By Jennifer Walsh
A Project Arts Centre Commission
Project presents the world premiere of its commission to Jennifer Walshe in a programme curated by the composer. The concert will also feature work by Michael Maierhof (Germany), Amnon Wolman (Israel), Andrew Hamilton (Ireland), Peter Edwards (US) and James Saunders (UK).
If, as critic Paul Griffiths once attested, music history died in 1960, how do we deal with the exquisite and varied sonic corpses we now find? We just keep listening. We just keep going. For the critic, contemporary music becomes harder and harder to sort, to categorise, to cram into restrictive stylistic boxes. For the composer, liberation comes with the death of music history, the escape from a stultifying stylistic school, the break into an after-garde. This concert presents the music of six composers concerned with the joy of this great escape. The sounds of the life we are living. Pop music, classical music, electronics, video, djs, traditional Irish musical instruments, junk, dictaphones, violin parts designed to be played specifically by people who cannot play the violin.
Now Wash Your Hands, commissioned for this concert by Project, invites you into someone’s front-room, where djs and instruments carve out their space against tin whistles, toy squeezeboxes and “found” answering machine-messages (“don’t leave the hoover in your room after you hoover up the flies”); Amnon Wolman’s Peter and Mr Wolf re-works the tale of Peter and the Wolf to involve a physical relationship between young Peter and a more contemporary social “wolf”; Michael Maierhoff’s splitting 5 hones our sense of attention and awareness of dirty sounds and the editing process in a piece for violin, CD and video; Peter Edwards’ Trio invites us to hear sounds delineating the space they’re presented in, providing unique ways to relate to our bodies in space and time. In addition, two new pieces by Andrew Hamilton and James Saunders, composed specially for this concert, will round out the programme.
The composer is dead. Long live the composer.
Jennifer Walshe January 2003
By Jennifer Walsh