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RNCM PLAY Festival: CoMA Manchester

‘To be held for a long time’

Thursday 18 March 2021, 8.00pm


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CoMA (Contemporary Music for All) enables musicians of all abilities to participate actively in contemporary music.

Presented by RNCM PhD composition student Ellen Sargen, this collaborative audio-visual project between CoMA Manchester and RNCM students and alumni gives a flavour of how the group have adapted over the last year during lockdown, and includes soundwalks, remote collective music-making and Zoom rehearsals.


Chris Hobbs Walk Event (1968)

Walking at your usual pace, think of a number between one and twenty and on the appropriate step, whistle any short note. Before the next step after this, think of another number between 1 and 20, whistle at the appropriate time and so on.

Ellen Sargen (arr) Song for CoMA (2021)

Ensemble members recorded clips of different behaviours at their homes before coming together to create a tutti improvisation using these same behaviours. This piece is the composer’s cut of this collected footage, the editor having regained complete control over the players. The commentary reflects on the questions and concerns that arose through this process. To view (and contribute to) the project in its entirety, go to https://ellensargen.com/portfolio/song-for-coma/ .

Bofan Ma Upfold, Downfold, Unfold (2021)

An audio-visual collage, exploring the beauty of the everyday, and the fun of dubbing.

This was a game played remotely. All the materials for the collage were sourced individually and independently by each player, instead of from a collective rehearsal or performance. It was also a two-part challenge, in which all sound associated with the image was made retrospectively. Each ensemble member produced a silent film that documents a plainly mundane event. The films were then exchanged amongst the group, before everyone captured and superimposed a reimagined sonic appearance on top of the footage received.

La Monte Young Compositions 1960 #7 (1960)

To be held for a long time”.

Amber Priestley Is this the correct amount of social distancing? (2020)

Players played a private game of eye spy with themselves in Fletcher Moss Gardens, Didsbury during our only physical meet up in 12 months. Upon sharing these recordings, others are invited to observe their own environment while listening.

For details of CoMA Manchester’s next projects or to join, please visit www.coma.org/manchester.

This free festival will be streamed Live from the RNCM. To watch, please click on the LIVESTREAM button below.
*Please note that our Live from the RNCM events are only available to watch live and will not be available to watch again after the broadcast.

Our free events series is only possible thanks to our amazing students and partners. Please donate what you can to ensure we can keep performing through these challenging times.

Thursday 18 March 2021, 8.00pm


COVID-19 Update: Our venues have reopened to the public and we’re looking forward to welcoming you back this Autumn. Before attending an event at the RNCM, please read our Audience Protocol…