artist-composer, performer & writer

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On the Operations of the Sun (Processing sketch)

On the Operations of the Sun (2011) from Nicholas Brown on Vimeo.

Here is the animation-model, made in Processing, for my new choral piece, On the Operations of the Sun for twelve singers.

On the Operations of the Sun explores the interrelations between science, music and architecture with reference to medieval thought and the development of Western polyphony. The title comes from De Operationibus Solis, a tract by thirteenth-century philosopher, Robert Grosseteste. The structure of the piece (see image) derives from the South Rose Window of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. A computer animation of the window’s tracery was programmed in order to determine the ‘progression’ of the voices through the performance, from the ‘centre’ to the ‘circumference’. The use of a computer model during the process of composition resembles architectural practice: the animation makes a spatial proposition – a ‘blueprint’ for each singer to ‘inhabit’ and make real. For Grosseteste, light was the first form of things. Here, the tracery of a rose window gives structure to the sound of twelve voices.

The piece will be premiered at this year’s Three Choirs Festival on 13 August 2011. Information here.

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Three Choirs Festival 2011

Immersed in Processing code at the moment, working on a new performance-piece to be premiered at the Three Choirs Festival this August. Tricky to explain just yet: it has to do with ecclesiastical geometry (see the Fish’s Bladder, above). There will be 12 singers – Musica Beata, in fact, the very choir I formed with David Mumford at Oxford 17 years ago. There will an element of performance-theatre, too. More soon.

Performances

The Bravery of Women in New York / Alkmaar

THE BRAVERY OF WOMEN will be performed/screened in New York and Alkmaar (NL) during Monica Germino‘s forthcoming tour of her ‘Plugged & Unplugged’ programme.

  • Thursday 23 October: Provadja Theatre, Alkmaar, Netherlands, 8.00pm. Click here for info/tickets.
  • Saturday 8 November: Adelphi University, Long Island, New York. 8.00pm. Click here for info/tickets.
  • Monday 10 November: Le Poisson Rouge NYC, 7.30pm. Click here for tickets
INSTALLATION-PERFORMANCES

HCMF 2007

Two, related works will feature in this year’s Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. One is a transdisciplinary performance for concert-style presentation, the other is a domestic installation with ‘micro-performances’ that examines the demands of the former.

THE SOUL FINDS REST IN UNITY (2007) is an installation-performance in a domestic environment, in which violinist, Monica Germino, will reside for the duration of her stay in Huddersfield. Through video, sound, documents, drawings & micro-performances, this live installation theatricalizes the process of encountering my transdisciplinary work, THE BRAVERY OF WOMEN (2006-7), in terms of implications for the physical body and the violin-as-prosthesis. On 17 November, at 4 pm, Monica will give the first UK performance of this new work in her solo concert, PLUGGED & UNPLUGGED.

Information about these two events is available on the HCMF website.

  • Click here for the dedicated, project website THE SOUL FINDS REST IN UNITY.
  • Click here for HCMF information about THE SOUL FINDS REST IN UNITY
  • Click here for information about PLUGGED & UNPLUGGED.
films, Performances

Rainbow Book Screening | Birdboxes

On June 11, 2007, I’ll be making an installation and giving a live performance for OCM (Oxford Contemporary Music) at The Jam Factory, Oxford.

The installation will be AN AUDIENCE WITH THE TREES (2005). Using six, musical birdboxes, this work transforms Vivaldi’s Four Seasons into birdsong, via my violin concerto of 2003, Vivaldi’s Menagerie.

I’ll also be performing my 1999 pianowork, THE RAINBOW BOOK, for which I’ve recently made a series of short videoworks. Each video is designed to be controlled by the live performance of each piece of music. Overall, the work addresses the physiological effect of colour on the human eye, according to Goethe’s Theory of Colours.

For event information on the OCM website, click here.