kopthaticon

GUARDIAN – RLPO/Nyman/Hillsborough Memorial some pastiche, but beyond parody

Michael Nyman’s 11th symphony, marking the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, reused parts of earlier works to create an occasion for reflectionParody was the term 18th-century composers used for the recycling of earlier material, and as a composer heavily influenced by the baroque it’s no surprise that Michael Nyman should be an accomplished parodist. Commissioned by the Liverpool Biennial, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and Liverpool Cathedral to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, Nyman’s 11th symphony was a premiere of sorts, though a significant proportion of its 50-minute duration was the product of rigorous repurposing.The first movement, The Singing of the Names, was originally performed in Liverpool to mark the city’s hosting of Euro 96. It took approximately 15 minutes for Merseyside-born mezzo-soprano Kathryn Rudge to intone a litany of the 96 victims in a steadily rising tessitura, and, although it is a sublimely moving conception, one only wishes it could have been shorter. The second section was a seraphic meditation reminiscent of a kyrie, angelically sung by the Philharmonic’s Youth and Training Choirs. The third movement, based on subdivisions of the number 96, featured a bass line that evolved from a lugubrious cantus firmus to a swinging boogie, possibly in acknowledgement of Liverpool’s rock’n’roll heritage. Continue reading…

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kopthaticon

GUARDIAN – Michael Nyman on his Hillsborough Memorial: ‘It can only have an emotional purpose’

The uncompromising composer talks about how his popular success means he is still an outsider, and how the 1989 Liverpool football tragedy made him feel personally guiltyMichael Nyman, sipping dumpling soup in a Japanese cafe around the corner from the museums of South Kensington in London, offers a delightful and unlikely image from when he became music critic of the Spectator in 1968 and his mother first realised he might make something out of all those wasted years studying music. “She would buy the Spectator,” he says in his dry monotone, “and cut out my reviews and carry them around in her handbag to show to her friends.”It’s like something out of Monty Python: Mrs Nyman sitting in the Lyons’ Corner House with her circle, asking: “Have you seen what our Michael’s got to say about Cornelius Cardew and his prepared piano this week?” It also fits nicely into Nyman’s self-definition as the outsider of British contemporary music: the composer always ignored by the opera houses, scorned by his peers for doing all the vulgar things having a large audience, writing film soundtracks, making money that aren’t done by those he calls “real composers”. It’s reached the point where he feels there’s “something heroic” about his rejections from ENO and the ROH, “but it pisses me off, because I’m a very good opera composer, and I read with a combination of envy and joy when an opera that’s been commissioned from my colleagues is given two stars by the Guardian. I know I could write an opera that’s equally as bad, but I won’t get a chance.” Continue reading…

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anfieldroad

ANFIELD RD – Music but much more: Sound City 2014

WITH The Anfield Wrap taking part for the second year running, there’s a bit more to Liverpool’s Sound City festival than music, but music of course remains the main focus. The LFC-centric radio show, podcast, website and online digital magazine, fresh from doing three nights of live shows in New York, have big plans in mind for their part in this year’s city centre festival, but for now you’ll have to wait for more details of those plans. They have a lot of plans. Keep an eye on theanfieldwrap.com. In the meantime here are some details from Sound City, in their own words, of how the rest of the festival is going to look. Sound City 2014 Promises World Class Event Liverpool festival pulls out the stops with most ambitious bill to date Despite being the biggest metropolitan festival in the UK and boasting a live bill of more than 360 acts from Clean Bandit to Drenge and everything between – a line-up that would be the envy of any festival anywhere in the world – this year’s Liverpool Sound City more than ever before is not just about the music. Exploring the inextricable links between music, football and style, the Liverpool Sound City conference boasts some truly world-class names headlined by rock legends John Cale and Thurston Moore. A host of luminaries, experts and commentators will be on hand across the course of the festival (1-3 May) including musicians, journalists, promoters, agents, networkers, directors, designers and innovators all ready to debate, explore and workshop some of the burning issues of the day. Conference attendees will be literally spoiled for choice with in depth in-conversation pieces with DJ, broadcaster and writer Dave Haslam and Thurston Moore, musician and man about town John Robb talking to Gruff Rhys and journalist John Doran from The Quietus in conversation with John Cale. Farm front man Peter Hooton will kick off the panels on the 1 May with an in-depth but lighthearted look at social media and the democratisation of the music industry while rare vinyl hunter, label boss and retro-ist Andy Votel will lock horns with Death Waltz Recording Co.’s Spencer Hickman on the cult of vinyl and it’s renaissance in the face of the digital onslaught. On Friday label supremo Alan McGee will be chewing over the re-energised significance of independent record labels with Mark Jones, Wall of Sound and Paul Hamill from Broken Melody. TV is increasingly important for music, the right song at the right time can make for brilliant TV and make bands careers in the process. Alex Kennedy, Sky and Jim Brackpool, BT Sport will be talking about how to get it right and what pitfalls to avoid. Across the weekend football fans and anyone interested in the cultural dynamics that keep football and music as close bedfellows can drop in on The Anfield Wrap’s live broadcast as they discuss LFC old and new and what looks to be its most important season in over a decade. Elsewhere Peter Hooton talks to United We Stand’s Andy Mitten about the tale of two cities and the interplay between the footballing behemoth’s of the north west. Heading the football segment is the interrogation of FIFA presidential candidate and Pele-backed Jerome Champagne by sports correspondent and author James Corbett. The Sound City conference will also be running a series of ‘How To’ sessions across the two-day event. On Thursday music journalist and author of ‘Acid House, The True Story’ Luke Brainbridge and ex-Hacienda DJ and writer Dave Haslam will be imparting tips on ways into the business while Suddi Raval will be exploring the rise of serious music in video games. The ‘How To’ sessions on Friday include a guide demystifying live touring with input from Everything Everything bassist Jeremy Pritchard, ITB live agent Steve Zapp, Kooks manager Rob Swerdlow and Adele Bailey from The Plug. Keith Harris and Arwen Hunt will look at how to make money through PPL while Geoff Meall from The Agency, Ben Robinson from Kendal Calling and Sam Hinde from Freeman PR will focus on how to break international acts in the popular but often difficult UK market. Sound City has also teamed up with the creators of the app-based music game Music Inc – think Football Manager for budding music moguls – to launch a competition to find the next top virtual label boss. Launching on twitter on the 1 May the players with the most points will be awarded great prizes at Studio 2 on the 3rd. Said CEO David Pichilingi: “We are incredibly proud of our festival. The live bill is literally second to none but Sound City is so much more than the music. We’ve built a globally relevant music conference and expo here alongside the festival that is now the envy of our competitors. We are certainly the most in-depth and comprehensive in the UK if not Europe. “Sound City is also a great place to do business and repeat visits from some of the world’s biggest global music and tech businesses, labels, agents and managers are testament to that.” Beyond the conference and live festival Liverpool Sound City 2014 offers an exciting array of arts & cultural events and happenings including a private art auction in conjunction with Liverpool Biennial featuring a limited edition print by Richard Woods and the opportunity to buy an exclusive poster from Antony Gormley’s studio signed by the artist; Screenadelica returns with a pop-up exhibition celebrating the art of the screen printed gig poster; celebrated artist and illustrator Nick Rhodes and his team will be creating incredible live murals and pop-up sculptures across the festival site; The Red Huk DJ Competition will be searching for the next big turntable talent and Buskers Corner will offer new and unsigned acts the chance to tout their tunes – just a sample of some of the previous gems unearthed at Sound City include Jake Bugg, Bastille, The 1975, Florence & The Machine and Miles Kane. For the first time the festival will have its very own record fair – Worth the Waxx – promising mountains of vinyl from the 60’s to the present including rarities, first pressings, must haves and guilty pleasures.  Sound City has also commandeered the iconic Mersey Ferry on the Saturday afternoon so any Sound Citizens wanting to make the pilgrimage will be entertained by live acts including The Splintered Ukes, The Hummingbirds and the Gentlemen Rogues. Topping off the fringe activity is the John Peel World Cup on Saturday 3. A tribute to one of Liverpool’s favourite sons the knockout contest features 16 teams made up of bands and industry pros. Previous protagonists have included BBC 6 Music, The NME, The Zutons, Warner Bros., Ghostpoet and The Wombats. This year the soundtrack will be provided by a team from the Brazilica Festival who will add a dash of samba sunshine to proceedings. Liverpool Sound City 2014 takes place between 1-3 May. With more than 360 live performances and a cornucopia of fascinating, stimulating and exciting activities, talks and happenings Sound City is an event not to miss. Tickets and wristbands for the live shows and conference are available now: liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk

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