Sounds New announces new appointments

Sounds New, Canterbury’s Contemporary Music Festival, is delighted to announce two new appointments.

The Guest Artistic Director for the 2014 Festival will be Dr Matthew Wright, whose background is in contemporary music, DJ technology, brass band and community music. Matt works as a composer, improviser and sound artist at the edges of concert and club culture, his output stretching from scores for early music ensembles and contemporary chamber groups to digital improvisation, turntablism, website installations and large events combining DJs, new music performers and digital media. His music is released on a number of labels, but he has most recently received worldwide distribution with a CD he composed in collaboration with legendary saxophonist Evan Parker. The CD, named Trance Map, gained a four-star review in the Financial Times, with reviewer Mike Hobart claiming the work ‘enthrals and soothes in equal measure’.

Whilst he is active as a composer and performer across the UK, his work is better-known in mainland Europe, and increasingly in Australia and the USA. Breakdown was performed by Ensemble Offspring at the Sydney Opera House last March; Totem for Gobi-New York was commissioned by the MATA Festival in New York; he collaborated on a recent sound installation in Vietnam, and a two-hour feature on his work was broadcast on national Australian radio last December.

Matthew Wright

Matthew Wright

Matt is a Reader in Composition and Sonic Art at Canterbury Christ Church University. He will lead the Artistic Board of Sounds New which includes Professor Paul Patterson, one of the UK’s most prominent composers, Daniel Harding, Deputy Director of Music at University of Kent, and Professor Roderick Watkins, Dean of Arts and Humanities at Canterbury Christ Church University.

The previous Artistic Director, Paul Edlin, stood down after the 2012 Festival having brought huge success to Sounds New over the last five years. Paul will continue as Director of The International Composer Pyramid (a European-funded education project) which finishes in May 2013. Since Paul was appointed as Artistic Director for the 2008 Festival, his considerable achievements have included visits to the Festival by some of the world’s most renowned composers including Penderecki, conducting his St. Luke Passion in 2009, Arvo Pärt in 2011 with the British première of Adam’s Lament and a rare performance of John Tavener’s Veil of the Temple in 2012.

Peter Bolton

Peter Bolton

Peter Bolton will become the new Chair of Sounds New. Peter is Chief Executive of Kent Music and Soundhub and is already a member of the Sounds New Board. He has considerable festival experience, as a former artistic director of Norfolk & Norwich and Petworth Festivals and a past member of the Board of the Salisbury International Arts Festival as well as development consultant for British Arts Festival Association. He moved to Kent in 2008 and lives in Canterbury.

The outgoing chair of Sounds New Ian Odgers, has completed three years but will remain on the board. Ian is committed to the cultural regeneration of East Kent and has played a major role in the arts in Canterbury as a Founding Fellow of The Marlowe Theatre Development Trust.

Sounds New is moving to a biennial Festival from 2014. The programme is currently being prepared by the Artistic Team and will be announced shortly.

We are grateful to Paul Edlin and Ian Odgers for their contribution and commitment to Sounds New during their tenure with us, and warmly welcome Peter Bolton and Matthew Wright to Sounds New’s continuing mission: to be an essential platform for the music of our time, bringing the best national and international performers and composers to audiences in celebration of contemporary music.

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