On 2 October Konstantyn Napolov and Orkest de Ereprijs perform Tansy Davies’ 2022 tour-de-force Stone Codes for percussion and ensemble of 14 players as Musis Arnhem.
Davies' 18-minute composition for Napolov’s Percussion Marathon piles layer upon layer, playing with different constellations and rhythmic patterns, with energetic leaping and diving figures in the woodwinds over syncopated figures in piano and percussion. The soloist’s battery of instruments includes microtonally-tuned glockenspiel bars, four boobams, and Thai and opera gongs. The pervasive groove found in Davies’ music, recalling the influences of funk and electronica, comes in part from bass and electric guitars and two drum kits.
Stone Codes was commissioned by the Dutch Golden Collection Foundation, Orkest De Ereprijs, and Warsaw Autumn festival, and premiered at the 2022 November Music Festival. It was written for Napolov as a part of the Dutch Golden Collection. Watch an excerpt from the work here.
Napolov will also give several performances of Davies’ Dark Ground for solo percussion this season. The 8-minute piece opens Hold Your Ground – Summer Snow at the Boilerhouse Foundation in The Hague – a spectacle that unfolds over three successive evenings. In Dark Ground everything grows up from a root - the Pedal Bass Drum - a dead sound, cycling in a simple yet deceptive 7/8. Composed for Joby Burgess in 2005, it draws on influences as diverse as Xenakis and Prince. Watch Napolov perform the work here. The three-phase performance, directed by Saskia Mees and Laura Vink, brings together writer Taco Sorgdrager, actor Louis van Rijt and the dancers of the Boilerhouse Foundation and explores inhuman and human desires for balance. It opens on 17 November with performances across November, December, January, and February – details and tickets here.
In October the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Gustavo Gimeno give the North American premiere of Davies’ Plumes (2019). The 5-minute work, which premiered at the Glasshouse International Centre for Music (formerly the Sage) in Gateshead, and was inspired by the swirling, complex currents and flows of the river Tyne; Davies calls the piece “a dance of two elements; a duet between air and water”.