The Velvet Rage (2017)
For flute, voice (with Talkbox), cello and electronics
Commissioned by: Trio Atem, with funds provided by Arts Council England.
The Velvet Rage probably has more to do with Sara Ahmed’s text, Queer Phenomology, than the famous self-help book from which it actually takes its title (Alan Downs, The Velvet Rage, 2005). Either way, I suppose it’s a piece about relationships - relationships between performers-to-performers, bodies-to-instruments and digital-to-flesh - bodies sometimes controlling instruments, instruments sometimes controlling bodies - and liquefying those relationships into a state of dialogue and juxtaposition - setting up mutual queerings between these kinds of relationships – prepared instruments, rich in glitch, accompanying the natural “human” rhythms of speech – perhaps - or the body as a bio-filter for electronic sound - maybe. The Velvet Rage was commissioned in 2017 by Trio Atem in celebration of their 10th anniversary, with funds generously supplied by Arts Council England. It is dedicated to Nina Whiteman, in friendship and camaraderie. A truncated form of the The Velvet Rage was premiered at Oxford University on May 18th 2017, with the full version first performed at the Wonder Inn, Manchester, June 8th 2017.
Approximately 20 minutes