Icebreaker is one of the most dynamic new music groups in the UK. Consisting of 12 musicians, the ensemble always plays amplified. Its repertoire encompasses some of the best known and most influential names in contemporary music today, such as Louis Andriessen, David Lang, Michael Gordon, Gavin Bryars, Michael Nyman and Philip Glass. Hard to pigeonhole in any musical sense, its performances appeal to contemporary, rock and alternative music audiences alike.
Icebreaker has performed across the UK and Europe and at most major contemporary music festivals and venues including Meltdown, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, the Warsaw, Aarhus, Gent, Grenoble and Budapest festivals, Sonorities in Belfast, the Baltic Gaida Festival and the NYYD Festival in Estonia, as well as at a dedicated Icebreaker festival with the Wiener Musik Galerie in Vienna. Frequent visits to the United States include appearances at New York’s Bang on a Can Festival, the Lincoln Center Festival, and a performance at Carnegie Hall with the American Composers’ Orchestra in Stewart Wallace’s The Book of Five.
J. Peter Schwalm is a soundscapist and composer from Germany. His music is based on improvised soundscapes made with a unique setup of synthesizers, mixing desks, outboard equipment and composed fragments, based on composing techniques such as the ‘multitrack composing technique’.
Since the release of his album Musikain in 2006, Schwalm has concentrated on different projects including music for ballet, theatre and film. In 2010 he received a commission by “Das neue Werk” for “Neue Musik” by the German NDR, known for its many premières in the last 50 years of works by composers such as Henze, Ligeti and Stockhausen.
He also has worked intensively with the celebrated London-based choreographer Hofesh Shechter, and collaborated with Brian Eno, Norwegian guitarist Elvind Aarset, pianist Michael Wollny and many others, and his CD reworking of Richard Wagner will be released in September 2013. Other forthcoming releases include his new album The Beauty of Disaster, along with music for 2 pianos, a selection of live remixes he has made over the years in the Punktfestival, and a selection of music for films.
“Sometimes you hear something and think ‘Now this is how the modern world feels to me’. Peter’s music is like that, capturing excitement and speed and ambiguity and even wistfulness and melancholy …a complex emotional palette which feels to me like real life.” Brian Eno about J. Peter Schwalm´s music
Sophie Clements is a visual artist living and working in London. Much of her work is made in relation to sound and music – the expression of the two languages of sound and visual as a singular voice being a key driving force. Her collaborative work in this context includes: an interpretation of Conlon Nancarrow’s player piano Studies No. 6 and 7, commissioned by the Barbican and arranged for two pianos by Thomas Ades (made with video artist Tal Rosner); a series of commissions by the National Youth Orchestra; and multiple works with electronic sound artist/composer Scanner. In 2008 and 2010 Sophie was commissioned to make two large-scale sculptural video installations at London’s Royal Opera House, commissioned respectively by Wayne McGregor and Scanner, and Joanna MacGregor.
Sophie is the artistic director of the ‘MAP/making’ project (Music, Arts and Performance), a cross disciplinary project that has been running for a number of years, and is supported by the Barbican’s ‘Creative Learning’ and the Guildhall School of Music. The project’s recent site-specific performances include ‘On Site’ at the Barbican, ‘Surreal House’ at the Barbican’s Pit Theatre, ‘Edge of Life’ at the Bath International Music Festival, and ‘Equator’ at LSO St Lukes.
Clements’ solo video works have been exhibited in galleries and museums internationally, most recently in the group museum shows: ‘I Wish This Was a Song; Music in Contemporary Art’, The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo, Norway; and ‘Artificial Garden’ Seoul Museum of Art, South Korea. Clements is represented by Man&Eve Gallery, London, with whom she had a solo show in 2011. Other shows include: exURBAN SCREENS, Melbourne (2012); El Museo Cultural Santa Fe, New Mexico (2012); Islington Mill, Manchester (2012); Man&Eve Gallery, London (2011); Plaza Futura, The Netherlands (2010); FACT, Liverpool (2008); The Jerwood Space, London (2008); MU gallery, Eindhoven; and Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool (2008).
Sophie won the inaugural Jerwood Moving Image award in 2008 for her film ‘Evensong’. She is currently a tutor at London’s Central St Martins art college. She has been working and performing with J Peter Schwalm since 2005.