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Sebastian Currier at Vale of Glamorgan Festival

(April 2013)

American composer Sebastian Currier travels to Wales for a feature at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival in May.

Sebastian Currier is featured composer at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival in South Wales between 9-15 May, with the most wide-ranging UK focus on his music to date. A series of talks and concerts introduces audiences to his music, rich in complexity and colour, offering intriguing explorations of the interaction of sound and time. Works range from chamber works to orchestral scores, including a sequence of European and UK premieres.

Events are launched on 9 May by a gala evening at St Donat's Arts Centre offering a snapshot of this year's festival programme. Sebastian Currier introduces audiences to his music and puts his Grawemeyer Award-winning piece Static under the microscope, followed by its UK premiere by the Onix Ensemble.

11 May brings the European premiere of Next Atlantis for string orchestra, Currier's multi-media collaboration with video artist Pawel Wojtasik written in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, evoking a vision of New Orleans submerged in a watery world haunted by musical fragments from its jazz past. The lunchtime performance by the St Christopher Chamber Orchestra is at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff.

On 12 May at Fonmon Castle, near Barry, the Solstice String Quartet presents the European premieres of two major Currier chamber works, Quiet Time and Quartet Set, together with the world premiere of a new work for solo violin, Links. The afternoon concert includes an extended interval in which Currier talks about his music.

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales's programme on 15 May includes the European premiere of Quanta, which Currier wrote following a trip to China last year. The premiere took place in Beijing in March at the National Centre for Performing Arts. Also on the programme at the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, conducted by Richard Baker, is Currier's Microsymph, receiving its UK premiere.

Currier describes Quanta as a "sonic analogue to a series of Chinese characters, but from an outsider's point of view. That is, they exhibit energy, gesture, form and emotion, but not meaning per se. Nearly the entire piece consists of a series of short fragments, each separated by a rest—the fragments are two measures long, the rest is one measure—thus, in my mind, simulating the graphic structure of a Chinese text, but in sound rather than image."

Sebastian Currier is currently completing a new 15-minute chamber work for Anne-Sophie Mutter, who has championed his music in concert and on disc. Ringtone Variations combines violin and double bass and will be premiered and toured this autumn.

> Vale of Glamorgan Festival

> Further information on Work: Quanta

Photo: Jeffrey Herman

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