Sound and Music/ OAE Portfolio Scheme

I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be writing a piece for the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment as part of Sound and Music‘s new Portfolio Scheme. Developed through a series of workshops with the OAE, playing on classical instruments, the piece – a short but dynamic string quartet – will be played as part of the OAE’s very cool Night Shift this Autumn in pubs/clubs across London. Image


UPDATE: Here’s a short video we as part of the project, in which I talk about new music, composition, and drinking at concerts


LSO Panufnik Young Composers Scheme

ImageI’m delighted to have been selected to take part in the fantastic LSO Panufnik Scheme, for which I will write a short piece for the London Symphony Orchestra, to be workshopped in Spring 2014.

Under the guidance of renowned composer Colin Matthews, the scheme is particularly exciting as it will allow me to develop the piece in conjunction with LSO players , as well as go to lots of LSO rehearsals and concerts, so seeing the orchestra ‘from the inside’… (It will also help me to catch up with my bassoonist sister Nina, who although much younger than me has already played with the LSO several times.)

Aldeburgh English Song Project

I’m very pleased to have been selected to participate in the 2013 Aldeburgh English Song Project.

The first stage is a short residency in Aldeburgh, with mentors John Woolrich,  Huw Watkins, poet Lavinia Greenlaw, and tenor Richard Edgar Wilson. The song that I begin on this course will be worked on and performed by young singers during a 2013 Aldeburgh Festival masterclass with Ian Bostridge, showcased at the Brunel Institute of Composing. There will be a further opportunity to develop work at Dartington in July.


Gulbenkian Foundation Workshop

Mini-documentary by Claudia Lee of Kim at the wonderful Gulbenkian Foundation during the final week of the Vocal Composition Workshops… Interviews and audio extracts with participants and maestro Luca Francesconi. Kim’s piece ‘O Lotus Estala’ begins the video.

Rough for opera: Tonseisha

The next #bleedingchunk of Kim’s current music theatre piece Tonseisha is shortly to appear at Rough for opera, a scratch night for new opera where ‘anything goes in a night of musical test drives, experiments and reboots from some of the most innovative opera creators in the UK’. Since the scenes that Kim will be presenting (along with saltpeter and director Gary Merry) have not yet been finished (!) it promises to be an edge of the seat affair. 14th October, Cockpit Theatre.

Press: The Times’ Critics Choice || ‘spellbinding theatre with music acting as an emotionally-charged commentary’ – Opera Britannia || ‘the mix of sound and poetry is evocative’ –  Exeunt

Britten Sinfonia Opus2013 Shortlist

Kim is delighted to have been chosen for the Opus2013 Britten Sinfonia workshop in November, for which he is writing a piece for the fantastic chamber group of oboe, harp and string quartet.  Gems in the closely-related field of the oboe quartet include Mozart’s oboe quartet and Britten’s Phantasy Quartet, while Kim was lucky enough to see Holliger play Carter’s in Salzburg this summer. The addition of the harp – at once delicate and brutal (Berio’s Sequenza springs to mind) brings both percussive edge and rich resonance to the group. Kim is very much looking forward to getting started on the piece… when a free moment appears!

BLACK ASTRIDE AND BLINDING performance in Boston

“Until I happened across Ted Hughes’ poem Wind, progress on my 2011 dectet

this is his cheerful face

BLACK ASTRIDE AND BLINDING was painfully slow; everything was up in the air, even the instrumentation (9 players? 10 players? 1 or 2 violas?!). Hughes’ poem, from which my title is borrowed, uses strikingly vigorous language to describe a violent wind which rages for several days. Finding this poem helped kick-start my piece: the visceral sense of strength and power which the poem exudes inspired directly the assertive vigour which drives BLACK ASTRIDE AND BLINDING forwards. While like much of my music the piece journeys through contrasting territories, it is also densely thematic, in two ways. First, while the piece’s basic building blocks are short, vital, often fragmented gestures, there is a continuous struggle to extend these tiny statements into longer lines and phrases. Second, in a kind of ritornello form, all of the piece’s different musics return to be reworked; the opening paragraph perhaps reappears most frequently, each time obsessively transformed and (re)developed. While some of the central episodes are calmer, and the coda – in fact another reworking of the opening – manages to achieve a kind of periodic stability, this cannot last, and the piece is drawn back into its characteristic fury for the close.”

As a finalist in the 2012 ALEA III International Composition Competition, BLACK ASTRIDE will be performed on Sunday October 7 at the Tsai Performance Center, Boston. I probably won’t be there, but let me know if you make it!