A collaboration by Ivor Davies, Joseph Hillyard, Julia E. Howell, Leona Jones, and Richard McReynolds.
As a boy Ivor Davies went to Penarth County School. He studied at Cardiff College of Art and Swansea College of Art between 1952 and 1957 and then from 1959 to 1961 he studied at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. He then began teaching at the University of Wales before moving on to the University of Edinburgh where he also completed a PhD on the Russian avant-garde. Davies finally retired from teaching at the Gwent College of Higher Education in 1988. He was elected Vice President of the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art in 1995 and is a member of The Welsh Group. He was made an MBE in the 2007 New Year Honours list. At the 2002 National Eisteddfod of Wales he won the Gold Medal for Fine Art.
Davies is passionate about Welsh culture, language and politics, which inspire his artwork. For a number of years he has sponsored the Ivor Davies Award at Lle Celf (Art Space in Welsh), at the National Eisteddfod of Wales, for an artwork “that conveys the spirit of activism in the struggle for language, culture and politics in Wales”.
Davies’ early works in the 1960s used explosives as an expression of society’s destructive nature. Davies took part in the Destruction in Art Symposium in London in 1966. More recent work has included painting, installations and he has also designed and installed a mosaic of Saint David at Westminster Cathedral.
From 14th November 2015 until 20th March 2016, the contemporary galleries at National Museum Wales, Cardiff host his major retrospective Silent Explosion: Ivor Davies and Destruction in Art.
Joseph Hillyard began work as a PhD candidate at Cardiff University in 2014, creating sounds as a reaction to visual media. Recently he has written works based on painting (JMW Turner, René Magritte), photography (Rolf Sachs) and sculpture (The Negligent Eye exhibition at The Bluecoat Chambers, Liverpool). Joseph has received commissions from professional and amateur ensembles such as the Port Sunlight Orchestra and Immix Ensemble, and has also been involved in several composer development schemes such as Cheltenham Music Festival’s Composer Academy, hosted by Peter Wiegold. To learn more about Joseph’s work, see www.josephhillyard.co.uk and soundcloud.com/writingdots
Born in New York City, Julia E. Howell holds a BMus (magna cum laude) in composition and viola performance from Loyola University New Orleans and an MMus (merit) in composition from Cardiff University, and is a PhD candidate in composition at Cardiff University under the supervision of Dr. Arlene Sierra. Julia’s research and work explores the relationships between memories, listening experiences, and how these are altered by the technology we use to preserve music and memory. Recent performances and commissions include works for BBC NOW, Bruckner Orchester Linz, Lontano, rarescale, European String Teachers’ Association, and National Museum Wales in Cardiff. Julia is additionally an active violist and visual and installation artist. Learn more about Julia’s work at www.juliaehowell.com and soundcloud.com/julia-elizabeth-howell
it’s all about
words that can’t rest
language as merely one part of
listening speech as performance
events crossing boundaries unnoticed
finding protean points in collision with context
it’s all about
An artist working with wordssoundsspaces, Leona was awarded an MA (Distinction) in Performance Writing by Dartington/Falmouth University in 2012. Working across media using field recordings, audio, and spatiality as well as text, she actively seeks to highlight physicality, location and context. Cross-disciplinary collaboration is a central tenet of her practice, and her work makes a concerted effort to reach into an audience’s imagination, and their ability to listen. Her commitment to the inclusivity of the arts, and her rigorously researched practice, mean she continually seeks to question definitions, highlighting and crossing unnoticed boundaries laid down through repetition and assumption. Leona’s work has been presented/performed in galleries across Britain, as well as in Europe, but it’s just as likely to be experienced on a street or unexpectedly discovered responding to places and spaces not usually associated with art.
Richard McReynolds is a Belfast born composer and sound artist currently based in Cardiff (U.K.). A composer of both electronic and acoustic works his current work examines interactions in electro-acoustic music. This involves compositions for hyper-instruments, new interactive devices, graphic scoring and indeterminate composition techniques as well as examining performance practice with multi-media performance and installations. To learn more about Richard’s work visit richardmcreynolds.com
Steve Purbrick – Voice of Mariner
Steve Purbrick is a professional actor and voice-over artist represented by Dragon Personal Management.
Emily Rose Wenman is a young British soprano, who recently completed her postgraduate training at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, where she studied with Leah Marian Jones. Emily is an accomplished and dedicated performer, as comfortable on the opera, concert and musical theatre stages as she is in her wide-ranging outreach and educational work. Opera roles include Musetta (La Bohème), Cendrillon, Anne Trulove (The Rake’s Progress), Cathleen (Riders to the Sea), First Lady (The Magic Flute), Flora (Turn of the Screw) and Lucy Lockett (The Beggar’s Opera). Scenes include Anna (Anna Nicole), Adele (Die Fledermaus), Ellen (Peter Grimes) and Adina (The Elixir of Love). Emily is passionate about new music, and a highlight of her professional output is premiering and workshopping new works by emerging and established composers. Recently she was the soprano soloist in the Radio 3 broadcast of the premiere of Mark Bowden’s We Have Found a Better Land. She is much in demand on the oratorio circuit, and her recent performances as a sacred soloist include Verdi’s Requiem, Mozart’s Requiem and Great Mass in C Minor, Brahms’ Requiem, Fauré’s Requiem, Haydn’s Mass in Time of War, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Saint-Saens’ Christmas Oratorio and Handel’s Messiah. A disciplined and intelligent choral singer, Emily works with professional consort The Blossom Street Singers, The National Portrait Gallery choir in residency, quartet NOVA LUX, The BBC National Chorus of Wales, as well as regularly deputising and bumping for choirs across the UK. Emily teaches singing to all ages, and has led educational workshops for the BBC National Chorus of Wales, Arts Active, and WNO Max. Learn more about Emily at www.emilyrosewenman.com
Kate Willetts is a soprano, director, and music graduate currently living in Cardiff, Wales. She studied for her undergraduate in Music at Cardiff University (graduating with first class honours in 2015), and her love of opera led her to specialise in the art form throughout her final year. This included dedicating her time to performing operatic arias in many recitals and masterclasses, writing about opera and feminism in her dissertation, studying the history of opera in musicology modules, and, in her spare time, directing the Cardiff University Operatic Society’s production of Purcell’s The Fairy Queen. During her time as an undergraduate, Kate was also an active member of the Contemporary Music Group (as a soprano soloist, chorus member, violinist, and composer).
Kate is currently working as an assistant director on the Welsh National Opera’s Youth Opera production of Peter Maxwell Davies’ Kommilitonen!.
To learn more about Kate and to discover some of her views on opera, visit willettsonopera.wordpress.com
Alessandra Palidda, alto, is a PhD candidate in musicology at Cardiff University School of Music. Trained in voice at the Conservatory of Milan, Alessandra also sings with the BBC National Chorus of Wales.
Benjamin Atkinson is a composer, conductor and brass player heralding from the north-west of England, and currently studying for his MA in music at Cardiff University. His music has been performed in such diverse venues as Cardiff University Concert hall, Blaenavon Mineworkers’ Institute, and on Channel 4. As a conductor he has been called “A Sharp cookie with a Baton” as well as “The Enfant Terrible of Welsh Brass-Banding”.