2009 Blog

18.12.09

On reflection...

The experience of working with the Nieuw Ensemble this year has been very positive for me. I feel I have developed as a composer through participating in the programme and I was pleased with the performance of my piece. I enjoyed the weekend workshops earlier in the year and relished the opportunity to write short sketches without the immediate pressure of creating a final piece. The final performance fulfilled a lifelong ambition - to have a piece performed in the festival - and I am happy to say that the guitar is still out of the cupboard...

Jenny Jackson

11.08.09

The Last Phase

Work on my Nieuw Ensemble piece is in its last phase; roughly a quarter of the notation is complete. Pictured are two pages of an overall plan. Each box represents a single phrase, a small gestural compound characterised by a low dynamic and a slow but noticeable rate of change. This may be a soft tremolo beating on a muted glockenspiel, a focused strumming of an upper-register mandolin note, or a slowly sliding harmonic fingering on a bowed string. The highlighted boxes are those in which pitched material is present, with the uncoloured phrases contributing to the muffled darkness from which individual details emerge. The distribution of pitched material, in its gradual diffusion across the ensemble, mirrors the fragile unpredictability one finds within each phrase, the whole piece then becoming a slowly fluctuating, tense aggregate.

Inspired by:

James Saunders – #211007

Joanna Bailie – Five Famous Adagios

Evan Johnson – Colophons (“That other that ich not whenne”), reflecting pool / monument

Roland Barthes – The Pleasure of the Text

Mark Z. Danielewski – House of Leaves

Nieuw Ensemble notation

Ben Isaacs

02.07.09

Time to get serious...

With the workshop weekends fading into the distance and the impending first performance looming dangerously in the not so distant future I am, officially, starting to write the piece for the Nieuw Ensemble. Soon...

I'm currently in the throes of pre PhD viva panic (preparation) and feel (hope) that the floodgates will open once this has happened (14th July - all goodwill messages gratefully received). At the moment I can't remember how you start... Eek.

Jenny Jackson