Monday, 5 May 2014

concert review; new music collective

Now in its second year the new music collective is a cross genre collaboration between students at Leeds College of Music. The concert had a plethora of musical styles from minimalism to contemporary pop all expertly programmed by the group’s director Damien Harron.

The concert was held in The Venue the college’s largest concert hall with a modest but seemingly enthusiastic audience. Opening with ‘Running like clockwork’ by student Liam Brigg, a melodic piece that was a pleasant introduction. The piece seemed to be built on rhythmic fragments on the same idea, which was passed between the instruments in the ensemble. The piece, possibly a little to repetitive was interesting nonetheless.

Other student works of particular interest, which featured in the concert, were that of Barney Tabor and Lisa Burgess. Both composers of contemporary classical music their creativity shone in the performances of their pieces ‘Murder with too many notes  (Tabor) and ‘Psychoanalysis’ (Burgess). Psychoanalysis’, whilst not a piece I would ever find myself humming to on the bus ride home, kept the listeners interested and and built up a tension within the music. The work, featuring not only traditional scoring but a mix of the latter and graphic scores gave the performers a certain element of freedom whilst playing. The graphic score sections were of particular interest and the inventiveness of the performers led to some interesting passages. 

The concert also had a mix of solo performances. An astounding performance of a Xanakis work featuring Alexandros Peperlasis on mixed percussion was one such solo piece. The work, virtuosic in nature was performed brilliantly by Alexandros who’s precision led to a dramatic performance. The work not only stunning to the ear also boasted a stunning visual element to it due to the fast changes between the instruments.

Slightly different to the previous New Music Collective concerts this programme seemed to have a lot of contemporary classical music programmed in and less from the other pathways of the college. This having been said there was one pop performance by student Thomas Trueman. His piece added something different to the concert and was a pleasant break from some of the harder listening contemporary classical pieces.

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