Contemporary Music Ensemble and CONTACT Laptop Ensemble, Wednesday 13 November
The Contemporary Music Ensemble and CONTACT Laptop Ensemble concert on Wednesday 13 November in St Greg’s exceeded my expectations. As a fellow music student and having studied Contemporary Music last year I had some knowledge and awareness of Contemporary Music, but the variety of instruments and clarity of sounds was creative, exciting and really enjoyable. I for one will not be throwing away my Roses’ tin lid this Christmas!
The setting and ambience of St Greg’s once again added to the acoustics, and I felt was particularly suited to this innovative concert put together by Dr Lauren Redhead. The first piece was Steve Gisby’s ‘Coming Home’ for percussion, which really set the scene for the rest of the concert, and left me in no doubt we were going to experience sound as music in a very different way – I wasn’t disappointed. ‘Song and Dance’ for Tuba, composed by third year BMus student Lewis Edmunds, incorporated some new techniques to create different sounds from the Tuba such as singing and blowing into the mouth piece concurrently. The result, performed by Tubist Ben Pugh was mesmerising, with great interpretation and dynamics.
The Contemporary Ensemble were joined by Broadstairs’ CONTACT Laptop Ensemble who performed a piece aptly named ‘CONTACT: click/drag/break/release’ using laptops. The result was really interesting, and the performance itself showed the ensemble had a strong awareness both of each other and the ultimate sound they were collectively creating. In complete contrast we were then treated to a contemporary piece for recorder, which showcased and highlighted the versatility of this often undervalued instrument. The piece was Music for a Bird composed by Hans-Martin Linde and performed by second year BMus Student Ursula Burchette. The piece calls for some unusual techniques to create and imitate a range of different bird sounds.
The finale was ‘I want to know about the lull in the storm’ by Adam Fergler which brought both ensembles together in a cacophony of sound for a fitting end to a most pleasurable concert.
Lorraine Bruce, BMus Year 3