RNCM Brand New Orchestra
Devon Bonelli Glamour and Gore
Eden Longson OH, IT’S YOU… YOU MONSTER
Dan Baczkowski Resignation
Pablo Sonnaillon Waken by the Storm
Junlin Li Under the Sun
Anna Þorvaldsdóttir Dreaming
Afonso Teles, Lauren Wasynczuk, Anna Beresford, Joseph Sieber conductors
Fangwei Zhao piano
James Clark guest leader
Devon Bonelli - Glamour and Gore
My piece is, first, a study in opposites. Glamour is effervescent, shimmering, and at times, tacky. In the same breath, Gore uses similar textures to colour a darker landscape; one that is ostentatious, violent, and vulgar.
These two movements, for me, embody a kind of dichotomy in queer culture. A drag queen’s sequin gown contrasted with the grotty club she dances in. The idea of glamour has roots in the medieval ideas of shapeshifting and is something that has become a center point of queer culture since the late 60s. In the Harlem Ballroom Scene, ‘glamour,’ ‘serving realness,’ and ‘opulence’ worked as escape from the harsh reality of being gay in a world that doesn’t accept a so-called ‘lifestyle’. This idea of a facade covering the more gorey side is to be embraced, as you cannot have one without the other.
As radical queerness has become overshadowed by its more palatable, softer, and less garish cousin, I want to ask: ‘Why do people feel the need to censor their queerness?’
This piece is one for the kid who was always told they were ‘too much’.
Eden Longson - OH, IT'S YOU... YOU MONSTER
OH IT’S YOU… YOU MONSTER takes its name from a line found in my favourite video game: Portal 2, which is a puzzle game where one must use portals and physics to escape from a laboratory run by a homicidal AI known as GLaDOS. The piece utilises a fast 5/8 time signature to evoke a feeling of quintuplet swing found in the works of J Dilla, Robert Glasper and other post-hip hop jazz artists, whilst also deploying lush orchestral textures in an attempt to marry my favourite worlds of composition. Much like Portal 2, the piece is difficult but ultimately fun, with the orchestra pulling together to create one thrilling rhythmic texture that I can’t wait share with the world.
Dan Baczkowski - Resignation
The world can often leave people feeling a severe lack of agency or control in their lives. This might be financially, personally, or wider socially or politically. Over time this can lead to a great sense of tiredness with the way things are. The recent internet phenomenon of the “Ok Boomer” meme being a prime example of this, the dejected sigh of a whole generation fed up with the status quo but too beaten down and drained of energy to go on arguing about it. This piece portrays some of this emotional journey, and the ways in which people might attempt to come to terms with their lot in life or the way the world is.
Pablo Sonnaillon - Waken by the Storm
Waken by the Storm imitates the usual sounds of a storm, such as the wind, the rain, and the thunder, although adding one extra element, which is soundless in nature: the lightning. This way we get a sense of the storm going away in the horizon as thunder and lightning get further in time from each other, as we reach the welcoming birdsongs at dawn.
Junlin Li - Under the Sun
This piece is inspired by my friend Zhiyong Bao’s Poem Under the Sun.
Under the Sun.
Ease is a moveable grave
People paid me solitude
I paid them silence
Mystery with its own tongue blocked the bullets that shot at mediocrity
When love fades
breathing will be magnified again
In the garden of love
half is roses
half is poppies that want to be roses
Even if the lips don’t touch other lips for a long time
it still won’t shed rosy tears
are the smallest sea
that people can make.
is the shortest poem
I have ever seen
Before the dream breaks
I want to take you back to the future.
With infinite intensity and tranquility
which is what the love should have
Even in this incomprehensible world
everything is the sea
has its own reason
All of us begin to get insomnia
for having the same dream
at the same time
in the same ocean
Anna Þorvaldsdóttir - Dreaming
A quiet soundworld is born from silence, the piece is born from the quiet. The music is in a single movement which from beginning to end embodies a flowing world of sound. The conductor becomes a part of the orchestra as his role and “performance” is at certain moments written in a different way than regular beating of time. After the development of a flowing interplay between the instruments, each performer gradually begins to perform individually so that the orchestra becomes an ensemble of soloistic events. The motionless presence of the conductor directs the piece in the end – his presence alone is enough to lead the orchestra and the piece into the infinite. Time is redundant. The cycle continues.
The inspiration is not in the form of recreating the soundworld or visual presentation already found in nature. It can rather be used as a tool to work with and measure proportions and natural progression.
In each chord there is a world of collective sounds where the small sound particles dissolve and create their own world. By attending to the various qualities of the sound the perception can be changed from one moment to the next.
Brand New Orchestra Personnel
James Clark, Alexandra Webber, Julia Sandros-Alper, Hei Albert Chin, Orla McGarrity, Christina Maxfield, Ailsa Burns, Jade Segler, Zhiyong Xu, Edward Holmes, Che-Yang Chu, Anna Rowland
Magdalena Riedl, Minghan Feng, Phoebe Forrester, Samuel Kane, Becky Cheung, Stacy Jarvis, Nazar Khapsalis, Tiannan Ye, Jocelyn Lau, Anna Xu
Paula Bowes, Ellie Waddington, Adonis Lau, Ben Norris, India Blackshaw-Britton, Lulirong Zhang
James Conway, Cillian Hennessy, Matilde Viegas, James Young
Joana Moura, Aron Jonasson, Maria Fernandes, Harvey Falla
Lok-Yin Hui, Xiaowen Liu, Doris Cao
Hannah Seymour, Mariam Jackson, Will Graham
Thomas Knollys, Lauren Ellis, Ella Sehringer
Theo Puddu, Alice Wriglesworth, Ruiying Wang
Samuel Nutt, Ziying Chen, Chak Hin Lo, Cecily Obrien, Dominic Allison
Miranda Woodward, Gray Tracy, Grace Harman
James Hunt, Oliver Webb, Oliver Atherton
Dan Malone, Simone Herbert-Moores, Harriet Rhind
Angharad Huw, Imogen Garnett, Baohui Fan
Nalni Chen, Aaron le Maistre, James Smith