NEWS (back)

28 August 2017 
These news items are getting further and further apart... Since the last one, three fairly large compositions have been completed: close-up for electroacoustic sextet for Ensemble Studio6, as mentioned previously; everything has changed/nothing has changed for orchestra; and natural causes I, IV, X, XIV for 16 performers and electronics, as well as codex XVIII and XIX (both for ELISION). Also my PhD thesis Music of Possibility has been completed ready for submission (and, I hope, publication in an expanded and revised form next year). While close-up brings a long-term project to an end, as well as completing my portfolio of compositions to accompany the PhD thesis, the other two aforementioned works open up new perspectives, or at least I hope they do. The orchestral composition consists of two out of an eventual five parts, and the four sections of the version of natural causes premiered in May by Musikfabrik are intended to constitute the third of four parts, sixteen sections in all each of which is a different kind of "setting" of one of the sixteen poems in Simon Howard's cycle ADDICTION. You can find more information about this project in the score. Alongside these are two other works in progress: the full version of dying words (including the two flute/voice pieces of that title, plus vale and adrift and further components), and, just begun, a new cycle of interlocking compositions for ELISION, emerging from studies of Palaeolithic art and consciousness (especially David Lewis Williams's book The Mind in the Cave and a visit to the Chauvet Cave in France in July of this year). the first component of which will be a solo for percussion. But before any of those, I should be completing the quartet tkiva ("tissues") for the LA-based group gnarwhallaby (clarinet, trombone, cello, piano, electronic sounds) whose four parts are intended eventually to enclose basalt, Flechtwerk and nacht und träume in a continuous structure lasting over an hour, although the first performance will not include these.

I should also mention the release of the double CD music for cello and electronics on Aeon, consisting of studio recordings of Blattwerk, nacht und träume and life-form with Arne Deforce, for whom all three were written. Although this took some years from initial recordings to completion and release, it's evidence that it's still possible to create such products without compromise, despite the collapse of the "industry".

21 December 2015
Looking back on the year's compositional work it doesn't look quite as productive as 2014 was (eiszeiten, codex XV, XVI and XVII, nachtfalter and wake were completed), although on the other hand there was much performance activity with my first trips to New York and to Japan. One of the events in NYC ended up as one of the New York Times's critics' choices for 2015 which is quite a contrast to the lack of attention paid by critics in the UK. Perhaps it's a symptom of my being involved behind the scenes with writing a doctoral thesis, but the compositions completed this year seem to have more in common with one another than is usually the case - almost all involve a "fixed media" electronic part, and most are additionally concerned with continuing the exploration of (almost) static sounds which began in world-line. Work in progress, conversely, involves a development of my "seeded improvisation" idea in the form of šuma ("forest") for six or more performers (including an electronic part), the final and most extensive component of close-up, which itself contains a number of separately-performable items, this time solos for recorder, trumpet, accordion, harp, cello and electronics.

25 July 2015
Today I've updated the site so that all completed scores and Soundcloud links are included. Activity has finally wound down for the summer after concerts in June/July in New York City, Flix and Ascó (Catalunya), and Nickelsdorf. Current work in progress is a composition for ensemble and electronic sounds to be premiered by Ensemble Modelo62 in December, plus the production of performance material for Konrad Boehmer's music theatre piece SENSOR, to be premiered at the Komische Oper in Berlin next January.

17 March 2015
Just to mention two new books containing interviews I did which have just appeared:

John Palmer, Conversations, with Celso Antunes, RB, John Cage, Lawrence Casserley, Simon Emmerson, Luc Ferrari, Michael Finnissy, Jim Franklin, Evelyn Glennie, Vinko Globokar, Jonty Harrison, Jonathan Harvey, Folkmar Hein, Modern Art Ensemble, Carol Morgan, Heloise Palmer, Nuria Schönberg-Nono, Elliott Sharp, Daniel Teruggi and James Wood. Vision Edition 2015. (ISBN 978-0-9931761-0-4)

Andrew Ford, Earth Dances. Black Inc. Publishing 2015. (ISBN 978-1-8639571-2-0)

14 December 2014
 Almost at the end of the year and I haven't posted an update since the summer. Looking through previous entries I'm pleased to see that all the projects I previously said were in progress have now been completed and performed: pauk, the complete world-line, urlicht, codex XIV and nervous system. Currently I'm working on eiszeiten for horn, trombone, tuba and electronic sounds, commissioned (and begun) some considerable time ago by the brass trio Zinc & Copper Works, which represents a new departure for me in exploring just intonation (or, more precisely, frictions between justly tuned spectra based on different equal-temperament-related fundamentals...).

26 August 2014
Firstly, some news about the UMP situation. Their catalogue of music by contemporary British composers has been bought up by a former employee who has set up a new company under the name of United Music Publishing. All of my UMP scores are now available from them, and the contact email address remains the same:

New scores have been added: codex XIV and urlicht, which were both composed for Speak Percussion and premiered on 26 July in Melbourne. Also added to the worklist is nervous system, a solo for electronics which I also performed on that date. When I've performed it a few more times it might become clear what if any performance materials for others I can make available.

I'm continuing now with the remaining sections of world-line for its complete premiere in October: dust for lap steel guitar and electronics, and knot for lap steel guitar and percussion, after which I'll complete the next section of my close-up project for Ensemble Studio6: pauk for trumpet, accordion and electronics, which will receive its first performance in December.

27 April 2014
Scores of lens, rift and rasa from world-line have now been uploaded, as have the latest revisions of all other scores since 2011, and now also for the first time all the separately-performable components of CONSTRUCTION.

I should add a few words about the situation with United Music Publishers. As many will know, the company is in the process of going out of business. It's unclear at the moment what exactly will happen to the works of their British music in general and mine in particular, but the ideal outcome as far as I'm concerned would be that the copyright would revert to the composers, in which case I would begin the long task of scanning and uploading all the manuscripts to this site.

Yesterday in Belgrade Milana Zarić successfully gave the first performance of the solo version of tendril. The version for harp and electronics will be premiered by her and myself on 24 May, also in Belgrade, together with improvised music by our trio with Zsolt Sőrés on viola and electronics.

4 April 2014
Scores of tendril and dying words (II) have now been uploaded to the site, while both rift and rasa from world-line have now been completed. The scores of these compositions and lens will be uploaded soon. Current work is concentrating on Urlicht for three percussionists, to be premiered in July by Speak Percussion in a portrait concert, also featuring the premiere of codex XIV for three percussionists and electronics, a spatialised performance of abglanzbeladen, auseinandergeschrieben, and free improvisation for the trio plus myself. My article Notation as liberation has been published in the April 2014 issue of Tempo magazine, and I'm still adding more material to my Soundcloud page: four performances so far from the period 2010-2014 by the Sonology Electroacoustic Ensemble, and an excerpt from a recent performance by a newly formed trio with Zsolt Sőrés (viola and electronics) and Milana Zarić (harp, zither and percussion). the latter recording isn't the highest quality but I think it's worth hearing nevertheless.

Some people may have encountered the recent announcement of the imminent cessation of trading by United Music Publishers, who published almost all of my scores between 1984 and 2011. In common with many music publishers, UMP gradually withdrew from promotional activites over recent years, which was a principal reason for my no longer contracting any scores to them from 2011 onwards but instead making them freely available here; but in previous years I'd been fortunate enough to work with a number of committed and enthusiastic promotion managers there, among whom I would mention in particular Andrew Law, Christopher Saward, Henrietta Brougham and Jane Williams. What will happen to the works of mine (and others of course) currently contracted to UMP is completely unclear at present. I hope that the result might end up being a wider availability of the scores, but that remains to be seen.

15 January 2014
Happy new year to anyone who's reading this... I've just completed some maintenance work on the site, replacing the Soundcloud widgets with links so that the pages in the "works" section load more quickly, adding a few recent items to the "video" page and so on. Rift is still not quite finished, but in the meantime there's a very small new composition: leaf for harpsichord, written to be included in a memorial volume for my friend the poet Simon Howard (to whom rift is also dedicated, and who shortly before his death wrote for me the text ADDICTION which will form the basis of a future composition). The score will be uploaded here once that publication is out. To add to new compositions begun but not finished, I started work on a new piece for orchestra, commissioned by the Radio-Sinfonie-Orchester Stuttgart and using a somewhat smaller ensemble (73 players) than my previous orchestral music.

17 October 2013
The score of dying words (II), mentioned in the previous update, was completed yesterday. I hope I'll be able to decipher the preparatory work that's gone into rift so far... but in any case I think that part of the reason for its coming to a standstill a few months ago was that it was somehow going in the wrong direction, so perhaps it will have to take a new one when I get back to it. Also begun in recent weeks are a percussion trio commissioned by Speak Percussion in Melbourne which will have the Mahlerian title Urlicht, and the third part (after tendril and codex I) of my Ensemble StudioŠest project: pauk for trumpet, accordion and live electronics.

14 September 2013
It seems to have been several months since I wrote an update in this section, so I hope I don't miss anything important. Two more compositions have been completed in the meantime: EQUALE, an 8-channel electronic piece co-composed with Kees Tazelaar (an auspicious beginning to this creative collaboration I'm inclined to think), and tendril for solo harp, written for and dedicated to Milana Zarić and (in a forthcoming extended version with live electronics) the first part of what will be a conglomerate piece over an hour in duration, for Ensemble StudioŠest who premiered codex XII in Belgrade in April. (Codex XII also forms part of the Ensemble StudioŠest project, as does a new version of codex I).

The next project to be completed will be the second of three parts of dying words for flute-playing vocalist, to be premiered by Ute Wassermann at HCMF on 19 November; and then I'll be returning to work on rift (see 6 March update).

22 April 2013
Copies of the colophony CD with Jon Rose and Meinrad Kneer have just arrived. Another elegant piece of design by Carlos Santos at creative sources.

12 April 2013
A very quick update: people seem to like listening to music on Soundcloud, although personally I'm not impressed by its sound quality (on the other hand, downloading from Soundcloud gives you the original file back, and I recommend doing so), so I've uploaded a few rare recordings, some complete and others in excerpts, which can be accessed on the works page or (together with some FURT material) here.

6 March 2013
Belatedly the score of lens was finished a little while ago, and is now almost ready for upload (once Tristram and Daryl have had a chance to find any inadvertent impossibilities lurking in it). The next component to be completed will be entitled rift, for piccolo trumpet, percussion and lap steel guitar (which in this case is optional if rift is performed on its own), now in progress concurrently with codex XII and XIII, which will both be presented in April, in Belgrade and The Hague respectively. Performance materials will appear here when they are ready of course.

An "issue" which has recently been brought to my attention is that the score of CONSTRUCTION does not all display properly in Preview, some pages (specifically some of the "earlier" ones scanned from my manuscript rather than typeset) remaining blank. This is not intentional! I understand that the problem is caused by more recent versions of Acrobat Pro (used to compile the pdf score) producing documents which in some ways aren't compatible with current versions of Preview. So blame Apple for not updating their software (they force the rest of us to do it often enough, after all) and please open the score in Acrobat Reader instead.

17 January 2013
For various reasons work has had to slow down on my current compositional project, lens for flugelhorn and lap steel electric guitar, so that it won't be premiered next month by Tristram Williams and Daryl Buckley as originally planned. Nevertheless I expect it to be ready in two or three weeks. It will then be incorporated into a larger (half-hour) structure for solo lap steel with flugelhorn/trumpet, percussion and electronics, which itself will eventually be expanded in both duration and instrumentation. Otherwise, the final master of a new CD of improvised music, colophony with Jon Rose (violin and tenor violin) and Meinrad Kneer (contrabass), has now been sent to creative sources for release in the coming months. This is a studio recording made last July in Berlin following our first appearance as a trio at Miss Hecker, one of the city's most attractive (and smallest!) venues.

22 November 2012
Finally the score of life-form, revised after the first three performances, is available here for download, as well as all the sound-materials used in performance.

18 November 2012
New additions here: the score of dying words, and a link to an interview with Stephane Ginsbergh about life-form. Both new works were premiered in the last eight days - thanks to Arne Deforce and Ute Wassermann for their performances, to Patrick Delges for programming work on life-form; to Marie-Isabelle Collart, Bert Palinckx, Frans de Ruiter and Jeroen Vanacker for organising the commission and performances of life-form, and to Initiativ Neue Musik Berlin for commissioning dying words and making possible Ute's voiceXtensions evening (to be expanded and toured in the coming period we hope) with Michael Vorfeld's light-performance which also featured compositions by Cathy van Eck, Matthias Kaul, Andrew Noble and Michael Maierhof. The score and electronic sound-materials for life-form will be uploaded here as soon as some revisions and corrections have taken place.

22 October 2012
With the score of life-form still not quite finished I shouldn't be wasting time here but I thought it might be worth mentioning that the release date for the CD of DARK MATTER (recorded over a run of live performances in Oslo in 2005) is November 12.

5 September 2012
New items: my contribution to the "Stockhausen: a Festival of Light" symposium in Birmingham is available under "writings". Added to the worklist is dying words, a new composition for flute-playing female vocalist commissioned by Ute Wassermann. The score will be posted there as soon as Ute and I have settled on a definitive version, which may not be until after the first performance in November. It uses a text from 1799 by Friedrich Hölderlin ("Mein Eigentum") and will eventually be combined with adrift for piano and electronics and vale for solo flute, together with some additional material for combinations of between two and four of the performers, to form dying words (resistance & vision part 2). In the meantime, work continues on life-form with almost all of the electronic parts and a considerable proportion of the score now complete.

19 July 2012
The electronic parts for the first and last of the ten parts of life-form are now complete, and a stereo mix of arboreal is available under "works" for listening (although this music is more than usually dependent on being heard in 8-channel format for the layers to be resolved more clearly!).

5 July 2012
The electronic part for the third of the ten parts of life-form is now complete. After the first performance of the complete work it may also be presented alone as a fixed media composition entitled arboreal, with a duration of 8'30". It incorporates most of the material of quasicrystal, mentioned in the previous post, but mixed quite differently (in 8 channels rather than 6) as well as being split into several fragments and immersed in a much more complex "cloudforest" of sound.

26 June 2012
Since the site first went online, I've added mp3s of stereo mixes of the three most recent multichannel fixed media pieces, expanded the "writings" page with external links to various essays and interviews, and updated the concert diary with some new items.

The diary includes performances beginning in November of my current work in progress, life-form for cello and electronics, a commission for Arne Deforce from Concertgebouw Brugge, Centre Henri Pousseur (Liège), November Music ('s-Hertogenbosch) and the University of Leiden, which will have a duration of around one hour. Work on the sound materials has also produced a three-minute electronic composition entitled quasicrystal, which may be heard in stereo form under "works".

5 June 2012
Welcome to this new site. It's looking a little spartan at the moment, to say the least, but I didn't want to wait any longer with making the information available. More content will be added soon, and I expect eventually I'll also get around to making the site look more attractive.

Anyway, this is the place to visit for the most complete and up-to-date information on my musical work and to download scores. (All of my new scores from 2011 onward will be available here as free pdf downloads.)

Please get in touch - richard (at) furtlogic (dot) com - if you have any comments about or suggestions for the site.