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British Composer Award 2018 winner


Bloody hell that was good!” Tom McKinney, BBC Radio 3 Presenter/ Guitarist

To celebrate the release of his latest LP with East London label nonclassical, composer Dominic Murcott and virtuosic American percussion ensemble, arx duo, are touring the Harmonic Canon – a new music project featuring a specifically designed half-tonne double bell – across the UK and Europe between 25 April and 10 May 2019.

Consisting of two 21 minute movements – one of which explores the metallic resonance of the bell, and the other exploring the exotic and unusual range of its harmonic frequencies – the Harmonic Canon is a new work composed by Dominic Murcott which uses the computer-designed sculpture alongside a range of rare auxiliary metal percussion. The bell – which is designed by sculptor Marcus Vergette – is not only an instrument but a piece of public art, and the project celebrates the array of familiar and unfamiliar sounds the bell produces.

The work is being released on vinyl and will be launched at the Royal Albert Hall’s Love Classical festival in 2019, in partnership with nonclassical. The project is then looking to tour across the UK and Europe, with Dominic Murcott also offering supplementary workshops and talks.

The project has won the 2018 British Composer Awards in the Solo and Duo catagory. Previously, the project has been premiered at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and was featured on BBC Radio 3’s Hear and Now. It has been gratefully supported by Arts Council, England, PRS Foundation, nonclassical, the Hinrichsen Foundation and Bell Percussion.


About the performers

Dominic Murcott is a composer, percussionist, curator and educator based in London. Much of his work combines acoustic instruments with computers, film and other media. He has a continuing interest in work that is personalised for specific performers and has created acoustic/electronic pieces for trumpeter Noel Langley, percussionist Joby Burgess, clarinetist Joan Enric Lluna, harpist Sioned Williams and the Elysian String Quartet among many others. 

He has taken an unusual path to his current position, starting out as a self-taught musician, his early career included playing drums with no-wave pioneers 'Blurt' and composing for the highly successful V-Tol Dance Company. Changing from drums to vibraphone he became a member of art-pop band The High Llamas and has played on records by many influential artists, including Stereolab and Pavement. In recent years he has become an internationally recognised expert on the music of Conlon Nancarrow and the Head of Composition at Trinity Laban.

Aspiring to expand the genre of percussion chamber music through performing and creative collaboration, arx duo has been blazing a trail in the realm of contemporary music since their inception at the Yale School of Music in 2013. In these short years, the duo has performed and given educational clinics across three continents.

Through combining their different personas and experiences, Mari and Garrett showcase similar movements and unique musical communication that creates a oneness with an energy that fills any venue.

Marcus Vergette is an interdisciplinary artist who is producing critically acclaimed work across the UK and Europe. He uses the latest computer developments to design new bell forms with specific harmonic relationships. He has exhibited in the Venice Guggenheim, and in many public and private collection.