HCMF 2008 SO FAR...
So far this year's Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival has seen an array of international guests, innovative thought provoking performances and sold out events. Here are some of the highlights...
• Some of Kirklees brightest emerging talent perform an astonishing array of musical styles and genres on laptops. We heard the first fruits of students working with the Abelton Live software package, and while generally rooted in ambient techno the results were very impressive.
• On Saturday International producers, festival directors, and assorted international guests arrived for the opening weekend of HCMF. The first weekend of HCMF presented a strong British showcase of the some of the best contemporary and new music being created right now in the U.K.
• The Arditti's played beautifully to great acclaim including a stunning work by Sir Harrison Birtwistle.
• The world premiere of Christopher Fox's new commissioned work. The hall was absolutely packed, there was a huge demand for tickets and the concert ended to rapturous applause.
• The new composition by saxophonist/improviser John Butcher, which we premiered the weekend before at November Music in Holland was sold out and a great success with everyone who attended raving about the performance.
• Sunday afternoon saw the wonderful Hade Edge and the University of Huddersfield Brass Bands participating in Dror Feiler's composition Basurawhich. It was then followed by the second piece MULL performed by Klangforum Wein including full ensemble and garbage truck! Throughout the entire piece the mechanism of the truck was churning ‘rubbish'. This meant of course that the engine was running throughout, and we had to have a length of pipe to guide the fumes out of the space!! At the end the composer Dror Feiler received a standing ovation but perhaps the loudest cheer was for the refuse truck operator who rightly takes a bow from the stage.
• Twenty or so musicians (students and amateur) joined Quatuor Bozzini to perform James Tenney's work in a large, open space. The musicians were seated throughout the space and the audience was encouraged to move around them as the piece developed.
• The lunchtime concert for the piano baschet sold out. This concert was the first outing for the half instrument half sculpture in the U.K. and featured new works especially composed for the instrument.
• The performance by Continuum featured collaboration between composer Richard Ayers and the controversial Canadian film maker Guy Maddin. The film featured scenes of a sexually explicit nature that apparently even shocked the normally liberal Amsterdam where it was recently performed. Anyway the occasion passed without incident and Huddersfield took it all in its stride!
• John Tilbury played the music of Cornelius Cardew and talked about his recently published book on Cardew. I have been privileged to receive a copy some weeks ago and I highly recommend it!
The pictures below do not do the concerts justice. Large pictures will be available on this site soon, alternativly go to myspace.com/hcmfuk to see them in all their glory. In order to experience the magic of this year's festival the only advice we can give is for you to come the last concerts over this coming weekend!!!