new chamber music at the Warehouse, Waterloo

Monday, 21 August at 19:30

The Warehouse, 13 Theed Street, London SE1 8ST

solo and chamber works performed by Cora Schmeiser (soprano), Richard Craig (flutes), Emma Richards (viola), Alice Purton (cello) and Diego Castro Magaš (guitar)

The sirens are ‘entwiners’ (from the Greek serâo, to bind or entwine). In John Croft’s Seirēnes, whose four movements are heard here together for the first time, the title refers to the way in which the various lines twist together and entangle to form a single, slower melody, and to the way that the fragile melody is carried on waves of sound, like the song of the sirens on the waves of the sea. In Liza Lim’s Invisibility, the hair of the bow is literally entwined around the wood, creating variable friction against the strings, and yielding a mobile and unpredictable array of sounds with each movement of the bow. In the two works for soprano and low flute, Esaias Järnegard’s PSALM and John Croft’s Deux méditations d’une furie, the strands of the voice and the flute combine, draw apart, and merge, again reflecting the idea of entwining, and of a voice carried by the wind. In Evan Johnson’s émoi it is the flautist’s own voice that we hear extending the gestures of the instrument. A different kind of two-part texture is found in James Erber’s Am Grabe Memphis Minnies, a variegated two-part invention, employing a range of techniques to alter the timbre of the solo guitar, while Iannis Xenakis’s Embellie explores the extremes of technique of the solo viola, whose many threads of activity coalesce from time to time into folk-like melodies.

This programme is presented by several of the leading international performers of contemporary music. Richard Craig (flute) has commissioned and premiered a wide range of new repertoire for the flute – his solo album INWARD was nominated as the only classical music disc for the Scottish Album of the Year in 2012. Three of the works in this concert have been recorded for his latest CD, Vale. Soprano Cora Schmeiser’s work ranges from mediaeval to contemporary music – her recent disc hier und dort encompasses the music of Hildegard von Bingen and the avant-garde recitations of Beth Anderson. Emma Richards (viola) and Alice Purton (cello) are both founder members of Manchester-based new music ensemble Distractfold, the first ever UK ensemble to be awarded the Kranichstein Prize for Interpretation at the 47th International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt. Chilean guitarist Diego Castro Magaš is a leading interpreter of new solo repertoire, performing widely in concerts and festivals in Europe and Latin America – his recent CD Shrouded Mirrors includes premiere recordings of works by Michael Finnissy, Bryn Harrison, Matthew Sergeant and Wieland Hoban.


Evan Johnson - émoi
Liza Lim - Invisibility
James Erber - Am Grabe Memphis Minnies
John Croft - Deux méditations d’une furie

Iannis Xenakis - Embellie
Esaias Järnegard - Psalm
John Croft - Seirēnes

Tickets £10/£5