Black on White: The Music of Heiner Goebbels is a three day feast celebrating one of Germany’s most prolific composers and directors. During the course of the Festival, audiences will be treated to a selection of free lunchtime and afternoon concerts, ticketed evening concerts, a Drama Lecture by the composer himself, and an Open Forum in which artistic director Clark Rundell talks to Heiner about his life and music.
‘Heiner Goebbels’ visit to the RNCM promises to be an extraordinary event,’ explains Clark, who is also Head of Conducting at the College. ‘Goebbels is a man of the theatre, writing music which takes as a starting point the full performance of the work, from the musical material to the lighting, staging and carefully calculated sound canvas. His roots in popular music and jazz continue to influence his output, with rhythms and melodies which both grab the listener and stick in the head. His pioneering work on post dramatic theatre places him as one of the most original thinkers in world theatre. Do not miss this Renaissance man in Manchester!’
Each year the RNCM presents a composer festival that not only focusses on the work of a significant living composer, but also presents new pieces by both established and aspiring young composers. This year, in addition to new works by RNCM students, one of the highlights is Manchester Camerata’s City Life concert (Saturday 23 March, 7.30pm), which includes two works by Goebbels and the world première Carillon; an exciting new piece by award-winning composer Emily Howard, for large ensemble and electronics.
Commissioned by Camerata with support from the PRSF, Carillon uses recordings of the Manchester Town Hall bells to create fixed electronic sounds transcribed to vinyl. Emily, an RNCM alumna and Tutor in Composition, explains: ‘The title Carillon connects with my ongoing interest in machinery and computation. The piece can be thought of as a giant autonomous chiming system in which the acoustic ensemble and electronics follow similar instructions but in very different ways, making it a game between humans and machines.
‘This is my first venture into electronics and I'm grateful to acousmatic composer Sam Salem for recording and manipulating the sounds of the Town Hall bells, and to sound artist Janek Schaefer who will perform on record players and boombox alongside Manchester Camerata conducted by Clark Rundell.’