Saturday 24 September 2022
DEIAN ROWLANDS (Harp) AND SARA TRICKEY (Violin)
John Luther Adams
Five Yup’ik Dances
Perlau yn y glaw (Movements 1-4)
Suite for Harp
John Luther Adams
Five Athabascan Dances
Harp & Percussion, 16’
Deian is joined by percussionist Rhydian Griffiths for Five Athanascan Dances.
For John Luther Adams, music is a lifelong search for home—an invitation to slow down, pay attention, and remember our place within the larger community of life on earth. Living for almost 40 years in northern Alaska, JLA discovered a unique musical world grounded in space, stillness, and elemental forces. In the 1970s and into the ’80s, he worked full time as an environmental activist.
But the time came when he felt compelled to dedicate himself entirely to music. He made this choice with the belief that, ultimately, music can do more than politics to change the world. Since that time, he has become one of the most widely admired composers in the world, receiving the Pulitzer Prize, a Grammy Award, and many other honors. In works such as Become Ocean, In the White Silence, and Canticles of the Holy Wind, Adams brings the sense of wonder that we feel outdoors into the concert hall. And in outdoor works such as Inuksuit and Sila: The Breath of the World, he employs music as a way to reclaim our connections with place, wherever we may be.
A deep concern for the state of the earth and the future of humanity drives Adams to continue composing. As he puts it: “If we can imagine a culture and a society in which we each feel more deeply responsible for our own place in the world, then we just may be able to bring that culture and that society into being.”
Since leaving Alaska, JLA and his wife Cynthia have made their home in the deserts of Mexico, Chile, and the southwestern United States
Five Yup’ik Dances
John Luther Adams writes:
This set of miniatures is based on traditional dance songs of the Yupik Eskimo people of Western Alaska. In their original forms, these melodies would be sung in unsion and the first, third and fifth songs would be accompanied by frame drums. The second and fourth are game songs, for jumping rope and juggling pebbles. Aside from the obvious difference in instrumentation, my settings of these songs differ from the Yup’ik originals in other respects. I have extended and varied the melodies, and added countermelodies, ostinato figurations, introductions, interludes and codas. The first four melodies are drawn from the collection Yup’ik Eskimo songs, compiled by Thomas F. Johnston, and Tupou L. Pulu, and published by the University Of Alaska. The fifth was ‘loaned’ to me by Yup’ik singer and dancer Chuna McIntyre, who learned it in his village of Eek, Alaska. The poems preceding each piece are rough translations of the words to the songs. These verses are often cryptic and enigmatic. Their obscurity is increased because some of the words or their meanings have been lost, over time.
Five Athabascan Dances
John Luther Adams writes:
These pieces are inspired by the music and spirit of the Athabascan people of Alaska’s boreal forest.
The first and third dances are based on songs by Joe Beetus, a Koyukon elder from the village of Huslia. The second dance is based on a short traditional song of the Dena’ina people of the Kenai Peninsula, as remembered by the late Peter Kalifornsky and transcribed by the late Thomas F. Johnston.
In their original settings these melodies would be sung in unison, with no harmony or counterpoint. Working as a composer in the Western tradition, I have extended and transformed them in many ways. I have “borrowed” and “set” these melodies with permission and with the hope that my treatment of them conveys my profound respect for their origins.
The second and third pieces are derived from my settings of poems by Adeline Peter Raboff written in the dialect of her Gwich’in people, who inhabit the country from Arctic Village to Old Crow.
I offer this music as a gesture of respect to the first peoples of the Northern Interior and the Kenai Peninsula
Huw Watkins was born in Wales in 1976 and studied piano with Peter Lawson at Chetham’s School of Music and composition with Robin Holloway, Alexander Goehr and Julian Anderson at Cambridge and the Royal College of Music. In 2001 he was awarded the Constant and Kit Lambert Junior Fellowship at the Royal College of Music, where he later taught composition. He currently teaches composition at the Royal Academy of Music.
In 2001 he was awarded the Constant and Kit Lambert Junior Fellowship at the Royal College of Music, where he later taught composition. He currently teaches composition at the Royal Academy of Music. Watkins has written concertos for a number of high-profile soloists, including the widely acclaimed Violin Concerto (2010) for Alina Abragimova, premiered by BBC Symphony Orchestra with Edward Gardner. London Symphony Orchestra has commissioned two concertos: London Concerto (2005) and the Flute Concerto (2013) for Adam Walker, premiered under Daniel Harding in 2014. His longstanding relationship with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales has resulted in a number of works, including a Piano Concerto (2001-5) premiered in 2002 with the composer at the piano, and a Double Concerto (2004-5) premiered by Philip Dukes (viola) and Josephine Knight (cello).
As Composer in Association, Watkins wrote the Cello Concerto (2016) for his brother Paul Watkins, premiered at the BBC Proms under Thomas Søndergård, Spring (2017) for orchestra premiered with Ryan Wigglesworth, and The Moon for chorus and orchestra, which premieres at the 2019 Proms. In 2017, the Hallé Orchestra commissioned Watkins’ Symphony, premiered under Music Director Sir Mark Elder. 2020 began with the world premiere of Dawning for Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.
Commissioned by the BBC and premiered at the Wigmore Hall in 2006, Partita for Solo Violin was written for the young Russian violinist Alina Ibragimova, a BBC New Generation Artist. Watkins describes his Partita as a ‘very fast, relentless gigue’. It is an attractive and expressive concert work which also showcases he virtuosity of the soloist. There are 5 sections:
II Lento ma non troppo
V Allegro molto
Suite for Harp
Commissioned by the Presteigne Festival of Music and Arts, Huw Watkins Suite for Harp was premiered at the 2006 Festival.
A graduate of Bangor University, Mared completed a doctorate in performance on the harp and composition in 2014 with a scholarship funded by the European Union. In 2011, she won the Urdd National Eisteddfod’s Chief Composition medal for her work Perlau yn y Glaw for solo harp, which is now performed regularly at different harp competitions and festivals.
Mared has received a number of composition commissions, including works for the Wales International Piano Festival, Colwyn Male Voice Choir, a work for the Bangor Music Festival premiered by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and a harp concerto for the Beaumaris Festival, performed by the Welsh Chamber Orchestra, with Mared herself as the soloist. In 2018, she collaborated with musician Gwenan Gibbard and poet Mererid Hopwood on a commission by the Wales International Harp Festival to celebrate the world renowned harpist Osian Ellis’ 90th birthday.
Recently, Mared was commissioned by Opra Cymru to write an opera for children and families: Cyfrinach y Brenin, currently touring Wales.
Perlau yn y glaw
This composition is a series of dances for the harp. They are not specific dances but have a dance like feel, inspired by the sense that there is rhythm and dance in everything around us. The title comes from the idea that raindrops shine like pearls on leaves, when we take the time to look. Sometimes they are hidden, almost in secret.
In this performance, Deian will be performing movements 1, 2 3 & 4.
British-American composer Freya Waley-Cohen demonstrates an “instinct for colour” (The Arts Desk), proving her ability to move from “a bubbling, popping, feathered array of orchestral sounds” to a “quiet, eerie, interior world” (The Guardian). Waley-Cohen’s music is characterised by contrasts between earthy rhythmic play with bold colours, fragility, luminous spaces, and a sense of the otherworldly. Many of her recent works play with myths, magic and the occult as lenses through which to look at the contemporary world.
Waley-Cohen’s music has been commissioned by institutions and ensembles including the LA Philharmonic, BBC Proms, Wigmore Hall, Philharmonia Orchestra, The Britten Sinfonia, King’s Singers, The Hermes Experiment, the Aldeburgh, Presteigne, Santa Fe, and Cheltenham festivals, and released on Signum, Nimbus, Nonclassical, Delphian and NMC records.
Recent successes include the world premiere of Waley-Cohen’s work Pocket Cosmos (2022), which was performed on 21 June 2022, directed by Pekka Kuusisto, and commissioned by the London Chamber Orchestra who performed the work. This concert concluded Waley-Cohen’s year as LCO’s Composer in Residence. From 28 July to 2 August 2022, Waley-Cohen’s contemporary dramatic song cycle Spell Book (2020) was performed at Longborough Festival Opera in its first complete staging. It featured text from Rebecca Tamás’ powerful collection of poems entitled ‘WITCH’, and was directed by Jenny Ogilvie and performed by CHROMA and members of the Emerging Artists ensemble. In addition, Waley-Cohen was commissioned to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Royal Academy of Music, and the world premiere of her opera, WITCH, was performed from 23 to 26 March 2022, directed by Polly Graham and conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth.
Previous highlights of concert works include Naiad (2019), commissioned for the BBC Proms and premiered by the Knussen Chamber Orchestra under Ryan Wigglesworth; Lend us your Voice (2019), commissioned and premiered by the King’s Singers; Dust (2019), co-commissioned by the Aldeburgh Festival, Sainte Mere festival, and the Phillips Collection and premiered by the Albion Quartet.
Other highlights include a performance by George Fu at the Presteigne Festival of Bad Habit (2021); a performance of Changeling (2019) by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Ed Gardner; and a performance of Snap Dragon (2017) by the Albion Quartet at Cheltenham Festival.
Waley-Cohen has created a number of immersive works and installations including Permutations (2017), an interactive artwork and a synthesis of architecture and music created during an Open Space Residency at Snape Maltings from 2015 – 2017.
As composer in residence at the London Chamber Orchestra for the 2021 – 2022 season, this position included performances of Waley-Cohen’s works Happiness (2018) and Saffron (2016) as well as two new commissions for the orchestra. Winner of a 2017 RPS Composition Prize, Waley-Cohen held an Open Space Residency at Snape Maltings from 2015 – 2017 and was 2016 –18 Associate Composer of Nonclassical. Waley-Cohen currently lives in London.
Freya Whaley-Cohen writes:
Written for my sister, Tamsin Waley-Cohen, as a solo version of our project Permutations.
Approaching this work, I attempted to create a sense of simultaneity of different musical materials through a process of juxtaposition. I began by adapting several of the different characters Permutations into solo material, and expanding on them in this capacity.
While testing material for Permutations in various different acoustics, Andrew and Finbarr recorded me playing the violin in various acoustic settings. For these acoustic experiments, I improvised around the melody which became one of the central themes of both Permutations and Unveil. When writing Unveil, I went back to many of these improvisations to notate them and weave the material into the fabric of the new solo piece. I treated them as the opening of the work, while using the other themes to form a cumulative collage of material leading the listener away from the melodic line gradually. I imagined each of the characters as different interweaving pathways around a central thread, that would eventually fall away to reveal, or unveil the melody in its original form.
Unveil has been recorded by Tamsin and released on Signum Classics in June 2017.
Welsh harpist Deian Rowlands studied at Wells Cathedral School and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Manon Morris, Bryn Lewis, David Watkins and Ann Griffiths, where he was awarded scholarships by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Arts Council of Wales, Craxton Memorial Fund, The Leverhulme Trust, S4C, and the Open Instrumental Blue Ribbon at the 2002 National Eisteddfod of Wales.
Deian has established a career as a versatile harpist working in most genres of music. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician all over the UK as well as in France, Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the USA. He made his Wigmore Hall debut in 2002 with Ravel’s ‘Introduction and Allegro’ and has performed as soloist with the London Chamber Orchestra and BBC Concert Orchestra on BBC Radio 2 (Friday Night is Music Night) and at the BBC Proms, as well as recording Concerto for Clarinet, Harp and Orchestra by Rudolph Dolmetsch with BBC National Orchestra of Wales for CALA Signum.
Early in his career, Deian was part of the Live Music Now! Recital scheme, where he performed at many of Britain’s music festivals, including Criccieth, North Wales International, Chichester, Cambridge, St David’s and Fishguard festivals. In 2006 he was invited by HRH the Prince of Wales to entertain the Royal Family on the occasion of the Queen’s 80th Birthday at Kew Palace.
He regularly performs with the country’s leading opera, ballet and symphony orchestras, including The Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Philharmonia, Royal Ballet Sinfonia and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestras, working with artists including Sir Antonio Pappano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Vlademir Ashkenazy, Sir Bryn Terfel, Kiri Te Kanawa, Nigel Kennedy, Maxim Vengerov, Andrea Bocelli, Katherine Jenkins, Gregory Porter, Clare Teal, Take That, Frankie Valli, The Jacksons and McFly. He has toured the majority of Europe, Asia, The Middle East, Central and North America. Deian has also held the harp seat for West End productions of ‘South Pacific’ (Lincoln Centre production at the Barbican) and ‘42nd Street’ (Theatre Royal Drury Lane). In the recording studio, he has worked on many TV, film and commercial soundtracks, and was a featured artist on Joby Talbot’s ‘Tide Harmonic’ (Hyperion). He has also featured on recordings with Renée Fleming (Decca), Sheku Kanneh-Mason (Decca) and Emma Johnson (Nimbus) as well as recording with artists including Sam Smith and Jazz trumpeter James Morrison.
An enthusiastic performer of new works, he has commissioned and premiered works by John Metcalf (Three Miniatures for Flute and Harp), Ben Ellin (Harp Concerto), Eric Crees (Three Sketches of Rackham) and Kieron Galliard (Ensueno Espagnol). In 2014, Deian was the harpist for Taliesin Arts Centre’s highly acclaimed production of ‘Under Milk Wood – An Opera’ by John Metcalf. Deian also works as a composer and arranger and has written several library albums for Brilliant Music, Cues4U and West One Music Group.
Sara Trickey enjoys an exciting and diverse career as a solo violinist and chamber musician. Noted for her “fiery and passionate” performances (The Strad) and her “beautifully refined tone” (Musical Opinion), she performs at many of the major UK festivals and venues.
Sara has performed most of the repertoire for violin and orchestra, with orchestras that include the City of London Sinfonia and the Orchestra of St John’s (“The Beethoven violin concerto was quite simply perfection” – Seen and Heard International). She recently recorded the David Matthews double concerto for violin and viola with the English Symphony Orchestra and violist Sarah-Jane Bradley.
She is a founder member of the Odysseus Piano Trio and is currently a member of The Rossetti Ensemble. She plays in a violin duo with Andrew Watkinson, leader of the Endellion Quartet. Prior to forming these groups, Sara led the Bronte String Quartet for six years, winning the Royal Overseas League competition and second prize in the Cremona International Quartet competition.
Sara studied with Camilla Wicks and also was very much influenced by her studies at IMS Prussia Cove. She read Classics at Trinity Hall, Cambridge and this continues to be a passion. She also enjoys teaching, primarily at the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Originally from the Forest of Dean, Rhydian graduated from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with 1st Class Honours in July 2013.
As a freelance orchestral percussionist, he performs regularly with ensembles
including the Orchestra of Welsh National Opera, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the Novello Orchestra.
Rhydian is currently deputy percussionist / drums for Les Miserables (UK & Ireland Tour) and Disney’s Beauty and The Beast (London Palladium and UK Tour). Previous deputy credits include Everyone’s Talking About Jamie (UK & Ireland Tour); Les Miserables (2018-2020 UK & European Tour) and Miss Saigon (2017-2019 UK & International Tour). Upcoming work includes the South Pacific UK tour.
Rhydian works with a diverse range of ensembles and artists and has also played at many festivals both classical and non-classical – from the BBC Proms to the Big Chill and the Isle of Wight Music Festivals. His session credits include work for BBC TV and Radio and S4C.
Rhydian is currently endorsed by Los Cabos Drum Sticks.