Gravity’s Horizon

How can we explore an intense interaction of human and machine through a new musical performance work?

What did the project involve? 

Originally as a commission for the launch of the Brigstow Interview, and later developed as a commission by Trio Sonore, Gravity’s Horizon is a musical composition for flute, cello, piano, and live electronics. The premiere of Part 1 was as a centrepiece of the Brigstow formal launch, 13 October 2016. The full-length version of the work (17 minutes) was premiered on 7 February 2020, and was to have featured live at NYCEMF 2020.

The essence of the piece was an intense interaction of human and machine through a new musical performance work. The performers who commissioned the work were an international trio (Belgium, Russia, Germany respectively) who came together through their roles in UK conservatoires. They all had experience of working with electronics, and the collaborative sharing of that experience enriched the project.

Who are the team and what do they bring?

  • Neal Farwell (Computer, University of Bristol) composes music for instruments and voices, for the “acousmatic” fixed medium, and for the meeting points of human players and live electronics. His work is commissioned by notable performers and performed internationally.
  • Karin de Fleyt (Flute, Principal Lecturer, Leeds Conservatoire) is an internationally renowned flautist and soloist in contemporary music. Her research is an investigation into new performer-composer collaborations centered around defining new types of democratic interaction with the aim of validating new creative models.
  • Alfia Nakipbekova (Cello, Principal Lecturer, Leeds Conservatoire) is a concerto soloist, recitalist, and a member of The Bekova Trio. She has appeared at major festivals and concert halls around the world.
  • Jakob Fichert (Piano, Principal Lecturer, Leeds Conservatoire) is a pianist with an international profile. He has performed extensively in the UK and abroad. Chamber Music and Lied repertoire has always been at the heart of his playing career.

What were the results?

Below is a video of an abridged version of Gravity’s Horizon.

See this video in high quality on Neal Farwell’s Vimeo.