FOR TUBA AND LIVE ELECTRONICS
ROYAL NORTHERN COLLEGE OF MUSIC
JACK-ADLER MCKEAN, TUBA
Arkanar: A Report from the Interior
New Video: Explore Ensemble play Elusive Tangibility II: firelife
The day after giving the UK Première at hcmf//2017, Explore Ensemble performed firelife again at the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building at St Hilda's College Oxford. This video was taken from the live stream of the concert, which can be watched in its entirety here, alongside music by Patricia Alessandrini, Enno Poppe, and Fausto Romitelli.
From September, Steven will be returning to the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester as Tutor in Composition, fifteen years after arriving in the city as a young undergraduate student.
Steven has received support form the PRS Foundation's Composers' Fund. which will fund a co-commission alongside the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival for a new work for Ensemble Nikel, and other projects.
Arkanar: A Report from the Interior, a work for tuba and live electronics after Aleksei German's nightmarish film, Hard To Be A God. Commissioned by Jack Adler-McKean and performed in Darmstadt in August 2016, a revised version is due for performance in Germany and the UK in 2018.
A new commission for Ensemble Nikel, scored for saxophone, guitar, piano, percussion, and live electronics, entitled La nitroglycérine des Lumières and taking inspiration from the Lumière Brothers' pioneering 1896 film Démolition d'un mur.
Steven has started a long-term project, alongside composition, to build an easy-to-use Max Standalone that will help composers to write music with multiple tempi, in the manner of works like Stockhausen's Gruppen. Using Andrea Agostini and Daniele Ghisi's BACH library for Max, the software will ultimately perform all the complicated and time-consuming mathematics that composing with complex tempo relationships entails, and produce a structural outline for their piece in traditional staff notation.
This site went unchanged for some time after I suffered an acid attack in Stratford, East London, last May, which also stopped almost all of my compositional activity until earlier this year. The attack has left me with permanent scars to my face, neck, and chest, but miraculously has not affected my hearing or my sight. I am receiving ongoing treatment for my injuries from the Burns Unit at Broomfield Hospital in Chelmsford, who have been extraordinary in helping me deal with my experience. It comes as a timely reminder of the amazing work the NHS does.
There have been performances of my work since the attack that I should have been more active in publicising, but I would like to publicly thank my friends at Ensemble Contrechamps, for their beautiful performance of Elusive Tangibility IV: 月見 at the Studio Ernest Ansermet at RTS in Geneva last October; Jack Adler-McKean for his performance of Arkanar: A Report from the Interior at Unerhörte Musik in Berlin; Explore Ensemble for their performances of Elusive Tangibility II: firelife at hcmf// 2017, Goldsmiths University of London, and Oxford University last November; and finally Ashot Sarkissjan, who gave the American première of Giacometti's Razor at Boston University in February this year.
Finally, I would like to thank all those who have rallied around me over the last year, especially Ensemble Nikel, hcmf//, ensemble recherche, the PRS Foundation, and colleagues at Brunel University and the Cambridge University Music Faculty, plus countless friends who have sent their good wishes from across the world. Now, with increasing strength and concentration, I'm looking forward to grappling with new pieces and new musical challenges.