Music preview: New Music Biennial at Hull City of Culture

Eliza Carthy
Eliza Carthy
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PRS Foundation has teamed up with Hull UK City of Culture on the New Music Biennial – a weekend music festival presenting 15-minutes long new music compositions from UK’s top composers, including folk legend Eliza Carthy, Mercury-nominated Sam Lee and Oscar-nominated musician Mica Levi (nominated for Jackie, also scored Under The Skin with Scarlett Johannson), among many others.

It includes new music from across all genres: from classical and chamber opera to jazz, folk, electronic and music for brass band and organ and features 13 brand new works and 7 pre-existing works composed within the last 15 years, of no longer than 15 minutes, which will be presented in a pop-up, interactive way for audiences to discover.

Anna Meredith

Anna Meredith

The New Music Biennial 2017 will take place in various venues in Hull from Friday June 30 until Sunday July 2 and then at the Southbank Centre in London from July 7-9.

Many of the winning new commissions, such as Eliza Carthy’s collaboration with the Moulettes – Rivers and Railways that draws on migration, Hull’s industries and history including the pioneering William Wilberforce, and GoGo Penguin’s Abstractions of the Industrial North, resonate with the themes of Hull UK City of Culture.

Yorkshire-born composers such as Daniel Elms, Gavin Bryars and Eliza Carthy, who has strong family links to the city, are working on new pieces which explore the identity of the city and surrounding landscape, and Mercury Prize-nominated folk singer and song collector Sam Lee is exploring vernacular folk song in Hull City.

Other commissions featured in the New Music Biennial simply reflect the exceptional talent and breadth of composers in the UK. This includes composer Simon Holt’s new clarinet concerto for 2006’s BBC Young Musician of the Year Mark Simpson commissioned by BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Emily Hall’s new Opera for children and organist James McVinnie and Darkstar showcasing the potential for this incredible instrument beyond traditional organ music.

Go Go Penguin. Picture: Emily Dennison

Go Go Penguin. Picture: Emily Dennison

The winning compositions were selected by a panel of judges that included Vanessa Reed (Executive Director, PRS for Music Foundation), Judith Weir (Master of the Queen’s Music), Sara Mohr-Pietsch (BBC Radio 3 Hear and Now presenter), Sam Hunt (Executive Producer, Hull UK City of Culture), Gillian Moore MBE (Director of Music, Southbank Centre), Kevin Le Gendre (Broadcaster and journalist) and chaired by BBC Radio 3 Controller, Alan Davey.

The New Music Biennial Composer Residencies are giving local communities in Hull the chance to spend time and create music with five of the New Music Biennial’s brilliant music creators, folk legends Sam Lee and Eliza Carthy, classical composers Errollyn Wallen and Brian Irvine and beatbox/electronic artist Jason Singh.

New Music Biennial Minute of Listening is a special edition of Sound and Music’s simple digital learning tool which provides primary-aged children with the opportunity to experience 60 seconds of creative listening each day of the school year. Featuring minute-long tracks by New Music Biennial composers alongside other sounds recorded in Hull, the New Music Biennial Minute of Listening will run in parallel with the residencies until 2018.

For more information about the New Music Biennial visit https://www.hull2017.co.uk/whatson/events/prs-foundations-new-music-biennial/

Hannah Peel

Hannah Peel

INSTALLATIONS THROUGHOUT THE WEEKEND

JASON SINGH: EBB AND FLOW

Hull History Centre, various times

GAVIN BRYARS: WINESTEAD

Gavin Bryars. Picture: Opera North

Gavin Bryars. Picture: Opera North

7 Whitefriargate

RAY LEE: RING OUT

Zebedee’s Yard

Friday and Saturday (ticketed on Saturday at 11am only)

FRIDAY JUNE 30

ANNA MEREDITH & SOUTHBANK SINFONIA: CONCERTO FOR BEATBOXER & ORCHESTRA

Albemarle Music Centre, 5.30pm

SIMON HOLT & BBC PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA: CONCERTO FOR CLARINET AND ORCHESTRA

Hull City Hall, 6.45pm

GAVIN BRYARS: WINESTEAD

Albemarle Music Centre, 8pm

MICA LEVI & BBC PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA: NEW WORK FOR THE BBC CONCERT ORCHESTRA

Hull City Hall, 9pm

DANIEL ELMS: BETHIA

Holy Trinity Church, 10.15pm

SATURDAY JULY 1

RAY LEE: RING OUT

Zebedee’s Yard, 11am

There will also be an opportunity to experience Ring Out at these times:

Friday June 30 – 11am, 4pm, 10pm

Saturday July 1 – 11am, 4pm, 10pm

LAURENCE CRANE: PIECES ABOUT ART

Albemarle Music Centre, 12.30pm

ERROLLYN WALLEN: MIGHTY RIVER

Hull City Hall, 2pm

EMILY HALL: THE ITCH WITCH

Hull City Hall Mortimer Suite, 3.15pm

HANNAH PEEL: JOURNEY TO CASSIOPEIA

Albemarle Music Centre, 4.30pm

DARKSTAR + JAMES MCVINNIE: DANCE UNITY

Hull City Hall, 6pm

GOGO PENGUIN: AS ABOVE SO BELOW

Früit, 7.15pm

ELIZA CARTHY: RIVERS AND RAILWAYS

Stage@TheDock, 8.30pm

DARKSTAR: PRSF NEW MUSIC BIENNIAL AFTER-PARTY

Früit, 9.30pm

SUNDAY JULY 2

MARK SIMPSON: AFTER AVEDON

Hull City Hall Mortimer Suite, 11am

JASON SINGH & ANNE MARTIN: CEUMANNAN – FOOTSTEPS. 2.

Hull City Hall Mortimer Suite, 12.15pm

RESIDENCY SUPERGROUP (JAMES REDWOOD)

Hull City Hall, 1.30pm

JOCELYN POOK: ANXIETY FANFARE AND VARIATION OF VOICES

Albemarle Music Centre, 3pm

PETER EDWARDS: A JOURNEY WITH THE GIANTS OF JAZZ

Holy Trinity Church, 4.15pm

PHILIP VENABLES & DAVID HOYLE: ILLUSIONS

Funktion Hull (previously Tower Nightclub), 5.30pm

BRIAN IRVINE & JENNIFER WALSH: 13 VICES

The Guildhall, 6.45pm

SAM LEE: HULLUCINATION

Holy Trinity Church, 8pm

HANNAH PEEL + JASON SINGH: PRSF NEW MUSIC BIENNIAL CLOSING PARTY

Früit, 8.30pm