ONLY CONNECT FESTIVAL OF SOUND 2014:
Alwynne Pritchard: Kingdom Come
Thursday 23 May, 8 pm
Borrowing its title from J.G. Ballard’s last novel (2006), Alwynne Pritchard’s commision work Kingdom Come explores voices as strong indicators of place. Pritchard’s piece is based on a series of questions drawn from Ballard’s book and takes language, dialect and accent as the starting point for the music. Kingdom Come also features the many voices of composer/performers Adam de la Cour and Stine Janvin Motland, using a text about feng shui written by historian Anders Ohnstad. Audio feedback is controlled by artist/sound designer Thorolf Thuestad.
Alwynne Pritchard on the piece:
When nyMusikk asked me if I would write a piece for their Only Connect festival on the theme of writer JG Ballard, I jumped at the chance. When I first read Ballard, about 25 years ago, I was immediately captivated and went on to discover other writers such as Will Self and Iain Sinclair, whose work also emerged from a vision of a dystopian, marginalised Britain. This was my Britain, and the one I eventually chose to leave. But when I arrived in Norway, it was obvious this country has its own version of the featureless suburbs on which Ballard’s imagination thrived. Interminable road systems are characterised by roundabouts, business parks and shopping centres, with only occasional, isolated houses dotted between. Perhaps, in fact, the Norwegian’s predilection for isolation makes these strange, sprawling, interurban landscapes even more prevalent here than in the UK. Although they are more sanitised and less forbidding than their British counterparts, these featureless landscape nonetheless have a desolate poetry uniquely their own.
Kingdom Come started with me reading JG Ballard’s final novel of the same name. The piece is based on a series of questions drawn from the book and explores language, dialect and accent as the starting point for the music. Our voices are strong indicators of place. Small deviations in how we speak can be confusing, unsettling and sometimes very funny. As well as using the many voices of Adam de la Cour and Stine Johanne Janvin Motland, Kingdom Come also features Syed Zubair Ali on voice and harmoinium. The text on Feng Shui is written by Anders Ohnstad and audio feedback deftly controlled by Thorolf Thuestad.
Alwynne Pritchard is an artist, performer and composer. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and has a PhD from the University of Bristol. Her compositions and performances have been heard across Europe, America and Indonesia and she has worked with leading musicians and ensembles across the globe. From 2008 and until October 2013, Alwynne was Artistic Director of the Borealis festival in Bergen, Norway and from 2001 until 2008, she taught composition at Trinity College of Music in London. Alwynne also worked for many years as a freelance writer and presenter for BBC Radio 3.
Stine Janvin Motland is a performing composer from Stavanger, Norway. Through new music, physical theatre and contemporary dance, she uses extended vocal techniques to explore and push the frontiers of the natural acoustic of the voice. She works as a performer within a big variety of genre and art form, doing pieces by composers such as Maja Ratkje, Øyvind Torvund, Therese Birkelund Ulvo and Mats Gustafsson as well as improvising with musicians like C Spencer Yeh, Chris Corsano, Jaap Blonk and Lasse Marhaug. Her solo work is her main work as a creator, in addition to her performance/theater group Brigitte & Paula band. In 2014 Stine released two solo albums; Ok, wow (+3db) and In Labour (Pica Disk).
Adam de la Cour (b. 1979) is a composer and performer living just outside London. He is predominantly interested in absurdity and satire, often writing pieces that involve himself as performer/participant and often victim. Alongside his writing he is active as a vocalist, electric guitarist and clown, premiering works by Michael Finnissy, Chris Newman, Alwynne Pritchard, Matthew Shlomowitz, and Neil Luck among others. He continues to perform Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire (speaker) with Ensemble Reconsil, with past performances in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and The Arnold Schoenberg Centre in Vienna. He is a founding member of Squib-box, a cooperative and netlabel dedicated to the production and dissemination of radical and avant-garde music, regardless of its genre.
Syed Zubair Ali is a singer in the North Indian music tradition. He was born and raised in Norway with roots from India and Pakistan. Since he was 14, Ali has been apprentice of the musician Guru Shri Lal Sahajpal. He is an active performer and has appeared alongside jazz band Suzy&2 among others.
Thorolf Thuestad is an artist, sound designer, musician, composer and art technician with extensive experience from a wide range of productions in theater, dance, film, installation, electronics and music.
22 - 24 May 2014