HRSE Season Ensemble: Beyond the Spectra

HRSE Season Ensemble: Beyond the Spectra

Wednesday, 29 March 2017, 7.30pm

Music with its origins in computer spectral analysis may not sound like the most intuitive way to compose, but in its wider sense, Spectralism, a focus on timbre as a crucial element in the structure of the music, could be said to have its roots in the compositions of Claude Debussy, or at the very least Edgard Varèse. A brand new HRSE commission from Belfast composer Iain McCurdy, in which timbre features as a primary focus of the music, was the starting point in curating this concert.

In the 1970s, the French composers Gerard Grisey and Tristan Murail became advocates of the spectral “technique”; however, other composers since, such as British composer Jonathan Harvey and the Austrian, Georg Friedrich Haas, have become closely associated with spectral composition, and numerous others now cite the broader influence of the importance of timbre in their art. The climax of the concert will be Gerard Grisey’s expansive work, Talea. The piece explores an overtone cycle as its basic material, but this is no academic “study”, rather it is a work of huge timbral and dynamic variety, encompassing a vast world of sound, colourful and radiant.

The Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble is a contemporary music group from Belfast devoted to the performance of modern and contemporary music. To discover more about HRSE visit


Published on 16 February 2017

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