In the Silent Void

We have a new archival recording out on the EMC Bandcamp page: Chris Hobbs’ In the Silent Void. Written in November 1981, and recorded in a live concert performance at Royal Holloway College, Egham, Surrey, this is an amazing recording of Chinese texts in translation by Arthur Waley, from his collection Chinese Poems (George Allen & Sons, 1946). This performance is by three composer/performers at the top of their game: the late Brian Dennis, whose vocal performance has not been bettered; Andrew Jones, with a great viola performance; and Christopher Hobbs, playing piano, keyboards, and percussion.

It’s here:

This is well worth a listen. It’s certainly not minimalism, nor is it your daddy’s experimental music. But it is a lovely, reflective, and gorgeous performance of a piece from Chris Hobbs’ eclectic period. One of our favourites.

Michael Parsons concert!

Michael Parsons, one of our favourite experimental composers, has written to tell us about a concert that is coming up:

I’ve been visiting Finland and working with Fiori since 2007. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to work closely with these singers and I find them very inspiring. I’ve written and arranged more than 12 pieces for them so far, including settings of early Greek lyrics from 6th & 7th centuries BC. I originally studied classics at Oxford University in the 60s before deciding to concentrate on music, and for many years I regarded myself as a ‘lapsed classicist’, until I thought I should try to revive my earlier interest in ancient Greek literature before it’s too late!
When I asked Fiori if they would be happy to sing in ancient Greek, they said “fine, as long as you tell us what it means and how to pronounce it!” So I set some lyrics of Sappho for them in 2007. They performed these in a concert in London in 2010, and since then everyone who heard them has been asking, when are they coming again? So this is their long-awaited return visit.
As well as Greek lyrics, I’ve arranged traditional songs from Macedonia, Dalmatia and Romania, and their programme also includes pieces by Finnish composers.
As special guest we’ve asked Michael Ormiston, an amazing performer who has studied overtone singing and instruments in Mongolia, and is the leading exponent of this style in UK. This concert should be a very special and memorable occasion!

Here’s the information. Michael Parsons’ concerts are always wonderful — and they’re especially wonderful when he either is working out new ideas or is exploring the music of other nations. And in this concert, he does both. Here’s the information.

Concert 14 June leaf