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  • *Festival preview concert* - Ensemble Variances: Listening Then and Now

Wednesday 04 May
Victoria Rooms, 19:00
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“We believe the creatures of the animal kingdom to be our brethren because in ancient times our two spirits were connected.”

A free Bristol New Music preview concert, this programme explores the idea of humanity’s sharing of the planet with animals, birds, plants and the nature around us in an interspecies collaboration inspired by ancient cultures for whom the above quote was an unquestioned way of life.

Thierry Pécou’s Sikus re-imagines the harmony of pre-Columbian music and the intertwining of visible and invisible time and space, called ‘Pacha’ in the Andes, while the bright harmonies of Sonata, by the same composer, are another variation of time, space, the visible and the invisible.

Music inspired by the vast expanses of nature and life that surrounds humankind on earth: this is what composer Stevie Wishart invites us to explore in the songs of the blackbird in her work Gardez la distance. In turn, but in a different way, François-Bernard Mâche brings birdsong, flute and piano into dialogue in Sopiana, with writing of phenomenal virtuosity.

Thierry Pécou - Sonata for piano solo (UK premiere) 10’
François-Bernard Mâche - Sopiana for flute, piano and tape 12’ (Bristol Premiere)
Stevie Wishart – Gardez la distance for clarinet, piano and pre-recorded blackbird sounds 18’ (UK premiere)
Thierry Pécou - Sikus for cello solo and electronics 20’ (UK Premiere)


Anne Cartel flute
Carjez Gerretsen clarinet
Marie Vermeulin piano
Thierry Pécou piano


Stéphane André cello, from the Conservatoire & Orchestre de Caen


This concert is free to attend with a ticket, and included int he BNM Festival Pass.

With the generous support of Diaphonique, a Franco-British fund for contemporary music in partnership with SACEM, the Friends of the French Institute in the United Kingdom, the British Council, the French Institute, the French Institute in the United Kingdom, The National Centre for Music, Creative Scotland, the RWV Trust, and the Salabert Foundation. Project also supported by ODIA Normandie, Office of diffusion and artistic information of Normandy. Partnership with University of Bristol, Bristol New Music, Caen Conservatory and Orchestra

Ensemble Variances

Ensemble Variances is a Rouen-based contemporary group founded in 2010 by French composer and pianist Thierry Pécou, who have performed innovative concerts internationally. More