On Monday the 14th November, Aaron Breeze performed a unique piano recital which included a work of his own, as well as new compositions by myself and two other composers from the RNCM.
At the tail end of last year we were commissioned by Aaron to write pieces in response the theme of ‘exposure’, which has inspired a large amount of his recent compositional output. As you might expect, this led to three quite different interpretations of his ideas, all of which contributed in their own way to the concert experience as a whole.
My piece (the fifth piece from Five Pieces/Colour in Water) explores the idea of the performer being ‘exposed’ through the use of both live and pre-recorded speech during performance, as well as a large amount of interpretive freedom within the score itself. The central premise of the work is to explore connections between pastiche cabaret and my own material using a modular system which allows the performer to freely navigate the given material, as well as allowing for passages of improvisation to take place in between the written notation.
Whilst grappling with these modules, Aaron also has to speak fragments from a text that I commissioned especially from Jim Carruth, a highly regarded Sheffield based poet. I asked Jim to write this poem at a time when I was about to move to Manchester and start my studies at the RNCM. It seemed a fitting text for this project in order to expose some of my own feelings through the performer alongside that of their own.
A pre-recorded electronic track accompanies the piano with a looped version of the text so that as the electronic version of Aaron’s voice becomes louder, his live speech begins to match with electronic track and more of the text can be understood by the audience.
There is a link to a video of the performance below, and an audio recording on my Soundcloud page. I encourage you to listen to the other three pieces in the playlist as they are all fantastically written and performed!