Review of R Andrew Lee at Spectrum (New York Classical Review)

Here's a thoughtful review by George Grella (New York Classical Review) of Andy Lee's performance at Spectrum, featuring a programme of music by Schubert, Michael Vincent Waller, Adrian Knight, Galen H. Brown and myself.

http://newyorkclassicalreview.com/2015/06/pianist-lee-brings-clarity-order-and-hope-to-spectrum-program/

"… It’s not feel-good music, but by making honest order out of nothingness, it presents clarity and logic as opposed to chaos and the incomprehensible.And that is what Lee achieved. The music, the conception and Lee’s playing all built transparent, multidimensional structures. It was a beautiful design, full of satisfaction and hope."



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Stream/Download from WNYC New Sounds

From WNYC.org:

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Hear music by Australian-born, London-based electroacoustic musician & sound artist Leah Kardos along with music by Irish woodwind player and composer Seán Mac Erlaine, as well as other electroacoustic music on this New Sounds. Listen to several works by Kardos from a sampler released in 2014, including her work, “Butterfly Kite,”written for easy piano + delay/verb effects. Then hear improvised woodwind and electronic sounds from a series of live recordings by the Dublin musician, Seán Mac Erlaine. From his, “A Slender Song,” hear music for clarinets of all sorts and sizes, manipulated by electronics.

Then, hear music from a dance score by London-based composer Jon Opstad, who also did the music for the provocative British episodic series, “Black Mirror.” Listen to music from cellist Julia Kent with loops and delays from the recent record, “Character.”  German theremin player Carolina Eyck improvises on the low end together with pianist Christopher Tarnow. Then,hear music from NY-based singer GABI, who layers and processes her voice a la Juliana Barwick. (Caution: her work, "Where," might remind you of “The Rains of Castamere.”)

PROGRAM #3706–Various Forms of Electro-acoustic Music (First aired on 03/24/2015)        
     
About New Sounds Podcasts
The most cutting-edge, worldly-wise music show on the airwaves returns with nearly bi-weekly installments available for download.  For more than three decades, host John Schaefer has been exploring more genres of music than you knew existed.  A truly compelling hour of radio, and now you can tune in wherever you are, whenever you want. As if you weren’t dependent enough on your MP3 player…

R. Andrew Lee performs Three Preludes in New York City (June 18)

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New York people: Pianist R. Andrew Lee will be performing at Spectrum on Thursday, June 18 at 8:30pm. Nestled amongst a diverse and lovely looking program is the North American premiere of my Three Preludes.

Pasticcio per meno è più (2014) by Michael Vincent Waller (b. 1985)
Three Preludes (2013) by Leah Kardos (b. 1979)
Piano Sonata in G Major, D894, Mvt. I (1826) by Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Abide with Me (2007/2012) by Adrian Knight (b. 1987)
God is a Killer* (2006) by Galen H. Brown (b. 1979)

AES 138th Convention, Warsaw Poland

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On May the 10th (session P17) I will be presenting my paper "The Sonic Vernacular: Considering Communicative Timbral Gestures in Modern Music Production"

A snippet showing the abstract (for anyone who's interested!)

“Over the course of audio recording history, we have seen the activity of sound recording widen in scope “‘from a technical matter to a conceptual and artistic one”’ (Moorefield 2010) and the producer’s role evolving from technician to ‘auteur’. For recording practitioners engaged in artistic and commercial industry and discourse, fluency in contemporary and historic sound languages is advantageous. This paper seeks to find the best, most practically useful method to describe these characteristics in practice, and aims to identify a clear and suitable way to talk about and analyse these uses of communicative timbral gestures, as heard in modern music productions.”




***** Update: Some photos from my weekend in Warsaw because why not?

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forty eight - EP

Created working in turns, collaboratively over 48 hours last weekend with other B&T artists:




A month in photos

Took a trip Down Under in December to see my family and pick up my PhD from University of Queensland. Happy new year everybody x

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A book chapter about digital creativities

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I was honoured to be asked to contribute a chapter to this edited book - my chapter being all about digital creativities, relating to my ideas and experiences as an educator.

It’s available from Bloomsbury from the 29th of January as a hardback, paperback or e-book.

http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/activating-diverse-musical-creativities-9781472589118/


“This book treats with freshness and vitality issues that are crucial for educators in higher education and beyond. The international and multi-disciplinary group of scholars – anthropologists, psychologists, musicians, artists and art educators – engage us in deeply educational issues and experiences...Enthusiastically recommended!” –  Liora Bresler, Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, University of Illinois, USA



“This is an illuminating and long-overdue book that celebrates the myriad ways in which musicians engage their creativity, both as they develop their expertise and then as professionals. In many contexts, we are experiencing acute needs to champion innovative artistic practices whilst at the same time maintaining the qualities of traditional practices. It is clear that creative entrepreneurship is essential to future success, and this book helps to demystify its principles and practice. It is a must-read for all those engaged in higher music education.” –  Helena Gaunt, Vice Principal and Director of Academic Affairs, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, UK



***UPDATE: It's here!
I received a hardback copy of the book from the publishers and I thought it was rather pretty! Also, amazed my reference to Kanye West got through the edit...


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From the Servant Jazz Quarters, Oct 23 2014

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Interview: Leah Kardos speaks to James Black at St Pancras Old Church

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photo by Naresh Kaushal


Click the photo above (or the link below) to read a conversation I had with James Black about music and sound and what it might all mean...

http://www.chaostheorymusic.co.uk/blog/leah-kardos-interview/

Music and/as Process 2nd Annual Music and/as Process Conference

On the 1st of June, I will be presenting some of my work at the 2nd Annual Music and/as Process Conference at Canterbury Christ Church University.

The title of my talk is "Exploring The Temporalities of a Musical Idea", and it's all about a particular philosophy related to generating new ideas, sounds and variations linked to a single composition. If you can stomach it, the abstract is included below:

"Drawing from personally situated knowledge derived from creative practice research, I will illustrate some approaches to the generation of compositional materials bound to a creative philosophy centred around technology, economy and derivation. This philosophy broadens the view of authored materials to include not only the final performance of the music, but also draft and incomplete or unedited versions, inaccurate versions played by sight, adapted versions that are played in sections during rehearsal, unused recording takes and mistakes, incidental sounds from around performance, rehearsal and recording environments, even the sounds generated from travelling to and from the recording session - all of the music and sound resulting from situations, actions and incidents that occur as a direct result of the composition existing can be captured and potentially used to make more music. This approach maximises the amount of materials generated from a single musical composition, providing both an economical approach to theme and creation of a sound world, and a diverse, yet finite framework within which to explore possibilities and experiment. In terms of music production, it also functions as a device for the creation of original and authentic sound worlds for musical ideas to inhabit. This philosophy also acknowledges the collaborative nature of performance, and I will share examples from practice of experiments in human filtering, where intuitive responses from individuals form, inform and reform the creation of musical materials. The score is seen as the starting point of a creative process, the raw materials that are activated by people. In such cases the final recorded production offers a version of the work and a document of this process."


The whole conference schedule can be found
HERE.
Registrations/tickets can be ordered
HERE.

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New Appointment

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I'm really pleased and excited to announce that I will be joining the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Kingston University as a Lecturer in Music, starting in September.

Can't wait to meet the students and get stuck in!








Jim Perkins & Leah Kardos play the Shhh Festival

I haven't performed my music since the Feather Hammer shows in 2012, so this is a bit of a big deal for me!

Bigo & Twigetti label-mate
Jim Perkins and I will be collaborating on a show that will include re-arrangements and new interpretations of our original work for live ensemble. Laura Wolk-Lewanowicz will be singing some of my songs from Machines as well as a few new things.

I'm excited! If you're in London that weekend come out and say hi!



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Memory Machine

I have three new tracks on Bigo & Twigetti's Spring 2014 sampler, dropping later this month.











B&T Winter Sampler and 'Name Your Price' Day

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May I draw your attention to this beautiful little compilation from Bigo & Twigetti. Click the artwork to go to the Bandcamp page, where you can stream the tracks. Listen to it while you watch the rain through the window.

If you like what you hear, you might be interested to know that the label is holding another "Name Your Price" day. It works just like it sounds, you can pay anything (even zero*) to download anything in the label's catalogue. Starting at 12.00am the 11th of February, for 24 hours you will be able to decide what you wish to pay for any and all of Bigo & Twigetti's releases on
Bandcamp. Set yourself a reminder to check it out, you could get a whole heap of brilliant music for a bargain.

*if you decide to pay 'zero' to download my stuff, can you promise me that you'll listen closely, all the way through at least once? thx

Finally, I feel like I need to share this great
review of Three Preludes by R. Andrew Lee, that has just been posted on I Care If You Listen. Obviously it means so much when a pianist you admire greatly praises the piano music you have created. BTW if you're a fan of piano music and minimalism you should drop what you're doing and check out his recordings, if you haven't already. I recommend it all, but especially Duckworth's Time Curve Preludes and Dennis Johnson's November.


Three Preludes EP - Out Now (updated)

If you're interested in listening, it is free to stream from Bandcamp and Spotify, and available to purchase from Bandcamp and iTunes and most other online music retailers.

A limited edition of 50 hand painted physical copies with artwork by Jim Perkins can be purchased
here. I've even written out the CD inlays myself...

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Constructed with the mistakes and accidents and little unintended thumpy squeaky piano sounds that occurred during recording of the Three Preludes.




The Three Preludes EP (18.11.13)

The Three Preludes were written for pianist Ben Dawson. Conceived first as a birthday present, and secondly as a small experiment in ‘people processes’, this EP focussed on music’s changing states: from score to performance to recording and beyond.

Working in the studio on my own compositions, everything is exactly how I intend it to be; when you press play you hear the very version I created for you to hear. But when somebody performs a score (essentially abstract system of symbols and instructions), it is different every time. That got me thinking about the value of performance situations: what would this score sound like if it was being read for the first time - where would the player trip? would they gloss over inaccuracies, cover up and continue or stop altogether? If he was going to rehearse a difficult passage, what speed would he choose and where would the passage start and end? What would it sound like through a wall as background noise to some other activity? Capturing these 'versions', and seeing accidents and anomalies as variations, I felt the pieces evolving into something else - something bigger than what I had started with.

I peppered the score with moments of vagueness and 'unplayable' bits designed to force the pianist to make a creative decision in the moment, and we recorded the first read through and initial rehearsals. The extra musical material created off the back of these preludes was used to inform the final recorded versions, and provided the all of the source audio for the three accompanying experimental pieces. 

The Three Preludes EP will be released by
Bigo & Twigetti on November 18th, 2013. There will be a limited physical release featuring hand painted artwork by Jim Perkins - I'll post more information about that soon.

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The Creativities of David Bowie

Very excited to be speaking about my absolute favourite artist at Cambridge next month. Open to anyone who wants to come, RSVP info is on the flyer.



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A month in photos



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WKU Visit

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In a few short weeks I'm off to visit the music department at Western Kentucky University. I was graciously invited by Dr. Michael Kallstrom, a composer/performer/artist and University Distinguished Professor of Music at WKU, to spend a week there with the pianists, composers and music education students to share my practice and explore some different (and hopefully interesting) approaches to creativity.

I'm hoping to use my time there to facilitate some interesting collaborative projects and get everyone thinking about the materials of music in a fresh way. Can't wait!

As part of the deal I'm flying in to Nashville 10 days earlier to spend some time soaking up the local culture. The plan is to hire a car and hit the road and explore: Memphis, Little Rock, Clarksdale, down the Mississippi Delta on Highway 61... I wonder if I'll meet the devil at the crossroads?



Fighters - Remixed




Machines reviewed by Echoes and Dust

What makes Machines instantly unique and captivating, is the soprano of Laura Wolk-Lewanowicz, an Australian opera singer. The angelic voice, teamed with the theme of the album, create a very touching commentary on the current human condition.



The lovely Madga Wrzeszcz has reviewed Machines for Echoes and Dust.
Click here to read more.

A month in photos

Photos from the Ruthless Jabiru concert at Australia House (9th May), by Elly Mac

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Photos from the Soundtracks Festival playing with Lonesound (11th May), photos by Alexander Short

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Again with Lonesound at the Sofar Sounds Festival (26th May), photo by Steve Nelson

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(photo by James Houghton)
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Ruthless reviews

The concert at Australia House last week was by all measures a great success, and what an honour to have my music played by this fantastic orchestra! Big congratulations must go to Kelly Lovelady for pulling it all together, and to the Government of WA for hosting the event and putting on a lovely reception.

Needless to say I was chuffed with the way Ruthless Jabiru played "Kick" and the feedback from the performance has been great:

The concert opened with a new work, Kick, by Leah Kardos. This is Ruthless Jabiru’s first commission, and it was a great opener. Kardos uses a small palette of string textures, including long vibrato-less pedals, tremolos and portamento slides, and integrates them into a tightly structured and impressively focussed work.


-
Gavin Dixon (classical music critic)

The skill and professionalism of this orchestra, and its founder and principal conductor Kelly Lovelady, was clearly evident throughout the performance, not least in their handling of the first piece – a commissioned work from UK-based Australian composer Leah Kardos, Kick. This fantastic piece evoked visions of a sunrise over an outback property, the building melodies of a single viola and violin sounding out like the Australian bush slowly waking and coming to life.


- Australian Times

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Here's a write up about the event that was posted on the Government of Western Australia European Office's news page. It includes details of some of the dignitaries that were in attendance as well as some photos from the night (though it's hard to see, in the last photo I am the one in the blue dress taking a bow with Kelly at the front).

Finally, there is a great article about Kelly and the orchestra by Gavin Dixon, specifically referring to this concert, in this month's
Limelight magazine (available digitally here, with print versions available in Australian outlets).

*edit* - I found the Limelight Magazine feature
online here.







Guest blog for Ruthless Jabiru

Kelly invited me to write a blog post on the Ruthless Jabiru website about KICK, my new work for string orchestra specially written for the group. In it I explain what KICK is and what inspired its creation.

Click here to check it out.