… to set one line against another: Afterlives of Counterpoint
As a prelude to a recital of solos, duos and trios, contemporary music specialist John Fallas will lead a discussion with King’s composers Rob Keeley and Silvina Milstein. The discussion takes a cue from the concert’s featuring of music for pairs of identical instruments – two violins, two trumpets, two double basses, and two pianos – and considers how this timbral doubling allows us to forget the material source of the sounds and to focus on the interactions of motives and lines.
Counterpoint – the setting of one line against another – is responsible for many musical ‘depth effects’. Moreover, the contemporary employment of contrapuntal techniques from earlier times adds a further dimension, establishing connections not only between different lines in a musical texture but between the resulting music and that of those earlier times. Opening out to consider the broader landscape of contemporary composition, the speakers will provide three distinctive and personal views of the status of counterpoint and its implications for understanding the role of pitch in music written today.
John Fallas studied musicology at the University of Cambridge, King’s College London and the University of Leeds, and works as a writer and speaker on the music of the 20th and 21st centuries. He is currently engaged in a large-scale research project titled ‘Afterlives of Genre’.
Rob Keeley is a senior lecturer in composition at King’s. He studied composition with Oliver Knussen at the Royal College of Music, with Bernard Rose and Robert Saxton at Oxford and later with Franco Donatoni.
Silvina Milstein is Professor of Music at King’s. Her music has been played by some of the world’s leading orchestras and ensembles, including the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Lontano, the London Sinfonietta, and the Endellion String Quartet. Her chamber music has been recorded by Lontano and issued by LORELT.