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Home > Evan Parker: Beyond Borders

Evan Parker: Beyond Borders

Commissioned by:

Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music, Dialogues Festival and Sound Scotland

Event date:

March 2012 onwards

Event venue:

Belfast, Edinburgh, Glasgow (Derry, University of East Anglia and Aberdeen to be confirmed)

Find out more by visiting:

Both Sonorities and Dialogues are dedicated to the exploration of musical practices that sit at the intersection of contemporary and electronic fields, and both festivals are known to be continually pushing the boundaries of musical genres. Our aim for the project is to bring together musicians that represent a mix of traditional and contemporary performers.

A message from Sonorities Festival:
“The Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music, Belfast is extremely thrilled to have been awarded the Beyond Borders commissioning grant. This commission is a joint venture between Sonorities, the longest-running new music festival in Ireland (considered one of the cornerstone Festivals in Europe) and Edinburgh’s unique Dialogues Festival, a cutting edge festival of experimental and electronic music that has been running since 1999, along with Sound Scotland – North East Scotland’s festival of new music.

The proposal was ambitious in commissioning one structurally flexible work by renowned musician Evan Parker to be performed by two very different ensembles that involve performers at the intersection of traditional, improvised and electronic music. The Northern Ireland ensemble will feature Irish piper Ivan Goff, Pedro Rebelo on live-electronics, percussionist Steve Davis, BBC new generation artist and trumpeter Tom Arthurs, and saxophonist Franziska Schroeder. The Edinburgh ensemble will consist of Pete Furniss (clarinets), Scottish Chamber cellist Su-a Lee (saw and electric cello), hip-hop laptopper Owen Green, Tom Arthurs and a live electronics performer.”

To find out more about Sonorities Festival visit their website:

Evan Parker says:
“The gradual acceptance of improvisation as a natural development in electronic/computer and acoustic/instrument fields and in hybrid electro-acoustic music over the last 40 years has resulted in a community of ‘composer/performers’ with expertise in these areas. The kind of processes described in Wolf’s or Stockhausen’s music are ripe for revisiting in light of current state of things: musicians, instruments and audience have evolved in response to general accessibility of computing power. The challenge in this commission is to think of materials/approaches relevant to an improvising small group without recourse to complex notation”.

Parker’s influences include Paul Desmond, Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane. He played with John Stevens and members of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble – Dave Holland, Kenny Wheeler, Paul Rutherford, Derek Bailey and Peter Kowald. Parker played on Peter Brötzmann’s still dangerous ‘Machine Gun’ in ’68; recorded with Manfred Schoof and Pierre Favre.

In 1970 he joined the Alex von Schlippenbach Trio. He played in bands led by Kenny Wheeler, Chris McGregor, Barry Guy, Stan Tracey and Charlie Watts and in chamber musics by Michael Nyman, Gavin Bryars, Frederic Rzewski. Parker has collaborated with American innovators: Cecil Taylor, Paul Bley, Anthony Braxton, Roscoe Mitchell, George Lewis and Wadada Leo Smith. He played with Scott Walker, Robert Wyatt, Annette Peacock, and Squarepusher.

Aspects of electronics have featured since 1969 (Music Improvisation Company). In the duo with Paul Lytton, raw live electronics were again frequently foregrounded. Since 1990 Parker has led the Electro-Acoustic Ensemble. Parker appears on more than 200 recordings on labels including ECM, FMP, Emanem, Incus, Ogun. In 2001, he founded his own label, psi.

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