Lauren Redhead

My name is Lauren Redhead and I am a composer from the UK.
I am interested in new music and new aesthetics.

Creative Pact 2 Day 9: Ylva Lund Bergner

Today’s composer is Ylva Lund Bergner from Sweden. She is a composer of both acoustic concert music and music with live electronics and currently lives in Denmark.. Her website is confusingly quite minimalist and yet packed with information; a few clicks will eventually show that she has a lot of information about her pieces up there. She also has a [SoundCloud page]( ) but it doesn’t have anywhere near the amount of music that her website has, so it is worth persevering.

For example, I enjoyed her piece [Palabras]( ) but you’ll need to go to her page to listen to it. When you get there you can also download the score and even the Max/MSP patch. I like the fragile nature of this piece, and what she says about the relationship between the live part and the electronics (that if everything is not entirely correct the piece won’t work) also reinforces this fragility.

I’m most impressed by her most experimental works. Her piece Achenar for flute, violin, different objects and electronics is particularly intriguing as a listening experience. There’s clearly a visual element to the performance, which would answer some questions about the provenance of the sounds, but wondering about these whilst listening is actually an interesting way to approach the piece too:


Creative Pact 2 Day 8: Frances-Marie Uitti

Today’s composer is Frances-Marie Uitti.

I’ve been quite excited listening to her music today. She is an accomplished ‘cellist and improviser who performs with two bows. Her website is quite sparse, and I’m not able to embed any examples of her music into this blog, so you’ll have to take my word for how good the music is and click on some of the links.

This is the kind of music that I could listen to all day: all of her performances contain many layers of detail and she is able to present near-drones, frenetic activity, and lyrical melodies all with equal precision and care.

She has a number of pieces to listen to here, but one of my favourites was 2 bow homage to GS.

Here is also a fascinating video of her collaboration with Yota Morimoto on a work for ‘cello and live electronics:

acamar from yota morimoto on Vimeo.


Creative Pact 2 Day 7: Ailís Ní Ríain

This post is slightly delayed from yesterday.

Ailís Ní Ríain is an Irish composer of acoustic music and music for theatre. She has audio to explore here on her website and also further highlights here on her SoundCloud.

After listening to a lot of electronic music so far in this project it was interesting to re-tune my ears to the world of acoustic instruments and composition.

I can imagine that her work is very effective in the theatre; there is a lot in her musical language that holds in common with more recent writing in opera and theatre. Of the extracts on her SoundCloud I most enjoyed We Know We Got Soul:

I’m not sure exactly which of her theatre works this was taken from, but it even works on its own as a short piece.

Of her longer works or extracts, Wounds, Scars, Screams appeals to me because of the use of voice:

I’ve actually found that this music becomes more intriguing and reveals more about itself with repeated listenings, so I’d recommend that—especially as in most cases she only has short excerpts online. In future I’ll be looking out for performances of Ailís Ní Ríain’s theatre works as I think I’d like to see a full production.


Creative Pact 2 Day 6: Sarah J Ritch

The next composer is Sarah J Ritch. Until yesterday I felt like I had covered mostly electronic music composers and I wanted to listen to some more acoustic composers as well. Sarah J Ritch is actually active in both areas of composition. Her SoundCloud Page has some samples of some electronic and algorithmic projects, and she has links on her website to albums which feature both electronic and acoustic music.

Her album string theory is released on the pan y rosas discos label and explores both sound and performance of string instruments, and particularly the ‘cello, which she also plays.

The track Duo for Solo Cello slowly builds in intensity, bringing out the noise of the bow on the string. Although there are many pieces which use this technique, this piece exemplifies some of the similarities of possible working methods in acoustic and electronic music, and is a more experimental approach to this kind of sound than is found in some works for amplified strings. She describes it as ‘improvised noise’:

I also like her description of the whole album:

invocation. radio signals from deep space. pizzicato plucks over drones. process. a pure tone emerges. builds and fades and drops. re-establishes and re-strengthens. a pulse in the background. release and descent. evening acoustics. swirling wood. strings breathing long tones.


Creative Pact 2 Day 5: Anna Thorvaldsdottir

Today’s composer is an acoustic composer, in contrast with the last few days. Anna Thorvaldsdottir is an Icelandic composer. Her website describes her as a composer

who frequently works with large sonic structures —her music tends to portray a flowing world of sounds with an enigmatic lyrical atmosphere.

She has a bandcamp page and there is also a different selection of audio to be explored on her website.

The first of her pieces that I listened to was Hrím for a chamber ensemble of 12 players. I chose this piece because within acoustic new music the large ensemble has taken on the role of the string quartet (in my opinion): this is often the medium that composers can choose to try out their most interesting ideas and large ensemble pieces are frequently less conservative than orchestral pieces.

Hrím has a lot of what might be described by many as ‘new music language: quite familiar gestures and sounds within the ensemble. However it is also very sensitively written, and I enjoyed how the music is presented seamlessly throughout the piece with different layers coming to the forefront of listening.

Her piece Hidden - Inwards for percussionist playing on the inside of a grand piano is similarly enticing in its instrumentation:

This piece, in my opinion, admits none of the kitsch that inside-piano playing can sometimes take on. I really like how subtle the writing is, how much of the piece is on the edge of hearing, and how much of the sound doesn’t readily identify itself as a particular technique. I can imagine a very physical and visual component to the music in performance as well.

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