The organizers of the 2021 ISCM World New Music Days in Shanghai and Nanning, China, have released their selection of works which will be performed during the festival.
We are very pleased to announce that Conrad Asman has been selected from the ISCM British Section shortlist to represent Britain as the festival. Unfortunately, due to the ongoing dangers posed by the pandemic around the world, the festival was not able to take place in September 2021 as was originally planned, but the organizers are hoping that the festival can occur in late March 2022.
The International Society for Contemporary Music (ISCM) is an international network of members from around fifty countries, devoted to the promotion and presentation of new and contemporary music. Sound and Music represents the British Section of the ISCM and supports British composers to have work performed at the annual ISCM World Music Days Festival.
You can read about the full list of selected works on the the ISCM website here.
On being selected by the international jury, Conrad told Sound and Music:
“I am absolutely blown away to be chosen to represent Britain at this year’s ISCM in China with my work Shuāng miàn xiù. This work, for me, represents the delight of deeply exploring and engaging in the rich culture of others. I am, therefore, incredibly thrilled and honoured to hear that this delight will be shared with the world’s ears.”
Conrad describes his selected work, Shuāng miàn xiù [Two-faced Tapestry], below:
“The delicate artform of traditional Chinese embroidery sparked the creation of Shuāng miàn xiù [Two-faced Tapestry] for orchestra (2018). The composition specifically focuses on portraying the complex technique of splitting, stitching, and weaving two layers of silk forming an image on either side; a technique synonymous with embroidery from Suzhou in China.
This practise of producing different results within the same frame forms the basis of this work’s overall musical structure; producing all sorts of mirrors and reflections on every musical element present in the piece. This ranges from the mirrors present in the micro-melodic and -rhythmic gestures, to the entire work’s reflective structure. Even the artwork for the composition cover illustrates this, beautifully done by partner, LeOui Rendsburg.
When I first travelled to China to listen to the work at the Jinji Lake Composition Competition in 2018, my fascination with this type of embroidery was incredibly warmly received by my generous hosts in Suzhou. I was lucky enough to see, and now own, an authentic Shuāng miàn xiù. It sits close near my desk, and heart, and is frequently stared at and provides help and relief during times of compositional stress and frustration.
I hope to convey this artform’s sheer beauty, brilliance and balance between fine art and fine craft through this composition.”
Find out more about Sound and Music and the ISCM British Section here, including previous winners and shortlists.
Our sincere thanks to The Bliss Trust for providing the Arthur Bliss Travel Scholarship, enabling British composers to travel to ISCM WNMD.