Composer John Croft wins Prix Ton Bruynèl 2012

with Intermedio III for bass clarinet and live electronics written for MVG

21 JUNE 2012, AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
Summary
Composer John Croft won the Prix Ton Bruynèl 2012 with his piece Intermedio III for bass clarinet and live electronics. The Prix Ton Bruynèl is the most important prize for electroacoustic music in The Netherlands. Intermedio III was written for MVG (Marij van Gorkom) and is part of her program SS:NNd (Sonic Spaces: New Netherlands). MVG has just been on tour in New Zealand with SS:NNd and is back in Europe now.
New Zealand/British composer John Croft won the Prix Ton Bruynèl 2012 with his piece Intermedio III for bass clarinet and live electronics written earlier this year. The jury of the Prix describes the piece as 'a perfect integration of instrumental properties and electronics' and 'a fragile equilibrium in which tension and virtuosic quality is felt during the entire composition'. John Croft, a senior lecturer at Brunel University in London, focuses his work on extending the relationship between performer and instrument by using live electronics. 

The Prix Ton Bruynèl is the most important prize for electroacoustic music in The Netherlands. Dutch composer Ton Bruynèl (1934-1998), whose work is being honored and continued through this prize, is one of the pioneers of Dutch electronic music. His work is characterized by the subtle way in which he mixes electronic sounds with the sounds of acoustic instruments, creating an entirely new sound world. Much like Ton Bruynèl, John Croft obscures the distinction between what is bass clarinet and what is electronic sound in Intermedio III.

John Croft wrote Intermedio III for Dutch bass clarinetist Marij van Gorkom (MVG). The piece is part of her program SS:NNd (Sonic Spaces: New Netherland). SS:NNd consists of works for bass clarinet and (live) electronics by Dutch and New Zealand composers, and includes 6 newly written works. MVG has just been on tour in New Zealand with SS:NNd and is back in Europe now. 

MVG will present Intermedio III at Brunel University in London on June 27, 2012 during a seminar in which she will discuss several pieces from her program (info). Furthermore Intermedio III will be performed during the Gaudeamus Muziekweek on September 4, 2012 in Utrecht, The Netherlands (info).

The piece forms the basis of an artistic visual portrait that was made of MVG on bass clarinet and electronics. The film was directed by Rosa Boesten of the Netherlands Film and Television Academy and produced by Brendan Walsh. You can watch the film below or find it here.
Quotes
"A perfect integration of instrumental properties and electronics. A fragile equilibrium in which tension and virtuosic quality is felt during the entire composition. The composer has a deep knowledge of the possibilities of the bass clarinet." from the jury report of the Prix Ton Bruynèl 2012
"The piece is really trying to create an entirely live electronic environment which the performer can learn much in the way that you might learn an instrument. If you learn it, you can play with it and treat the electronics as a kind of expressive extension of the instrument rather than something that just happens at a certain point in the piece." John Croft (post-concert talk), composer
"This piece is stunningly beautiful. The bass clarinet and the electronics mysteriously blend together. At times it is impossible to distinguish between the two. I love how it sounds somehow real yet unbelievable, even for me as the performer. John Croft really pushes the limits of the instrument(s!)." MVG (Marij van Gorkom), bass clarinetist
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About Sonic Spaces


This project represents an exploration and discovery of sonic spaces with the bass clarinet center stage. Each piece takes its own shape and occupies a unique place in sonic space. Engage personally and emotionally in its sounds, but also understand the objective acoustic nature of each work. The sole aim is to create a point of departure, in order to provide and generate dialogue, discussion, and a way forward towards refinement and reinvention.

Sonic Spaces is a project being developed by Dutch bass clarinetist Marij van Gorkom (MVG). Through this project MVG seeks to further her instrument, create new music, and find her own path within today's music and art. It allows her to discover new musical possibilities and explore the depths, details, and nuances of her instrument as well as its relationship to electronics and digital media. In the creation of new music MVG collaborates with composers and digital artists.