MUSICA NOVA – INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION OF ELECTRO-ACOUSTIC MUSIC

PhDr. Lenka Dohnalová- Institute of Arts in Prague /CZ/

Program


  1. J. L. DREVER, Musica nova 1999,Sounding of Angel
  2. V. DELANEY,Musica nova 2007, Different Shades of Blue
  3. K. CHEUNG, Musica nova 2002, Lost Souls Sketches
  4. K. SUZUKI, Musica nova 2002, Slipstream for tape and flute
  5. J. P. OLIVEIRA Musica nova 2005, Escada estreita, for flute and tape

The International competition of electro-acoustic music MUSICA NOVA has been established in 1969 in the two years old Pilsen radio studio. It was one of the first in this genre of music which were forming in the broadcasting at the beginning of 50th especially in Paris, Koln am Rhein and Milan. In the period of so called „political normalization“ after 1969 /Soviet occupation in Czechoslovakia/ scant started competition was stopped because its international and minority’s character similar to the aspects of the New Music didn´t be ranked among the actual socialist culture priorities. The restriction was related rather to the international contact and public presentation. The creating continues especially due to the young generation attracted to these new expressive possibilities.

In 1993, the competition has been renewed by the Society for EA music in Prague especially due to the initiative of composers Karel Odstrčil and Rudolf Růžička appreciated in the first year of the competition in 1969. In 1993, we received 16 compositions, the following year it was about 50 and the third ca 100. The number of rated compositions settled on 100-130 compositions from ca 35 countries around the world.

The competition is specialized in the artistic, exclusively music compositions because the multimedial genre has been more and more full-scale and difficult to compare. The second argument has been that in this pure artistic music genre the top of creativity and technical know-how is concentrated. The first evaluation criterium is the creativity level and the well-based engeering. Composers compete in two categories: A – pure electro-acoustic and B - the combination of live performing and EA.

The arrangement of chosen compositions for today´s concert is philosophical and ontological.

The first composition is titled SOUNDING OF ANGEL. It was composed by GB composer John Levack Drever in 1995. It has a simple structure in high register still sounds under the esoteric text with interludes in the principle of variations. Voice in the first variation has an asexual timbre.

JOHN LEVACK DREVER was born in Edinburgh in 1973. He studied Music at the University of Wales, Bangor and Dartington College of Arts. He is a co-founder and director of the UK and Ireland Soundscape Community (affiliated to the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology). He regularly presents his work internationally in a wide range of contexts including concert hall, radio, Internet, cathedral, classroom, fine art gallery, theatre, dance, video and for specific sites. Much of his work is collaborative working with Alice Oswald, Alaric Sumner, Lawrence Upton, Louise K. Wilson, Tony Lopez, Tony Whitehead and Blind Ditch, and has a special interest in human utterance and environmental sound. He has twice won a prize in the annual Musica Nova competition.

The following composition was awarded in the last year of the competition /2007/. It received the prize for young composer in the category A. Its name is DIFFERENT SHADES OF BLUES, composed by young Canadian woman-composer VALERIE DELANEY.

It starts in some still shape’s glimpses and is developed to the different sound symbols of blue /seas, sky…/. As a material for this composition, she used the timbre of glasses and metal.

DELANEY is studying baccalaureate in Montreal. She composes also music for films.

The third composition by KA – HO CHENG received the first prize in the year 2002 in category A.

LOST SOULS SKETCHES is inspired by certain ancient Chinese paintings about underground world and souls. This piece is visually analogous to the action of scrolling painting, which is converted into different soundscapes, as if the audience viewing a painting from one side to another side. The opening gesture was also used in the middle of the piece, which is symbolized as scrolling of a "sound picture". The manipulated sound of Sheng was used at the end, its bright and warm character reflects the rich universal energy of life and can be regarded as the answer to the previous sound sketches of Lost Souls.

It explores a variety of oriental soundscapes. The sampled oriental instruments such as Guqin, Erhu and Balinese gamelan were manipulated and transformed into various sonic possibilities, with spatialisation as the vital elements in this work.

CHEUNG began his study of electro-acoustic music with Dr. John Chen Kwok-Ping in 2001. He graduated from Hong Kong Baptist University since 2002 is studying electro-acoustic music composition at University of Missouri-Kansas City, U.S.A.

KOTOKA SUZUKI composed in 2002 SLIPSREAM for tape and flute in Berlin University EA studio. This work also focuses on the relationship between two elements of sound: noise and pitch, using the sound of the flute as the basis of the piece. The transformation of a single key-click into long sustained notes can be heard through out the piece. We can take the sound of the flute and noise as two ontological symbols of harmony and chaos.

Her compositions include for both instrumental and electro-acoustical music, as well as for dance and film. At present, she is mainly engaged in large multimedia production works, including a work for orchestra with multi-channel surround tape, and two collaboration works for tape and videos installations. She has also been a composer-in-residence at numerous international festivals and new music workshops.

The last composition of this concert is ESTRADA ESTREITA /the NARROW LADDER for alto flute and tape by JOAO PEDRO OLIVEIRA awarded in the year 2005.

This work was composed at the personal studio of the composer. The title itself relates not to the piece in its essence, but to a certain moment in the life of the composer. Sometimes it is necessary to let go some of our desires, wishes, ambitions, in order to become a happy person. This difficult process is described in some poetry and literature as a step by step descending of a narrow staircase, in order to leave the palace of illusions, and discover more pure and perfect reasons for life.

JOAO PEDRO OLIVEIRA studied organ performance and composition at the Gregorian Institute of Lisbon and architecture at the Fine Arts School of Lisbon. In 1985 he moved to the United States as a Fulbright scholar with a fellowship from Gulbenkian Foundation where he completed a Master's Degree in Theory and a Doctorate in Composition at the University of New York at Stony Brook. He has received several prizes and awards.

He is Senior Professor at the University of Aveiro, in Portugal, where he teaches composition and electro acoustic music.

Contact: www.musica.cz/musnova, lenka.dohnalova@theatre.cz


PhDr. Lenka Dohnalová- Institute of Arts in Prague /CZ/

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