Timothy Cooper – Breathing Space

How did the piece come about?

Danielle Price, who I composed the work for, had shown absolutely no interest in me composing her a piece until she joined twitter and her opening tweet (or almost her first tweet) asked me for a piece. I wound her up a little bit about that but was very happy to write her a piece. I took an idea to Matthew for the gig and he was kind enough to programme us, we approached Tom Poulson to join us as a trio and fully developed the concert programme including improvised versions of Tierkreis movements by Stockhausen for trumpet, tuba and live electronics. It was a really brilliant project, a lot of fun!


What other projects do you have on the go at the moment?

I’ve been reconnecting with Laura Bissell who is a performance studies scholar and writer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. We are coming up with plans for a piece that will either be site specific of site responsive. We’ve been talking about visiting a place/community and making a piece that specifically explores that place. We’ve been really interested in the idea of remoteness so it might be on a relatively uninhabited island.


What other pieces have you seen or heard in the last year that you think will stand the test of time?

I’m not sure about standing the test of time but I was really moved by Robert Bentall’s Telian and Scott Wilson’s Low. Both were pieces for instruments and electronic but they both seemed to play by different rules to other pieces. They weren’t so bothered by making consciously relationships between the instrument(s) and electronics, they were comfortable with the gentle relationships that existed there.


What is the piece that you would most like to write?

I worked with Susie Leiper (calligrapher) and Samuel Tongue (poet) last summer at Cove Park and the material that came out of that was really interesting and I’d be really keen to finish the work we started. We started work towards an installation that will use hanging calligraphic works that the audience will explore. The space will have loudspeakers positioned around clusters of hangings playing back music composed in response to, and using, the words Sam has written.

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