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KEMS Contemporary

Welcome to our KEMS new arrival!

Lorna Green writes:

In February 2013 Tony Houghton organised a day workshop with “In C” – a minimalist piece of music by Terry Riley. The day was a huge success – very exhilarating, exhausting and extremely stimulating.

KEMS Minimalists have nowbecome KEMS Contemporary as a result of 4 years of development within the group and the repertoire.  We now even have our own page on the KEMS Website – we have surely come of age! All the works we play are listed on the web site and new ones will be added as they appear. We always start with “In C” which even after four years of playing it, continues to sound different each time. Last autumn a group of us went to the Barbican to see and hear Terry Riley, his son and the London Symphony Orchestra perform “In C” and this has definitely changed our perception and interpretation of the work.

We are still meeting every two months on Sundays at my house and we play from 2 pm to 5 pm with a break for tea/coffee/soft drinks, biscuits and cakes provided by the participants and we finish with a glass of wine and some nibbles. Several of us now walk to Bramhall village for a meal afterwards. Our numbers vary between 8 and 12 – and there is room for more.

Last year I reported that Julia and I had won an a-n Professional Development Bursary for “Sound Scape” which enabled us to complete the work which premiered at Charles Roe House in Macclesfield last September, part of Cheshire Open Studios Exhibition. In February we played it in the Atrium at Manchester Art Gallery in their Thursday Lates series of events. The sound there was remarkable – it soared up into the atrium and round both the original and the new gallery and was, in spite of Hurricane Dora, a great success. The curator said that it was the first time contemporary music had not only had no complaints but was agreed to be beautiful!.  

The next performance will be in The Devonshire Dome in Buxton part of the Buxton Fringe Festival on Wednesday July 19th at 8.15pm. This should be yet another unique performance due to the rather interesting acoustics there. We shall also be performing it with the students of the WMA Music Summer School at Ingestre Hall in Staffordshire in August as part of their studies and the students are now signing up for it.  We are looking forward to that.

Flushed with the success of Sound Scape, Julia and I are now working on “Quarry” a four piece sculpture/video/music project which represents four aspects of Endon Quarry in Kerridge, where the band had its famous concert. Once again we have won an Award – The Manchester Academy of Fine Art Bursary which will enable to us achieve it. This will have the music played by KEMS Contemporary recorded and layered onto the videos I am taking shown on screens inlaid into boulders from the quarry and will be shown at a suitable Manchester Academy of Fine Art Exhibition and other venues during 2018. We have already played some sections and it is going to be excellent.

The next KEMS Contemporary day will be on Sunday 17th September from 2-5pm. You are welcome to try us out!

Interested in joining the Band?

Email Lorna Green.