FUSELEEDS09 FULL PROGRAMME PACKED WITH UK FIRSTS AND NEW COMMISSIONS
25 April – 2 May 2009, http://www.fuseleeds.com
Pioneering biennial music festival, fuseleeds09 is delighted to announce its full programme for 2009 which brings together artists from the worlds of popular, jazz, world, folk and contemporary classical in a spirit of musical risk taking and experiment. Through new commissions, collaborations and inclusive participation events, fuseleeds09 presents an imaginative range of performances, which know no musical boundaries, to inspire audiences new and old.
fuseleeds09 commissions include headline events such as Fusillage, a new commission which celebrates the UK’s bell ringing tradition and brings it bang up to date with new bell peals written by leading composer Gavin Bryars and French multi-instrumentalist Colleen (Leaf Label).
One of Leeds’ most treasured artists, responsible for eighteen UK Top 40 hits with his band The Wedding Present, David Gedge joins forces with the BBC Big Band in a specially commissioned arrangement which puts a contemporary twist on his best loved tracks from the last 20 years, conducted by Steve Sidwell. Young Leeds based 5 piece, Vessels, will provide support with their incendiary live show which has already filled similar slots for the likes of Caribou, This Will Destroy You and Brett Anderson.
Those that haven’t heard of Raymond Scott will certainly have heard his music. Whilst he never scored cartoon soundtracks, his music is familiar to millions because of its adaptation for over 120 classic Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and other Warner Bros and Looney Tunes cartoons as well as cameos in modern day cartoons such as The Simpsons. A jazz bandleader and composer, Scott also had a fascinating career as an inventor and early electronic music pioneer, inventing various instruments such as the Clavivox and Electronium as well as working with Robert Moog, and was even hired by Motown as their director of electronic research in the early 70s.
In his centenary year, fuseleeds has commissioned musicians from Leeds own musical laboratory LIMA to create Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals – The Music of Raymond Scott Revisited which sees four new works respond to the various aspects of Scott’s work. Richard Ormrod is developing his own take on the classic Quintette recordings used in so many classic cartoons, vocalist Kari Bleivik is taking Scott’s unique electronic recordings of Soothing Sounds for Baby as her starting point, pianist Matthew Bourne is crafting miniatures featuring French electronic artist Franck Vigroux while Dave Kane is putting together an orchestra which he will conduct in his own large scale response to the music of Raymond Scott.
Taking inspiration from the creative approach of influential architect and composer, Iannis Xenakis, fuseleeds09 has commissioned three new graphic scores by practitioners who explore the boundaries of visual art, architecture and composition. Manchester based chamber ensemble Psappha, conducted by Nicholas Kok, will perform new works by graphic designer and sound toy developer, Paul Farrington (Studio Tonne), architects Amenity Space and composer Leafcutter John. This event will also include a screening of the BBC’s documentary, Something Rich and Strange: The Life and Music of Iannis Xenakis.
Other new commissions include creating the opportunity for Eliza Carthy, a ‘modern English musician’ at the height of her powers, to collaborate with an artist working outside of the UK folk tradition. The result will be a headline performance featuring acclaimed singer-songwriter Ed Harcourt who will join Eliza on stage at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, with support from young Leeds band Royst Trio.
fuseleeds09 also features a number of UK firsts and exclusive performances including the UK premiere of Efterklang's score to their celebrated 2007 album Parades (The Leaf Label) for band and orchestra. The band will perform their majestic, otherworldly pop songs alongside acclaimed orchestra Britten Sinfonia at Leeds Academy.
Collision presents an exploration of music and sound by composer Michael Berkeley & visual artist Kevin Laycock. Few artists since Messiaen's generation have developed the potential for art and music despite the heritage of Picasso and Matisse, Satie, Stravinsky and others. Composer Michael Berkeley has been collaborating with visual artist Kevin Laycock on this project which explores the two-way relationship between music and visual perception. In this live fuseleeds09 premiere, Laycock’s visuals form a digital wallpaper based on the formal elements of composition found in the accompanying Berkeley scores before the composer replies in turn with three electronic responses - his first serious compositions for electronic and electro-acoustic instruments.
Andy Sheppard will also perform the UK premiere of his ECM band Movements in Colour featuring guitarist John Paricelli, tabla virtuoso, percussionist Kuljit Bhamra and two of Norway’s finest guitarist Eivind Aarset and bassist Arild Andersen. A Hawk and A Hacksaw preview material from their new album in an exclusive UK performance, ahead of dates in the summer, as part of a triple bill which includes one of Canada’s most talked about exports The Acorn.
Other programme highlights include Spanish Bombs: A Tropical Tribute to the Clash, leading Polish jazz group The Motion Trio, The Printmakers, Icebreaker, EXAUDI and more.
fuseleeds is a major biennial music festival celebrating the wealth and diversity of today's vibrant new music scene. When the festival launched in 2004 it broke the mould by presenting a programme that encouraged artistic risk taking across genres through commissions and collaborations presented in new and exciting ways. It was fuseleeds that gave artists such as Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood and Sister Bliss their first opportunities to compose for an orchestra (performed by the London Sinfonietta), presented Michael Nyman’s new collaboration with Hanif Kureishi and commissioned a major new work from acclaimed sound artist Bill Fontana, to name just a few.
fuseleeds09, from 25 April – 2 May in Leeds, will present an international live programme placed at the forefront of jazz, world, classical and popular music including experimental new collaborations, specially commissioned works and world premieres, and an extensive education and fringe programme.