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Notes From Underground

Huw is in production as assistant conductor for colleague Jack Symonds‘ operatic adaptation of Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground. Opening Febraury 14.

Tickets and info at sydneychamberopera.com

Toccata Gallipoli

Friday, September 3, 5:00pm

Huw’s work Toccata Gallipoli was premiered by organist James McVinnie at Westminster Abbey. The Toccata combines material form Australia and New Zealand’s National Anthems and references Huw’s Memorial Anthem The Mountain and the Sea.

See recordings by James McVinnie at Naxos.

‘The Meeting’ from CoBL

Friday May 7, 6.00pm

The Quintet Scene ‘The Meeting’ from Huw’s upcoming Opera Carousel of Blood was performed in the Recital Hall, at the Royal College of Music.

CAROUSEL OF BLOODSYNOPSIS

A gangster and accountant both trapped in life itself, accidentally swap suitcases at the Heathrow baggage carousel. Chasing one another, while accidentally finding love, each man finds endangered his very life or living. A violent catharsis leads the men to speak, and meeting at the carousel, they come to fully understand its fateful power.

The Meeting –

13 Jubilee Close and Suite 69 share the stage. Passing Inga Inglefinger, a Fräulien lurking in the corridor, Martin finds Désirée in the Suite – a complaining high-class call girl. Charles, furiously seeking Martin in Pinner, instead encounters suburban Wendy, who thinks she is meeting her neighbour for the first time. The transformation is instant; the two couples are in love, though each man has pretended he’s the other. Outside Inga, though suspicious that Martin is an imposter, waits impatiently to kill him.

 

Inga Inglefinger from CoBL

Wednesday February 17, 6.00pm

IngaInglefinger.com from Huw’s upcoming Opera Carousel of Blood was performed in the Recital Hall, at the Royal College of Music.

The aria from the hour long chamber opera for 5 voices and 9 players was performed by the following musicians:

Jane Evelyn Inga
Benjamin Macdougall Flute
Antoine Cambruzzi Clarinet
Rebecca Celebuski Percussion
Nathan Tinker Piano
Radu Bitica Violin
Brian Jankanish Viola
Romain Malin Cello
David McIlfatrick Double Bass

The work carried the program note:

Need someone ‘bumped off’? Just type ingainglefinger.com and order an assassination using paypal. From Huw’s upcoming little opera Carousel of Blood, this “Death Tango” punctuated by screaming piccolo stabs, advertises the sadism of an internet assassiness. But beware! She who lives by the sword dies by the sword, and in the violent last moments, she meets her end.

 A concert workshop performance of the Ensemble scene from the same opera can be found here

Auditur Deus

Friday, August 6 5:00pm

Huw’s work Auditur Deus was performed by the Choir of Pembroke College Oxford at Westminster Abbey. The work was written in 2009 to celebrate the tercentenary of the birth of Dr. Samuel Johnson, an alumnus of Pembroke College who is buried in the Abbey.

Assemble in concert at RCM

Huw conducts  his work Assemble in concert for the first time on Thursday the 12th of November ’09 at the Royal College of Music. The work forms part of a concert including works by collegues Tom Peterson, Piers Tattersall and Ruaidhri Mannion.

The piece, originally workshopped by the Composers’ Ensemble directed by Richard Baker, carries the following program note:

Assemble does what is says on the tin. Over its entire length its musical material is gradually ‘assembled’ as ever crisper iterations of melodic material emerge from a primordial soup.

Listen to the Composers’ Ensemble play-through here:

…More Multimedia

Paroxys premiered at National Portrait Gallery

Huw Belling’s Piece Paroxys was premiered at the National Portrait Gallery in London on Friday Nov 6, 2009. The piece for solo Viola  accompanied the photograph below (courtesy of the Portrait Gallery Website).


Program Note:

Paroxys is a corruption of the word paroxysm: a sudden outburst of emotion. With its indeterminate pitch and rhythmic freedom, its spectral harmonics and unstable glisses, Paroxys intimates youthful innocence. It veers wildly about: tantruming, giggling, stamping, and coyly grinning.

Alcuin of York

Alcuin of York

Alcuin of York

A new choral piece by Huw entitled Porta Coeli was premiered on Tuesday the 18th of August at Westminster Abbey as the anthem during 5.00pm Evensong by the Hellenic Singers. The piece is based on the writing of Alcuin of York. It carries the following text and program note:

Latin Text
Alcuin of York (c.735 – 804)
Haec porta est coeli, aeternae haec est janua vitae,
Ista viatorem ducit ad astra suum.
Haec est sancta domus, pacis locus, aula salutis,
Quam super hic semper maneat benedictio Christi.
English Translation
This is the gate of Heaven, this is the door of eternal life.
It leads its pilgrim to the stars.
This is the holy house, the place of peace, the hall of salvation,
For over it rests forever the blessing of Christ.
About Porta Coeli
Porta Coeli’s canonic opening and broad phrases are inspired by the ageless majesty of sacred space. In order to pursue timelessness; a present communion with ancient building and former brethren; the piece borrows from the material and formal devices of the choral past. Simultaneously, it incorporates musical techniques of today. In evoking the ‘gate of heaven’ Porta Coeli heralds the past; the present; heaven and earth.

Latin Text – Alcuin of York (c.735 – 804)

Haec porta est coeli, aeternae haec est janua vitae,

Ista viatorem ducit ad astra suum.

Haec est sancta domus, pacis locus, aula salutis,

Quam super hic semper maneat benedictio Christi.

English Translation

This is the gate of Heaven, this is the door of eternal life.

It leads its pilgrim to the stars.

This is the holy house, the place of peace, the hall of salvation,

For over it rests forever the blessing of Christ.

About Porta Coeli

Porta Coeli’s canonic opening and broad phrases are inspired by the ageless majesty of sacred space. In order to pursue timelessness; to seek a present communion with ancient building and former brethren; the piece borrows from the material and formal devices of the choral past. Simultaneously, it incorporates musical techniques of today. In evoking the ‘gate of heaven’ Porta Coeli heralds the past, the present, heaven and earth.

Virtual Pets

aibo

As part of the Ossian Ensemble’s Carnival of the Animals concert, Virtual Pets by Huw Belling formed part of a new set of ‘problematized animals’ in pieces written especially for the concert by a variety of composers including such pets as The Serpant, Lab Rats and The Dodo. The updated suite was performed with new narration by Neil Georgeson on Wednesday the 8th of July.

Listen:

…More Multimedia

The piece carries the following program note:

Virtual pets is a mockery of the insipid electronica of virtual pets. Fun on the surface, but unhalting and eerily unsettled, things go awry as unnatural imperfections disrupt the simulacra. These errata compound and amplify until the ‘pet’ jitters towards an epileptic halt; e-blivion. Replace batteries.

Destruction’s Our Delight

Upon the Grave of Henry Purcell

Upon the Grave of Henry Purcell (by kind permission of Dean & Chapter of Wesminster)

Huw Belling’s miniature tribute to Henry Purcell written for the Ossian Ensemble was be premiered at the Royal College of Music at the Junior Fellow’s Evening on the 6th of July. Michael Parkinson, one of the guests at the evening, said the piece made him laugh “in all the right places”.

The piece, which was composed atop the Grave of Purcell himself, carries the program note:

Deriving its principle musical material from Henry Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, this miniature titled Destruction’s Our Delight after a chorus in the opera pays tribute to Purcell. Its music exaggerates elements of baroque compositional technique and performance practice by bloating Purcell’s best known musical material. Ornamentations are distended, ground-bass nauseatingly repeated and accelerated, dots tripled and quadrupled, and chromatic motions are compressed into pallid glissandi. Performances should attempt to reflect the piece’s humorous extreme-baroque character.