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International

Hong Kong adventures

While Rosie Shepherd was admiring the snow during her year abroad in Norway (see her post of 4 July), Jordan Stock headed for warmer climes. Read on for his impressions of his year in east Asia: It has now been nearly one year since I left the refuge of Southampton to travel to about as far as you can get on the other side of the world, Hong Kong. I can only sum up the year with one word: Wow. Continue reading →

My Year in Norway

Rosie Shepherd tells us about her life-changing experience during the study abroad year of her undergraduate Music course: At the beginning of August last year I embarked on a new adventure – packing up everything important to me and moving to Bergen, Norway to study for 10 months. To say those months have flown by would be an understatement, but the amount of knowledge, life experience and fantastic memories I have gained in that time have made it more than worth it. Continue reading →

Pianist Ingrid Barancoski reflects on her year in Southampton

Dr Ingrid Barancoski,  from the Villa-Lobos Institute at UNIRIO (Universidade Federal do Estado do Rio de Janeiro) reflects on her year in Southampton researching Nadia Boulanger and Almedia Prado: In June 2014, I was reading the book entitled The musical work of Nadia Boulanger, and found it fascinating.  Researching about the author, Prof. Jeanice Brooks, I came across the University of Southampton. Continue reading →

Sound Heritage down under

Jeanice Brooks reports on the latest Sound Heritage venture: I've just returned from a wonderful symposium at Elizabeth Bay House in Sydney, organised by Dr Matthew Stephens of Sydney Living Museums. Matthew is the research librarian of SLM's Caroline Simpson Library and Research Collection, and he has been the international member representing Australia at the study days held by the Sound Heritage network in the UK over the past two years. Continue reading →

‘Joy and Freedom’ in Paris

Associate Professor in Composition Matthew Shlomowitz reports on a recent trip to Paris. Last week I attended a dance performance at the Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris that featured my work, alongside music by Tom Zé and Ben Harper. The show was titled La Fête (de l'insignifiance) and performed by the Paulo Ribeiro Dance Company, based in Portugal. The three Paris dates followed performances in Lisbon, Viseu, Coimbra and Flor in Portugal, and Besançon in France. Continue reading →

Ensemble Paramirabo @ Southampton

by postgraduate Music student Harry Matthews. For the first composition workshop of this academic year, the University was joined by a group of musicians from Canada named Ensemble Paramirabo. The group flew to Southampton from Montreal - giving a workshop on three new pieces following their performance at the Music Department Monday Lunchtime Professional Concert Series featuring a new work by Lecturer in Composition Benjamin Oliver, The Circus Animals’ Desertion. Continue reading →

Postcard from Potsdam

I've just returned from the State University of New York in Potsdam after participating in a fascinating festival on the French composer, conductor and pedagogue, Nadia Boulanger. When founded by the redoubtable Julia Crane in 1886, the Crane Normal Institute of Music was small enough to be run in the living rooms of a house on the town's main street. Today, the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam is a flourishing institution that boasts more than 500 undergraduate music majors. Continue reading →

Sound Heritage returns

Just before the spring break, the Sound Heritage network met up for its second study day on music research and interpretation in country houses. Instead of gathering in the university, we made a field trip out to Chawton, home of Chawton House Library and Jane Austen's House Museum. Continue reading →

Sounds of the North

The Music department and Turner Sims are celebrating Norwegian musical culture with an array of fantastic events featuring visiting performers across the genres.  Lecturer in Composition Ben Oliver reports on one of the first of the series: On Saturday I had the great pleasure to attend a concert at Turner Sims featuring the Daniel Herskedal Trio with The University Strings. Continue reading →

Popular Premiere

Associate Professor Matthew Shlomowitz tells us about a forthcoming premiere in his Popular Contexts series: In 2015 I composed a twenty-five minute work for the Norwegian percussionist Håkon Stene, commissioned by The Norwegian Programme for Artistic Research. The work is the eighth volume in my Popular Contexts series, which combine pre-recorded sounds with live instrumental music to investigate aspects of everyday and popular culture. Continue reading →

Launching Sound Heritage

A couple of weeks ago heritage professionals, historical performance experts and music academics came to Southampton for the inaugural meeting of Sound Heritage, a new project on music in English country houses of the 18th and 19th centuries. Network leader Professor Jeanice Brooks tells us about the day: Country houses have special place in British culture, and with the huge success of movies and television dramas like 'Downton Abbey', more people than ever before are interested in them. Continue reading →

Bad Music in Oslo?

Can a piece of music can be inherently bad, or are all such judgements purely subjective? Associate Professor in Composition Matthew Shlomowitz reports on a recent premier in Oslo addressing such issues. I was commissioned by the Ultima Festival in Oslo to compose a forty-minute work for the Plus Minus Ensemble, a group I direct with English composer Joanna Bailie. For this commission I decided to do something different: instead of writing a piece, I wrote a 'lecture-piece'. Continue reading →