In the face of a climate emergency, we are making great efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and create a more sustainable festival of new music.
October 2021’s soundfestival will be completely "flight-free" and we have asked all of our visiting artists to travel to Aberdeen by train instead of flying.
We estimate that on flights alone this will reduce our C02e emissions by at least 6 tonnes this year.
As this is inevitably impacting on our international collaborations which are so enriching, we have decided to experiment to find out how we can harness digital technologies to create alternative and meaningful ways for artists to collaborate over different continents without being physically present in the same room.
Composer Laura Bowler's Distance is a unique multimedia chamber work for amplified soprano and livestreamed ensemble.
Soprano Juliet Fraser will perform live in the performance space in Aberdeen, Scotland while Talea Ensemble are livestreamed from New York, USA.
This concept has become even more potent and politically charged since the pandemic. The work not only reflects on the impact of climate change and its relationship to the self-employed musicians lifestyle, but also delves into the idea of distance in its many forms; political distance, physical distance and screen interaction as distance.
With your support the world premiere performance of Distance will take place in Aberdeen in October 2021. The piece will then go on to be performed at Spitalfields Music Festival and Cheltenham Music Festival in July 2022.
"Talea is thrilled to team up again with star soprano Juliet Fraser and work with Laura Bowler on a new work for soundfestival. To be able to create music an ocean apart is an extraordinary, rewarding experience. We look forward to being a part of soundfestival this year!"
Alex Lipowski, Executive Director, Talea Ensemble
We have already secured some of the funding we need for the project from the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation and Hope Scott Trust. However, we are facing a shortfall of £4,000 which is why we need your help.
Your contribution will go directly towards artist and production fees.
We are grateful for your contribution no matter how large or small. If you're unable to make a donation why not help us spread the word about the project instead.
To thank you for your generosity, we have a range of rewards available for different levels of donations - check them out!
Some of our rewards will give you exclusive behind the scenes access to the project and the wider conversation taking place around it.
WHO'S INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT
Laura Bowler, composer
Laura Bowler, described as “a triple threat composer-performer-provocatrice” (The Arts Desk) is a composer, vocalist and Artistic Director specialising in theatre, multi-disciplinary work and opera. She has been commissioned across the globe by ensembles and orchestras including the BBC Symphony Orchestra, ROH2, Opera Holland Park, The Opera Group, Manchester Camerata, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Quatuor Bozzini (Canada), Ensemble Phace (Austria), Ensemble Linea (France) and Omega Ensemble (Australia).
Her recent projects include: a music theatre work, FFF, for ensemble and vocalist commissioned by BBC Radio 3 and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival; Feminine Hygiene, a multimedia work for large ensemble and vocalist commissioned by the BBC Philharmonic and Sounds from the Other City Festival; Damned Mob of Scribbling Women- a 20 minute music theatre song cycle for Lucy Goddard which was nominated for a British Composer Award; and Antarctica, a 50 minute multimedia work for orchestra and vocalist co-commissioned by Manchester Camerata and BBC Radio 3.
"There’s no denying Bowler’s defiant charisma: a cross between Cathy Berberian and Pussy Riot." The Spectator
Juliet Fraser, soprano
Soprano Juliet Fraser specialises in the gnarly edges of contemporary classical music. Internationally recognised as a committed interpreter of new music, she regularly appears as a guest soloist with ensembles Musikfabrik, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Modern, Plus-Minus and Talea. She is also a core member of EXAUDI vocal ensemble, which she co-founded in 2002 with composer/conductor James Weeks. Juliet is an active commissioner of new repertoire and has worked particularly closely with composers Pascale Criton, Michael Finnissy, Bernhard Lang, Cassandra Miller and Rebecca Saunders. Her recordings have been released on labels such as Kairos, Hat Hut, NMC, HCR and Another Timbre. Juliet is the founder and artistic director of the eavesdropping series in London and co-director of all that dust, a new label for new music.
Heralded as “a crucial part of the New York cultural ecosphere” by the New York Times, the Talea Ensemble is comprised of nineteen of New York City’s finest classically-trained musicians, with a mission to champion musical creativity, cultivate curious listeners, and bring visionary new works to life with vibrant performances that remain in the audience’s imagination long after a concert.
Recipients of the 2014 Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming, Talea has brought to life more than 30 commissions of major new works since it was founded in 2008. Partnering with institutions like the Austrian Cultural Forum or the French American Cultural Exchange, Talea has helped introduce NYC audiences to important works of such esteemed composers as Pierre Boulez, Georg Friedrich Haas, Beat Furrer, Pierluigi Billone, or Georges Aperghis.
Praised for their “verve and immaculate virtuosity” by the Washington Post, the Talea Ensemble is sought after both in the U.S. and Europe for its range, precision, risk-taking, and superior performance quality. Recent festival engagements include performances at Lincoln Center Festival, Internationales Musikinstitut Darmstadt, the Fromm Concerts at Harvard University, Warsaw Autumn Festival, Wien Modern, Chicago’s Contempo series, Royaumont Voix Nouvelles, Vancouver New Music, and many others. Talea’s recordings have been distributed worldwide on the Wergo, Gravina Musica, Tzadik, Innova, and New World Records labels, and been radio-broadcast on ORF (Austria), HRF (Germany), and WQXR’s Q2.
Talea assumes an ongoing role in supporting a new generation of composers, and has undertaken residencies in music departments at Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, Cornell, New York University, and many others.
Sam Redway, Director
Sam completed a physical theatre MA in Theatre Lab at Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts and is dramaturg and creative director for Knaïve Theatre. With Knaïve he co-wrote the world touring, international award-winning Bin Laden: The One Man Show; dramaturged War With The Newts (Lustrum Award for Outstanding Theatre), COVID Lockdown Breath Machine by Lavinia Murray and Us. (Post 23/3) by Kamal Kaan; and wrote an interactive, online, game-based environmental piece for Key Stage 2, Antarctica.
He has worked widely as a freelance dramaturg, movement director and librettist. Most recently he was dramaturg on Smoking Apples Theatre Company’s R&D of Kinder, a puppetry about the Czech Kindertransport of 1938 and PURE by Emma Hinds (HER Productions). Libretti include: hereditary (Laura Bowler & Ensemble Lydenskab, in progress) Tiresias 2.0 (Dominic Matthews, Tête à Tête, 2020), Cummings and Goerings (Zhenyan Li, Royal Academy of Music, 2020), Here Nor There (Zhenyan Li, Royal Academy of Music, 2019) and Women Conduct (Laura Bowler Tête à Tête, 2014).
His movement direction includes GOLD, Antarctica & FFF by Laura Bowler, Tiresias 2.0 by Dominic Matthews and Dead Tree Gives No Shelter by him and Bysshe Inigo Coffey.
sound is a new music organisation based in North East Scotland. sound runs the annual soundfestival, an award-winning festival of new music as well as learning and engagement activities throughout the year.
sound aims to increase access to new music, encourage excellence and experimentation and nurture talent.
sound works collaboratively both with local arts organisations to engage local audiences and with national /international organisations on collaborative projects. sound also engages with the local community by running a year-round composition programme for young people, organising schools workshops and supporting a local new music ensemble. sound supports composers through commissioning, development opportunities and workshops.
sound has successfully managed 16 festivals since 2005, attracting new audiences and critical acclaim. sound has reached over 106,700 audiences and participants, of which regularly between 20 and 30% have been attending a new music event for the first time.
"... the sound festival provided exactly the music you didn’t know you needed in our challenging current times, but which you really did." The Scotsman
Founded in 1976 as an annual summer music festival, for over 40 years Spitalfields Music has been putting music at the heart of East London. We aim to bring artists, audiences and communities together so that everyone can find, explore and share extraordinary music in one of the most vibrant areas of London.
Our mission is to bring diverse communities together in one most challenged and deprived boroughs in the UK, at a time when our perceived differences are threatening the well-being of our society. We do this through high-quality performances, an industry leading artist development programme and award-winning projects in schools, special educational needs and disabilities settings, care homes and community centres.
Cheltenham Music Festival
Established in 1945, Cheltenham Music Festival is one of the most prestigious music festivals in the world. We make the most of our Cotswold setting with a programme of show-stopping concerts in Cheltenham Town Hall, intimate musical adventures in the Pittville Pump Room, and a feast for the senses in cathedrals, abbeys and churches across the region.
With over 60 events and 650 performers joining us every year, we celebrate the very best contemporary composition alongside a feast of popular classics. Our impressive past performers have included Nicola Benedetti, Steven Isserlis, Alfie Boe, Milos and Evelyn Glennie. From hands-on family concerts, to world premieres by the world’s finest performers – Cheltenham Music Festival promises twelve days of sublime and surprising musical adventures for all ages.
Thank you for going the extra mile and supporting our project.