07 August 2012

Other Islands

other islands by Nick Fells

"other islands is an ensemble piece involving 4 players, for piano, violin, sax and computer. There is some manipulation of the performed sound by the computer player, and there is also a fixed soundtrack that creates an environment for the performed sounds.

It grew from an earlier collaboration with violinist Barbara Lueneburg on another piece (CoS). We’d spent time at STEIM in Amsterdam honing a particular way of playing very simple materials, developing a style of playing hand in hand with what we considered to be an appropriate sonic and technological environment. With intense focus from both sides, the making process itself took on a particular mood. It goes without saying that personal predispositions and musical histories bear massively on this kind of thing.

other islands is a little different to CoS in that we didn’t spend much time collaborating on the composition. It grew more from a consideration of how ensemble situations per se seem to distil the interplay of memory, identity, and desire into a sort of group ‘affect’. Thinking about these things while walking around the streets in Glasgow made me reflect on how the improvised making and breaking of tiny-scale short-term relationships in everyday life simply continues into ensemble playing of any kind.

As well, Barbara had invited me to come and work with ensemble Intégrales in Hamburg to make a piece for a concert they were doing called utopia. The island state seemed to be an appropriate metaphor for the interplay of isolation and integration taking place in ensemble playing."

The piece was performed by ensemble Intégrales at the Operastabile in Hamburg in December 2009, and recorded and broadcast by Deutschlandfunk for Konzertdokument der Woche on Sunday 24th January 2010.

Violin – Barbara Lueneburg
Sax – Burkhardt Friedrich
Piano – Ninon Gloger
Computer – Nick Fells
Concert sound projection – Marko Ciciliani
Recording & Production - Deutschlandfunk

Recording used with kind permission of Deutschlandfunk and ensemble


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