A Collection of Short Pieces

This piece is a collection of small ideas pulling from different time periods. The first and last movements are both contemporary-inspired, showcasing techniques like jet whistle and sul ponticello to provide a unique and engaging sound.

The second movement is a twisted Bach chorale that uses elements of mensuration canons to elongate and highlight clashes within the individual lines. Following this is a classically inspired trio with a limping, three against two, time signature contrast. The fourth movement is a round inspired by a simple lullaby-esque melody that becomes twisted before reappearing as before. The penultimate movement is the setting of the plainchant Memento mei Deus, accompanied by a simple harmony made to emphasise just how old the text is.

Performers

Red Note

Concrete

This piece portrays the monotony and drab features of the text by building an oppressive atmosphere through dissonant harmony and the building of ostinatos in the piano. Additionally, the piece explores the extremes of the piano’s register, taking advantage of frigid and brittle high notes and rich and stuffy lower chords.

Text

Four streets back from the centre is our block, three rooftops sunward of the liquid-tower. The rusted-ones say we once housed metal-wings – the few just-finished don’t believe them, thinking the buying-place eternal. The rest of us see makings and unmakings too often to doubt the rusted-ones.

The flesh-buildings liked us years ago, when most of us were young. Now they like the cream-stone of the old times and the glass-walls of now. They stopped making us with beauty – waste-blocks and vehicle-houses are the typical new – the just-finished are only for function.

When the sky-water comes, I wonder how I will be as a rusted-one. I think everyone in the block does too – will our sides be brown from sad metal-splinters, tops turned yellow where the beak-wings bathe? The rusted-ones wait for the flesh-buildings’ decisions. I hope we are not unmade.

– Tegan Gear

Notes from the author

Concrete buildings tell stories. The drips of rust might show where a nail used to be when the building had multiple floors, while the dents and cracks in it are reminders of the badly-parked machinery that it housed as a warehouse. In Concrete, I wanted to tell the story of one of these buildings – how they are created, live, and die.

Performers

Tenor: Seumas Begg
Piano: Gabriele Kevisaite

The Eruption of Pompeii

This piece expresses both the terror and destruction of a volcanic eruption while also showcasing the tragedy’s apathetic nature. This is through using an open yet slightly dissonant sound world and the use of swelling motifs in the piano and voice. 

Text 

Mute, her mouth opened, and dreams fell fast; she woke with a yawn of ash to the sky. Arms outstretched, testing their reach.  

The wind cried when she came down from the mountains, back burnt black and smouldering smile the sole embers of the past.  

When the gushing clouds pleaded with frozen hands, drowning the valley villages, rain fell on knowing, deaf ears.  

Snow followed her steps, struggling, splintering, straining: to stay with her stride, or against the falling hill.  

The tide came to greet her: “Old friend, did you wish devastation on your people? Their bodies already rest.”  

Neither words nor actions she gave, but the smile stuck the steaming sea to its shores, ripping obsidian free.  
 
Behind, cindered Pompeii lay flat, all asleep in her eyes, persevered as her flock; souls we could not remember. 

Notes from the author 

This poem was originally written without a specific event in mind and centred on Pompeii only in the final stages of writing. I started with a personified extension of nature’s wrath in mind, and explored the juxtaposition of the emotionless volcano with the chaos of the nearby people’s inevitable doom. 
 
– Tegan Gears 

Performers

Tenor: Seumas Begg
Piano: Alexandru-Stefan Placinta

BIOGRAPHY

Plug 2021 Composer Evan

Evan Bailey is a chamber, orchestral, and vocal music composer noted for creating new music that interweaves contemporary practice with historical musical styles and influences. His work combines these various disparate elements to create a tantalising and unique sound world.

Showcasing this is his recent chamber piece Αιγαίο, written for the GAIA Violin and Cello Duo, which features: a Greek chorus inspired opening, a lute-esque melody in an antiquated Aristoxenian mode, Balkan folk music inspired Aksak rhythmic cycles and excerpts from a byzantine hymn.

Evan studied composition first under Darren Bloom at Forest School, London and Junior Trinity, the Junior Department of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, winning awards at both institutions. Following this, he studied under Linda Buckley and Oliver Searle at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) in Glasgow, briefly studying abroad for a term at the Iceland University of the Arts under Úlfar Ingi Haraldsson.

Throughout his studies, Evan has involved himself in several amateur ensembles, including Forest School’s Contemporary Music Ensemble, Junior Trinity’s Composers’ Ensemble, RCS’ Conductors’ Ensemble and the East London Symphony Orchestra. He has additionally written for professional ensembles such as the Ossian Ensemble and the aforementioned GAIA Duo. Furthermore, Evan has taken an active role in music creation in the past, most notably within Junior Trinity’s Creative collective. There he worked within a small group to create choreographed musical works for the Tate Exchange, culminating in performances within the Lewisham Live Festival.

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