16th September, 21st October, 18th November, 9th December

This Autumn St Ann’s presents an introductory New Music Series, showcasing some of the fascinating work being created and performed by a diverse range of composers and performers across the UK, programmed by pianist Kate Halsall, in partnership with Simon Passmore, Director of Music.

Kate Halsall is a pianist developing and commissioning new music for a variety of projects, collaborating with ensembles and composers.  Born (and based) in Stockport, she grew up in the Upper Eden Valley, Cumbria, studying at Royal College of Music with Kendall Taylor and Yonty Solomon.  Kate co-produced the Sound Source series for SPNM and Sound and Music with Ed McKeon at Kings Place. She was founder and programmer for Music and The Mind concert series at the IOP, which received a PRS for Music Foundation Promoters Award. Kate and composer Colin Riley produced Music Orbit (Brunel University), an artist led network which ran from 2002, presenting a monthly platform for experimenting composers and performers at venues including The Forge, Kings Place, and ICA .

Kate has commissioned and premiered many new works, by composers including Kerry Andrew, Colin Riley, Shiva Feshareki, Edward Jessen , Katharine Norman, Graham Fitkin, Ailís Ní Ríain, Dominic Murcott, Angie Atmadjaja and Philip Cashian. Broadcasts include In Tune, Late Junction, Resonance fm, with album releases on Metier, NMC, Squeaky Kate and Summerfold Records (Skin and Wire, Piano Circus with Bill Bruford).

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September 16th 12.30-1.30pm:
Sarah Dacey soprano, Kate Halsall piano
Programme includes music by composers Philip Cashian, Elspeth Brookes and Camden Reeves; Judith Weir Master of The Queen’s Music, Tansy Davies, Kerry Andrew and Bushra El Turk.

October 21st 12.30-1.30pm

Rhodri Davies was born in 1971 and lives in Swansea, South Wales. He plays harp, electric harp, live-electronics and builds wind, water, ice, dry ice and fire harp installations. He has released four solo albums: Trem, Over Shadows, Wound Response and An Air Swept Clean of All Distance. His regular groups include: a duo with John Butcher, a trio with David Toop and Lee Patterson, Cranc, a duo with Richard Dawson, The Sealed Knot, Common Objects and a trio with John Tilbury and Michael Duch. He has recorded, toured and/or performed with the following artists: David Sylvian, Jenny Hval, Mark Fell, Kahimi Karie, Laura Cannell, Lina Lapelyte, Sachiko M, Bill Orcutt, Jim O’Rourke, Ben Patterson, Christian Marclay, Kaffe Matthews and John Zorn.

November 18th 12.30-1.30pm:
Amber Priestly- composer focus

Performers are student ensemble from Manchester University Music Department, with Lecturer in Composition Camden Reeves and SKD electro-acoustic trio of Sarah Dacey soprano, Kate Halsall piano/midi keys, Duncan MacLeod electronics.

December 9th 12.30-1.30pm:

Juxtavoices is an anti-choir of 36 mostly untrained voices whose repertoire includes members’ own compositions and arrangements of classic modernist poems and found texts. The scores provide structure but freedom of pitch allows improvisation to shape the detail so that no two performances are ever the same. Audiences are unfailingly surprised by the Juxtavoices sound. Some try to name-check composers in the avant-garde tradition but none quite fit. Some shudder at the dark theatricality, some hear the humour, some are outraged while others feel an irresistible urge to join the ranks. This is singing on the edge of not-singing or vice versa, a music only previously heard in a sound-poet’s dreams. The group enjoys unusual acoustic spaces – furnace floor or bear pit or library stairwell – as well as churches and more conventional concert venues. It hopes to create a chord which will startle the ghost of Thomas Tallis. Directed by Martin Archer and Alan Halsey Juxtavoices uniquely combines the outer reaches of improvised music and innovative poetry.
Here’s a mass exorcism, a whole tribe talking in tongues, 30 full-moon were-Ligetis, and Wicker Man workings wrangled by the Swingle Singers. – Stewart Lee, SUNDAY TIMES