Marc Yeats’ music is performed, commissioned and broadcast worldwide. Transduction, complex surface relationships, asynchronous alignments, contextual, harmonic and temporal ambiguities, polarised intensities and a visceral joy of sound are all primary concerns.
. . . . . ‘how sour sweet music is, When time is broke and no proportion kept!’ . . . .
(William Shakespeare: Richard II, 5.5.42-9)
Marc Yeats is a composer and visual artist. His intense music has received performances and broadcast around the world including The Edinburgh String Quartet (UK), the Chamber Group of Scotland (UK), Psappha (UK), Richard Casey, Stephen Combes, the London Sinfonietta (UK), the Endymion Ensemble (UK), Lonba (Argentina), Paragon Ensemble (UK), the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (UK), illegal harmony (UK), 175 East (N.Z.), Sarah Watts, SCAW (UK), Sarah Nicolls, Federico Mondelci, the Commonwealth Sinfonietta (UK), Contempo Ensemble (Italy), Rarescale (UK), The Scottish Clarinet Quartet (UK), Symposia (UK), the New York Miniaturists Ensemble (USA), Trio IAMA (Greece), The International Concert Brass Soloists (Switzerland), Dirk Amrein (Germany) Expatrio (UK), Chroma (UK), Kokoro (UK), Consortium5 (UK), Ensemble Amorpha (UK) Chamber Cartel (US), Auditiv Vokal (Germany), the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra (UK), the Hallé Orchestra and Chorus (UK) conducted by Sir Mark Elder, Tokyo City Philharmonic (Japan) and Gewandhaus Radio Orchestra (Germany), with broadcasts on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Scotland as well as US, German, EU, Hawaiian, Japanese and New Zealand radio.
Marc is Composer-in-Association with:
Thumb Ensemble [Birmingham UK]
Manchester Pride [Manchester UK]
Chamber Cartel [Atlanta, Georgia US]
SATSYMPH [Bristol/Crewkerne UK]
Composer Curator with Sound and Music for 2014/15
A glimpse into 2014 – and beyond . . .
The year started magnificently with Auditiv Vokal [Dresden, Germany] giving the premiere of their commission oros for 8 voices. The premiere was recorded by Deutschlandfunk Radio for European broadcast this autumn.
This year Marc has become a ‘composer curator’ with Sound and Music. Along with funds from SaM and English Arts Council Lottery he is curating Sonic Coast Live Concert Series in partnership with DIVAcontemporary. The five Dorset-based concerts will include four world premieres of Marc’s work including on the 26th July, beyond this [all had been chaos] for viola and percussion with Stephen Upshaw [viola] and Callie Hough [percussion] and later in the season, the moon, upright for wind trio [with Rarescale], his 18 minute second string quartet from manuscripts of moving song with the Zero Theorem and through woods in riot for 2 trumpets, tenor and bass trombones with Meridian Brass.
2014 also sees a number of commission premieres in the US. These will include:
sculptures in bright blue for soprano and alto saxophone with KOEK duo;
vulgar gorgon for Clibber Jones Rock Ensemble and
invoco for alto saxophone and bassoon with Post-Haste Reed Duo
Virtuoso US flautist, Carlton Vickers recently commissioned an epic, 20+ minute solo work from Marc. streaming will be premiered and recorded by Carlton in the 2014/15 season. Carlton said of the new work: “Today, received “Streaming” for Kingma System quartertone alto flute by Marc Yeats. A massive 20< minute energy field. What a terrifying talent this man has. Effortless. Unreal.”
Again in the US, the spring of 2014 will see the release of the shape distance CD, recorded by the Atlanta based Chamber Cartel where Marc is currently Composer-in-Association. And in November 2014 Chamber Cartel will give the premiere of a substantial new Yeats’ commission, ‘and exploration of bright’ for piano, harp and 2 percussionists at an all Yeats’ concert.
To date, Marc has completed two duo commissions, the first for pianist Geert Callaert and double bassist, Martin Rossi and cherries all black will be premiered in Brussels in the 2014/15 season and subsequently taken on tour around Belgium.
The second for Geert Callaert and Pieter Nuytten – a pathology of line for bassoon and piano will be premiered in the 2014/15 season in Belgium.
Additionally, over the next 18 months a huge collection of Marc’s piano music is being recorded with Geert including the ferociously difficult Viciousness of Circles, lenten fires, Oroborous and ‘ENÛMA ELIŠ’. Comprising over an hour of music, this initial collection of pieces will be the first recording of Marc’s piano music from the 1990s to the present day. Geert will be recording the work in Academiezaal Sint Truiden; a beautiful concert hall in Belgium. Geert and Marc are also making a documentary video of their work together in August this year. Live performance of the pieces will follow at venues around Europe.
There will be much more piano music recorded in 2014 as Marc will be working with Pierre-Arnaud Dablemont, a wonderfully talented pianist based in Brussels. Pierre-Arnaud will be recording Marc’s epic series of pieces the magical control of rain [c.48 minutes] for commercial release in the autumn / winter of 2014. ‘the magical control of rain’ is Marc’s most recent solo piano composition. A live London premiere is also planned for March 2015.
2014 will also see premieres of corpuscular theory of light for clarinet, soprano saxophone and xylophone, Lines and Distances for solo B flat clarinet [July 2014] and black root for E flat clarinet [also July 2014] in Austria and Germany with Clarinet specialist Markus Wenninger.
We Are Wolfpack will premiere the dog and the wolf for ensemble at a London venue in their 2014/15 season.
And a little further into the future . . .
Marc has been exploring a relationship with the fabulous Australian Syzygy Ensemble. More to follow on this in 2014/15!
In 2015, cellist Patric Tapio Johnson [who premiered ‘pathos’ for solo cello], along with zero theorem [ensemble] comprising a host of the most talented young contemporary music exponents will give the world premier of logos [concerto for cello and seven instrumentalists] in London [date and venue tbc].
Also in 2015, the Galachter Wind Trio will premiere and be recording Marc’s newly commissioned ‘dark gravity’ for bassoon, oboe, clarinet and percussion  for inclusion on their new CD of British woodwind trio music.
Under the auspices of their new initiative, Creative Music Composer Continuum (CMCC), the CHICAGO MODERN ORCHESTRA PROJECT has asked composer Marc Yeats for a new composition for their 2014-15 season. The new commission will see Marc continuing his compositional research around unsynchronised performance and compositional techniques, culminating in a substantial work for brass ensemble, percussion and strings [with optional piano] that will push Marc’s unsynchronised compositions into the orchestral sphere for the first time. The work will be directed but only to initiate sounds and instrumental groupings. All performers will play ‘as soloists’, following their own fully notated parts which shall contain different tempi, bar structures and material, simultaneously performed [asynchornous] across the orchestra without a unifying beat from the director. Each performer will play ‘live and [to a certain extent] free’. Due to the compositional nature of the music, each performance will yield slightly different results, interplays, gestural and harmonic references and unique outcomes creating music of great fluidity, unpredictability, beauty, complexity, wild energy and connectivity. This music cannot be read from a conventional score; it renews itself with each performance and can only be ‘revealed’ when played live.
(by the composer himself)
I was recently approached by pianist Nicolas Horvath to write a piece for his epic homage to Philip Glass piano recitals 'the GlassWorlds'. I am not a fan of Glass' music so thought the request strange. However, Nicolas made it clear that he was not looking for copies and imitations of Glass' work but pieces that were also reactionary so as to broaden the scope and musical language of his project. Thinking about the matter further I realised that there are sometimes elements in my music that concern repetition and the use of limited material. I would not describe this as minimalist in approach, not least because the rate of transformation that occurs in my works from bar to bar, even based on limited material renders the term repetition somewhat redundant. So here in 'homage' I have written a piece that is the opposite of Glass' compositional approach but is never-the-less related to aspects of it in some very distant way. The music is dedicated to the American pianist Amy O'Dell who plays in Chamber Cartel. I have recently finished a commission for Chamber Cartel 'an exploration of bright' that includes an extensive piano part. I realised there were a few bars of this material that could develop a life of their own and they appear here, in amy's toye [see meaning for toye below].
toy noun \ˈtȯin\:
something a child plays with :
something that an adult buys or uses for enjoyment or entertainment :
something that is very small
Full Definition of TOY
a : flirtatious or seductive behavior
b : pastime; also : a sportive or amusing act : antic
a : something (as a preoccupation) that is paltry or trifling
b : a literary or musical trifle or diversion
c : trinket, bauble
3 : something for a child to play with
4 : something diminutive; especially : a diminutive animal (as of a small breed or variety)
5 : something that can be toyed with
Origin of TOY: Middle English toye. First Known Use: 15th century