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Porträt Simon James Philips

Commission to Simon James Philips

Tongyeong International Music Foundation (KR)

In his new work Thread, composer Simon James Phillips explores the perception of time. Thread is a collaborative work for solo double bass and immersive 3D projections, co-composed by Simon James Philips with Tatsuru Arai (3D projections) for the Tongyeong International Music Festival 2024 in South Korea. The work will be premiered by Matthew McDonald, First Solo Bassist of the Berlin Philharmonic and former member of Ensemble Modern. The commission to Simon James Philips for the Tongyeong International Music Festival is made possible by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.

With this work, Simon James Philips aims to create a kind of interplay between subjective and objective observation. Phillips separates his material between the more natural, non-human and atmospheric sound/noise world and the musical, harmonic and familiar material associated with human music-making. The former tends towards the objective, whilst the latter towards the subjective. The work is modular, with flexibility in the order and duration of the individual pieces, so that bassist Matthew McDonald's creative power is even more apparent in the arranging. The piece is notated to balance clarity of intention with flexibility of the performer to ensure that each performance is unique.

The role of the visual projected material is to create an additional layer not only of time but also of the perception of the performance space. Hand-drawn patterns will alter and evolve at an incredibly slow pace, so slow that it is barely perceptible. The projections are so subtle that they do not interfere with the musical aspect of the work, but so striking that the spatial and visual aspect of the performance space seems to alter the shape and feel of the space - changing focus, resolution, shading and colour.

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March 29, 30 and 31, 2024
Black Box, Tongyeong Concert Hall