Open Circuit returns with FREE concerts exploring music and tech

The University of Liverpool’s Open Circuit returns to push the boundaries between music making and technology with four FREE concerts in March.

On Saturday 14 March, international group The Riot Ensemble live up to their name with a programme that disrupts conventional expectations of chamber music.

Centred around Brian Ferneyhough’s feverishly virtuosic sextet Liber Scintillarum (Book of Sparks) and Gerard Grisey’s spectral masterpiece Talea, this programme also includes a performance of University composer Ben Hackbarth’s thrilling Lockstep Variations which features two speakers placed inside the percussionists snare drums creating “a pair of phantom musicians, two disembodied drummers who are spatially and gesturally enmeshed with the acoustic ensemble”.

On Wednesday 18 March, Open Circuit presents Areas of Influence with Ensemble 10/10, conducted by Clark Rundell, in partnership with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. American minimalist Steve Reich reinvents Schoenberg’s classic ‘Pierrot’ instrumentation in his Pulitzer Prize winning Double Sextet.

Alumna, Emily Vanlint performs a work inspired by Giraud’s Pierrot Lunaire poetic cycle by Liverpool-based composer Eve Harrison, and new works by post-graduate composers Brittany Collie and Daniel Thorne are complemented by Fantasia and Two Pavanes by Peter Maxwell Davies, a founder member of the Pierrot Players.

On Saturday 21 March, the emphasis is on experimental audio-visual work. The University’s Oli Carman and Manchester-based composer and AV artist, Mark Pilkington make use of hand drawn sketches and human vocal sounds which are subject to a crazy metamorphosis using the software, Processing.

Brett Battey’s Estuaries 3 was awarded First Prize at MADATAC X in Madrid, Spain in 2019 and creates an immersive sound world created with the composer’s Nodewebba software. Run, a new audiovisual composition/documentary by David Berezan uses footage shot using a gopro camera whilst cross country marathon running and the programme also includes new work by David Arango Valencia and Tom Moreton.

Finally, on Wednesday 22 April, Open Circuit and the University of Liverpool’s popular Lunchtime Concert Series join forces to present internationally renowned cellist Jonathan Aasgaard in a programme of classic 20th century American cello works by George Crumb, Gita Razaz, Steve Reich and Ben Hackbarth.

Open Circuit is curated by members of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Composition and Technology (ICCaT), part of the University’s Department of Music. This year it also forms part of the University’s Open House festival.

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