• Composer Dobrinka Tabakova and film-maker Ruth Paxton to create new work for nationwide contemporary music celebration marking Commonwealth Games

    The Royal Philharmonic Society is bringing together British/Bulgarian composer Dobrinka Tabakova and Scottish film-maker Ruth Paxton to create a new score and film for the PRS for Music Foundation’s New Music Biennial in 2014 (announced today), one of just 20 new commissions selected from over 130 proposals.

    Taking the ideas of ‘pulse’ and ‘place’, this collaboration will pair Tabakova’s rich musical language with Paxton’s bold film-making to create a film that explores the energy and diversity of life in a modern city and the driving forces behind how different societies and cultures mix. This is the first time that composer and film-maker have worked together. They will collaborate on the narrative shaping of the film, which will be screened to Tabakova’s new score for piano, percussion and gamelan, performed live and recorded, nationwide.

    The New Music Biennial is presenting a series of 20 brand new music commissions to audiences across the UK in 2014. All of these commissions will also be presented at two weekend showcases in London (4–6 July 2014) and Glasgow (2–3 August 2014) coinciding with the Commonwealth Games.

    Support for composers, young artists and creativity in music is at the heart of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s work. In addition to commissioning new works for performance (including 19 premieres in this, the RPS’s Bicentenary year), the Society has a strong track record of bringing artists from different disciplines together, including commissions for new music for dance.

    Earlier this year, the RPS commissioned Ruth Paxton’s Rockhaven, set to the music of Brian Ferneyhough, which was recently shown at the ICA as part of the London short film festival.

    Dobrinka Tabakova’s Suite in Jazz Style was commissioned by the RPS and BBC Radio 3 in 2009 as part of the New Generation Artists scheme. Ruth Paxton comments: “My introduction to Dobrinka’s music was an affecting experience. Her piece, Metamorphoses, stirred remarkably rich visual and emotional landscapes, ripe for exploration. I sensed an affinity with Dobrinka’s vision at that time, and I’m looking forward to embarking on a creative process with her.”

    Dobrinka Tabakova comments: “To present our work at the New Music Biennial, knowing it will be seen by such a varied audience is a privilege and inspiration.”

    The New Music Biennial is a PRS for Music Foundation initiative, in partnership with Creative Scotland, Arts Council England and the British Council, and presented in collaboration with BBC Radio 3, NMC Recordings, Southbank Centre and Glasgow UNESCO City of Music. Additional support has been given by John S. Cohen Foundation, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Incorporated Society of Musicians and The Bliss Trust.

    Tom Hutchinson, Project Co-ordinator, the Royal Philharmonic Society comments: “This chance to promote classical music to new audiences when the spotlight is on Glasgow is fantastic. To bring two dynamic young artists together and to celebrate the spirit of the Commonwealth Games is a thrilling prospect.”

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