10 May 2013
A new compositional project, 'Urban Birds' for three pianos, electronics and sampled birdsong, by Dr Arlene Sierra of the School of Music has won major funding support as part of the PRS Foundation's New Music Biennial.
The INTER/actions Festival of Interactive Electronic Music was awarded £20,000 to commission and produce the new work which will feature three international keyboard virtuosi, Sarah Nicolls (London), Xenia Pestova (Bangor) and Kathleen Supove (New York).
All of the New Music Biennial commissions will be presented at two weekend showcases in London and Glasgow in 2014, coinciding with the Commonwealth Games. They will also be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and made available for digital download by NMC Records.
Dr Sierra, Senior Lecturer at the School of Music, said: "Urban Birds is a piece that juxtaposes natural and electronic sources in an extended pianistic sound world showcasing three formidable soloists. The work will engage musically with one of the central preoccupations of our time: our relationship with the natural world."
Dr Sierra has also recently written music for a dramatic new chamber opera,Cuatro Corridos, which was the focus of an Artist Residency and Workshop performance at the Yellow Barn Festival, Vermont in March 2013. Cuatro Corridos, which deals with human trafficking and is based on true events, will premiere in San Diego in May.
Arlene Sierra Vol.2, the second in a multi-volume CD series from Bridge Records, will be released this year and will include recordings by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.