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Commissions to Sofia Avramidou, Emma Lloyd and Matthew Whiteside

Ensemble Écoute, Paris (FR)

Ensemble Écoute's project Between Horizons focuses on the concept of interaction: between composers and performers, between different cultures and artistic traditions. For this project, Ensemble Écoute commissions new works from three composers who are also performers themselves and feel equally comfortable on both sides of the invisible border between the worlds of acoustic and electronic music. The three commissions are supported by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.

Emma Lloyd's piece, which has a composed structure throughout, uses elements of improvisation that simultaneously support and undermine the natural order of the underlying material. The material builds on a playful microtonal field that exploits the inherent characteristics of the instruments, while redefining the traditional concept of improvised cadence and the role of conducting in shaping the performance. Custom-built instruments and live electronic manipulations will add another layer of indeterminacy and theatricality to the performance.

Matthew Whiteside will perform in his own piece and control the live electronics, in a spatialization that places him at a vanishing point. The work is based on Ma's concept: the Japanese concept of negative space, where negative space carries as much weight as lines drawn in ink. Musically, it will be a conversation between the ensemble and its electronic shadow, with the negative space behind the speaker's veil carrying as much weight as the live performance.

Sofia Avramidou takes on the role of singer and narrator in a piece that aims to raise questions about the concept of the border with a text written by her in four languages (Greek, her mother tongue, French, her adopted language, English, the international lingua franca, and Gaelic, a traditional language of the British Isles).

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