Stefan Prins, Piano Hero #1–#4
An immersive cycle for midi-keyboard, grand piano, live-cameras, video and live-electronics (2011–2017)
Stephane Ginsburgh, piano
Florian Bogner (ICST Zürich), computer music realisation
Alexis Nealon, sound projection
Stefan Prins makes his Irish debut at Music Current as festival guest composer. Prins is a fearless composer, eager to explore beyond convention and any perceived musical boundaries.
His mastery of both technique and technology are evident in this Piano Hero series of pieces. At times whimsical, or even throw-away, the Piano Hero pieces demonstrate Prins' dedication to revealing the relationship between materials and their context, and to imagining new musical forms through extra-musical materials and technologies.
Together with Stephane Ginsburgh (piano) and Florian Bogner (computer music realisation) this team produce a tour de force of technical and technological virtuosity.
Catherine Lamb (USA), Curvo Totalities
Ann Cleare (Ire), I should live in wires for leaving you behind
Rick Burkhardt (USA), New Work
Ian Antonio, percussion
Laura Barger, piano
Ning Yu, piano
Russell Greenburg, percussion
"fearless" / "restlessly curious" / "spare, strange, and very, very new" - TimeOutNY
The virtuosic Yarn|Wire ensemble (USA) bring two new works by rising stars of the American new music scene – Catherine Lamb (hypnotic... vivid, evocative [The Guardian]) and award-winning playwright, performer, composer Rick Burkhardt – together with the Irish premier of Ann Cleare's spellbinding 'I should live in wires for leaving you behind'.
With these three works Yarn|Wire ensemble fill the space with a 'theatre of objects' that must be witnessed. Not to be missed!
John Cage, (Selections from) Sonatas & Interludes
Elis Czerniak, historical memories, personal memories, present memories (for prepared piano and live electronics)*
Francis Heery, New Work (for prepared piano and live electronics)*
*Music Current Commission
Izumi Kimura, piano
Elis Czerniak, computer
Francis Heery, computer
Alexis Nealon, sound projection
One of Ireland's most inventive improvisers – Izumi Kimura – joins forces with two of the country's most imaginative composers (Francis Heery and Elis Czerniak) to reinvent the 'prepared piano' and extend its possibilities with live electronics through two new works specially commissioned for Music Current Festival. The new works are contextualised with John Cage's seminal Sonatas and Interludes, one of the best known works from the 'inventor' of the prepared piano. These new works follow Cage's original preparations to fix screws, bolts and rubbers inserted between the strings.
This programme is supported by Jeffers Pianos, in association with Galway Jazz Festival and Music Network.
Participant Composers, Selected Works
Silvia Rosani, Frauenstimmen (for piano and computer)
Fergal Dowling, Mixed Synthetic Fabrics (for piano and computer)
Helga Arias Parra, Astraglossa (for piano and computer)
Xenia Pestova, piano
Silvia Rosani, live electronics
Helga Arias Parra, computer
Fergal Dowling, computer
Alexis Nealon, sound projection
Powerful, refined, sensitive, imaginative, precise – Xenia Pestova brings her immense talents to the eight new works selected from the international 'call for participation'. This spectacular programme also premieres two new commissions, including Silva Rosani's award winning new work for piano, resonating metal plates and keyboard instruments. Together with the Irish premiere of Helga Arias Parra's tactile 'Astraglossa,' and Fergal Dowling new Arts Council commission – Mixed Synthetic Fabrics (for piano and live electronics) – Xenia has assembled a visual and aural feast.
See below for more details on how to participate in Music Current. Photo credit, Chris Webb.
Smock Alley Theatre is situated on Exchange Street Lower with its façade facing on to Wood Quay.
The Contemporary Music Centre is at 19 Fishamble Street in the west end of Dublin's cultural quarter, Temple Bar, adjacent to Smock Alley Theatre, Christ Church Cathedral and Dublin Castle, and is a short walk from Trinity College.
Nearest car parks are Fleet Street Car Park and Christchurch Car Park at the rear of Jury's Hotel.
Both venues are close to the Dublin City Council Offices on Wood Quay; a 10-minute walk from Tara Street DART station and 5-minute walk from the Jervis Street stop on the red LUAS line, and a 10-minute walk from O'Connell Street.
All buses to Wood Quay, Ormond Quay, Wellington Quay, Parliament Street, and Lord Edward Street.
Dublin Sound Lab invites composers of any age or nationality, with experience or interest in electronic composition and performance, to participate in Music Current Festival, 12–14 April 2018.
Participation & Commission Opportunity
Composers are invited to submit new or existing works for piano in combination with fixed-media, computer or live electronics. As many as eight composers will be selected to participate in workshops and masterclasses with the renowned Belgian composer Stefan Prins (www.stefanprins.be).
Selected works will be workshopped and performed in concert by Xenia Pestova (www.xeniapestova.com) on the final day of the festival, when one of the participating composers will be awarded the Music Current Commission of €2,500 for a new work to be premiered at Music Current 2019.
Participating composers will attend all festival concerts, and will take part in a programme of masterclasses and workshops at the Contemporary Music Centre and Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin. Composers will receive an audio recording of the concert performance of their own work. Irish composers can apply for a Contemporary Music Centre Travel Bursary to cover travel costs within the island of Ireland.
Masterclasses and Workshops
Thursday 12 April, 4–5pm: Welcome and Presentation by Stefan Prins Fox (CMC Library)
Guest composer, Stefan Prins, presents on his recent work, with special reference to the festival theme, 'piano + electronics'.
Thursday 12 April, 6pm: Music Current Festival Launch (CMC Library)
Festival launch with invited guests, festival composer Stefan Prins, participant composers, festival performers, and composers and technicians from Dublin Sound Lab.
Friday 13 April, 10am–12.30pm: Masterclass workshop with Stefan Prins (CMC Library)
Participating composers present on their work in round-table discussions moderated by Stefan Prins. Composers will discuss technical and performance-related issues relevant to the selected works in a friendly discursive session involving all participant composers.
Friday 13 April, 1pm–2pm: Presentation with Silvia Rosani (CMC Library)
Silvia Rosani, recipient of the 2017 IMRO/Music Current Commission, presents on her recently completed work.
Friday 13 April, 3pm–4pm: Masterclass with pianist Xenia Pestova (CMC Library)
Pianist Xenia Pestova offers observations on participant composers' compositions, focusing on technique, presentation, style and performance-related issues.
Friday 13 April, 4pm–5pm: Technical Review with Alexis Nealon (CMC Library)
Senior sound engineer, Alexis Nealon, discusses practical sound engineering issues concerning computer-based mixed music, focusing on participant composers' works. Topics will include: scalable performance, studio audition versus concert reproduction, distribution and portability of electronic music, understanding sound levels and engineering terminology.
Friday 13 April, 6pm: Public Panel Discussion, 'Are we there yet?' (CMC Library)
Public discussion on current composition trends, performance practice, critical perspectives, and new directions, featuring festival composers Stefan Prins and Ann Cleare, pianist Xenia Pestova, sound artist Sven Anderson and musicologist Adrian Smith (DIT). Moderated by Evonne Ferguson, Director of CMC.
Saturday 14 April, 10am–2pm: Technical workshop (Smock Alley Theatre)
Rehearsal of works by participant composers for this afternoon's concert. Open to all participating composers.
APPLICATIONS CLOSE 15 FEBRUARY 2018How to Apply
Music Current is an annual festival produced by Dublin Sound Lab. The festival offers Dublin audiences a showcase of contemporary Irish electronic music and new international repertoire. In partnership with the Contemporary Music Centre, the festival offers composers the chance to participate in professional development programmes, collaborations, performances and the opportunity of a significant commission. Subscribe to our mailing list and learn about upcoming projects, or follow us on social media.
Vibrating string photo by kind permission of Andrew Davidhazy (http://www.davidhazy.org/andpph/)
Piano Hero photocredit: Jan Schacher