Daily Music Post

I just checked out the world premiere of Anna Clyne's "Primula Vulgaris" (2010) as performed by the New York outfit Metropolis Ensemble. This is a great piece.

About the piece:

Primula vulgaris: This European native is commonly known as the English Primrose and is a welcome sight in the spring.

Flower clusters enchant the beholder with pale colors of red, purple, yellow, white and blue, all with a yellow eye. The inspiration for this piece was a reading of the first string quartet I wrote for Metropolis. The original premise was to compose a string quartet derived from material from Within Her Arms, a string ensemble piece that Metropolis will perform in May 2010. The reading taught me two valuable lessons. Firstly, to write each piece fresh and anew—leaning back on older pieces can create lifeless music. I'm in a different space to where I was a year ago, when I was writing Within Her Arms. Secondly, I realized what an influence actually knowing the musicians I'm writing for has on my music. Having a sense of the musicians both individually and as an ensemble can really influence a piece and its direction. As a result of hearing my initial string quartet, I decided to start anew with fresh material and writing with Kristin, Sean, Maurycy, and Nicholas in mind.

Primula Vulgaris was commissioned and premiered by the Metropolis Ensemble at the Americas Society in New York City.

About the composer:

London-born Anna Clyne is a composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music, combining resonant soundscapes with propelling textures that weave, morph, and collide in dramatic explosions. Her work, described as “dazzlingly inventive” by Time Out New York, often includes collaborations with cutting edge choreographers, visual artists, film-makers, and musicians worldwide.

Currently the Chicago Symphony’s Mead Composer-in-Residence through the 2013–14 season, the orchestra has performed several of her works, including the premiere of Night Ferry in 2012 under the baton of Riccardo Muti. An avid advocate for music education, Clyne teaches composition workshops for local young composers and incarcerated youths as part of this residency, and served as the Director of the New York Youth Symphony’s award-winning program for young composers “Making Score” from 2008 to 2010. Clyne was also recently a guest composer at the 2011 Mizzou New Music Summer Festival.

Clyne’s work has been championed by some of the world’s finest conductors, including Marin Alsop, Pablo Heras-Casado, George Manahan, Jeffrey Milarsky, Riccardo Muti, Alan Pierson, Andre de Ridder, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Osmo Vänskä. Recent commissions include the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, Houston Ballet, London Sinfonietta, Southbank Centre, ETHEL, Bang on a Can, Metropolis Ensemble, American Composers Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.

Clyne’s <<rewind<<, “inspired by the image of analog video tape rapidly scrolling backwards with fleeting moments of skipping, freezing and warping,” has been recently performed with both the BBC Symphony and BBC Concert Orchestra as well as at the Cabrillo Festival, the National Symphony Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

She has received numerous accolades, including a Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, eight consecutive ASCAP Plus Awards, and a Clutterbuck award from the University of Edinburgh. Additionally, she has received honors from Meet the Composer, the American Music Center, the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, and the Jerome Foundation. Clyne was a finalist for the ASCAP Morton Gould Composer Award, and was nominated for a 2010 British Composer Award.

In 2012, Tzadik Records released a full album of Clyne’s music, titled Blue Moth, showcasing a diverse range of her instrumental and ensemble with tape pieces, including Roulette, fits + starts and Steelworks.

Her music is published exclusively by Boosey & Hawkes.

“Anna Clyne is an artist who writes from the heart, who defies categorization and who reaches across all barriers and boundaries. Her compositions are meant to be played by great musicians and listened to by enthusiastic audiences no matter what their background.” – Riccardo Muti.