Philharmonia Composers' Academy Vol 6

Philharmonia Composers' Academy Vol 6

NMC Recordings
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Release date: 27 October 2023

Volume 6 of NMC's partnership with the Philharmonia Orchestra features three new works by rising-star composers Arthur Keegan (he/him), Jamie Man ⽂珮玲 (she/her), and Nneka Cummins (they/them), participants in the Philharmonia’s 2022-23 Composers’ Academy programme.

The featured composers developed their works over their nine-month participation in the Composers’ Academy, benefitting from contemporary instrument exploration sessions and a works-in-progress workshop with Philharmonia musicians, under the guidance of conductor Robin O'Neill. They also participated in tutorials with the established composers Christian Mason and Anna Clyne. This was complemented by a range of professional development sessions, drawing together insights from NMC and other industry colleagues. The programme culminated in a World Premiere performance of their newly created works at the Philharmonia's Music of Today contemporary music series, hosted at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall (May 2023).

Composers' Academy Volume 6 features three contrasting works by these talented early-career composers. Arthur Keegan's work Back Inside … the second hand on my Casio watch ticked steadily on is a response to an anthology of poems and stories written by comedian Tim Key during lockdown. The poems use witty, absurdist, off-beat imagery to conjure up the uncanny atmosphere of that time, which is reflected in Keegan's surreal and playful musical response.

Jamie Man ⽂珮玲 creates works primarily concerned with the poetic nature of what we are. In the programme note for her haunting Orphans of the Cosmos 宇宙孤兒, she contributes only two sentences: "A 666-second ascension into darkness. Only in darkness can we see the stars."

The interlocking rhythmic grooves of Nneka Cummins' 3 Planets explore the distinct characteristics of three celestial bodies. Cummins explores the infinite timbral possibilities of different instrumental combinations to create a trio of sonic realms.

Philharmonia Orchestra
Robin O'Neill conductor

1) Arthur Keegan Back Inside … the second hand on my Casio watch ticked steadily on
2) Jamie Man ⽂珮玲 Orphans of the Cosmos 宇宙孤兒
3) Nneka Cummins 3 Planets

Explore our other Philharmonia Composers' Academy releases here.



This recording is kindly supported by grants from the Vaughan Williams Foundation, Austin & Hope Pilkington Charitable Trust, The Coln Trust, and the Patrick Rowland Foundation.



All works recorded in concert at Royal Festival Hall, London, on 7 May 2023

JONATHAN STOKES Recording Producer/Engineer

Catalogue number: NMCDL3052
Release date: 27 October 2023