news and events » LMM Commission to Feature on NMC Debut Disc
London Music Masters is delighted that Mark Bowden’s Five Memos, commissioned for LMM Award Holder Hyeyoon Park and pianist Huw Watkins will feature on Mark’s debut album with NMC Recordings later this year.
In 2015, we commissioned composer Mark Bowden to write a new work for Hyeyoon and Huw. Having never performed a brand new piece of music before, it was an opportunity that Hyeyoon wanted to experience as part of her Award with us, and so we were very pleased to help develop this project with the artists. Hyeyoon and Huw worked closely with Mark ahead of the premiere at the 2015 Newbury Spring Festival, and gave a superb performance. Festival Director Mark Eynon described it as being “…vibrant, virtuosic, challenging in the best way, but also accessible and hugely enjoyable. The audience response was overwhelmingly positive, and it was a privilege to host the premiere of an important new work which I hope will receive several more performances.”
Five Memos was inspired by the writing of the Italian author and journalist, Italo Calvino (1923-1985). Calvino was due to deliver the prestigious Charles Eliot Norton lecture series at Harvard for 1985-6, but he died in September 1985 before they were completed. The incomplete scripts were subsequently published in 1988 as Six Memos for the Next Millennium, of which only five were fully drafted.
We’re thrilled that the piece has indeed had an ongoing life since its first outing. It was performed for a second time at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in May 2015, and it was wonderful to see and hear the piece come to life again last month at the NMC recording session at All Saints Church in Tooting; a stunning venue with beautifully resonant acoustics.
NMC Recordings is a record label that was established in 1989 to record and promote the best in British contemporary classical music. Its Debut Discs project offers emerging British composers an international platform for their work. Huge congratulations to Mark for having his work recognised in this way. It is a privilege for London Music Masters to have supported such a beautiful new work that will continue to move audiences audiences for years to come.