Last night Allan Clayton and Aurora Orchestra gave the premiere of Une saison en enfer, my setting of parts of Arthur Rimbaud's epic poem of the same name, under the baton of Brett Dean, in a concert as part of the Wigmore Hall's Britten Series which also included the Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings and Les Illuminations.
I'm very grateful to Allan not only for his incredible performance despite being ill, but also for his idea of approaching me for this project in the first place; it has been a fascinating journey into the ever-mysterious world of Rimbaud's writing and I feel immensely lucky to have had the privilege to work with such world-class musicians.
"the unqualified success of the evening" - Bachtrack
"a journey almost as richly coloured as Rimbaud’s own lurid psychodrama" - Arts Desk
Ex:Re with 12 ensemble @ Kings Place
On Saturday we celebrated the 1-year anniversary of the Ex:Re record release with two concerts at Kings Place (part of their series Venus Unwrapped), for which I arranged the 10 songs from the album to be performed by Elena with the string group 12 ensemble, and a few with me on the piano too. It was a really beautiful evening and I’m really proud and grateful to have been able to make this project a reality.
"This one-off rendition…ascends the album to another level of artistry." - RIOT
On Friday Ex:Re played the last show of the summer at Into The Great Wide Open on the beautiful island of Vlieland in the Netherlands. What an amazing adventure it has been over the past year, l'll miss playing with these 3 wonderful people dearly!
This year I was lucky to be asked by the Britten Sinfonia to write a piece for their group of young players, the Britten Sinfonia Academy. The result, as part of a programme around folk music, is a piece called Writhen, which uses folk songs from France, England and Lithuania on the subject of young women's coming of age.
I was really impressed by the orchestra's talent and dedication as they learned my piece and made it theirs. They have performed it twice so far, in London and Cambridge, and have one more performance of it tomorrow in Norwich!
Yesterday my music was heard in Romania for the first time! The brilliant SonoMania Ensemble gave a performance of my trio lignéchos at the George Enescu Museum in Bucharest, as part of the International Week of New Music. I had a very surreal under-24h trip there, but am so grateful to the wonderful musicians who made it happen and to the festival for inviting me.
Here is a blurry photo of most of the ensemble (including Mircea, Mihai and Madalina who played my piece) with me and composer Daniela Terranova who also had a piece played in the concert. Thanks to Diana Rotaru for taking it.
12 ensemble + Elena Tonra @ Sound Unbound
Last night Elena and 12 ensemble premiered one of the arrangements from our Ex:Re with 12 ensemble project at the Barbican's Sound Unbound festival. It was really moving to see them come together to perform 'My Heart', and I am now impatient to arrange the whole album for our concert at King's Place in November... Last tickets here:
A video of Lisa Hannigan and Stargaze performing my arrangement of Lisa's song 'Nowhere to Go' has made it onto YouTube! watch below.
Ex:Re EU tour
Back from a mini EU tour with Ex:Re playing sold out shows in London, Brussels and Paris.
Next gigs will be a handful of festivals this summer, including Green Man in August. Hope you can come and watch this great, ephemeral project live before it's too late!
Here is a picture of us at the Café de la Danse in Paris (pic by Matthieu Chatenay).
They Are Waiting For You @ Kaaitheater, Brussels
Had great fun singing in artist Laure Prouvost's amazing show They Are Waiting For You, in collaboration with artist Sam Belinfante, choreographer Pierre Droulers and percussionist Eli Keszler, last week in Brussels. A beautiful, dream-like, almost indescribable journey through everyday objects and associations, transporting you to all sorts of places... Laure is representing France at the Venice Biennale this year, I have no doubt her piece is going to be really special. Look out for it if you go!
The concert also featured a premiere by my friend Oliver Leith and pieces by James Dillon, Oliver Knussen and Harrison Birtwistle. Below is a picture of Oli & me being interviewed by the conductor Jonathan Berman before our premieres.
Sinfonia Viva @ Derby Theatre
Yesterday Sinfonia Viva performed a new short piece I wrote for them as part of their STEM-based education project this year, 'Algorhythms'. The piece is called By red.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to be there, but managed to make a video appearance:
4AD presents Revue @ Japan
I recently came back from a mini-tour with Ex:Re in Japan, my first time there. We were part of a triple bill presented by the label 4AD, along with Deerhunter and Gang Gang Dance, playing in Osaka, Nagoya and Tokyo. It was an amazing experience!
Here is a picture of us all on stage in Tokyo which I found on Twitter
Ex:Re - BBC6 session
Yesterday Ex:Re was invited to do a live session on BBC Radio 6 Music. Here is a video of us performing the first single 'Romance':
Enero @ Listenpony
A video of Laura Snowden performing the guitar piece I wrote for her last year for Listenpony, Enero, is now online: