pieces so far. Their very measured performance takes a totally different approach to the more frantic and pressured performances that have taken […]

Darmstadt Aural Documents
Darmstadt Aural Documents

IMD and NEOS have just released the fourth edition of their Darmstadt Aural Documents series. Volume 4 focuses on music for piano performed at the Ferienkurse from the 1950s to the present, and includes my piece #070702 performed by Nic Hodges. The piece is for piano with ebows, and I slightly misjudged the need for […]

new orchestra piece
new orchestra piece

I’m working on a new piece for BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at the moment for next year’s Tectonics festival in Glasgow, curated by Ilan Volkov. It will be played at the festival in May, and I’m currently thinking about ways to organise large groups of people. Most of the pieces I’ve made over the past […]

Parkinson Saunders in the studio
Parkinson Saunders in the studio

Well we survived our live radio experience on Drivetime Underground yesterday and had a lovely time with Neil and Joseph the engineer. It’s quite a tight space in the Resonance FM studio, and it’s the first time in a while we’ve crammed everything onto one table, but it just about fit. Quite a lot ended […]

Parkinson Saunders on Resonance FM
Parkinson Saunders on Resonance FM

This Saturday Tim and I are guests on Neil Luck’s Drivetime Underground show on Resonance FM. We’ll be playing some of Tim’s songs, and answering questions. I think. The lineup for the whole series is great, and I’m just about to listen to episodes one and two, which included Lore Lixenberg, Adam de la Cour, and […]

no mapping
no mapping

MusikTexte have just published my short statement on mapping in their latest issue. It is part of a group of texts requested by Jennifer Walshe that deal with physical, theatrical and visual elements in recent music. My text is a response to some recent work which maps data to pitch and duration (mostly), or visual […]

Basel Parkinson Saunders
Basel Parkinson Saunders

Tim and I are playing in Basel on Saturday 14 May at Christoph Schiller’s atelier concert series. Very excited to be doing Tim’s Opus 1 from Time with People again, as well as the pieces John White and Matteo Fargion wrote for use a couple of years ago. Alongside these pieces we’re doing Louis d’Heudieres’ excellent […]

reassigned #1 performed at ddmmyy
reassigned #1 performed at ddmmyy

Last week my new piece reassigned #1 was performed at the first ddmmyy series event in London, 210416|JS#r1|Ltpor/bot|TPsfm|JW/ajftggb|JSripcm2016|JFcm2 (and that seems to have messed up WordPress formatting). I was extremely disappointed not to be able to make it but logistics my end made it impossible. The performance sounds great though, and everyone did a very good job, […]

they are always different, they are always the same
they are always different, they are always the same

On Friday my new piece they are always different, they are always the same was performed in Bagnolet, Paris, by children from Ecole Paul-Langevin directed by Thierry Madiot. The piece was commissioned by Lutherie Urbaine  and Conservatoire de Musique Erik Satie as part of their ongoing work with local schools. It’s an amazing initiative: they work with […]

interview in Tempo
interview in Tempo

Tempo have just published the extended remix of the interview I did with Dominic Lash recently. The original interview took place at Dom’s house in Bristol in May 2015 and was published on the another timbre website to coincide with the release of the recording of assigned #15. We picked up where we left off a […]

people making sounds in California
people making sounds in California

Charlie Sdraulig has just sent me the video of his duo with Weston Olencki, people making sounds, performing lots and lots for us to do a couple of times in February. The performances were at CCRMA at Stanford and Center for New Music in San Francisco. This is the second time the piece has been performed, […]

documenting #[unassigned]
documenting #[unassigned]

I made a post over Christmas that begins to think think through the #[unassigned] project that I worked on from 2000-2009. I wanted to go back over my notebooks, sketches, scores and recordings to piece together how I made the different versions. So I started with #051000, which is the first proper version of #[unassigned] and […]

interview for ddmmyy
interview for ddmmyy

Jack Sheen interviewed me on Monday in advance of the ddmmyy performance of a new piece, reassigned #1, in his series on 21 April. I was a little groggy with a cold, but it doesn’t [sniffs] come across in the text [splutters]. You can read the interview here

we gradually have more things to do and fewer things to say
we gradually have more things to do and fewer things to say

Here is the final piece from Decontamination 6 at RNCM last week. Distractfold are joined by The House of Bedlam and RNCM Electric Experimental Ensemble for the first performance of we gradually have more things to do and fewer things to say. As Larry Goves noted, it’s a bit like bingo. Thanks to Larry and Mauricio […]

all voices are heard (with pitches)
all voices are heard (with pitches)

This is the video of the first performance of all voices are heard using pitches. I’ve copied the video of the original performance with word lists as a comparison. There are some striking differences in the way that the phrases coalesce.

in which one thing depends on another again
in which one thing depends on another again

And here’s the performance by Rocío Bolaños and Linda Jankowska from Distractfold at Decontamination 6 at the RNCM on 8 March. More information in this post.

in which one thing depends on another
in which one thing depends on another

Here’s the video of Nicholas Peters and Ruben Zilberstein performing my new piece in which one thing depends on another for the first time at 840 in London last week. I’ve written about this and Distractfold’s version a couple of days later in this post.

word sound
word sound

Raphael Smarzoch has just made a programme for SWR2 Now Music on verbal notation to which I contributed. It includes lots of scores – interesting to hear them read out loud – and excerpts from realisations. I’m one of the commentators, along with Joseph Kudirka, Nomi Epstein, Pauline Oliveros and Ross Parfitt, and there’s a […]

some new pieces you can go and listen to
some new pieces you can go and listen to

I’ve got a few performances coming up over the next few weeks, including some new pieces. Last week Weston Olencki and Charlie Sdraulig’s new duo people making sounds played lots and lots for us to do a couple of times in California. In March in which one thing depends on another is being played by Ruben Zilberstein and Alex […]

overlay (with transience) available for download
overlay (with transience) available for download

Luke Nickel has spent the past couple of months making a realisation of my piece overlay (with transience). The piece asks the performer to make a specified number of sounds throughout a 15-minute duration. The performer makes many additional recordings over a period of months, each time attempting to match what was played the first time, but without […]

assigned #9 performed in Helsinki
assigned #9 performed in Helsinki

Here’s a video of UMUU performing assigned #9 in Helsinki last week (on my birthday!). This is one of the older versions of #[unassigned] I’ve made available for re-performance in my assigned series. Originally this was made for ensemble recherche and performed at their 20th birthday celebrations in Freiburg in 2005. The performance last week uses my original dictaphones, which are […]

portrait in Neue Zeitschrift für Musik
portrait in Neue Zeitschrift für Musik

Stefan Drees has written a short portrait article about my recent work in Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. The article includes views on work by me, Luke Bedford and Stephen Daverson as part of the issue’s focus on music in the UK. I’m pleased to see it focuses on my recent investigation of group behaviours, and […]

slightly preposterous titles
slightly preposterous titles

I’ve just made a couple of new pieces in my series things to do and the semi-descriptive titles I’ve been using recently are, perhaps, getting a little cumbersome. The two new pieces are titled we cannot say the things we are allowed to do and we gradually have more things to do and fewer things to say. They […]

like you and like you at Cut and Splice
like you and like you at Cut and Splice

Now it’s been broadcast on Hear and Now, I am sharing the video of the performance of my new piece like you and like you from last week’s Cut and Splice festival at Cafe Oto. The festival was curated by Joanna Bailie and co-produced by Sound and Music and BBC Radio 3 (and there’s a great […]

another new cd
another new cd

Ryoko Akama has just released a new cd, senu hima, on melange edition containing a new piece I wrote for her alongside work by Sarah Hughes, Jürg Frey and Antoine Beuger. My piece, overlay (with transience), is specifically for a recorded realisation. It asks the performer to make a specified number of sounds throughout a 15-minute duration. The performer […]

some new pieces at Cut and Splice
some new pieces at Cut and Splice

I’ve finally finished a new piece for Plus Minus for this year’s Cut and Splice at Cafe Oto. It’s a trio for Mark Knoop, Vicky Wright and Alice Purton with sampling keyboards and many objects. The piece – like you and like you – explores imitation and decision making in a slightly different way to some of […]

KNM Berlin know what to do
KNM Berlin know what to do

KNM Berlin are playing a new piece in my series things to do in Cottbus next month. The rather wordily titled we do what you say and say what to do is similar to last year’s you say what to do, but the players also give each other instructions in addition to those supplied by the assistants. I’m […]

a new cd
a new cd

My new CD on Another Timbre arrived  in the post today. I have lots of them and if you would like to buy one then perhaps click the link below, or do exactly the same thing at the Another Timbre website. Now there’s a decision for you.

all voices are heard (but not necessarily seen)
all voices are heard (but not necessarily seen)

One of my new pieces, all voices are heard, was performed at Goldsmiths in London on 6 June as part of the Music and/as Process event. I was very pleased to be joined by Richard Glover, John Lely, Luke Nickel, Tim Parkinson, Mira Benjamin and Scott McLaughlin, although we didn’t quite manage to point the camera […]

Evan Parker interview
Evan Parker interview

Finally, here is the Evan Parker interview from the Ashgate book. I was really pleased he agreed to be involved as seeing him play for the first time was one of those moments where things change. He was doing a workshop in Huddersfield and it’s fair to say I was not expecting the torrent of circular […]

Bryn Harrison interview
Bryn Harrison interview

It’s perhaps good timing that I saw Bryn yesterday in London at the Music and/as Process conference at Goldsmiths where he was the keynote speaker. He gave a great talk on wayfaring and music, followed by some wonderful playing by Mark Knoop of his extended piano piece Vessels. So it seems apt to upload the interview […]

Interview for Another Timbre
Interview for Another Timbre

Dominic Lash interviewed me a couple of weeks ago for the Another Timbre website in advance of the release of the CD I made with Apartment House in April. It’s a new assigned piece, and Dom and I discussed how it was made  and its relationship with what I am doing at the moment. The CD […]

Manfred Werder interview
Manfred Werder interview

The interview with Manfred followed our first meeting in London during one of my regular trips down from Huddersfield while my wife was doing a postgrad at the RCM. Manfred was there for six months on a residency, and Tim and I met up with him in a bar in Whitechapel to discuss his work. […]

you say what to do in Barcelona
you say what to do in Barcelona

Mark Knoop and Serge Vuille performed you say what to do at Festival Mixtur in Barcelona last month. There are some lovely photos by Aga Miley on the website. Looks like everyone was having fun.

Bernhard Günter interview
Bernhard Günter interview

There are a few more interviews still to add, and here’s the email discussion with electroacoustic composer Bernhard Günter. At the time of the interview Bernhard’s work was moving more toward improivisation, so the interview covered both this aspect of his work and the quiet electronic music for which he was perhaps better known at […]

Christopher Fox interview
Christopher Fox interview

It was perhaps quite odd to interview Christopher, as he was both a colleague and my PhD supervisor. We’d talked informally about each other’s work, so I wanted to create a record of these exchanges as part of the interview project. Some ten years later Chrsitopher still manages to display an extraordinary range in his […]

Parkinson Saunders sing some songs
Parkinson Saunders sing some songs

Tim has uploaded the recordings we made of some of his songs last year in Bath. This is the first set, songs 2011, that we have performed a few times, and there’s also a second set of five, songs 2012, that we’ve just recorded. Not sure we’ll try those live just yet, although we do get to […]

Phill Niblock interview
Phill Niblock interview

This is the interview I did with Phill in 2007. I rang him from Huddersfield using the biggest piece of conference call technology I’ve seen – completely preposterous corporate boardroom style. As with all the interviews, I wanted to know more about how Phill worked, and in his case in particular I was curious about […]

playlist
playlist

I decided to start this list on 17 October 2014 while driving home after hearing Rie Nakajima play at Cafe Kino in Bristol. Originally I was building it on a separate site but have decided to move it here as it makes more sense. For some time I’d been formulating a view that there has been […]

different water environments
different water environments

I’ve been collaborating with chemical engineers Mirella Di Lorenzo and Jon Chouler from University of Bath for the past few months as part of a project supported by South West Crucible that brings together scientists and composers. Their work is with microbial fuel Cells (MFCs), devices that generate electricity from any sort of domestic, industrial or […]

Rhodri Davies interview
Rhodri Davies interview

I’ve uploaded the interview with Rhodri Davies as the next one in the series – over half of them are available now. Rhodri and I met in Huddersfield in the 1990s when he was doing his MA, and I was lucky enough to witness the Gibbon Trio with Hervie Syan and Dave Summers which I […]

Alvin Lucier interview
Alvin Lucier interview

Here is the interview I did with Alvin Lucier in 2007 at Dartington. He was over for a short residency, with the students playing and installing some of his pieces. We managed to find a very quiet corner of the cafe to chat, before heading over to hear his I Remember, a wonderful piece for voices […]

Tim Parkinson interview
Tim Parkinson interview

A couple of days ago I was watching Tim’s Time with People again. It’s an astonishing combination of mess (literally, given the detritus strewn across the stage) and organisation, revealing the character of the performers in a range of different tableaux. We performed Opus 1 last year at Kings Place, and the sense of personal openness that […]

ultimate notebook solution
ultimate notebook solution

It’s been nearly four years since I bought a Whitebook notebook, and I’ve finally filled it up. Of course, I haven’t really as it’s a modular folder containing four separate notebooks, so I just need to replace one, but those original books are now full. In the meantime I’ve also found a really good paper/digital […]

Jennifer Walshe interview
Jennifer Walshe interview

This week I’ve uploaded the interview with Jenny Walshe. It’s one of the earlier interviews in the series, dating from 2004, just after she completed her Barbie opera. We discussed the provenance of sounds in her work, especially the way contexts are stripped away by reframing them. Although this continuous search for sonic materials is […]

Antoine Beuger interview
Antoine Beuger interview

This week I’ve added the interview I did with Antoine Beuger in early 2004. I’d met him a couple of years earlier for the first time in Witten and was beginning to familiarise myself with the Wandelweiser group’s work at that point. We’ve corresponded and met occasionally since, and Antoine remains a significant influence for […]

new #[unassigned]
new #[unassigned]

I’m working on the first new piece to stem from my previous #[unassigned] project since 2009. Simon Reynell asked me to make a long version for a future another timbre release, working with Apartment House. We’ll be recording in Huddersfield in the middle of April in a session which will also include pieces by Joseph Kudirka which […]

Laurence Crane interview
Laurence Crane interview

Here is the interview with Laurence Crane that we recorded in June 2007. Laurence preferred to do a spoken interview, and after struggling to find a time to meet we ended up talking on the phone. The interview came at a point where he was starting to work with ‘timbral’ material and we discuss that […]

Philip Jeck interview
Philip Jeck interview

The second interview from the Ashgate series is now available to read online. This one is with Philip Jeck and was one of the few telephone interviews I did. I tried to capture Philip’s manner of speaking in the transcription as it seemed to reveal something of his thought processes. For me, that’s an important […]

get my scores
get my scores

After a few recent conversations, I’ve decided to make my scores available for free download. I’ve made a page with all the links and will gradually add pieces over the next few weeks. They are released under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND license, so the scores can’t be changed (except of course where this is required by […]

creaking and talking in Oxford
creaking and talking in Oxford

I’ve just had two weekends in Oxford at unrelated events within about 20 metres of each other. On 6-7 March I was an invited speaker at the Authorship in Music RMA Study Day hosted by the Faculty of Music and Wadham College. I spoke about game compositions, focusing on work by John Zorn, Christian Wolff, and […]

Interviews available online
Interviews available online

I’m gradually making available online the 14 interviews I conducted a few years ago that were originally published in the Ashgate book. I’m beginning with Christian Wolff, and will be uploading one each week for the next few months. Ashgate are very kindly allowing me to reprint the interviews in this way, and are offering […]

with paper at WASH project
with paper at WASH project

with paper was realised at WASH project in Buffalo, NY by Colin Tucker through his curatorial project Null Point with members of the local community. WASH is a local arts project that combines a laundrette with participatory arts activities and an access point for community services and cultural opportunities. There’s more information on the project […]

Experimental Music Yearbook
Experimental Music Yearbook

The score of my piece what you must do, rather than must not do (2012) has been included in the 2014 Experimental Music Yearbook. Founded in 2009 by Casey Anderson and John P. Hastings, The Experimental Music Yearbook is a repository for composers, performers, and the public to glean the methods and styles of various artists working […]

location composite #7
location composite #7

Here are a couple of photos of the performance and audience scores from location composite #7: Standlake which I made for Bruno Gaustalla, Eric Clarke and Sarah Verny Caird. I’ll edit these into the final score soon.

so many territories
so many territories

I’ve uploaded the recording of the first performance of so many territories by Plus Minus at City University in April. The piece draws on some of the techniques used by the Oulipo to create permutations of elements, specifically mutually orthogonal latin squares. Territories are areas ‘in which one has responsibility with regard to a particular type of […]

you and me
you and me

Here’s a short film of the performance I did with Manuel Zurria at the Italian Cultural Institute in London last week. The idea was for Manuel to play pieces with each of the composers, and a solo by Sciarrino. In addition to playing my piece lots and lots for us to do, he played pieces by […]

London Odda Oslo Huddersfield
London Odda Oslo Huddersfield

I’ve got a few performances coming up in the next month or so. Firstly, I’ll be playing with Manuel Zurria at the Italian Cultural Institute in London on 2 October as part of a project where he has asked composers to write him pieces in which they also play. We’ll be giving the first performance of […]

somewhere in a field in Devon
somewhere in a field in Devon

I’m meeting up with Paul Whitty next week in a field in Devon to make some pieces. Paul has been developing an ongoing series of pieces in a field near Netherexe, working with other musicians. We’ve been trying to get down there for about a year, and have finally managed to find a possible time […]

five minutes with
five minutes with

There’s a short interview with me at the City University Music Department blog made in advance of the concert there this Tuesday. It gives a bit of background to some of the pieces we’ll be playing. The concert will include five pieces by me, with three first performances. Alongside the excellent Plus Minus Ensemble, I’ll […]

#[unassigned] reassigned (possibly)
#[unassigned] reassigned (possibly)

Since scanning all the available versions of #[unassigned] that I could find in my room, and converting all the files I had on my laptop, I now have a virtually complete archive of the piece (screenshot as evidence). I’ve been thinking through what to do with it, and am considering making the piece available once […]

location composites site
location composites site

I’ve just made a new micro-site for the location composites project, which I’m beginning to expand. Following last week’s performance of location composite #6: Waterloo Station at the Centre for Creative Collaboration in London, I’ve been thinking more widely about the way in which the composites might work. I’m planning a few more versions at the moment, […]

ONE HUNDRED DEVICES in New Zealand
ONE HUNDRED DEVICES in New Zealand

175 East are performing the piece I made in 2012 for lots of sustaining sounds, AT LEAST ONE HUNDRED DEVICES BEING TURNED ON AND OFF, on Sunday 9 March at Q Theatre in Auckland. The piece involves a group of people working through a series of devices, which might include radios, drill, fans and other […]

upcoming performances
upcoming performances

I’ve got a few performances on the horizon over the next couple of months, beginning with Will Montgomery’s POLYproject>5 event at Centre for Creative Collaboration in London, which is a performance of location composite #6: Waterloo Station, London using text descriptions provided by poets Amy Cutler, Andrew Spragg and Chris McCabe. On 8 March, Luke Nickel […]

Bristol New Music
Bristol New Music

When I was looking round university music departments while going through the application process, I remember turning up in Huddersfield on a cold January lunchtime in 1991 for the normal pre-audition talk. David Lennox, who gave the talk, noted at one point while discussing the contemporary music festival, that the previous year, in the room […]

BORE
BORE

Some of my scores are now available to buy as part of a limited edition produced by BORE (Sarah Hughes and David Stent). It’s the second edition they’ve made, after last year’s issue #1, comprising unpublished scores by James Tenney. Issue #2 features pieces by me and Tim Parkinson. Alongside some of Tim’s songs, which […]

Parkinson Saunders at Kings Place
Parkinson Saunders at Kings Place

Tim and I are doing a Parkinson Saunders 10th anniversary special at Kings Place on Sunday 11 May as part of their Out Hear series. We’re playing some old favourites I expect, along with some new pieces by some lovely composers we like. More on that soon. We did our first concerts in Huddersfield and London in […]

so many territories
so many territories

I’ve just finished a new piece for Plus Minus, which they’ll be performing in London on 8 April in a portrait concert at City University. It’s called so many territories and is a modular piece which for now is scored for clarinet, cello, piano and accordion. As you can see from the photo of the four […]

new location composite score
new location composite score

The score for location composite #4: The reading Room, Carrick-on-Shannon is now on the location composite page. There were 24 descriptions submitted by visitors to the Hunter’s Moon Festival from 25-26 October 2013, with some very intriguing texts. As this was a short installation of the piece, the score is complete and won’t be updated as with […]

new piece for SPOR festival
new piece for SPOR festival

I’m making a new piece for the SPOR festival in Aarhus for May. It’s going to be played by Mark Knoop and Serge Vuille and is one of the four pieces which makes up the group things to do. This is the set that includes a piece I wrote in 2012 for Dedalus ensemble called what you […]

interspersed with string quartets and organic food
interspersed with string quartets and organic food

I’ve just returned from the Rainy Days festival in Luxembourg where the Arditti Quartet gave the first performance of the piece commissioned for them by the festival. The piece was played in a wonderful event which ran from 12-7pm in the Salle de Musique in the astonishing Philharmonie, comprising five sets from the quartet. The […]

location composite #4
location composite #4

I’ve just made a new location composite which expands the way the project works slightly. Pieces #1-3 all use geocaches as score locations, with cachers responding to the aural environment they find themselves in and sending me text descriptions of sounds which become instructions for musicians in the resultant pieces. In the latest edition, location composite #4: The […]

new piece for Arditti Quartet
new piece for Arditti Quartet

I’m working on a new piece for the Arditti Quartet at the moment for the Rainy Days festival in Luxembourg in December. The festival is focusing this year on long, slow pieces, so they’ve asked me to write something very short for string quartet. There’s some more information about the festival and the full programme […]

making sounds in Oxford
making sounds in Oxford

I’m very excited about Felicity Ford and Stavroula Kounadea‘s involvement with MAKE SOUND HERE in Oxford this week. They’ve been sounding out the Oxford streets over the past week or so in preparation for a sound walk on Friday 1 March for visitors to the Audiograft festival, in association with Modern Art Oxford. They found some […]

what you must do
what you must do

I had a very quick return trip to London on Tuesday to hear Dedalus play my piece what you must do, rather than must not do. It was written for them and Apartment House as part of the ensemble exchange programme they were running, which saw the same programme performed in Montpelier in the Sonorités festival, […]

scores
scores

I’m going to begin uploading a few scores for free download over the next month or so. They are mostly going to be the few verbal scores I’ve made, including with paper, the location composites series, and a few others. To begin with I’ve added with paper as it exists as a PDF which can […]

Wandelweiser und so weiter
Wandelweiser und so weiter

Another Timbre have just released Wandelweiser und so weiter,  a 6-CD boxed set of recordings by the Wandelweiser composers, and those whose work has some relation to theirs. It’s been a mammoth undertaking by Simon Reynell, and includes a very interesting group of performers. I’ve got a couple of pieces included, taken from my series divisions that […]

my olympic challenge
my olympic challenge

After watching the London Olympics I thought it would be fun to have a go at track cycling, so I booked a session at the Newport Velodrome. I had a great time, and on my drive home I wondered if it would be possible to try all the Olympic sports before the 2016 Rio games. […]

interview with Claudia Molitor
interview with Claudia Molitor

I’ve just started an interview with Claudia Molitor. I’m particularly interested in her tactile scores as they relate to my interest in surfaces and scores as instruments, so I’m hoping to learn more about how she approaches this. There’s only a single question there so far, but it will fill out over the next few […]

objects and sounds
objects and sounds

Here are a few pictures from yesterday’s Cage birthday concert at the College Project in Bristol, together with Dominic Lash’s installation of his score for object network at home a little later.  I also recorded some sounds emanating from a nearby building before the concert. listen to ‘Power tools in a building at College Arts’ on […]

Cage 100 at Artspace
Cage 100 at Artspace

Cage 100 at Artspace College, Bristol Artspace College Project, Timsbury Walk, Knowle, Bristol BS3 5JJ Starts at 8:00pm. Join us for a celebration of the life and work of John Cage on Wednesday 5th September 2012, 100 years since his birth. Bristol-based musicians, composers, and artists will perform and exhibit works by Cage, works inspired […]

[rout] performance at Kings Place
[rout] performance at Kings Place

Here’s a video of an excerpt from my piece nothing reveals itself without at the same time concealing something else performed by [rout] at Lost & Found at Kings Place on 15 July.

foraging for sounds
foraging for sounds

I’ve been in St Andrews for a couple of days for the World Saxophone Congress to hear the new piece for eight saxophones that was commissioned by RICO, the reed manufacturer. I had some time on Saturday, so went for a long walk along the beach next to the Old Course. Apart from being adopted […]

Word Events reviewed
Word Events reviewed

I’ll add reviews of Word Events here as and when they appear. To get started, here’s a positive one from Avant Music News by Daniel Barbiero. 30.07.12: Tim Rutherford-Johnson at his blog, The Rambler 03.09.12: Kurt Gottschalk at The Brooklyn Rail    

Parkinson Saunders website
Parkinson Saunders website

Tim and I finally have a Parkinson Saunders website. It’s only taken us ten years – it’s our anniversary website! There are a few recordings and videos there at the moment, and we’ll add more content over the coming months. You can visit us at www.parkinsonsaunders.com.

Word Events book published
Word Events book published

As the picture shows, the book on verbal notation John Lely and I wrote over the past three years is now published! This is a pre-release copy, so it may be a couple of weeks before it’s available, and I think it comes out in the USA first. We had a great time working on […]

old interviews added
old interviews added

I’ve uploaded some old email interviews that were originally completed in 1999 to my new interview page. So far I’ve added the interviews with Liza Lim and Tom Johnson, and there may be a couple more in the next few weeks. I’m going to add some new interviews to these gradually over the next few months, […]

book and journal nearly ready
book and journal nearly ready

The outcomes of the two writing projects I’ve been working on over the past three years look likely to appear at around the same time. The book Word Events: Perspectives on Verbal Notation which I wrote with John Lely, supported by some wonderful contributors, is almost complete. John has just finished compiling the index, and we’re […]

new interviews
new interviews

I’m just about to start a new set of interviews with composers after a break of a couple of years. I did a set of 14 which ended up in the Ashgate book (of which two have recently appeared in German in MusikTexte), and there’s another one with Rebecca Saunders which we’re going to make […]

review
review

There’s a review of the another timbre CD posted at the All About Jazz site. This is my first jazz review.

Revue & Corrigee
Revue & Corrigee

Tim Parkinson has written an article about British-based composers Matteo Fargion, Laurence Crane, Bryn Harrison, John Lely, Markus Trunk and me for the French magazine Revue & Corrigee. Tim writes about the article: I’’m going to describe the work of six composers in Britain at the moment whose music I like. To me it’s just that: […]

cd reviews

There are a few reviews beginning to appear of my another timbre release, divisions that could be autonomous but that comprise the whole. I’ll post links to them here, good or bad… Richard Pinnell – The Watchful Ear Julien Héraud- Improv Sphere Brian Olewnick – Just Outside Dominic Lash – Force of Circumstance