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DMU trio score success at European music contest


Music by three composers from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has been chosen as being among best new electroacoustic works of the past year.


Professor John Young, Professor of Composition, part-time lecturer David Holland and PhD graduate Louise Rossiter – all pat of DMU’s MTI2 Institute for Sonic Creativity- were successful in the 2020 Musica Nova Competition in Prague. The winning works for this year’s competition can be heard in an online YouTube concert  

john ny
Professor John Young

Professor Young won first prize for his work Abwesenheit; David Holland, a part-time lecturer and until recently AHRC Postdoctoral Fellow, was awarded the honorary mention for First Ritual; and recent PhD graduate Louise Rossiter’s work Synapse was among the small group of works chosen for the finals along with pieces by Greek, Belgian and Canadian composers.   
Professor Young’s work is based on field recordings made in and around the city of Vienna, especially the Beethoven Museum at Heiligenstadt where, in 1802, Beethoven spent several months in a fruitless attempt to recover from his increasing hearing loss.

The work was inspired by the profound sense of absence (in German: abwesenheit) that can be felt in spaces where so many musicians of the past lived and worked, and aims to takes the listener on an imaginative journey with sounds of these places moulded into a dream-like soundscape.
David Holland
David Holland

David Holland’s First Rituals explores connections between sounds of everyday domestic routines and sacred ritual.  Using found sounds of pans, bottles and prayer bowls, Holland explores ways that everyday sounds might take on new qualities and suggest associations with rituals that carry more meaning or significance.

With computer processing, David has reshaped these sounds in many different ways: towards purity, harmony and even the suggestion of voices, creating rich, layered textures that circle and envelope the listener.
Louise Rossiter
Louise Rossiter

Louise Rossiter’s Synapse is the fifth in a series of works based on the work of infographics pioneer Fritz Kahn, in this case Kahn’s 1939 imaginative visualisation of the human nervous system. Synapse was composed using highly processed recordings of dinky and wind-up toys to create intricate sound worlds ranging from the surreal to the enigmatic.

Musica Nova celebrates composers of electroacoustic music and for more than  50 years has been held to find the best new works in the genre. 

The success of three artists representing the same institution in such a competition is an unusual event and is a reflection of the high international standing of DMU’s Institute for Sonic Creativity.


Posted on Monday 4th January 2021

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