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AYM: Minimalism

1 & 2 February 2020

AYM: Minimalism

This AYM Weekend focusses on minimalism with Matthew Fairclough (composer and sound designer), Daniel Thorne (composer and saxophonist), and Eliza McCarthy (contemporary pianist and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction teacher), assisted by Lizzi Tocknell (AYM alumna and French horn player). AYMs will be introduced to the music of Steve Reich, specifically My Name Is…, and use their instruments to explore his music and their own responses to this. They will also explore drones and textures, free improvisation and then study Terry Riley’s In C, ending by running the piece as if in a performance. Listening meditation will be used around this to deepen the listening skills of those involved.

About the artists

Matthew Fairclough

Matthew Fairclough is a composer, sound designer and performer of music with live electronics. He is the Director of Music Technology at Liverpool and the Deputy Head of Music. He lectures on the many creative applications of Music Technology in both Popular and Classical music. His research is focused on composition for acoustic instruments, often working with real-time electronic processing and interactive visual media. His most recent works explore the control and generation of electronic sound, video and computer graphics using continuously varying data taken in real-time from an instrumentalist’s performance (pitch/amplitude/timbre/timing). In 2014 Matthew founded Open Circuit Festival, a programme of new music, sonic arts and audio-visual media, which runs annually at the University of Liverpool. He regularly collaborates with high profile performers, composers and organisations. These have included performers such as Joanna MacGregor, Andy Sheppard, Joby Burgess, John Kenny and Oliver Coates, and the composers Jonathan Harvey and Luciano Berio. He has collaborated as a sound designer with many ensembles, orchestras and arts organisations including Britten Sinfonia, Psappha, Ensemble 10/10, Smith Quartet, London Sinfonietta, SoundUK and Sound Intermedia. Since 2015-2019, Matthew has performed live film scores and presented multimedia courses at Dartington International Summer School – teaching alongside with Kathy Hinde, Sarah Angliss and the Dead Rat Orchestra.

Daniel Thorne

Daniel Thorne is a composer and saxophonist fascinated by the infinite shades of possibility that exist between the notions of acoustic and electronic, and composition and improvisation. This blurring of lines is at the heart of his music, creating a unique sonic world that obscures and detaches his instrument’s sound from its typical associations. As the founder and artistic directer of Immix Ensemble, Daniel frequently creates music with other artists. His collaboration with the experimental electronic artist, Vessel, resulted in ‘Transition’, which was released on Erased Tapes in 2016. In 2017 he worked together with the acclaimed modular synthesist, Luke Abbott, to create a four-part suite, ‘Basic Forms’. He has also provided arrangements for artists such as Charlie Cunningham, Jane Weaver and Bill Ryder-Jones. Most recently he has collaborated with Forest Swords on ‘Trespassing’, a new work created for the 2019 PRSF New Music Biennial. Parallel to his work with Immix, Daniel has been developing a unique compositional voice of his own. His piece, ‘Iroise’ was included in the Erased Tapes 10th anniversary boxset, 1+1=X. His debut solo album, ‘Lines of Sight’ – an exploration of the idea of perspective that was inspired by aerial images and the juxtaposition of synthetic and organic – was released on Erased Tapes on March 15, 2019.

Eliza McCarthy

Eliza McCarthy is a London based pianist who spends her time playing new and experimental music. Winner of the 2013 British Contemporary Piano Competition, she performs in concert halls, art galleries, theatres and living rooms across the UK, Europe and US as a soloist and band member. She has had the great pleasure of working with, commissioning, premiering and recording works by many living composers including John Adams, Thomas Adès, George Crumb, Tansy Davies, Donnacha Dennehy, Andrew Hamilton and Laurie Spiegel. She regularly collaborates with Mica Levi (Under the Skin, Jackie) and their album ‘Slow Dark Green Murky Waterfall’ was released in 2018 on Slip. She was featured on Alex Groves’ debut EP Curved Form (No. 4) which was released in March 2019. She has recently co-written a piece for piano and pre-recorded sound with the electronic musician Jo Wills which will be performed at Kings Place as part of Nature Unwrapped in March 2020.

Lizzi Tocknell

Lizzi Tocknell is a freelance horn player and teacher based in London. She has appeared as a guest player with orchestras including the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. She is also Principal Horn of Bampton Classical Opera and has appeared as guest principal with other ensembles including Chroma and Orpheus Sinfonia. Lizzi is always keen to perform new works (something she very much attributes to her time as an Aldeburgh Young Musician!) and most recently played in a chamber ensemble for the premiere of a ballet by Leon Haxby, Snow White: Reimagined. As a soloist, she has appeared with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, as well as the Hertfordshire Philharmonia and the Bloomsbury Chamber Orchestra, with whom she premiered a new concerto composed for her by Mike Turner. Lizzi was a scholarship student for both her postgraduate at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and her undergraduate at the Royal College of Music and in 2014 spent four months on exchange to the class of Radovan Vlatkovic at the Mozarteum University in Salzburg. Whilst studying she played principal with several prestigious youth orchestras including the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Youth, Britten-Pears Orchestra and Barbican Young Orchestra, and she also participated in the LSO Brass Academy 2016. As a teenager she was a specialist musician at Wells Cathedral School, during which time she was one of the brass finalists in the BBC Young Musician of the Year 2012 competition.

Find out more | Key contact

Tilly Gugenheim – Producer, AYM
01728 687165



AYM is generously supported by Arts Council England, Angus Allnatt Charitable Foundations, The Cedar Trust, in memory of Sheila Stainton, The Department for Education, Foyle Foundation, The Ganzoni Charitable Trust, The Leverhulme Trust, Limbourne Trust, Sorkin Family Charitable Trust, Trinity College London and the Garfield Weston Foundation, in addition to a number of generous individuals, including Edward Bray, Professor Sir Barry Ife and Jeremy & Elizabeth Wagener.