Ed Bennett awarded new Beyond Borders commission

Ed Bennett has been awarded a new commission from the PRS for Music’s Beyond Border’s programme, a cross-borders initiative in collaboration with Arts Councils in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

Led by INTER/actions (North Wales), the project commissions a large-scale immersive work by the acclaimed Northern Irish composer Ed Bennett for piano, toy piano, portable harmonium, sampler and electronics (one performer) in partnership with Frontiers+ Festival (Birmingham, England) and Cork Orchestral Society (Ireland).

The work will be played by a single performer, pianist Xenia Pestova, who will perform on multiple keyboards and triggered samples. The work uses Irish folk music as a point of departure for exploring themes of migration, identity and belonging through expressive timbral and rhythmic transformation.

‘Transplanting Irish folk music into the world of electronic processing will create a unique and haunting sound world that bridges seemingly disparate traditions in an uncompromising and personal way, questioning and extending genre boundaries and creating new identities. The additional “double transplant” of the concert piano, an instrument with its own rich tradition and repertoire, into an unusual context of alternative keyboard interfaces and samples will build a beguiling environment with choreographed elements.This unique collaboration will bridge geographic, cultural and musical borders to bring a fascinating new work for multiple keyboards and electronics to new audiences.’   – INTER/actions (North Wales)

Ed Bennett is from Bangor in Northern Ireland, currently lives in the UK, and has over recent years also worked in Paris and Berlin. He has also just been awarded a Civitella Ranieri residency to spend six weeks in Italy, where he will work on this piece (among others).

Listen to Bennett’s 2013 Orchestral work, Freefalling, performed by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra:

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