2021| for trumpet, tape and electronics (max msp)
The blue notebook was inspired by my grandmother’s ‘dreams’ diary that is a blue notebook. In this notebook, my grandmother wrote her vivid dreams and some prayers followed by specific dates.
After reading my grandmother’s dreams collection-diary I combined her spiritual and religious content with sounds that I can find in my natural environment and in Nicosia, Cyprus – my hometown. Thus, I shaped my musical imagination on church bell sounds, bell sound, horn sounds. Furthermore, I recalled sounds from other religions that can be found in Nicosia such as the sounds of the chotzas from the muslim mosque.
I am interested in the fusion of sounds that can be found in an environment and how different sounds interact with each other and their natural space. To illustrate this fusion of sounds, I sampled field recordings. In my grandmother’s dream is mentioned the blue sea and the blue colour. Hence, I attempted to represent a space where the dream and the “reality” meets in the tape by field recordings from the beach, church bells, car horns., the sea. Worth mentioning is that due to the Cypriot politics there are places where radio signals mingle and you listen to two radio station simultaneously, glitch and interrupt the listening. I attempted to represent this interruption of listening in the tape.
Trumpet: Tanya McDonald
2020 |Antonia Kattou (b. 1999)
Music for Newspapers is an interactive composition for newspapers with postcards. This work negotiates understandings of materiality and subjectivity through a composition of practices, spreading from digital fabrication to social elaborations. Articulated as words, phrases and headings this work engages with the potential that this composition will reach social vitality, which is the activation of the audience’s understanding. Music for Newspapers engages with processes of embodiment which are the ways that a musician adapts within a task. Furthermore, the same work is related to social and political transfigurations and material properties within space and time. Rethinking ideas of noise and silence, “Music for Newspapers” shares an experiment of how music can be made, what music really is and by whom it can be created.
…and there comes the place of listeners, who co-create the work through their experiences by using their imagination and thus they relate this work to everything they know.
This work was developed for the New Music Collective at Royal Holloway University of London, commissioned as part of the Festival of Contemporary Music for All 2020 and supported by CoMA – Contemporary Music for All.
for brass ensemble (4 Tpts in Bb, 2 Hns, 3 Tbns, Tba)
5 BRAVO was composed for brass performers from the RCS brass department as part of the PLUG 2021 at RCS.
The piece is based on the Nicosia International Airport. It was originally the main airport of Cyprus, but commercial activity ceased after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. The airport site is now mainly used as the headquarters of the UN – United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus. The airport from its initial construction in the 1930s was a Royal Air Force station RAF Nicosia until 1974. At first it acted principally as a military airport until the end of the WWII and it is still owned by the British Ministry of Defence.
Following the WWII commercial services were reintroduced. On 20 July 1974, the airport was bombed by the Turkish troops and a ground attack of multiple battalions also ensued. Following the Turkish Invasion, the airport was the scene of some of the heaviest fighting between Cypriot and Turkish forces, which led the United Nations Security Council to declare it a UNPA- UN Protected Area during the conflict. After that on August 1974 the airport became part of the UN controlled Buffer Zone separating the two major communities of the island and it has been inoperable as a fully functioning airport ever since.
Nowadays, it is used as a base for UN helicopters for the UN peace-keeping mission in Cyprus, is the home to a number of recreational facilities for UN personnel and is used as one of the sites for inter-communal peace talks by the government. Worth mentioning that to enter the area you need special permission from the UN. Thus, the area is not really accessible from other citizens.
In 2015, after I received a special permission, I visited the buffer area and the abandoned airport. It was a travel back in time because before visiting the area I was listening to my grandmother’s and mother’s memories in the airport. Recently I found a letter from my great-grandfather writing to my grandmother about his weekend in the airport and about an aircraft incident. Worth mentioning that the airport was also a meeting – socialising space due to its cafe facilities.
5 BRAVO is the pilot code of Cyprus. Mayday is the pilot code for danger.
Antonia Kattou (b.1999 in Nicosia, Cyprus) is a composer based in Glasgow and in Nicosia. As a composer and an ethnomusicology researcher, Antonia’s music is heavily influenced by the Eastern Mediterranean sounds of Rebetiko, traditional Cypriot music and Hellenic folk dance rhythms enriched with field recordings and electronic soundscapes. Her studies have included contemporary composition with inspirational professors such as Nina Whiteman and Samantha Fernando, as well as acquiring classical skills and experience in film scoring, fugue and counterpoint.
Due to her musical background and roots, she is interested in bringing together the above techniques in an attempt to grasp contemporaneity and the present time. Antonia, believes that those kind of experimentations and merging enable composers to explore their own musical authenticity which distinguishes their identity within the music industry and she has been glad to already have a few of her works performed and recorded in England, Scotland Cyprus and Greece by ensembles and soloist such as the New Music Collective at RHUL, Nordic Viola, RCS Composers Ensemble, RCS Brass, etc. Moreover, Antonia is listed as one of the Young Generation Composers of CoMA 2020 Festival of New Music, where she was commissioned her interactive composition ‘Music for Newspapers’.
Antonia’s passion for composition and ethnomusicology led her to Royal Holloway, University of London where she graduated with a Bachelor of Music – BMus (Hons). She is currently studying for an MMus in Composition with David Fennessy at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, supported by an RCS Trust Scholarship.
Antonia studied composition with Dr Nina Whiteman, Dr Samantha Fernando, Dr Aaron Nahum Holloway, Dr Oliver Searle, film scoring with Brian Lock and Dr Tom Parkinson, fugue and counterpoint with Dr Iakos Demetriou. She studied ethnomusicology with Dr. Henry Stobart, Dr. Geoffrey Baker, Dr. Yuiko Asaba and Dr. Tan Shrz.