[shell] in York, March 5th


Composer, mezzo-soprano and generally extremely close pal Nina Whiteman brings my short miniature [shell] to York as part a programme of new solo vocal musicon March 5th - 1pm. St. SaviourgateUnitarian Chapel, St. Saviourgate, York. YO1 8NQ. More concert info here.

The programme has an emphasis on a potted history of play with alterate notations and with the voice in general, including music by Berio (Squenza III, 1965-66), Aperghis (Recitations 8 & 9, 1978) and Kurtág (József Fragments, selections1981) alongside work by herself (DNA, 2013) and fellow mancunion Gavin Osbourne (Points of Departure, 2014).

 [shell] is a little one-minute miniature, written as a parting gift for musicologist (and very good friend) Laura Tunbridge, when she left the University of Manchester to take up office at Oxford University. The piece deconstructs Laura's name into a series of phonemes and voice-as-body materials which are written and presented as layers, each of which twitches and scurries according to its own behavioural logic whilst being simultaneously superimposed with the layers around it. Gradually pitch is removed and all that remains is a percussive, stuttering shell - or is pitch a shell in itself...

Despite its brevity it's quite a tour de force and I'm so amazed and gratified that Nina has been so committed to performing it again.