Part of Sounds New back in 2008, I talked to composer Ben Lunn about what’s been happening since.
When were you involved with Sounds New ?
My music was played in Canterbury Cathedral, on one of the nights of the Polish Connection festival back in 2008.
What have you been up to since ?
Since then, I’ve been studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama doing a composition degree, studying with Mark D. Boden, Robert Spearing and Peter Reynolds. During this time I’ve had the privilege of working with Martynas Levickis, Music Theatre Wales, Second Movement. I have also been able to have masterclasses with the likes of Michael Jarrell and Harrison Birtwistle.
What are you working on at the moment ?
I have been working on a piece for the ‘Striking Attitudes’; dance company as well as my second opera, which I am hoping to première in October.
What impact has being involved with Sounds New had on your musical life since ?
Sounds New really opened my eyes and ears to the world of contemporary music and the full potential that it has. Ever since then I have been completely hooked, and I hope some day in the future I’ll be back to Sounds New and have my own music in the festival again.
What excites you about contemporary music ?
If the work constantly surprises me, or I constantly discover new levels to it every time I listen to it. This is regardless of the time it was written. What particularly interests me about contemporary music in particular is the fact they are pushing music further along. I particularly love the fact that music in the recent fifty years or so has been daring enough to just meditate on an idea. Feldman, Scelsi, Radulescu and Jonathan Harvey do this particularly well. The final (big) reason I love contemporary music is it simply excites me, the likes of Jarrell, Radulescu, Harvey and Ferneyhough writing particularly monstrous leviathans that will always thrill me.
What should we keep an ear out for in the next twelve months from you ?
An opera in October, ‘Striking Attitudes’ production over the end of last month on to the 17th May in Aberwyswyth; other future projects are in the pipeline.
For those intrigued to hear my music my recordings are on Soundcloud.
Follow Ben on Twitter.