Open Circuit explores music and technology at Uni of Liverpool events this spring

IMAGE: Mark Pilkington - Hand-drawn still for new audio-visual collaboration with Oli Carman

Open Circuit explores music and technology at Uni of Liverpool events this spring

Phantoms in snare drums and music for marathons: Open Circuit announces four Spring events exploring music and technology

Open Circuit is a series of events that explores and pushes the boundaries between music making and technology. Four FREE concerts have just been announced for this Spring which will be curated by members of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Composition and Technology (ICCaT) at the University of Liverpool.

On Saturday 14 March international group The Riot Ensemble live up to their name with a programme that disrupts conventional expectations of chamber music. Centered around Brian Ferneyhough’s feverishly virtuosic sextet Liber Scintillarum (Book of Sparks) and Gerard Grisey’s spectral masterpiece Talea, this programme explores the extremes of contemporary ensemble writing.

Siemens Prize winning composer Clara Iannotta’s mesmerising string duo, in which “like skaters in a concrete bowl, the bows of violin and viola glide across their strings, creating hushed, airy harmonics”, sits alongside a new work by Israeli composer Hadas Pe’ery.  And Ben Hackbarth’s thrilling Lockstep Variations features two speakers placed inside the percussionists snare drums creating “a pair of phantom musicians, two disembodied drummers who are spatially and gesturally enmeshed with the acoustic ensemble”.

On Wednesday 18 March Open Circuit presents Areas of Influence with Ensemble 10/10, conducted by Clark Rundell, in partnership with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.   The concert features works that are in some way linked to Schoenberg’s seminal work Pierrot Lunaire. Maxwell Davies, a founder member of the Pierrot Players (later The Fires of London) mashes up Purcell.  American minimalist Steve Reich reinvents Schoenberg’s classic instrumentation in his Pulitzer Prize winning Double Sextet.  And these two classics frame a performance of work inspired by Giraud’s Pierrot Lunaire poetic cycle by Liverpool-based composer Eve Harrison, and new work by post-graduate composers Brittany Collie and Daniel Thorne.

On Saturday 21 March the emphasis is on experimental audio-visual work. Oli Carman and Manchester-based composer and AV artist Mark make use of hand drawn sketches combined with electronic gestures and patterns derived from human vocal sounds. These organic and digital sources are subject to a crazy metamorphosis using the software Processing. Brett Battey’s Estuaries 3 was awarded First Prize at MADATAC X in Madrid, Spain in 2019 and creates an immersive sound world created with the composer’s Nodewebba software. Run, a new audiovisual composition/documentary by David Berezan uses footage shot using a gopro camera whilst cross country marathon running and the programme also includes new work by David Arango Valencia and Tom Moreton.

Finally, on Wednesday 22 April Open Circuit and the University of Liverpool’s popular Lunchtime Concert Series join forces to present internationally renowned cellist Jonathan Aasgaard in a programme of classic 20th century American cello works by George Crumb, Gita Razaz, Steve Reich and Ben Hackbarth.

Full details of Open Circuit events are available at:

For further information about Open Circuit please contact: Dr Helen Thomas / 0151-795 8523