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Cage, John : Winter Music (Another Timbre)

John Cage's 1957 composition in a visceral realisation for four pianos, played by John Tilbury, Philip Thomas, Mark Knoop and Catherine Laws, using chance procedures to assign each of the pianist's five of the twenty pages of the score, the pianists agreeing on an overall duration of 40 minutes and preparing their parts independently, performed without rehearsal.
 

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Label: Another Timbre
Catalog ID: at118
Squidco Product Code: 25023

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2017
Country: UK
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at St Paul's Hall, Huddersfield University on 29th June 2014, by Simon Reynell.


Personnel:

Mark Knoop-piano

Catherine Laws-piano

Philip Thomas-piano

John Tilbury-piano

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track listing:


1 Winter Music 40:16
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descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Winter Music was written in 1957 at a time when Cage was exploring different ways of using chance procedures in his composing.

He was also interested in producing scores that were indeterminate and which required the performer to interpret and work out many aspects of how the music might actually sound in performance.

Winter Music consists of 20 unbound pages, which can be played by any number of pianists from 1 to 20. Any number of pages can be used in a performance, and in any order.

Each page contains notes, chords and clusters which are positioned in accordance with the imperfections in the paper on which Cage was working.

"The notation, in space, may be freely interpreted as to time. An aggregate must be played as a single ictus. Where this is impossible, the unplayable notes shall be taken as harmonics prepared in advance. Harmonics may also be produced where they are not so required. Resonances, both of aggregates and individual notes of them, may be free in length. Overlappings, interpenetrations, are also free."

The pages of Winter Music are less a score in themselves than a means for producing a score. The pianists are required to make some form of realisation, usually in advance, as to pitch selection and points of occurrence.

For this realisation chance procedures were used to assign each of the pianists five of the twenty pages. The pianists agreed an overall duration of 40 minutes and prepared their parts independently.

At the recording there was no rehearsal and the piece was played once only."-from the liner notes


Artist Biographies:

"London based pianist and conductor Mark Knoop is known for his fearless performances and individual interpretations. He has commissioned and premièred countless new works and worked with many respected composers including Michael Finnissy, Joanna Bailie, Bryn Harrison, Bernhard Lang, Matthew Shlomowitz, Jennifer Walshe and Steven Kazuo Takasugi. His versatile technique and virtuosity also brings fresh approaches to the standard and 20th-century repertoire.

Mark performs regularly throughout Europe, the United Kingdom and Australia and in New Zealand, South Korea, Mongolia, United States of America, Canada and at festivals including Transit (Leuven), Ultima (Oslo), Huddersfield, London Contemporary Music Festival, Borealis (Bergen), Spor (Århus), Athelas (Copenhagen), and MaerzMusik (Berlin).

He performs with various ensembles including Plus-Minus (London/Brussels) and Apartment House (London), and has conducted EXAUDI (London), Scenatet (Denmark), and London Sinfonietta. His recordings of music by John Cage, Richard Beaudoin, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Peter Ablinger, and David Lumsdaine have been critically acclaimed."

-Mark Knoop Website (http://www.markknoop.com/home)
12/8/2017

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Catherine Laws is a musicologist and a pianist specialising in contemporary music. She has two primary research specialisms: word and music studies (particularly the relationship between music, language and meaning), and aspects of contemporary music performance practice as research.

Her research into the relationship between music and language has a special focus on the musicality of the work of Samuel Beckett and composers' responses to his texts. She has published a range of articles on these topics, and her book, 'Headaches Among the Overtones': Music in Beckett/ Beckett in Music appeared in 2013 (Editions Rodopi). Her most recent research in this area includes study of Beckett's radio work for the BBC in the late 1950s and the significance of his work for early British experiments with radiophonic sound.

Catherine's practice-led research is focused variously on processes of embodiment, subjectivity and collaboration in contemporary performance practices. In addition to her current post at York, she is a Senior Artistic Research Fellow at the Orpheus Institute in Ghent, where she leads the research cluster Performance, Subjectivity and Experimentation. The aim of this cluster is to explore how subjectivity is produced through performance practices associated with new music: who is the 'I' that performs, and how is that 'I' embodied in performance?

Her own research in this project takes the (problematised) performing 'self' as the linking factor in a sequence of performances of new music for piano and other things: any or all of voice, toy piano, harmonium, electronics (live and/or fixed media), other sound-making objects and/or video. The project scrutinises the process of developing new collaborative pieces to performance. Through processes of making new work in collaboration with a sequence of composers, and linked critical enquiry, Catherine is finding ways to consider the extent and nature of performer agency, exploring the production of a multiple, distributed subjectivity that masquerades as individual performance persona. One of the key outputs here is a large-scale solo music theatre performance, Player Piano: a collaboration with composers Edward Jessen, Annea Lockwood, Roger Marsh and Paul Whitty, theatre maker Teresa Brayshaw, and film maker Wendy Kirkup. The first performance of Player Pianotook place on May 5th 2016 in York, and it will tour later in 2016 and 2017. As a performer, Catherine is interested in instrumental colour and interaction; the wide and subtle variations of touch, tone, dynamic and texture possible on the modern piano, and the innate drama of interactions between performer and piano, piano and other sounds (electronic or otherwise), and performer, instruments and audience: these things underpin the exploration of how the sense of a sonic self is produced and reproduced in the different parts of Player Piano.

Catherine is also collaborating with Jonathan Hook (Lecturer in Interactive Media, University of York) and Tom Cornford (theatre maker and Lecturer in Theatre at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama) on the project Representing Rehearsal, a research project developing the use of interactive video to facilitate and document contemporary collaborative music and theatre practices.

Other recent practice-led research projects have explored the relationship between physical and sonic gesture, the interactions of performers and composers in devising performance projects, and processes of experimentation in performing the piano music of Morton Feldman. This work has led to outputs in a range of forms: performances, audio recordings, filmic versions of new collaborative works, and theoretical considerations of the critical questions underpinning the research."

-University of York (https://www.york.ac.uk/music/staff/academic/catherine-laws/)
12/8/2017

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Philip Thomas (b.1972, North Devon) specialises in performing new and experimental music, including both notated and improvised music. He places much emphasis on each concert being a unique event, designing imaginative programmes that provoke and suggest connections.

He is particularly drawn to the experimental music of John Cage, Morton Feldman and Christian Wolff, and composers who broadly work within a post-Cageian aesthetic. In recent years he has been particularly associated with the music of Christian Wolff, giving the world premiere of his Sailing By in 2014 and Small Preludes in 2009, the UK premiere of Long Piano (Peace March 11), having co-edited and contributed to the first major study of Wolff's music, Changing the System: the Music of Christian Wolff, published by Ashgate Publications in 2010, and currently recording all of Wolff's solo piano music for sub rosa. He is an experienced performer of John Cage's music, having performed the Concert for piano and orchestra with both Apartment House and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company as well as most of the solo piano and prepared piano music, including a unique 12-hour performance of Electronic Music for piano

He has commissioned new works from a number of British composers whose ideas, language and aesthetic have been informed in some ways by the aforementioned American composers, such as Stephen Chase, Laurence Crane, Richard Emsley, Christopher Fox, Bryn Harrison, John Lely, Tim Parkinson, Michael Parsons, and James Saunders.

In recent years Philip has pursued a passion for freely improvised music, after significant encounters with the music of AMM and Sheffield-based musicians Martin Archer, Mick Beck and John Jasnoch. He has worked with improvisers in a variety of contexts and recently devised a programme of composed music by musicians more normally known as improvisers as well as others who have been influenced by improvisation in some form. This led to a CD release, Comprovisation, which featured newly commissioned works by Mick Beck, Chris Burn and Simon H Fell. Other CD releases include music by Martin Arnold, Laurence Crane, Christopher Fox, Jürg Frey, Bryn Harrison, Tim Parkinson, Michael Pisaro, James Saunders, Christian Wolff, as well as with improvisers Chris Burn and Simon H Fell.

Philip is a regular pianist with leading experimental music group Apartment House, with whom he has performed in festivals across the UK and Europe. He has also performed with the Quatuor Bozzini, and in duos with Mark Knoop, Ian Pace and John Tilbury (piano duet and two pianos) and James Saunders (electronics).

In 1998 Philip was awarded a PhD from Sheffield University in the performance practice of contemporary piano music. Between 2000 and 2005, he was Head of the Sheffield Music School whilst pursuing an active performing and teaching career. He joined the staff team at the University of Huddersfield in 2005, and became Professor of Performance in 2015. Philip is one of the Directors of CeReNeM, the University's Centre for Research in New Music. He continues to live in Sheffield, where he premieres the majority of his programmes, with his wife Tiffany and children Naomi and Jack."

-Philip Thomas Website (http://www.philip-thomas.co.uk/biog.html)
12/8/2017

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"John Tilbury (born 1 February 1936) is a British pianist. He is considered one of the foremost interpreters of Morton Feldman's music, and since 1980 has been a member of the free improvisation group AMM.

Tilbury studied piano at the Royal College of Music with Arthur Alexander and James Gibb and also with Zbigniew Drzewiecki in Warsaw. 1968 he was the winner of the Gaudeamus competition in the Netherlands.

During the 1960s, Tilbury was closely associated with the composer Cornelius Cardew, whose music he has interpreted and recorded and a member of the Scratch Orchestra. His biography of Cardew, "Cornelius Cardew - A life unfinished" was published in 2008.

Tilbury has also recorded the works of Howard Skempton and John White, among many others, and has also performed adaptations of the radio plays of Samuel Beckett.

With guitarist AMM bandmate Keith Rowe's electroacoustic ensemble M.I.M.E.O., Tilbury recorded The Hands of Caravaggio, inspired by the painter's The Taking of Christ {1602). In this live performance, twelve of the members of M.I.M.E.O. were positioned around the piano in a deliberate echo of Christ's Last Supper. The thirteenth M.I.M.E.O. member (Cor Fuhler) is credited with "inside piano" as he interacted and interfered with Tilbury's playing by manipulating and damping the instrument's strings, essentially doing piano preparation in real time. Critic Brian Olewnick describes the album as "A staggering achievement, one is tempted to call The Hands of Caravaggio the first great piano concerto of the 21st century."

Another notable recent recording of Tilbury's was Duos for Doris (like The Hands of Caravaggio also on Erstwhile Records), a collaboration with Keith Rowe. It is widely considered a landmark recording in the genre of electroacoustic improvisation (or "EAI").

In 2013 he collaborated with artist Armando Lulaj in FIEND performance at the National Theatre of Tirana (Albania)."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Tilbury)
12/8/2017

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

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