Richard Scott - Sines, Squares, Circles

The concert will feature performances drawn from the latest analogue music from composer Richard Scott, including excerpts from his double LP Several Circles (CUSP Editions) and the premier of a new piece for three EMS synthesisers, entitled We are Ruled by Idiots and Criminals composed in residency at Huddersfield University Studios in 2017 for the Electric Spring Festival.

As a composer I am interested in exploring musical methods which allow time, complexity, dialogue to coexist and, as a performer, for that process to be not any kind of representation or abstraction of musical experience, but an experience that is actually taking place and creating musical form within the time and space I share with the audience. Although my roots as a performer are very much in free improvisation my solo performances are a little different, as they are improvisationally constructed using pre-organised and pre-prepared layers derived from my studio composition practice, along with freely improvised layers and commentaries - a method probably derived as much from traditions such as dub and remixing as they are from acousmatic or tape composition. There is no “set” as such, so the decisions to go with particular ideas on a particular night, in what order and for how long, are made on stage and they frequently change quite radically during the course of the set itself, which can be surprising even to me.

I think I enjoy working in this post-acousmatic/post-improvisational way (to coin two annoying/controversial concepts in one sentence!) for three main reasons: 1. This approach allows the unique moment of time of performance to permeate and to become part of the structure of the music itself. 2. It is a means of organising sometimes very complex layers of material, and 3. It enables me to create some of the sense of dialogue that is surely part of the essence not only of improvisation but of music in general. This spontaneous, dialogic essence is so natural to the process of group music that we hardly need to discuss it, but it is something that can be very difficult to connect with and sustain both in the context of solitary studio-based composition, and in the context solo performance.


Richard Scott