We had a great time working with New Dots last month; you can check out some reviews of the gig on their website. Documentation stuff all come in now so going to put up a few posts in next month or so.
First up we have the recording of ‘Seven Lines of Music Slow Down and Eventually Stop’ by our Composer-in-Association Seán Clancy. It was really great working with Seán and we are looking forward to playing this piece again and many more of his works in the future…!
We are delighted to be working with the excellent New Dots on a project in April 2016. We will be performing new works by composers selected from an open call Monika Dalach, Camilo Mendez and Nick Morrish Rarity. We will also premiere a new Workers Union Ensemble commission by our current Composer-in-Association Seán Clancy. More details to follow soon!
Well it’s been a little quiet recently on the Workers front, but momentum is building now towards our 2016 collaborative project with Ensemble Krock. In the meantime, one or two of us are up to some pretty epic activities for charity.
Pianist Edward Pick is about to cycle from Lands End to John O’ Groats (with his piano literally trailing behind him!) and our composer in residence Seán Clancy is walking from Birmingham to London. You can sponsor them by clicking on their respective links.
We are chuffed that Irish composer Seán Clancy will be our Composer-in-Association 2015. He follows in the footsteps of Matthew Kaner (2013) and Ryan Latimer (2014). We are delighted to be working with Seán and Swedish guitar quartet Krock on a project, hopefully coming to a venue near you in the Autumn! More news on this soon!
We can’t quite believe over a month has past since our ‘ON & OFF TOUR 2015’. Thanks to everyone that came to hear us and to the fantastic composers we had the chance to work with on the project. Recordings and video are coming soon but we wanted to share just four of the many fantastic photos Markus Kinch took in the rehearsal for (and after) our gig at The Warehouse…
Better late than never (on the third day of our tour!) here is the fifth and final edition of our two question series. This time it is our Composer-in-association for 2015 Ryan Latimer. His work King is second work of Ryan’s that we have commissioned and performed. Pick up your tickets now for our gig at the Warehouse tomorrow evening: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/on-off-the-warehouse-tickets-15130043367
WUE: In what way does your piece respond to the ‘On & Off’ theme?
Ryan: The dialecticism suggested in Steen-Anderson’s title is also a common feature of my own work more generally, as it is for many others. I use the term ‘dialectic’ simply because the notions of ‘On And Off And To And Fro’ are not just contrasting ideas but are intrinsically related and relative to one another; they’re connected precisely because of their direct opposition. At the risk of becoming too technical, there are, in many types of music, examples of these binary relationships – tonic/dominant, major/minor, call/response, antecedent/consequence and so on. The majority of my piece playfully brings into contention these various devises and explores their functional (and dysfunctional) properties. However, this isn’t entirely what the piece is about and there’s a small twist in the tale towards the end, which extends this notion beyond the purely musical.
WUE: What music are you into at the moment?
Ryan: A composer friend (I’m not sure how these differ from normal friends) recently recommended to me a book called ‘The Arab Avant-Garde: Music, Politics, Modernity’, which has unveiled to me a seriously exciting wealth of radical music making happening throughout the Middle East. Ranging from heavy metal, hip hop, musical theatre, sound installation, jazz and cross-discipline collaboration, all of this work engages profoundly with the socio-political realities of its home regions, in a way I feel much of western ‘art music’ does not. It’s been quite a liberating experience discovering this stuff; I’d recommend it.
Here is a retrospective exhibition of the work of Egyptian artist and musician Ahmed Basiony, who was killed during the 2011 political uprisings in Cairo:
The Workers Union Ensemble met on Saturday and Sunday the 14 and 15th of February for intense tour rehearsals. The weekend was filled with love (naturally- it was Valentines day!), filming, Skyping Mr Steen Andersen, and of course new music.
Here is a video showing what we got up to, and advertises our gig on Saturday the 21st of February at the Warehouse in Waterloo.