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British Composition Season has come to the final episode
British Composition Season, which took place during the last three months, entitled New Work, new audiences, at the initiative of British Council Bucharest has reached the final episode on March 29th 2011, in the hall of the National Art Centre 'Tinerimea Română' The Profil ensemble, conducted by Dan Dediu , joined by the percussionist Alexandru Matei , sketched a portrait of the British contemporary music through seven works selected from the creation of a few composers who are quite different from stylistic point of view.
If the flash-back technique of the cinema is also relevant in the music area, I have to mention some aspects I witnessed during the musical evening that made me wonder what will be the specific features of the music created in Great Britain today: Bordertownes of Central Europe by Joe Cutler -where I noticed the preference for the contrasted timbre between the flute of Ion Bogdan Ștefănescu and the bas-clarinet of Emil Vișenescu; the juxtaposition of some musical plans - in the mosaic of grotesque scenes suggested by Philip Cashian, through the register and rhythmic formulas, but also by the descriptivist content in the works of Tansy Davies - Grind Show and Ivor Bonnici - New Work an opus presented for the first time.
A musical evening where the professionalism, the force and the sensibility of the members of the ensemble Profil were intertwined with the passion of the British composers; literally outlining a cultural bridge between the European East and West.
And because the musical evening had invited three of the composers included in the program- Cashian, Tansy Davies and Ivor Bonnici - I made a short interview with one of them.
Mr.Philip Cashian, you were present at three of the four recitals of the British Composition Season. What conclusion can be made in this moment by an English composer?
I am incredible impressed by the musicians who offered these recitals, interpreting all these extremely difficult scores - they all were extraordinary and I am really amazed by their performance.
But regarding the general features of the contemporary musical creation in your country -what do you think will be its general features? Can you enumerate some coordinates?
It is extremely difficult to put your finger on a certain type of the British music today-especially if you talk about your music -but I think that there can be a emphasis on the rhythmic parameter, but also a musical thinking on layers, on several plans.
Can we talk about minimalism?
I would rather talk about a reiterative aspect: not minimalism in the style of Steve Reich , because he has a different harmony - but a reiterative aspect in a more schematic way. Also we prefer sonorous timbres and effects- we use the instrumental colours and registers like we paint a picture.
It is a narrative, descriptivist music- it tells stories...
Yes, absolutely. Especially the play of the composer Tansy Davies seemed narrative in a more explicit way - yes ,I think you are right, in the British music, it is a clear tendency to narrative , not necessarily explicit, but the connection of the title and the theme can be markers in this way, even at first audition.
Translated by Elena Enache and Laura Bosnea
MTTLC, Bucharest University