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14.11.13

Gaman CD launch

Early and LateAfter 6 years of unusual concert adventures in the Nordic countries, USA and Europe, the Danish trio Gáman now present their debut CD, Early & Late, with the trio’s favourite repertoire: a unique combination of traditional folk melodies from islands of the Danish commonwealth – Fanø, Greenland and the Faroe Islands – and three world premieres of works by composers Pelle Gudmundsen-Holmgreen (b. 1932), Sunleif Rasmussen (b. 1961) and Rune Glerup (b. 1981).

Early & Late will be released at hcmf// on Sunday 24 November – The Loft, Bates Mill (Huddersfield, UK).

1.30pm – Release reception
2pm – Festival concert

All festival guests are invited for a pre-concert drink with the trio - and CDs will be sold at special release price!

The concert and reception are parts of hcmf//’s special day devoted to the special meeting between past and present, early and late – folk tunes and new music – under the Nordic heading Mytologier.

Read more about Mytologier.

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13.11.13

Guest blog: Red Note Ensemble

In his latest guest blog, John Harris, Chief Executive and Artistic Co-Director of Red Note Ensemble, reveals the playfulness and edginess of Inconsistent Whisper, which sees musicians controlled by squares of light. Click the video for a taster.

"The third of Red Note's performances that we're bringing to Huddersfield is Torsten Lauschmann's Inconsistent Whisper. This was originally a Red Note commission from 2012, and performed in the Counterflows Festival in the Arches in Glasgow, subsequently re-worked by Torsten with us up in Woodend Barn in Banchory, Aberdeenshire over the past week.

Inconsistent Whisper is as much a game, or a machine, as it is a performance. The players are completely controlled by the lighting for the performance, which in turn is controlled by Torsten (playing at being God!) via his laptop. Each of the nine players sits in a square of light which changes independently in colour and intensity, dictating what action (amongst a group of pre-determined actions) the player must take. There's most definitely a feeling of being right on-the-edge amongst the players, as they struggle to perform effectively as the lights start them, stop them, cut them off in mid-flow, change their direction, leave them alone, encourage them to create new material or leave them in darkness, unable to play.

In Banchory we've been working with four great local musicians to complement the five Red Note players, and we're looking forward very much to working with four volunteer musicians from Huddersfield when we present this piece which, true to Torsten's visual arts roots, sits somewhere between performance art, technical exploration, compositional support mechanism, and performer-computer-combination-machine."

13.11.13

Guest blog: Red Note Ensemble

Here's another update from our guest blogger John Harris, Chief Executive and Artistic Co-Director of Red Note Ensemble. With hcmf// 2013 just days away, he reflects on final preparations for their festival performances - all three of them!

Enough Already in rehearsal 2"Red Note Ensemble, together with our co-producers LOD Music Theatre from Ghent, are now in Summerhall in Edinburgh, opening Enough Already in preparation for bringing it to the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield on Sunday 17th November as part of HCMF 2013. This has been a really intensive time for us because not only have we been preparing this, but also our Dillon / Fennessy concert for 16th November in St Paul's Hall and Torsten Lauschmann's Inconsistent Whisper for the 18th November.

Enough Already in rehearsalThe technical and musical challenges in Enough Already are different to, but every bit as real and enjoyable as those encountered in James Dillon's New York Triptych. François Sarhan's work is scored for Jackie Shave (violin doubling Stroh violin), Malcolm MacFarlane (electric and acoustic guitars), Tom Hunter (percussion), Gareth Brady (baritone sax doubling soprano sax and clarinet) and Simon Smith (synth). Everything is amplified, and all the players have to sing and speak in time whilst simultaneously playing their instruments. Additionally, it's all precisely click-tracked to co-ordinate with François' beautiful and surreal film and the movements of on-stage actor Claudio Stellato and the sound effects generated by our wonderful pair of live foley artists - Celine and Julien.

Enough Already 3Everything about the show is ambitious and expansive; thematically (the opening line is "Reality is Unbearable. Besides, it does not exist" ...), physically (the video screen is a mere 8m high by 13m wide; finding a rehearsal space in Glasgow for a show with a screen that big was quite a challenge!), musically (François' score mines a deep seam of inspiration drawn from Frank Zappa's The Black Page and other works of similar complexity and outlook) and artistically (the film draws from a wide visual territory including the stop-frame animations of Monty Python, French Film Noir and Jacques Tati) . Putting it all together has been a hugely enjoyable, methodical and at times complex experience. Throughout, François has been admirably clear and precise, holding the whole spectacle in his mind's eye and ear and gradually piecing the component building blocks together until it is complete."