We Need No Swords (WNNS): Tell us about the genesis of this project? Was it a commission, or something you were keen on exploring yourself?
Lauren Redhead (LR): This was a project that grew quite organically. The first piece that I wrote was ‘leóþcwide’, which started life as a stand-alone piece just for organ and electronics that came from a Benediction service for organ and electronics that I co-wrote and performed with Automatronic (a collective for organ and electronics I have with organists Huw Morgan and Michael Bonaventure). The texts are from Psalm 4 and Psalm 23, although in the final piece they are obscured.
At the same time I started to be interested in the Anglo-Saxon sources, and so when I turned it into a concert piece I chose the title (meaning lay-poem, I wanted to contrast with the “religious” nature of the original sources) and then I chose a quotation from ‘The Wanderer’ as the programme note that resonated with the original texts. It wasn’t until this piece had been performed a few times that it then became the first of a series.
All of the pieces were created individually, but ‘seo níedhæmestre; se tidfara’ was invited for the 2018 BeastFeast festival in Birmingham, for the organist Mari Fukumoto to play, and ‘ingenga’ came about after an invitation to consider making a piece for an improvising viola da gamba performer.
after his diploma of composition with michael jarrell in 2006, brice catherin willingly stepped away from the contemporary music institutions in order to develop very freely a few activities: multi-instrumental cellist, improviser, composer and art performer. these activities fed into each another, so that beyond his multidisciplinary shows and improvised concerts, brice catherin has never stopped composing and premiering written pieces.
most of his recent projects explore the idea of democracy in art: the artists’ individual responsibilities and their place in the social group as well as those of the members of the audience are challenged and questioned.
“make sure you have exhausted all that is communicated through stillness and silence” is a duet between dancer/choreographer ioannis mandafounis and cellist/composer brice catherin. it is also a duet: between performers and their audience; between a performance and a venue; between a cellist and a cello; between a dancer and his body; between stillness and silence.
the album includes three different versions of the still part of “make sure you have exhausted all that is communicated through stillness and silence”, as well as another short piece by brice catherin: four piano strings. four piano strings is a duet between a performer and a piano, and a venue, and silence. as a bonus, there are two tracks of brice tuning.
lorenzo gomez oviedo is a composer and improviser who was born in san juan in 1987. his works have been premiered in various places throughout argentina, chile, brazil and mexico. he has made inroads in exploring soundscapes using analog recordings, sound interpretation of everyday objects, etc.
valentina spina is an argentinian violinist and musician who explores the interpretative expansion of the traditional violin repertoire through extended techniques and electronic media. she also investigates sound in the context of latin american studies.
on april 2, 2018 the two musicians created para, sin, contra using a circuit bent drum machine and an electric guitar. the sound is: space coast. juggle. blast static. sun. surf haze.
darius ciuta lives and works in kaunas (lithuania). after more than 20 years of service as the drummer of greek neo-psychedelic pioneers purple overdose and no man’s land, chris silver t. decided to temporarily abandon his drum kit in order to embark on a private journey in the sea of sounds that laps the shores of his mind.
their first album for pan y rosas is filled with slow patience, bursts of sound, layers, varied sound sources, locations, times.
christi denton is a portland based composer and sound installation artist who works with found sounds, electronics, and homemade and modified instruments. she has a degree in music composition from mills college and a graduate certificate from the centre de creation musicale iannis xenakis (france).
meduse is her first album for pan y rosas discos. the sound is: beauty or monster. swelling drones. glissando. clicks. pans. crescendo swarm. cluster. chime.