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Kiwi composers in UK

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A strong Kiwi contingent is representing New Zealand this week at the United Kingdom’s largest festival specifically dedicated to contemporary and experimental music.

The 29th Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (HCMF) has as its by-line ‘Music Lives in Everything’ and the organisers are set to prove that through an exciting mix of large-scale orchestral works, chamber opera, music theatre, laptops, free improvisation, installations, film and graphic scores. From 17-26 November more than 50 concerts, performances, sound installations and talks will challenge, stimulate and inspire composers, musicians and observers gathered from all over the globe including some significant contributions from the Southern Hemisphere.

New Zealand composers James Gardner and Jeroen Speak both have works being performed and they are attending the Festival along with Kiwi compositional colleagues Glenda Keam, Dorothy Ker, Samuel Holloway, Rachael Morgan, Antonia Barnett-McIntosh and Dylan Lardelli.

Guest artists for 2006 include Australian contemporary performance ensemble ELISION. The group will incorporate music from Auckland composer James Gardner in one of their HCMF performances. Gardner has been working with ELISION during the Trans-Tasman Composer Exchange – a joint project of SOUNZ, the Centre for New Zealand Music and the Australian Music Centre.

“We will use the raw materials and the audio files drawn from Jim’s forthcoming notated piece Substance and Process to form the basis of a structured improvisation,” Daryl Buckley, artistic director of ELISION explains. “The improvisation is the first outcome of his collaboration with ELISION and will in part be an exploration uncovering possible directions for the future elaboration of the work which will be premiered in Australia in 2007.”

Pianist Nicolas Hodges, described by one commentator as ‘simply one of the most exciting and virtuostic performers of his generation’ will include New Zealand composer Jeroen Speak’s The Character of Time in his HCMF performance. Hodges first premiered this work in August at the prestigious Darmstadt Summer Festival in Germany.


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