OCTANDRE ENSEMBLE

patron : Sir Harrison Birtwistle

artistic directors : Jon Hargreaves & Christian Mason 

composer-in-residence : Sinan Savaskan

Our core repertoire focuses on music written after 1945, with an emphasis on timbre and ritual. Sound is an eternally fascinating phenomenon, and music can harness its power in ever more original ways: new music, ancient ideas.

In 2018, we will perform a series of three Composer Portraits at The Coronet Theatre, London, and we record for Frank Denyer's CD The Fish that became the Sun, due for release on 'Another Timbre'. The ensemble played at the 2016 Principal Sound festival, in a concert that was subsequently broadcast by BBC Radio 3. The programme featured UK premieres of Christian Mason's Layers of Love and Claude Vivier's Samarkand, as well as rare performances of Frank Denyer's After the Rain, and Green Plastic Vase by the ensemble's composer-in-residence, Sinan Savaskan. In December 2015, Savaskan's Many Stares through semi-nocturnal Zeiss-blink (Module 30), a major Octandre commission, won a BASCA British Composer Award.

In 2015 we featured on BBC Radio 3's In Tune, we performed at St John's Smith Square, and we collaborated with Darren Bloom, Kim Ashton and Lisa Illean, in the new:dots composer/curator project 'Curiouser', at Peckham Asylum. Previous festival appearances include Little Missenden Festival where we performed Stravinsky's L'histoire du Soldat in 2014 and Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire in 2016; and a residency at York Spring Festival of New Music (2012). In 2012 we also hosted an Anglo-French Composers Forum at LSO St Luke's, London, in association with LSO Soundhub; we presented “Other Voices” at Mystetskyi Arsenal in Kiev, Ukraine; and we performed “Medieval Modernist”, a programme focused on the work of our patron Sir Harrison Birtwistle.

 

Our output has three interwoven strands.

 

Present:Tense projects is the central strand, consisting of carefully curated ensemble performances. Our programming invites audiences to contemplate how composers use sound; to hear connections between listening experiences; and to appreciate unity and wholeness across programmes.

 

Octandre//Insights is our education and outreach strand. We regularly run composer projects in universities and schools around the UK, giving demonstrations, facilitating workshops and performing student compositions.

 

In Octandre//Roots projects we connect with music of the past, whether modernist twentieth-century classics or earlier. Roots programmes reveal influences on the present, tracing pathways to contemporary music.