19 April 2004
New work by Sussex composer premiered at festival
A new musical work by University of Sussex composer and music lecturer Ed Hughes will be premiered during the Brighton Festival on May 8, 2004.
The piece, Memory of Colour, is a Brighton Festival commission to accompany an exhibition that includes a celebrated art installation, Surface of the Lake, by Japanese artist Teruyoshi Yoshida.
Yoshida's work, which is on display at Fabrica gallery in Brighton until May 26, was inspired by the Japanese city of Kyoto. Created 20 years ago, it features shimmering fabric squares covered in gold leaf that appear to float above the ground.
Hughes has composed a series of acoustic instrumental movements for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, harp and percussion, and some electronic music to reflect his interpretation of the installation.
"Enshrined in Yoshida's work is a dialogue between modernity and ancient rites," says Hughes. "His technique is based on traditional textiles - the mix of gold and colours that go into making kimonos - and this stunning surface is then articulated in a completely modern, abstract, sculpted form.
"I think my music has modern elements - quite urban rhythms, plenty of counterpoint and syncopated rhythms. But in the electronic component I am looking to hint at the ancient sounds of Japan, such as the sound of temple bells."
Hughes admits he has limited knowledge of Japanese culture, although he was commissioned by Arts Council England to write the score for a Japanese silent-film comedy, "I was born, but..." by Yasuhiro Ozu - a couple of years ago. "The conflicts between new technologies and traditional identities are as resonant in Ozu as they are in Yoshida - and that fascinates me," says Hughes.
Memory of Colour will be performed in the Fabrica gallery by musical ensemble Chroma. Both the art installation and Hughes' music from part of a larger arts project, Through the Surface, which also includes an art installation by Claire Barber and live audio-visual interactions by artist-in-residence Pendle Poucher.
Notes for editors
Memory of Colour, will be performed at 7pm and 9pm by Chroma at Fabrica in Ship Street, Brighton on May 8. Tickets cost £10. For information, call the Brighton Festival box office on 01273 709709
Press office contacts, Jacqui Bealing or Maggie Clune, 01273 678888, J.A.Bealing@sussex.ac.uk, M.T. Clune@sussex.ac.uk
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