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University of Plymouth
The House
Drake Circus
Plymouth PL4 8AA
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1752 232579

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Contemporary Music Concerts

Organised by The Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research and Peninsula Arts, these concerts showcase some of the best contemporary music performers from throughout the UK and beyond.

For further information contact: Alexis Kirke Tel: 01752 232579 Email:



Contemporary Piano Series

Wednesday 3rd December 2008 to 17th June 2009 7:30pm

Theatre LT1, Roland Levinsky Building and Upper Lecture Theatre, Sherwell Building

December 2008 sees the launch of the Peninsula Arts Contemporary Piano Series, a collection of performances which showcases the astonishing flexibility of the piano – matchless amongst acoustic instruments in its expressive range and evocative ability. This series involves performers and composers of international repute such as Ian Pace, Frank Denyer and Michael Finnissy. Our innovative program finds Beethoven pastorals sharing the platform with “Hyper-Complexity”; pianists performing with sine wave generators; a premiere of a new piece for dual pianos; as well as favourites by Debussy and Phillip Glass. Organised in partnership with the Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research.

Lona Kozik (American Innovators) - 3rd December
 Ian Pace with Michael Finnissy (The Pastoral) – 28th January (includes pre-concert talk at 7pm)
 Ian Pace (Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival 2009) – 1st March
Catherine Laws (Piano and Electronics) – 18th March
Sam Richards (Improvisation, Impression, Composition) – 1st April
Mike McInerney (Evil Insects) – 6th May
Frank Denyer and Catherine Laws (Two Pianos) – 17th June

Tickets £5 per performance (£3 over 60s) Free for UoP students and staff



Contemporary Piano Series: Sam Richards - My Roots are Showing

Wednesday 1st April 7:30pm

Upper Lecture Theatre, Sherwell Building

Sam Richards explores the piano via some of his major musical influences – jazz, folk music, Sun Ra, Cornelius Cardew, Bob Marley, John Cage, pop music, Tom Waits, Ewan MacColl and Thelonious Monk. Some pieces will be entirely improvised; others partly so. Still others are composed and notated. Using the concert grand (inside and out), an electric piano, some pre-recorded tracks, toy piano and a variety of toys and basic gadgets, this concert aims to tell a new story about the piano itself.

Tickets £5 (£3 over 60s) Free for UoP students and staff





Previous Concerts


Contemporary Piano Series: Catherine Laws – Piano and Electronics

Wednesday 18th March 7:30pm

Upper Lecture Theatre, Sherwell Building

Catherine Laws' programme demonstrates the vibrant expressive potential of combining piano with electronics. The powerful rhythms of Dennehy's "pAt" contrast with Lucier¹s meditative "Still Lives", while new commissions from Edward Jessen and David Prior further explore the musical drama that lies in the relationship between piano, pianist and recorded sound.

Tickets £5 (£3 over 60s) Free for UoP students and staff



Contemporary Piano Series: Ian Pace with Michael Finnissy – The Pastoral

Wednesday 28th January 7:00pm Pre-concert talk, 7:30pm Concert

Upper Lecture Theatre, Sherwell Building

Described as “ultra-deft” (The Sunday Times), pianist Ian Pace will perform works including Beethoven-transcribed Franz Liszt, and Michael Finnissy’s English Country Tunes. Finnissy himself will deliver a half-hour pre-performance talk. This is a rare opportunity to see two contemporary music figures of international importance.

Tickets £5 (£3 over 60s) Free for UoP students and staff



Contemporary Piano Series: Lona Kozik – American Innovators

Wednesday 3rd December 7:30pm

Upper Lecture Theatre, Sherwell Building

American innovators played a key role in the music of the last 80 years.  American pianist and composer Lona Kozik presents a sampling of some of the best-known, including John Cage, Morton Feldman, George Crumb, Philip Glass and Alvin Curran. 

Tickets £5 (£3 over 60s) Free for UoP students and staff



Electroacoustic - "Cinema for the Ear"

Wednesday 1st October 2008 8:00pm

Jill Craigie Cinema, Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth

Electroacoustic music is often referred to as ‘Cinema for the Ear’ as the pieces are entirely produced in an electronic music studio and are played back – or ‘projected’ – to the audience using loudspeakers. The concert will feature classic electroacoustic pieces and works combining electronically generated moving images and sounds. The performance includes music by the University of Plymouth composers Torsten Anders and Eduardo Miranda.

Tickets £5 (£3 over 60s) Free for UoP students and staff


Sam Richards and Maureen Douglas Green

Wednesday 21st May 2008 8:00pm

Jill Craigie Cinema, Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth, FREE ENTRY

With live music by Sam Richards and the Half Moon Assemblage, and images by Maureen Douglas Green, “Between the Salt Water and the Sea Strand” is a multimedia performance. Douglas Green’s coastal images on the cinema screen accompany Richard’s composition for piano, violin, trumpet with effects, electric guitar, and "toychestra". The photographic images, some in extreme close-up, explore the relationship between rocks, water and the nude human form, as well paying homage to the colours and forms of nature. The five musical performers follow their own pathways through the “map” of the music, often breaking into improvisation. This live musical and photographic study of the sea and the coast promises to be an absorbing experience.

Mike McInerney and Tim Sayer

Wednesday 30th April 2008 8:00pm

Jill Craigie Cinema, Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth, FREE ENTRY

“Moving the Sun and Traffic” - by eminent Shakuhachi (Japanese flute) player Mike McInerney and visual performance artist Tim Sayer - combines traditional Japanese performance with live-generated abstract hallucinatory images on the cinema screen. Simultaneously, through the cinema speakers, a computer generates electroacoustic sound in real-time in response to the flute. The piece is inspired by Martin Conway’s account of a brain-damaged patient whose sense of free-will was so distorted that they felt in total control of their immediate environment, believing that they were actively setting the sun and moving cars along the street. McInerny and Sayer’s performance is a unique 40 minute audio-visual experience.


Ian Pace

Wednesday 23rd April 2008 7:00pm

Upper Lecture Theatre, Sherwell Centre, University of Plymouth, FREE ENTRY

“phenomenal skills at the service of innovative musical thought..." The Sunday Times. Ian Pace is one of the UK’s leading performers of contemporary piano music, and is renowned for his ability to tackle the most demanding contemporary scores. He has premiered a large number of new works by some of the world’s foremost composers, and he is also a respected writer and thinker on music. Based in London he is a lecturer at Dartington College of Arts. This combined seminar/performance will start with a talk on Pace’s approach to the expressive performance of contemporary piano music. This will be followed by a performance of some of the works discussed in the talk, including Carter - 90+, Stockhausen - Klavierstück X and a number of Ligeti Études.


David Prior

Wednesday 12th March 2008 12:30pm

Immersive Vision Theatre, The Planetarium, FREE ENTRY

David Prior is a senior lecturer in music at Dartington College of Arts and head sound designer for the Imperial War Museum's Churchill new Churchill Galleries. His multi-speaker work has been performed around Europe and North America winning many awards. In this performance - working with a series of water recordings made using hydrophones - David will DJ and mix the sounds to create a live composition through the 360 degree surround speaker system in the Immersive Vision Theatre.


Saturday 23rd Feburary 2008 8:15pm

Southside Café, Roland Levinsky Building, University of Plymouth, FREE ENTRY

A series of short performances by members of the University’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Computer Music Research. The theme of 'Interface' is twofold: bringing together traditional musicians with technology; and bringing together music-lovers with the latest cutting edge techniques in performance and composition. Performances include a musician performing with their brainwaves, drum music produced live by an artificial group of rhythmic robots, and a jazz pianist improvising in tandem with an intelligent computer piano improviser. Perfomers include: Marcelo Gimenes, Joao Martins, Alexis Kirke, Lola Perrin, Guto Nobrega, Leandro Costalonga, Hilary Mullaney and Andrew Brouse. The Southside Café will be open throughout the evening. Come and enjoy accessible but exciting music with a coffee or glass of wine. (This concert is part of the 2008 Plymouth Contemporary Music Festival.)


David Plans Casal

Wednesday 23rd January 2008 8pm

Upper Lecture Theatre, Sherwell Centre, University of Plymouth, FREE ENTRY

David Plans Casal is a pianist whose influences include Jazz music, Ligeti, Xenakis, Cage, and also Baroque and Renaissance composers. He has performed at international venues such as SARC in Belfast and Centre Pompidou in Paris. David’s improvisation interacts with an artificial genetic co-evolving entity “Frank” who builds a live soundworld of the player, responding musically through the concert hall speakers. Frank’s cultural heritage can also include previously recorded music, for example parts of Cecil Taylor’s discography.


Lola Perrin

Wednesday 12 December 2007 12.30pm

The Gallery, Roland Levinsky Building, FREE ENTRY

Lola Perrin is a piano performer and composer. A New Yorker by birth, Lola is based in London and collaborates with world renowned film-makers The Gray Circle (credits incl. Lord of the Rings on-stage), and Phil Maxwell and Hazuan Hashim (credits include Michael Nyman's "The Piano Sings" tour). Like Nyman, Lola’s music takes deep motivation from visual imagery. Her performance in the University’s new Roland Levinksy Gallery, will be accompanied by film projection.


Nigel Morgan

Thursday 22 November 2007 12.30 pm

The Gallery, Roland Levinsky Building, FREE ENTRY

Nigel Morgan is University of Plymouth Future Music Lab’s Composer-in-Residence. He studied the Classical Guitar with Hector Quine in London and Alexander Bellow in New York and specialises in the contemporary repertoire. This concert will include work by Antonia Lauro, Edward McGuire and Leo Brouwer; as well as Stereo Ovation guitar experimental miniatures - composed by Alexis Kirke (Chromium 2) and other members of the Future Music Lab.


Hilary Mullaney

Wednesday 24 October 2007 12.30 pm

Immersive Vision Theatre, The Planetarium, FREE ENTRY

Hilary Mullaney lectures in Electroacoustic Music and Composition. Her fixed media pieces have been performed and released worldwide. As part of this concert of piano and electroacoustic pieces with visual projection, she will explore how text can be generated from the compositional process. The performance will be in the University of Plymouth’s Immersive Vision Theatre, with a 10-speaker spatial audio and surround vision system that Hilary will control in real-time.


The Smith Brothers

Wednesday 16th May 2007 12.30 pm

Room 105 , Scott Building, FREE ENTRY

Brothers Matthew and Daniel smith ( on line soon) are back at Plymouth university with another diverse blend of organic and electronic sounds! Both classically trained musicians / practicing visual / sound artists / performers, were born and raised on a staple diet of strange music / sounds from a very musical family in Gloucestershire. Now living in Devon surrounded by tons of vinyl masses of synthesizers and home made customized sound machines Influences include: Lionel Hampton, Claude Debussy, Captain Crunch, Klaus Wunderlich, Sir Jimmy Saville (turntable pioneer), judge dread and the nouveau ska system, Phil fearon, MC mad p, Stevie hyper, Ken the rave and soul purpose, DJ fuhrer thatcher. This performance will be and ear opener! featuring beautiful twisting Melody's and strange soundscapes expect the clean digital alongside the analog crust. Be there or be square.