VOX: Exploring the human voice through technology, tradition and experimentation.
Continuing from the first VOX series 2016 -17 we’ve programmed three more concerts for 2018, returning to Juju’s at the Old Truman brewery, London. Once again the focus is on the voice, text, words and song  with new commissions for mixed media, a retrospective of the New York downtown scene and collaborations with some of our favourite artists.





VOX 04: 22 March 2018
The Ballina Whalers - Our Father (Julius Eastman) & Traditional Sea Shanties
Jamie Hamilton - New VOX commission
Cassandra Miller - Bel canto
Cornelius Cardew - Paragraph 7
Leo Chadburn - X Chairman Maos
With special guest Héloïse Werner

Buy Tickets
£10/8

7pm
Juju’s bar & stage, Truman Brewery
E1 6QR - (Map)


VOX 05: 03 May 2018

John Moran - Little Retarded Boy
Vitalija Glovackyte - New VOX commission
Meredith Monk - String Songs
John Uren - In Her Dying Moments
David Lang - Music for Gracious Living
With special guests Marta Masiero (Moran) and Tim Dickinson (Lang)

Buy Tickets
£10/8
7pm
Juju’s bar & stage, Truman Brewery
E1 6QR - (Map)


MORE INFO - TICKETS
VOX 06: 05 July 2018

Jamie Hamilton - 47 Short Texts About America
Shelley Parker - New VOX commission
Kevin Volans - Dancers on a Plane
Neil Luck - Phantasy
Laurie Anderson - O Superman

Buy Tickets
£10/8

Doors 7pm
Juju’s bar & stage, Truman Brewery
E1 6QR - (Map)

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VOX 04: 22nd March 2018


Soprano Heloise Werner, co-director of the Hermes Experiment, joins the ensemble as soloist in the opening VOX concert, for a new multimedia work by Jamie Hamilton exploring voice synthesis and technological infinity, and Cassandra Miller’s Bel Canto - creating an intimate portrait of Maria Callas through transcribed audio recordings. The concert culminates in a performance of Cornelius Cardew’s Paragraph 7 from the The Great Learning, featuring singers from community choirs including CoMa Voices and AppleChorus alongside Phaedra Ensemble, guest performers and friends.


The Ballina Whalers - Our Father (Julius Eastman) & Traditional Sea Shantys

The Ballina Whalers are a vocal trio, who sing and research ballads, shantys and traditional sea-faring songs.  They have released a trilogy of EP’s - ‘Lowlands’ (2012), ‘Haul the Bowline’ (2013) and ‘Pull Down Below’.



Cassandra Miller - Bel canto (2011)

Bel Canto is above all a portrait of Maria Callas, based on her live recording of Puccini’s Vissi d’arte – with all the full generosity of her vibrato, swoops and portamenti. At the beginning, it’s as if we hear her young voice, and towards the end, the voice of her later years.
The path of the piece is not only about the ageing of an extraordinary woman, but also about the listener. Time slows down to allow for an engagement with detail, for a submersion in the sound, and for meditative stillness.
Bel Canto was commissioned by Ensemble Kore and was the recipient of the 2011 Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music, Canada’s highest honour for composition.



Cassandra Miller (1976) is a Canadian composer of chamber and orchestral music, currently living in the north of England. For the last few years, her compositions have explored the transcription of pre-existing music (often vocal) as a way to translate its musicality/vocality into another experience. She lives in a small hillside village outside of Huddersfield, and spends most of her time hiking in the Pennines.


cassandramiller.wordpress.com

Jamie Hamilton - New Commission (2018)

Jamie’s new work - commissioned for VOX 04 - plays with transcription, text-to-speech algorithms, digital embodiment and synchronicty of sounds, words and images.  It is Jamie’s fourth work for Phaedra Ensemble, with whom he curates, arranges and performs.




Jamie Hamilton is a composer and mixed-media artist. He combines contextual sounds, multimedia and acoustics to explore ways in which sound acts as a measuring device, which can heighten aspects of our perception. His work often revolves around collaborative devising processes, in which sound acts as an organising device integrating other media and ideas.

He is also the director of performance art event collective London Topophobia.


www.jamiehamilton.net

Leo Chadburn - X Chairman Maos (2011)

Written for Apartment House and premiered by them (with Leo as vocalist) at the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill, as part of their Andy Warhol retrospective. A setting of the infamous "letting a hundred flowers blossom" speech made by Mao Tse-tung in 1957, re-harmonised and re-orchestrated line by line, analogous to a set of screen prints in various hues.
Leo Chadburn is a composer and performer from London (UK). His unpredictable work includes experimental music for ensembles, dramatic solo performances that merge his voice with electronic music, and music for film and installation art. He is also known as Simon Bookish, under which guise he has released three albums of transgressive, investigatory pop.



Photograph by Sound and Music

His most recent works are preoccupied with the ideas of 'found text' and the musicality of speaking voices. Phaedra Ensemble performed Leo’s Indistinguishables for string quartet in Vox series 1 and subsequently at Kammer klang where it was recorded and broadcast  on BBC Radio 3.


www.simonbookish.com

Cornelius Cardew - Paragraph 7 from the Great Learning (1968-70)

Arguably Cardew's most important work  from his experimental period The Great Learning, is a work in seven parts or "Paragraphs," based on translations of Confucius by Ezra Pound.  Paragraph 7 is scored for any number of singers

The experimental works of Cornelius Cardew from the 1960's reflect his philosophy that the individual, both musically trained and untrained, was the most important resource that he as a composer could tap.




Performed by Phaedra Ensemble:
Guest artist: Héloïse Werner - Soprano
Phillip Granell - Violin/ electric bass
Richard Jones - Viola/ el. piano
Serge Serra - Cello
Jamie Hamilton - Guitar
Rosanna Terberg -  Alto flute
Dave Shulman - Clarinets
Jamie Doe - Vocalist

The Ballina Whalers are Pete Truin, Jamie Doe and Sam Brookes

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VOX 05: 3rd May 2018


Vox 05:  features the works of Meredith Monk, David Lang, and a UK premiere of John Moran’s Little Retarded Boy. Along with Eastman in VOX:04 and a reworking of Laurie Anderson’s O superman in the final concert this VOX series brings together some of the mot influential composers of the New York downtown scene.
Also featured are two young composers based in the North of England; a new commission from Vitalija Glovacktye, working with lo-fi electronics and lights, and a performance of John Uren’s Her dying moments, based on a letter written after the death of David Bowie.


John Moran - The Little Retarded Boy, taken from ‘Everyday Newt Burnham’
UK premiere performed by Marta Masiero.

John Moran has often been called the protege of composer Philip Glass. In 2003, Glass was quoted as saying "I am convinced that there is no more important composer working today, than John Moran." His strange and impossible to describe works of music-theatre have featured performers such as Iggy Pop, Uma Thurman, Allen Ginsberg and Julia Stiles. The Boston Globe has written, "Moran is a modern day Mozart", and TimeOut has called him "One of the leading figures in the avantgarde."



He was born in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1965 , and began his career with the debut of his first opera in 1988 in New York. His works as a composer are unusual, in that actors or dancers are generally expected to work silently (as mimes) to a score of highly edited voices and sound-effects. These works are known for such specific interaction between sound and movement that they have sometimes been categorized as dance.

Vitalija Glovackyke - New work for viola, cello, handmade electronics and lights

Vitalija Glovackyte creates music bringing together second-hand analogue machines, conventional / home-made instruments and lo-fi visuals, with the most recent works being WE ARE FOR A WHILE, a 50min. work about recycling. Offering new life to broken instruments, borrowed music and battered devices recovered from dumpsters, beaches and alleyways, the work was originally created for Apartment House. The consequent UK tour with the group earned great reviews in The WIRE and Fluid Radio, as well as broadcasts on NTS Radio, Resonance FM, BBC Radio 3’s Late Junction, Orange Radio, Reform Radio and LRT Radio. Vitaljia is based in Manchester.
www.vitalijaglovackyte.co.uk



Meredith Monk - String Songs (2005)

‘In Stringsongs, my first piece for string quartet, I explored using instruments to create unexpected textures and sounds in much the same way that I have worked with the voice over many years.’ - Meredith Monk




Meredith Monk, born in New York, 1942 is a composer, singer, director/choreographer and creator of new opera, music-theater works, films and installations. Recognized as one of the most unique and influential artists of our time, she is a pioneer in what is now called "extended vocal technique" and "interdisciplinary performance." Monk creates works that thrive at the intersection of music and movement, image and object, light and sound, discovering and weaving together new modes of perception. Her groundbreaking exploration of the voice as an instrument, as an eloquent language in and of itself, expands the boundaries of musical composition, creating landscapes of sound that unearth feelings, energies, and memories for which there are no words.


David Lang - Music for gracious living (1992)

Founder and co-director of Bang on a Can, DAvid Lang is one of the most performed US composers. Lang's music is informed by modernism, minimalism, and rock, and can perhaps be best described as post-minimalist or totalist. His music can be in turn comic, abrasive, and soothing, and it usually retains elements of conceptualism. He has written extensively for dance, opera, film and orchestra. In 2008 he was awarded the The Little Match Girl Passion, based on Hans Christian Andersen's fable "The Little Match Girl" and inspired by Bach's St. Matthew Passion.



Music for gracious living is a work for string quartet & actor and features guest performer Tim Dickinson. The Almeida Festival commissioned Music for Gracious Living for the Brindisi Quartet, who first performed the work in 1993 at the Almeida Opera Festival, London. The work was subsequently revised in 1996.


John Uren - her dying moments (2015)
John Uren writes loosely-definable music ranging from works for orchestra to experiments with conversation-cut-ups and ambient noise, often characterised by the blending of acoustic and electronic elements into a subtle, understated and fragile palette. Her Dying moments was composed around the prerecorded letter reading of Palliative care doctor Mark Taubert talking about the effect of the death of David Bowie on both his patients at the time, his own adolescence and the nature of care for the dying.  
 


Performed by Phaedra Ensemble:
Phillip Granell - Violin/Viola
Chihiro Ono - Violin
Richard Jones - Viola
Serge Serra - Cello
Jamie Hamilton - Electronics
Tim Dickinson - Narrator
Marta Masiero - Dancer/Performer (Moran)

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VOX 06: 05 July 2018

The third  concert in the series sees an intriguing collaboration between sound artist, DJ and producer Shelley Parker, folk vocalists The Ballina Whalers and Phaedra, exploring the Sea Shanty tradition of the British Isles.
Other performances include Kevin Volans’ Dancers on a Plane for string quartet and field recordings, Neil Luck’s experiments with Japanese digital pop avatar Hatsune Miku and Phaedra ensemble violoinist Chihiro Ono, and finishing the series a new arrangement for Phaedra Ensemble of Laurie Anderson’s iconic O Superman.


Shelley Parker - new Vox Commission

Bass frequencies, live audio feeds and found sounds are recurring themes within Shelley Parker’s performance, installation and music production.
Since 2016 she has collaborated with Fernanda-Munoz-Newsome on a dance project entitled “Let the Body” performed at Trip Space and the Arnolfini, Bristol. She has also produced several sound tracks for the choreographer Jamila Johnson-Small performed at Richmix, ICA and KOKO.



 In 2017 she composed the music for the theatre production Remnants alongside Christian Mason which was premiered at The Print Room. In addition to her music and live performances, she has produced sound installations for the V & A, John Cage retrospective (De la Warr Pavilion), Cornelius Cardew festival and The Auricle, New Zealand.
http://www.shelleyparker.co.uk

Kevin Volans - String quartet no. 5 Dancers on a plane (1994)

Originally written and recorded as the soundtrack to Deborah Amy’s documentary Plane-song, this concert version brings acoustic string quartet together with taped recordings of natural found sounds from Volans former homeland of South Africa
He was born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, and studied at the University of the Witwatersrand with later with Karlheinz Stockhausen and Mauricio Kagel in Cologne. He moved to Ireland in 1986 and has been an Irish citizen since 1994. He lives in Co. Cork.
www.kevinvolans.com

Plane Song from deborah may on Vimeo.



Neil Luck - Phantasy (2017)

Neil Luck is a composer and performer and director based in London. He is interested in live performance, fallible bodies, the pathetic, theatre, the esoteric and the unesoteric. His music is concerned with sound, of course, but resonates with other live and fine arts practices. Nail has previously written for Phaedra ensemble with the first VOX commission New Pro Oracles
PHantasy is an experimental collaboration between Hatsune Miku, Chihiro Ono  & Neil Luck.




Performed by Phaedra Ensemble:
Phillip Granell - Violin
Chihiro Ono - Violin (solo - Luck)
Richard Jones - Viola
Serge Serra - Cello
Jamie Hamilton - Electronics (Solo - Hamilton)