Artists> Artists in 2013> Leigh Landy (Dutch)
Leigh Landy (www.mti.dmu.ac.uk/~llandy) holds a Research Chair at De Montfort University (Leicester, UK) where he directs the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Centre. His attention is divided between creative and musicological work. His compositions include several for video, dance and theatre. For example he was composer in residence for the Dutch National Theatre during its first years of existence and later became artistic director of Idée Fixe – Experimental Sound and Movement Theatre. His works have been performed and broadcast around the globe. His publications focus on the studies of electroacoustic music, in particular about finding means to make this music accessible to a larger public. He is editor of “Organised Sound: an international journal of music technology” (Cambridge) and author of six books including “Understanding the Art of Sound Organization” (MIT Press) and, most recently, “Making Music with Sounds” (Routledge). He directs the ElectroAcoustic Resource Site (EARS) project and its success, the EARS 2 pedagogical project and is a founding member of the Electroacoustic Music Studies Network (EMS).
In this piece for 8-channel recorded sounds (and optional ‘conductor’) involves only samples taken from traditional Chinese music act as source material to demonstrate the wealth of musical and spiritual traditions in China as well as the fact that traditions can be renewed to be as fresh as anything newly discovered. The work is a commission of the Musicacoustica 2013 festival and this is its first performance. This work is dedicated to maestro Zhang Xiaofu as he has shown the way of respecting his traditions whilst celebrating the dynamic nature of both Chinese contemporary music and Chinese contemporary society.
In an earlier work focused on the sheng, the composer composed a rap at the end that included the following lines:
‘There’s nothing new under the sun;
Take something old and have some fun.
Now this old sheng sounds really new …’
The sheng’s sounds, as all sounds of traditional music, can sound both old and new. This piece intends to explore both and that led to its title.
I would like to acknowledge Zhang Ruibo and Jin Weiwei for helping to compile the source materials for this work and both Simon Smith and Susanne Grunewald for their important technical support.