New album: Hywel Davies by Hywel Davies
Release date: 14 January 2013
Label: ASC Records
‘Nothing in the classical canon quite prepares you for Hywel Davies… the album [Natural Language] contained an invigorating collage of material, both deliberately arranged and aleatoric.’ - Louise Gray, The Wire
Hywel Davies, a composer, sonic artist and installation artist, reveals his most significant preoccupations as a composer in new album ‘Hywel Davies’ – exploring the possibilities of ‘white-note’ music (non-chromatic diatonic music) and aleatoric music. A parallel creative life as a sonic installation artist and a concert music composer has resulted in captivatingly diverse works, presented gracefully in this release.
Combining elegant strings and piano with striking abstract themes, the album drifts from the softest of melancholia to rich and intense vibrancy. Such transitions are delicately effortless and slow, with thought and determination behind every note.
‘I strive for an abstract quality that concerns itself with wholeness of form. What this means for those encountering a work is that they are free to interpret it for themselves.’
Not his first solo recording effort, Davies released Natural Language, a solo album of studio collage works, in 1998 to critical acclaim. This was a result of a relationship formed with Time Recording after Davies contributed to Russell Mills' Undarki project (along with The Edge, Brian Eno, Roger Eno, Robin Guthrie, Bill Laswell and David Sylvian).
As a recording artist he has acquired many notable achievements and awards. In 2001 he won the George Butterworth Composition Award for Crepusculum. He was the recipient of an Arts Council International Fellowship (2003) and the Muttart Foundation Scholarship (2005) for two periods as resident artist at the Banff Centre in Canada. He has also just been appointed composer-in-residence with Kokoro (Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s new music ensemble) for the next three seasons and has also recently been awarded an ‘A Place for Art’ residency by the National Trust at Mottisfont.
His works have been performed in North and Central America, Europe, Australia and the Far East, and broadcast by the BBC, CBC (Canada) and ABC (Australia). He has been performed by Kokoro, Bournemouth Symphony Strings, Trondheim Sinfonietta, the Pavao String Quartet, Kuniko Kato, Mika Takehara, the Callino String Quartet, the Royal Academy of Music Soloists, Toca Loca, the Goldberg Ensemble , Méduse, Ealing Symphony Orchestra, Aberdeen Schools Orchestra and La Soave Melodia. Recent performers of his work include Quickstep commissioned by Kokoro and broadcast on BBC Radio 3.
An equally important strand of his work is sonic installation. Notable works include a permanent sound installation for the remodelled Sevenoaks Library and Arts Gallery; a piece for Arts Council England internal telephone system; a turf piece for Eisteddfod Genedlaethol Cymru (National Eisteddofd of Wales 2008); and a wind driven installation for Chesil Beach, Portland at the 2010 b-side multimedia festival. His installed works have been heard at the Bath International Music Festival ( Soudings  and Salva me ), ArtSway ( Waldscenen ), Tate Gallery Liverpool ( Miss Prentice Meets Josef Albers at Francy's Easter Brunch ), New Greenham Arts (Pastoral ) and Peninsula Arts Festival 2007 (i-DAT).
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