On thursday 24 June starting at 20 30hrs there will be an
Arnolfini Music event in conjunction with the MATRIX
exhibition and the RIBA annual conference taking
place in Bristol.
In this music event, medieval vocal music will be heard alongside
contemporary works for two pianos: this should provide some
interesting points of similarity and contrast. The vocal pieces
include organum, clausuiae and motets of the 12th century school
of Notre Dame. These examples of some of the earliest medieval
polyphony, with their slowly unfolding melodic paragraphs,
reveal a time scale unknown to later European music. They make
use of a system of rhythmic modes repeating patterns through
which the flow of melody is articulated in large-scale units.
Musicians have always been fascinated by systems, though
these have sometimes been more evident to the eye than the ear.
In the music to be heard in this concert the emphasis is
not on hidden structural devices but on processes which are
made directly audible as the music unfolds.
The works for two pianos are Rhythm Studies by Michael
Parsons and The Remorseless Lamb by Christopher Hobbs.
Rhythm Studies make use of a repeating rhythmic figure
into which alterations are gradually introduced in such a way
that each change is heard as part of a developing process.
The Remorseless Lamb is based on a piano duet arrangement
of JS Bach's 'Sheep may safely graze', the familiar musical
material of which is changed by being recombined in
Michael Parsons and Christopher Hobbs will play their own
2-piano works and are joined in the vocal pieces by Howard
Skempton and Michael Nyman. All the performers have
been closely connected with the recent development
of new music in London.