Our first concert of 2013 at the Friends’ Meeting House


Saturday 2 March 2013 at 7.30 pm
Friends’ Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton
Tickets: £8 | £5 (concessions) | children free.
Tickets at the door.

New Music Brighton is pleased to announce our first concert of 2013 at the Friends Meeting House on 2 March 2013 at 7.30pm . This concert is a fundraising event for NMB and will consist of a rare performance of Erik Satie’s Vexations performed by a relay of pianists, an improvisatory piece called Tides of C and performed by Steve Gardiner and Phil Baker’s composition Pathways to the C… performed by the Skeleton Ensemble.

Erik Satie’s Vexations was never performed in his lifetime but was written at the end of his affair with trapeze artist and artist’s model Susanne Valadon. The Satie/Valadon affair was intense and brief, ending nastily after some six months in June 1893. Vexations dates from the time of their break up and it ended either because he called the police on her or pushed her out of a window depending on which version of the story he was telling at the time. Vexations is:

…a short composition for piano lasting a mere thirteen bars, which Satie indicated should be repeated a deadening 840 times. Vexing not only due to its repetitious nature and extreme length, the piece features built-in annoyances for the performer in its persistent enharmonic spellings, atonal harmonies and asymmetrical phrase structures, all of which undercut efforts to retain the music in memory. This seems to have been Satie’s expressive outlet for the frustration he felt in the wake of this failed and often tempestuous affair with Valadon, which in any event was definitive…

Erik Satie Mary E Davis

NMB are performing an abridged version of the piece as a complete performance can take anywhere between 18 and 24 hours to complete. It has been performed before, most notably by John Cage, and has been regarded as one of the first modernist pieces.

Our second piece Tides of C by Steve Gardiner is an extended improvisation for solo piano‘This piece fuses together Eastern and Western sounds’, says Steve. ‘The listener will be able to experience the piece in a variety of ways; as a meditation on C, an Indian raag, a minimalist piece, a celebration of the incoming and outgoing tide. I like producing music which can lead listeners to a deeper place, where they can feel relaxed, inspired and energised at the same time. I believe I have found a way of playing which achieves this.’

Our third piece is Phil Baker’s Pathways to the C … performed by The Skeleton Ensemble.

Phil Baker writes “I rarely venture in to the world of improvisation or ‘chance music’ but have done so with two pieces: one, Library Hollers for performance at the newly built Jubilee Library and the piece being given at the New Music Brighton fundraising concert at The Friends’ Centre on March 2nd, entitled Pathways to the C… Here, the pun is very definitely intended as the piece works like a series of musical walks each of which ends when it finds its way to the C/sea. Get it? The piece gives wide scope for individual and group improvisations and is played on this occasion by the composer Phil Baker, Ric Graebner, Patrick Harrex (viola), Roger Harmar (amplified bass), Tim Willsone (oboe/flute) and Helen Glavin (vocals). The work offers surprises for both performers and audience alike and is entirely unpredictable ..but, what isn’t?”


the skeleton ensemble






Events for November and December

NMBs next concerts will be in the new year, but in the meantime there are a number of concerts and events that involve our members (in bold) and from other music organisations across Brighton and Sussex.

Friday 16 November at 7.30pm,
St Luke’s Church, Queen’s Park Road, Brighton BN2 9ZB

Music and Wine at St Luke’s: Dryads duo, Carla Santos (violin) and Saul Picado (piano), perform 20th century classics – sonatas by Janáček, Prokofiev and Enescu, plus Beethoven.
£7 (£5 concessions; £3 under 12s).


Sunday 18 November at 7.45pm,
All Saints Centre, Friars Walk, Lewes

Musicians of All Saints perform Peter Copley‘s Elegiac Variations for two Violas and Strings (Ellie Blackshaw and Ros Hanson-Laurent, violas) and Ellie Blackshaw’s Two Pieces for String Orchestra with works by Bach, Bridge and Elgar. Peter Copley will discuss the music in his pre-concert talk at 7.10pm. More details of this concert and the remainder of the season are on the MAS website.
£10 (£7 concs) – children free.


Monday 19 November at 7pm,
Chapel of the Ascension, University of Chichester, College Road, Chichester

Music for 2 Pianos and for 6 Pianos by Mendelssohn, Britten, Reich, Gould, and Fitkin, performed by Terence Allbright, Thomas Duchan, Jonathan Plowright, Suzie Shrubb, Adam Swayne and Angela Zanders pianos.
£8 (£4 concessions).



A number of events promoted by MOOT – Music of Our Time are coming up, including:

Thursday 29 November at 7pm,
Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1AF

Pierre Boulez: Living in the Present: Geoffrey Thomas, a long-time friend of the legendary composer, will speak on his personal knowledge of Boulez and their shared passions for a diverse range of disciplines from music to engineering, plus a never-before-shown film on Boulez by director Barrie Gavin and a live performance of ‘Douze Notations’ by pianist Helen Reid.
Tickets on the door £10 (£5 under 25s).

Special offer by MOOT to members of New Music Brighton: save £10 and find out more about MOOT! FREE admission to Pierre Boulez: Living in the Present. Just tell the person on the ticket desk when you arrive that you are a member of NMB.


Sunday 2 December at 2pm
Under the Bridge Studios, 7 Trafalgar Arches, Brighton (under the railway station)

A Beyond the Score ® film on Bela Bartók’s symphonic pantomime The Miraculous Mandarin, exploring its sumptuous colours and eroticism of this complex and fascinating dramatic tale captured in Bartók’s composition.
Free, but donations appreciated.


Wednesday 12 December at 7pm,
Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1AF

‘Christmas with the Schoenbergs: A second Viennese School Yuletide Celebration’ – to include performances of Transfigured Night and Weihnachtsmusik
Tickets on the door £10 (£5 under 25s).

Please note that the CoMA Sussex concert (‘Natural and Supernatural’) planned for Sunday 25 November in Lewes and announced in our previous mailing has been postponed until the new year – date tba.

Our multimedia concert is tonight

Our multimedia concert is tonight












Tonight sees the launch of our 2012-13 season with a multimedia concert featuring the works of Ric Graebner, William Johnston and Paul Robinson. The concert starts at 6pm at the Friends Meeting House in Brighton

Tickets: £8 | £5 (concessions) | Children free. Tickets at the door.

Paul Robinson | Magnetic North
William Johnston | Symphony No. 2 – first movement (realization for virtual orchestra)
Ric Graebner | Bérénice (a multi media opera-ballet)

All the works are pre-recorded and some will be projected in black out.

The libretto for Ric’s Opera-ballet Bérénice can be downloaded from the link below. Please bring your iPad or tablet and you can follow the libretto during the performance.

 Click here to view the Berenice libretto in a browser or right click to download.

Full details of the Friends Meeting House with a map are here

Some forthcoming events from NMB and from our members

New Music Brighton

New Music Brighton’s first concert of our 2012-13 season is another multi media event of music and images:

Saturday 27 October at 6pm (N.B. the early start time) in the Friends Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton.
Paul Robinson | Magnetic North
William Johnston | Symphony No. 2 – first movement (realization for virtual orchestra)
Ric Graebner | Bérénice (a multi media opera-ballet)

Tickets: £8 | £5 (concessions) | Children free. Tickets at the door.


The 15th London Wind Festival

Friday 21 September at 7.30pm, St Cyprian’s Church, Glentworth Street, London NW1 6AX (nr Baker Street tube)

Two works by Ric Graebner, Violarinations and Just a Minute will performed in a concert taking place during the 15th London Wind Festival.

Saturday 22 September at 7.45pm, St John Sub Castro Church, Abinger Place, Lewes, BN7 2 Q A


Musicians of All Saints

The first concert of Musicians of All Saints 2012-13 season, which again will feature Sussex composers, includes a performance of Peta Crompton’s Elegy for 3 alongside works by Schubert, Havergal Brian and Tchaikovsky. Peter Copley will discuss the music in his pre-concert talk at 7.10pm. More details of this concert and the remainder of the season are on the MAS website.

Son et Lumière: the first performance of a new work scored for recorder(s) percussion ambient sound and computer graphics composed by Chris Gander, graphics by John Baker. Performers: Piers Adams (recorders), Adam Bushell and Tom Norrell (percussion).

For more details about this event, including reduced ticket price for NMB members, visit the Adur Arts Forum website

Friday 12 October at 7.30pm, Sallis Benney Theatre, University of Brighton, Grand Parade, Brighton BN2 0JY

Our website redesigned

Welcome to our new and improved website. We’ve been aiming to do this for quite some time and over the next few weeks more information about us, our composers and events will be added here.

In the process we’ve transferred the site to a new server with unlimited web space and bandwidth with the consequence that we can now put up as many photos, audio and video clips as we want and we can also provide a page for each of our members to write about themselves and/or their work. One of the many advantages of doing this is that we can now stream our new album …because it’s spring on the site (see below).



stream video examples from our multimedia concerts (here is one of my pieces performed at our last multimedia concert) and we can display as many photographs as we want.



We also hope to develop the site as a magazine to enable our members and friends to write articles that may be of interest and develop a community between composers and the people who come to our concerts and are passionate about new music. It will also allow us to put pdfs of our concert programmes online if people want an electronic version of them and the site will give us our members the space to write in much greater depth about the pieces they’ve written. So please let us know if you’d like to contribute something for the site.

If you have any suggestions or problems with the site then please let us know. The site has been designed to modern standards in HTML5 so most modern browsers should work. The site doesn’t support old versions of Internet Explorer but should be fine to view on mobile devices and tablets.

Chair, New Music Brighton