Co-Incidences 1 – London

Michael Oliva and Musicians
Colourscape, Clapham Common,
18th September 2022, 12:30pm-4:30pm.

Composer Michael Oliva and a talented band of musicians, present an afternoon of his latest composition, collaborations and improvisations on the theme of Universal Harmony or “The Music of the Spheres”

A mash up of ambient music, installation and performance. An afternoon of lyrical sounds, immersive Ambisonic sound and musical magic. All housed in the extraordinary Colourscape light sculpture at the annual Eye Music Festival.

12 musicians improvise to a series of Tanpura based electronic drones and bells (the Classical Indian string drone instrument). The music uses a large scale structure from 60s experimental music (think Stockhausen in Mexico or John Cale in “Theater of Eternal Music” – before he joined Velvet Underground). There’s a fusion of Western and Indian classical forms and sounds, produced by musicians from both traditions, as well as Ancient and Modern, from Baroque to the latest from the London Techno scene.

Michael developed the piece over the last year with the musicians as part of the Tanpura with… project, using improvisation over  synthesised tracks to create a series of reverberating musical pieces that are like looking at the same sculpture from different angles. The structure compels the player to listen constantly but liberates their freedom of expression. Computer processed sounds from the Tanpura allow us to imagine a “Harmony of the Worlds”.

The concert will use the Ambisonic speaker array inside  Colourscape to create swirling sounds consonant with ideas about the ‘motions of the heavens’. The players will be stationed throughout the coloured spaces, representing planets and stars, distributed in the space by their positions and the rotations of their sounds, but also in time and history by the structure of the work. The lights and moods of Colourscape envelop the work in an unearthly glow.


The Players

Michael Oliva Michael Oliva

Electronics, Computer, Composition
Originally trained as a biochemist, Michael Oliva is now a composer, with a fondness for writing operas and music for electronics and live instruments. He is composer in residence with the contemporary music ensemble rarescale, and has also performed regularly with them in the UK, Europe and the United States.

In addition he runs madestrange opera, a company dedicated to producing new forms of the genre for modern audiences. With madestrange he has premiered his multimedia operas Black & Blue at BAC in 2004, Midsummer in 2005 and The Girl Who Liked to be Thrown Around – presented as a work in progress in Scotland in 2006 and in full production at the Tete a Tete Opera Festival, London in 2007, and the Grimeborn Opera Festival 2008. In 2010 he completed a new Requiem for the choir Mosaic, which was premiered at St Alban’s Cathedral, and then completed a new full length opera Singularity, premiered at the Royal College of Music in 2015 .

Michael also taught composition with electronics at the Royal College of Music from 1998 to 2021, where he was ‘Area Leader for Electroacoustic Music’, and ran the termly “From the Soundhouse” concerts of electronic music, exploring both classic repertoire pieces and new works by up and coming composers and students. He also lectured regularly in music technology at Imperial College, London, and researches and publishes on the use of interactive audio and video systems in performance.

Jane Chapman Jane Chapman

Equally passionate about baroque and contemporary music, Jane has collaborated with ground-breaking composers, artists and dancers working with musicians from the worlds of Indian music, jazz, and the avant-garde. Her CD of the ‘Oriental Miscellany’ published in 1789, was awarded the Preis der Deutschen Schallplatten Kritik. She has premiered over 200 solo, chamber and electroacoustic pieces, and pioneered the first disc of electroacoustic works for harpsichord by British composers – WIRED.
Jane is Professor of Harpsichord at the Royal College of Music.

Ansuman Biswas

Tabla and Percussion
Ansuman Biswas was born in Calcutta and trained in the UK. He now has an international practice encompassing music, film, live art, installation, writing and theatre. He is interested in hybridity and interdisciplinarity, often working between science, art and industry, for instance, or between music, dance and visual art. With skills in a number of different fields, he has developed a dynamic practice which traverses, translates and transposes across various kinds of borders. An example of this border-crossing is his mapping of Vedic and Buddhist thought to modern debates in science and philosophy, which then find expression in film or performance.

Hannah Marshall

Hannah is a cellist, sound designer and performer living in the UK.
She is an improviser, who also works with composition and structures, making recordings, theatre and more recently short films. Much of her practice involves attention to listening and a focus on connection with people, places, situations. Her music and collaborations have been released by Linear Obsessional, Takuroku & Emanem.

Jason Kalidas

Bansuri player, composer. workshop leader, electronica artist. Jason’s musical journey began as talented percussionist in the late 1980s and went on to study Indian classical music in Varanasi in 1995, beginning with Tabla then Bansuri in 2005. Jason has spent 30 years travelling back and forth from India and the west as well as widely touring Europe and USA.
He has performed at The Place London, Sadlers Wells theatre, The UN headquarters, Macba, Barcelona and many more.

Nick Drey

Baroque Cello
Nick has been specialising in baroque cello since since his early days at the Purcell School, and went on to study in the historical performance department at the RCM. He is also a talented composer and vocalist, exploring the interface between early and modern music.

Nick on Soundcloud

Jenny Ames

Also a mean violinist, Jenny works with Louis Giannamore as Barkum Deer, and has performed with, or is a member of, the following: New London Orchestra, Bath Philharmonia, Brandenburg Sinfonia, Orchestra of the Swan, London Contemporary Orchestra, 12 Ensemble, Pythagoras Ensemble, Deviation String Quartet.
Jenny and Louis Giannamore as Barkum Deer

Richard Boothby

Viola da Gamba
Richard Boothby has been playing the viol ever since David Fallows handed him a tenor viol while attempting to teach him about Wagner’s ‘Ring’ in Manchester University in 1977. He founded The Purcell Quartet in 1984 and co-founded Fretwork in 1985.

He has helped to enrich the viol-consort repertory with new music from today’s composers, from Elvis Costello to George Benjamin. With the Purcell Quartet he recorded nearly 50 albums for Hyperion and Chandos; and with Fretwork he recorded over 30 albums. His record of the complete solo lyra viol music of William Lawes on Harmonia Mundi was greeted with high critical praise; and he has recently record the rediscovered fantasias for solo viol by Telemann. He is professor of Viola da Gamba at the Royal College in London.

Lawrence Casserley

Percussion and Electronics
Lawrence has devoted his professional career, as composer, conductor and performer, to real time electroacoustic music. In 1967 he became one of the first students of Electronic Music at the Royal College of Music, London, UK, on the new course taught by Tristram Cary. Later he became Professor-in-Charge of Studios and Adviser for Electroacoustic Music at the RCM, before taking early retirement in 1995. He is best known for his work in free improvised music, particularly real-time processing of other musicians’ sound. He works as a soloist, processing sounds from voice, percussion and home-made instruments.

Pedro Merchán Correas

Pedro/LAW334 is a London based techno dj and producer. Exposed to electronic music since his early teenage years in Madrid, LAW334 found his space and voice in the underground techno-queer scene after arriving in London in 2012. Since then, while studying at the RCM, he was able to learn and experiment with his music-making both on the dancefloor and in the concert hall.

Resident at leading underground club night KAOS and part of Khemia Records. LAW334 has performed in many venues across London such as Corsica Studios, Electrowerkz, Fire, Lightbox or Cell 200, and club nights like B L A N C, Jaded, TeknoKolor and The Judgement Hall.

Simon Desorgher

Simon is a gifted and innovative flute player, with an extraordinary international career at the forefront of experimental music and art. He is also, with Lawrence, designer of Colourscape and director of the Eye Music Trust. He has worked over decades with a diverse range of remarkable artists and composers over decades, to create a huge range of work, from TV and installations to concert pieces. He has seen every species of native British orchid in the wild.

Simon’s groundbreaking work with Peter Donerbauer for BBC2 in 1974 described – the first “art” videotape and first completely abstract work to be broadcast nationally

Matt Saunders

Sound Projection
Matt started down the road of sound at 10 when he needed a score for one of his Super 8 films. Lawrence and he went to Peter Zinovieff’s EMS based studio in Putney and a die was cast. He started sound projection at 14, for UK premieres of Stockhausen etc., and played in a couple of unsuccessful, if innovative, bands.  At 17, he went to work as a tape op/coffee machine at Vineyard Studios (later PWL) in Borough. Then live sound for various free festivals, and working at at Sound Service/Kelsey Acoustics repairing backline and building custom effects racks and studios for rock stars. Prof. Casserley suggested that he become resident engineer and studio manager at the RCM Electro Acoustic studio, where he worked for 11 years until a new broom made the whole team redundant. He then became a mastering engineer at Chop ‘Em Out and was later forced to be an IT department when Chop was acquired by Sanctuary Music. Since realising he would have assassinated the whole IT department, with no moral ambiguity and extreme prejudice, he has been a freelance audio and immersive guru. In his many years Matt has recorded a gallimaufry of luminaries, from Derek Bailey to John Zorn, Cecil Taylor to Faust, Richard Durrant to Evan Parker. He was a friend and recording partner to Michael Gerzon on various occasions. He believes that it his role to make the musicians relaxed and happy so they can feel free to perform. He enjoys a challenge.