works

Instrument(s) & electronics

aandacht, 2013 – for 2 pianos/minimal fixed media (4’00, 3’00), commissioned HCMF, Free Monday, 18 November performed Philip Thomas (GB) Lisa Ullen (SE) listen

foraging music no. 1, 2014 – clarinet/fixed media (10’30), commissioned On The Edge Concert Series, Scarborough College, University of Hull, performed Jonathan Sage, April, & iFimPac, Leeds College of Music, March 2014 listen

waternish ballad, 2014 – Scottish folk fiddle/fixed media, commissioned SOUNDfestival, Banchory, performed Sarah-Jane Summers

mobius ii, 2011 – hardanger fiddle/fixed media (13’00), commissioned HCMF 2011, performed Britt-Pernille Frøholm, Rikscenen, Oslo, November 2012, Biermansgaten, Bidrobon Concert Series, Oslo, April 2013, & SOUNDfestival, Banchory, 2014 listen

One of my signal pieces, marking a significant change in direction. First of pieces to focus on single instrument & ambient electronic backdrop. Written while on a two-part extended residency to NOTAM, Norway 2011. 22 July witnessed the Utøya massacre, which took place midway in the writing of this piece. Shocked to the core, hearing of the day’s events on my kitchen radio in Yorkshire, stunned and moved, knowing that hardanger fiddle & traditional tunes from the West coast formed the material and focus of the work, I resolved to create my own tribute to the young politicians. Returning to Oslo in September to complete the work, NOTAM kindly facilitated a trip to the edge of the Tyrifjorden lake, surrounding the island of Utøya, where I made a field recording included in the work. Serendipity took a part in the recording. On a beautiful, profoundly stunning blue-skied day, I found myself accidentally recording golfers hitting great shots, having extremely great rounds, proving in a most life affirming way, life goes on. These were left in, included in the track. The length of the opening of the piece, is dedicated to this part. A reflective pause, for Utøya. Norway’s hardanger fiddle features, with its distinctive resonant sound, with sympathetic strings, calling us to the open spaces, hills, & mountains of the fjords.

mobius i, 2009 – piano/fixed media  (13’00) performed Kate Ledger Frome Festival, July & Fylkingen Institute Stockholm, September listen

Staged piano & 2 electronic tracks simultaneously, one of which is staged by being projected onto a performing/radio. The radio track’s broadcast character is nostalgic, glitchy and features iconic T.S.Eliot content. Overall narrative atmosphere evoked, through pianist ‘working through’ an improvisatory sounding score; projected nostalgic radio 1950’s style Home Service programme, with T.S.Eliot fragment, and second ambient background track, combines to create a unique performance onstage spatialisation. The fragmentary nature of each component part, their non-fixed form means each performance is new in their connectivity with each other. A fragile, honed and shaped piece.

transient ii, 1997- oboe & tape, (13’00) performed Dom Kelly, Sainsbury’s Art Gallery, UEA listen

Instrumental

and in the end, fragments. the rest is noise, 2018 – piano (optional minimal fixed media), commissioned SOUNDfestival, performed Kate Halsall, Aberdeen 2018

nothing good gets away, 2018 – for ensemble (fl, oboe, vla, van, cello, trumpet, 2 bassoons), commissioned Any Enemy ensemble, Aberdeen, performed SOUNDfestival, Aberdeen 2018

two harp pieces, harp & ensemble piece, commissioned Norskkultuurråd, 2016.

McNally’s song, 2017 – harp.

Dedicated to the feisty Susan McNally.

Bremen lovesong, 2017 – harp (optional minimal fixed media), performed Sentralen, Oslo in March 2018.

tin can, 2017 – harp, & flute, percussion, cello, commissioned Norskkultuurråd, withdrawn

court music, 2005 – for ensemble Orkest de Volharding (6’30) 

zelfde, 2005 – flute, clarinet, piano

lickety spit, 2003 – flute, (9’00), commissioned Camilla Hoitenga, performed Finnish Institute, September, Paris

poland-mazurka’89, 1989 – piano, performed Frank Denyer, Nottingham New Music Festival, University of Nottingham, spring 1990

Songs

last year’s b/f, 2018 – three operatic-style songs for soprano; two performed w piano; the central song is performed-slam-poetry w optional fixed media. Commissioned Hull URBAN opera, performed by Rosie Middleton, Paragon Arcade & Brain Jar café, Hull, July 2018.

Designed, curated to create an arc of dramaturgy. The two outside songs (piano accomp.) of the trio are overly emotionally charged, with an excess of romanticism, designed to be expressly & overly sentimental, following a long-line of romantic operatic song, across time. The companion antithetical middle slam-poetry/spoken-word piece, (electronic accomp.), is a rhythmic and textual contemporary ode to the frustration of App-based affairs with narcissists. Not mincing words, & explicit.

Microtonal

kleurenspelletjes, 2015 – Huygens-Fokker Orgel, Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, performed Masato Suzuki March 1st, commissioned Stichting Huygens-Fokker.

contrasting symmetries, 2014 – Duo Hevans (bass cl.,&sax)/Huygens-Fokker orgel & electronics, Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, co-creation w Monty Adkins (electronics)

Electronic

island music, 2012 – fixed media (7’00) commissioned NOTAM, Oslo; performed Rikkscenen, Oslo, Dialogues Concert Series, Huddersfield, June 2013, ICMC Perth, August 2013 & 8th Biennial Music since 1900 Conference, Liverpool Hope, Sept 2013 listen

Created during valuable NOTAM, Oslo residency. Weaves together natural, evocative island sounds; wind, as an elemental force; abrasive, ‘brasive harsh sounds; the formal structure being as of an elemental mass, which evolves, peaks into a mass of sound, then dissipates, much as an island tempest. One of my favourite pieces. Works extremely well in space; mixes idea of a formally formed structure, with that of a sound-art installation; verges also towards just a wall of noise. Gritty and harsh.

piano-capture, 2013 – fixed media, re.sound4, 14 Dec, Phipps Concert Hall, Huddersfield listen

playing the bones, 2005 fixed media (10’52), Fylkingen Institute, Stockholm 2005, BBC Radio 3, October 2016 listen

body radio 1:8, 2003 – electronic haiku pieces, texts by Houston Theater Lab breast cancer survivors, collaboration with Elizabeth Gilbert. performed Houston, Texas listen

tot 8 uur, 1998 – soundtrack to korte film by Marco Niemeijer (NL), 25 min.

Terwijl haar man zaken doet, dwaalt een vrouw door de straten van een Portugees havenstadje. Ze voelt zich ongemakkelijk in deze vreemde omgeving. Hoewel ze verschillende bewoners van het stadje ontmoet, ontstaat er geen wezenlijk contact. Ze blijft een buitenstaander. Productiebedrijf, Gerrit Rietveld Academie Distributie, Phanta film. Cast, Saskia Temmink, Leopold Witte

excess pitch, 1997 – tape listen

transient i, 1996 – tape listen

kinderspel, 1995 – tape/audio-visual, (collaboration, Steve Connolly/Central St Martins), SAN commission. Mention, Prix Ars Electronica, Linz, 1996. Performed Southbank, State of the Nation, 2000, listen

‘State of the Nation was a weekend of contemporary music organised by a combination of the London Sinfonietta, the BBC, the South Bank Centre and a host of specialist music organisations….The grand finale on Sunday evening went right over the top with a multi-media assault on the senses including the frenetic JunkBox Fraud, by Donnacha Dennehy, a cryptic Kinderspel by Rose Dodd.. (both with video and sound-projection).’ London Sinfonietta|South Bank Centre, London, INDEPENDENT 19 April 2000

yellow heaven, 1994 – tape

grenzen, 1994 – tape, Radio Art Symposium, Goethe-Institute London 1998 & Sender Freies Berlin 1995

Straight lines in Broken Times – Perspectives on the Music of Christopher Fox

Rose Dodd editor, 2017

REVIEW by Jan Nieuwenhuis, GONZO, 2018

The anti-rhetoric of Christopher Fox

What is apparent in the volume ‘Perspectives on the Music of Christopher Fox, Straight Lines in Broken Times,’ edited by Rose Dodd is that the music of this British composer is difficult to pin down or categorise. This last, could be considered a tautology in the contemporary music world; saying little more than composers also simply are reflections of contemporary society, in that there is an abundance of material available to them to work with too.

..the versatility of the eclectic whereby Fox positions himself as a key point within the network is.. Fox viewed as an ‘outward-facing composer, actively drawing different nodes from a multitude of disciplines, Fox resolutely refuses to construct fences around his practice…recognis[ing]…there are parallel musical avante-gardes and progressive musical tendencies in other fields of musical activity, and he is interested in exploring them all. It is this dynamic exploration of nodal networks that is, for Fox, what being an experimental composer is about. If there is a Fox style, it is in how he approaches musical materials, found or original, rather than a sounding homogeneity between works, allied with an anti-rhetorical presentation of this material.’

How a composer processes his auditory ideas through a process of visual realisation, is discussed by composer Claudia Molitor. There are whisky dry texts scattered in and amongst, but also a fine text from Fox himself, in which he reflects upon his own work. In this writing he exhibits his inspiration, fascinations and interests, particularly in the use of text in music: ‘The singers of the great pop songs of the 1960s and 1970s have such expressive power because they are singing their own songs, the songs they feel they have to sing; art-song singers are singing because Schubert wrote great songs, and composers wanted to have emulated him ever since.’

On the whole, the volume is thoroughly put together, an excellent introduction to Fox’s work.

REVIEW BY PHILIP CLARK / TEMPO

TEMPO review, Volume 71, Issue 280, April 2017
Published online: 03 March 2017, pp.99-100
Print publication: April 2017

‘..any presumption that spending a couple of days immersed in Fox’s ideas, as unpicked in the book by an expert panel of academics and performers associated with this work, would be enough to clarify how the surface of his music, and what lies beneath it, unfolds over time as sound, soon foundered. Fox’s music never operates like that, and will remain forever elusive. A title like Straight Lines in Broken Times might suggest a composer whose music develops with neat, bureaucratic precision, but Fox’s music is rarely straight-dealing. The title of another composition – More things in the air than are visible – offers a more telling mission statement; because whatever ‘things’ are immediately visible, or audible, in the air, your ears are invariably drawn towards cunningly embedded subtexts and illusionary asides inside his work that dish up generous helpings of ‘more’…. Few composers are more deserving of a book dedicated to their work.

Fox’s knack of borrowing, but always adapting, the techniques of classic minimalism, and then artfully covering his tracks, loops back to some of those imponderables of surface.. Dodd finds herself in agreement with Bob Gilmore, whose description of Fox as an all-listening anthropologist able to ‘view the activity of instrumental performance free from his accumulated knowledge of music history and tradition’ feels characteristically wise and memorable. His music is a problem we’re lucky to have.

REVIEW BY ARNOLD WHITALL

Routledge (Abingdon & New York, 2017) Arnold Whittall, Sounding the retreat.

The team assembled by Rose Dodd for this monograph tends to write from deep inside Fox’s music, with a familiarity that is difficult to communicate to readers lacking comparable knowledge. There are still not enough commercial recordings or published scores of Fox’s music available to facilitate the necessary self-education… In Straight lines in broken times, Fox’s bold estrangement of the most basic elements of classical connectedness brings experimental cool into productive interchange with that modernist turbulence, and helps to highlight his skill at crossing borders considered insurmountable by more mainstream modernists… Proclaiming a surely unexceptional ‘belief in form as something which should be expressive, both of changing emotional states and ideas’, Fox admits that ‘this, it seems to me, is true of all good music, a belief which marks me out as an unreconstructed modernist, I suppose’ .. This is music with ‘rigorously worked through material, within and informed by clear structural outlines, that at the same time celebrates the peculiarities the process […] yields and the opportunities for play’.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Perspectives-Music-Christopher-Fox-Straight/dp/1472428242
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Articles

2020  

  • Developing and shifting territory in the academy; writing the 1990s UK electronic music project. Chapter, for Rethinking Contemporary Musicology: Perspectives on Interdisciplinarity, Skills and Deskilling, Routledge, Eds. Ian Pace, Peter Tregear.
  • Ekkokammer 2.0, Nordic Music Days, Bodø, Norway for Positionen, Berlijn, May 15, 2020, English/Deutsch

Rose Dodd was awarded her PhD in 2006, having studied with Professor Christopher Fox at the University of Huddersfield.

Writing to Louis Andriessen, commentaries on life in music

Recent reviews in,

Andriessen At 80, Celebrated from Many Perspectives by Xenia Hanusiak, Classical Voice America, April 27 2020

Material Music by Arnold Whittall, Musical Times Vol.160, No.1949, Winter 2019

Impetus behind book process

Beginnings, Writing to Louis Andriessen: commentaries on a life in music began in the Summer of 2015, with two extended meetings with Louis in which we discussed all manner of things. Notably he focused on both Cathy Berberian and Luciano Berio, and other influences shaping his thinking. These flighty and funny Summer meetings set the tone of the book somewhat.

Louis’s generosity to me in taking the time to just chat, expound, gossip and giggle; providing access to his personal archive; also his belief in the project, offered me the creative freedom to curate the book as I felt I wanted to. Mostly I wanted to find a Dutch publisher who shared my vision. Simply it had to be a Dutch designed book, published by a Dutch publisher about Louis Andriessen, but in English so as to export ideas about Andriessen’s music to other territories.

Available from Lecturis, Eindhoven

Book writing process overview

The second crucial component in the methodology behind the book was to involve writers with differing experiences of Louis’s works; including performers, composers, academics and more journalistic styles of writing, all in equal measure. This echoes how Andriessen works musically, with an equality of input and status in his ensembles. Wanting to ‘compose’ the book, to see where the material took me, almost as if I were composing with notes, this is how I worked. It’s a different shape than I had originally thought, but with greater depth than I ever could have imagined. It was so fun to do.

When I was beginning to think about music seriously, in the late eighties, I came across the conversation books on both Stravinsky & Berio, (Robert Craft, and David Osmond-Smith/Rossana Dalmonte). These are now classics. Both these books using a pure, simple language to talk about music communicate directly. The written word is placed simply and centrally. Composers talking about their own music us a directness of language, bound into the understanding of the musical notes. Theirs is an eloquence, and a simplicity I seek to curate in all books I author. Creating a space for musical practitioners closely associated Andriessen’s work speaks directly, and is an elegant and powerful choice.

Unfettered enthusiasm exuded from everyone involved in this book. Here is a man who has given of himself across his working and creative life, and this is repaid in Writing to Louis Andriessen many times over in the commentaries on [a] life in music by those authors, composers, friends, colleagues who collaborated.

Reviews

Ben Taffijn, September 2019 nieuwe noten

‘Earlier this year Louis Andriessen celebrated his 80th birthday. Alongside plenty of music, publisher Lecturis produced an extremely interesting book, in English, edited by the composer and promoter Rose Dodd with a fitting title ‘Writing to Louis Andriessen – Commentaries on live in music, referencing his opera ‘Writing to Vermeer.’ Of course, it should be in English as Andriessen’s services to contemporary music abroad, and particularly America are valued more than here [in the Netherlands].

A diverse collection of articles ..we find on the one hand fascinating and searching analysis of Andriessen’s music, but also the broader context is present, in a series of personal reflections that are anecdotal and sometimes of an entertaining nature.’

Emanuel Overbeek, july 2019 opusklassiek

‘..the newest book, edited by an English composer, illustrates Andriessen’s international reach. With contributions from American composers and other musicians who contextualise his status contemporary music. Inspired by a broad range of styles, including western medieval music, Bach, Stravinsky, minimal and pop music, these are developed into a mix that is not only hetereogenous and eclectic, but also high-brow in inclination…Technical analysis, with historical context are foregrounded.’

 

Detail of the texts

The texts are diverse; there are some reprints; in 2002 John O’Mahony had written a great article summarising Louis within the Dutch scene; capturing a time. The first English translation of Louis’s and Elmer Schönberger’s Compositie, een Les / first shown on TV in 1978 is also presented. Both of these capture a written snapshot in time. Tracing Andriessen’s music as it is import/exported across territories – has been simply fascinating. How Louis’s music was encountered mid 90’s in the States by Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy studying then in Illinois, who transported it to Dublin; how he Donnacha then set up Crash Ensemble (echoing Louis’s own ‘can-do’ ensemble attitude). Similarly, Julia Wolfe, based in the East Coast travelled to Cal Arts to track her aesthetic passion for Andriessen’s music; returning to the East Coast, co-founded Bang on a Can!… also, California EAR Unit, and Icebreaker. These groups provide their own fabulous stories.

The cross-pollination of Andriessen’s musical composition – the influence it has had on at least a couple of generations, across a minimum of three territories is discussed. One treatise, in two parts, Ian Pace’s historiography of minimalism; tracing the minimalist project in general; then secondly situating Andriessen’s placing in this outline; proposes a new perspective on a context for Andriessen’s oeuvre. Intended as a backward glance across Andriessen’s significance, the addition of archive material from both Andriessen’s own personal photo, concert programme and personal correspondence; with inclusion of photos from Asko|Schönberg ensemble’s own unique and valuable archive.

A proper musicological identity and emphasis indicates to scholars potential areas in which further scrutiny may be applied.

With thanks. Both Lecturis, Eindhoven and Studio Joost Grootens embraced conceptually and visually my aims as author/editor/translator behind the compiled texts; working with me to create a fresh and appealing book, designed for a reader with a curious mind. A Dutch designed book for so intrinsically a Dutch composer. Louis Andriessen. Simpel gezegd: het kon niet anders.

Published by Lecturis, Eindhoven May 2019 – Support provided by Jaap Harten Fonds Fonds21  Paul Sacher Stiftung Boosey&Hawkes 

PRESS TEXT

Writing to Louis Andriessen : Commentaries on life in music surveys significant works from Andriessen’s career.

Writing to Louis Andriessen is above all about Andriessen’s music, including his own text (Composing – a lesson, 1978) and those by musicians, composers and more academic-style appraisals, with contributions from the UK, Holland and the US. The book is a substantial addition to what is available in print so far on his work.

Louis Andriessen has exerted influence not only as a teacher at the Royal Conservatory of the Hague but also internationally in the expanse of works presented and his influence on various contemporary ensembles such as Ireland’s Crash Ensemble, New-York’s Bang on A Can, Icebreaker from the UK and California E.A.R.Unit. Members of these ensembles have the opportunity in this book to celebrate their connection to Andriessen and his influence on them. In his eightieth birthday year 2019, former students, now also significant voices internationally, and his contemporaries join together to write to Louis Andriessen in a book of critical reflection and celebration. Those taking part include Richard Ayres, California E.A.R.Unit (Amy Knoles, Lorna Eder, Robin Lorentz, Erika Duke-Kirkpatrick, Vicky Ray), Donnacha Dennehy, Rose Dodd, Ron Ford, Christopher Fox, Monica Germino, Liz Haddon, Yannis Kyriakides, Jan Nieuwenhuis, John O’Mahony, Ian Pace, Martijn Padding, Johanneke van Slooten, Frances-Marie Uitti and Julia Wolfe.