Irish composers Nick Roth and Anna Murray will perform a very special event in Seoul of their own work, including the world premiere of Roth’s Seed II and improvisations for saxophone and electronics. The concert is presented by the Embassy of Ireland in South Korea, and Pernod-Ricard Korea.
Composers Murray and Roth are visiting Korea to take part in the International Society for Contemporary Music’s World Music Days Festival. World Music Days is an annual festival taking place in a different location across the world each year, showcasing the music of the ISCM’s member countries.
This year’s festival takes place in Tongyeong, South Korea from 27 Mar – 1 April, and the chosen Irish work is Nick Roth’s Woodland Heights, which will be performed by the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble on the 30 March at the Tongyeong Concert Hall. The Association of Irish Composers is the Irish section of the ISCM: composer and AIC Secretary Anna Murray will attend the festival and General Assembly as the Irish delegate on behalf of the AIC.
For more about the ISCM see www.iscm.org, and for more about the Association of Irish Composers, see www.composers.ie. This project is supported by Culture Ireland and the Embassy of Ireland in Korea. The Association of Irish Composers is supported by IMRO.
About Seed II
Seed II is a study of plant genetics. Stemming from earlier works Woodland Heights for Orchestra (2014) and Little Woodland Heights for Children’s Ensemble (2015), the work strives to develop musical analogues for embryonic and rhizomic growth structures in its treatment of composed, recorded and improvised materials, whilst exploring the philosophical implications of their juxtaposition.
Dublin, February 2016
About Woodland Heights
Woodland Heights is a study of forest canopy ecology. More specifically, the work is an illustration of the premise that “species composition and tree size distributions become more diverse with increasing stand age” and that “with increasing age stochastic processes play increasingly important roles in creating structural complexity”.
Mapping the growth of a model forest stand over a 720-year period, a crotchet in the score is equal to one year in ecological time. Data from the projected interaction of seven genera is translated into musical elements: maximal height, average lifespan and reproductive cycle. These form gestures expressing the statistical distribution of harmonics from seven individual fundamentals, with phyllotaxic elements shaping motivic structure and adaptive qualities delineating the formal architecture of the piece.
This piece is dedicated to the trees of “Woodland Heights”, Greenhills Close, Chorleywood – to the laurel, oak, birch, rowan, beech, holly…and the wild apple.
Paris, March 2014
Nick Roth is a saxophonist, composer, producer and educator. His work explores the liberation of improvisation from composition, the impact of nature on technology and a contemporary interpretation of traditional music.
A fascination with pattern, cycle and structure has led to ongoing conversations with mathematical biologists, forest canopy ecologists and hydrologists, seeking a conception of music as translative epistemology.
Simultaneously subsumed by an insatiable appetite for literature, his compositions investigate the philosophical impact of poetry and the symbiotic resonance of words as sound and text.
A curious predisposition and a steadfast refusal to accept the existence of boundaries between the real and the imaginary has led to collaborations with an array of international performers, composers, choreographers, directors, visual artists, festivals, poets and ensembles.
Nick is artistic director of Yurodny, a founding member of the Water Project and a partner at Diatribe Records, Ireland’s leading independent record label for new music.
A mixed-media composer with a particular interest in text-based music and collaborative processes, Anna Murray’s work as a composer is informed by her interest in non-musical artforms and non-standard concert contexts. Through her composition work, Anna’s focus is to seek out the points of connection, both technical and expressive, between music and other arts, including visual arts, film and literature.
She holds an MPhil in Music and Media Technologies from Trinity College Dublin, where her specialisation was mixed-media composition. Her thesis, The Echoes: A Composition Exploring Text-Setting Techniques through Structural Rhythm, was the beginning of what was to be the guiding principles behind her compositional work: the search for an approach to setting texts which allows for a cohesive expression of shared meaning and intent. This has developed and grown into an approach toward composition that celebrates the many ways in which the listener can hear and explore sound.
Anna regularly performs with electronics and visuals and is the co-director of multimedia production company Fractal Music Dublin.