To create an album of Howard Skempton’s chamber pieces celebrating his quirky and unique melding of early and folk musical instruments with modern composition on the Divine Art label, including new arrangements of his Concerto for Hurdy-gurdy & Percussion, and Concerto for Accordion & Oboe, performed by sextet Sirinu. The album is to be released in 2018.
Who are Sirinu? Sirinu performs early, world and new music. It commissions new music for early and unusual instruments.Sara Stowe (voice, keyboard & gamelan), Matthew Spring (hurdy-gurdy, lutes, guitar, viol & gamelan), Jon Banks (accordion & medieval harp), Chris Brannick (percussion), Christopher Redgate (oboe & harpsichord), Isabelle Carré (flutes, recorder & gamelan). 'A tour de force of sound, colour, energetic and virtuosic...not only extremely original and convincing, but also great fun.'
Why do we need crowdfunding and what will it cover? It is difficult to raise funds for a recording project which is not main-stream, such as this one, so we thought we would approach a community of people interested in a distinctive musical voice and in this unique combination of instruments. The budget will support the costs of the recording sessions, the engineer/producer and final editing of the master copy, the production costs of one thousand CDs, the booklet and packaging, and then world-wide marketing and distribution (including digital downloads) by Métier records (Divine Art). The album will be launched in 2018. Every amount donated will contribute towards this target, however big or small. Thank you for your interest and support.
What are we going to record? The recording will present Skempton’s music written for small ensemble of early, folk and modern instruments:
- Concerto for Accordion and Oboe in a new 2017 quintet arrangement
- Concerto for Hurdy-gurdy & Percussion in a new 2017 quintet arrangement
- The man hurdy-gurdy and me for soprano, hurdy-gurdy, medieval harp and percussion (written for and premièred by Sirinu)
- The Beauty of the Morning for sléndro gamelan trio (peking, saron and gendèr)
- Feste’s Song for voice, treble recorder and guitar
- Bagatelle for flute
- Lamentations for voice and theorbo
- Gloss for oboe and vibraphone
- Winter My Secret for soprano, treble recorder, viol, harpsichord
- Highland Dances arranged for lute
- Half Moon for flute and accordion
- Apple Blow for voice and pélog gamelan
- Random Girl for oboe and percussion
About Howard Skempton Howard Skempton, who celebrates his 70th birthday this year, is a composer, accordionist, and music publisher. He studied in London with Cornelius Cardew from 1967 since which time he has developed his own individual musical language of great simplicity. His lists of compositions - over 300 works, include miniatures for solo piano and accordion, works for Ensemble Bash, for the Bozzoni String Quartet, the BBC Symphony and Concert Orchestras and the BBC Singers.
His compositions have won prizes at the annual Royal Philharmonic Society Awards, and the chamber prize at the BACS British Composer Awards. His music has been performed both in Britain and abroad with major performances in 2006-07 including Lento by the BBC Concert Orchestra (QEH), the string quartets in Sweden and Canada (2007). His piece for church bells (Five Rings Triples) was commissioned for the 2012 Olympic games. Skempton’s Hurdy-gurdy & Percussion Concerto was given its continental premières at Musica Viva, Munich (2002) and Dusseldorf (2004) by Sirinu’s Matthew Spring.
HEAR IT LIVE: Sirinu’s The Man Hurdy-Gurdy and Me 2017 concert tour presents music by Howard Skempton and other experimentalists, including Skempton’s Concertos for Hurdy-gurdy & Percussion and for Accordion & Oboe; graphic scores, pieces by Cornelius Cardew, Michael Parsons & Chris Hobbs … and a chance for the audience to join in. Come and hear us on June 3 at JdP Music Building Oxford; 27 June at Café OTO London; 8 November at Michael Tippett Centre Bath Spa; or 10 November Birmingham Conservatoire. For details see www.sirinu.org