DAR – Lithuanian residency programme

Two British composers chosen for Lithuanian residency programme

Angela Slater and Rolf Gehlhaar have been selected to take part in this year’s residency opportunity with The Lithuanian Composers’ Union and AIR KREMS in Druskininkai!

The selected composers will each develop a new work for The Representative Wind Orchestra of the Lithuanian Ministry of the Interior and will participate in an international residency programme in  in the summer of 2016.

Angela Slater

Angela Elizabeth Slater is a UK-based composer. In her AHRC-funded PhD in composition at the University of Nottingham, Angela developed an interest in incorporating different aspects of the natural world into her compositions. She has been working on a series of works that engage with the natural world, musically mapping certain aspects into the fabric of her music. In 2015 she was awarded a prestigious bursary by the Boltini Trust to participate in the Advanced Composition Course at Dartington. Her choral piece Apparitions was selected for the choral composition workshop led by Judith Weir with the BBC Singers. Angela has also recently taken part in Psappha – Composing for Clarinet scheme where she wrote Nacreous Contours for the professional clarinetist Dov Goldberg.Angela is passionate about contemporary music for both professional and amateur musicians and is currently one of the Adopt a Composer participants working on an exciting work for The Lincoln Ukulele Band.

Angela Slater

In brief…

Why did you apply for this residency with DAR?  

“I applied for the DAR residency project because of my love of wind orchestras. Most of my ensemble educational life has been in the context of the wind orchestra, being part of a county wind band from the age of twelve and as a member of The University of Nottingham Wind Orchestra for the last six years. The University of Nottingham Wind Orchestra commissioned me to write a piece for them, which resulted in my work Stormscape. This experience further confirmed to me the depth of expressivity and power that can be achieved by wind orchestras. I was therefore very excited at the prospect to explore this wonderful genre again. I am very excited to start on a new work for wind orchestra and work with The Representative Wind Orchestra of the Lithuanian Ministry of the Interior, Egidija Medeksaite from DAR, Egidijus Miknius (conductor) and Sound and Music on this exciting project and residency.”

What are you most excited about being selected from this opportunity?

“One of the things that excited me most about this opportunity is the chance to work with an international wind orchestra and to raise the profile of wind orchestra concert music. I am also excited to engage with composers and musicians from different countries, building creative partnerships and sharing my compositional voice with international audiences.”

“Sound and Music is an excellent creative organisation and I have thoroughly enjoyed working with them so far through the Adopt a Composer scheme. I am exciting to continue working with Sound and Music for the DARS residency and hope to maintain a strong and fruitful relationship with them for many years to come. ”

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Recording now available!

Information about the concert!

DAR (Druskininkai Artists’ residence) in partnership with the Lithuanian Composers’ Union (Lithuania), Sound and Music organisation (United Kingdom), and Artist in Residence Krems (Austria) offered a unique residency opportunity for five composers from the UK, Austria, and Lithuania. The selected professionals were participating in the international residency programme DAR, in Druskininkai, Lithuania, in the summer of 2016. By the end of the residency, each composer will present a new work for The Representative Wind Orchestra of the Lithuanian Ministry of the Interior. In addition to providing an opportunity for composition and performance, the programme is aimed at broadening musical cooperation between different nations and enhancing the profiles of the selected composers at the international level.

The compositions written during the residency will be performed by the Representative Wind Orchestra of the Lithuanian Ministry of the Interior, conducted by Egidijus Miknius, on 26 August, at the Vilnius Culture, Entertainment and Sports Palace, in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Free entrance.

Selected Artists:

Angélica Castelló (Austria)
Rolf Gehlhaar (the United Kingdom)
Rytis Mažulis (Lithuania)
Burkhard Stangl (Austria)
Angela Elizabeth Slater (the United Kingdom)


Angélica Castelló “Cuacochi I “, (2016), for 9 players or 9 groups of players of any wind instruments plus at least 9 radios and 3 tubular bells, 7’ (World Premiere)

Rolf Gehlhaar “Archimedes’ Fulcrum” (2016), for symponic wind orchestra, 7′ (World Premiere)

Rytis Mažulis “Nema“ (2016), for symphonic wind orchestra, 7′ (World Premiere)

Burkhard Stangl “Superposition” (2016), for symphonic wind orchestra, 9’ (World Premiere)

Angela Elizabeth Slater “Dark Refractions” (2016), for symphonic wind orchestra, 7’ (World Premiere)

Angélica Castelló “Cuacochi I “, (2016), for 9 players or 9 groups of players of any wind instruments plus at least 9 radios and 3 tubular bells, 7’ (World Premiere)

The Tree weights the nest
The wind weights the tree
and fate the rest
(Burkhard Stangl)

Cuacochi in Nahuatl language means “to sleep in a tree”. As a wind player myself I have always been particularly fascinated by the sound of the air through my instruments. As a performer and improviser I have developed a big palette of wind sounds, mixing them with related sounds such as static radio noise and white noise. With “Cuacochi” I wanted to explore these sounds further, using air and white noise as basically the only auditive material and developing a graphic notation for this specific material, the score being inspired by the colours and shapes of trees moving with the wind.

Rolf Gehlhaar “Archimedes’ Fulcrum” (2016), for symponic wind orchestra, 7′ (World Premiere)

Archimedes’ Fulcrum for wind orchestra is a short, somewhat allegorical story about a mysterious, glorious distant past, a descent into darkness, the struggle towards freedom and the subsequent celebration of having attained it.

It is also a formal elaboration of orchestral colours and their ability to ‘tickle’ our ear, not so much as to convey concrete thoughts but more to initiate a train of abstract thought within us, sometimes just the simple realisation of who we actually are.

Where does the title come from? What are the lever & fulcrum it implies and what is being moved? Certainly not the earth, but the human spirit.

Rytis Mažulis (Lietuva) – „Nema“ pučiamųjų orkestrui (2016) 7’

The idea of the piece derives from fragments of the word “Amen” chosen from the compendium of the Gregorian Mass. I used their retrograde forms, combining them into one long melody; its rhythmical structure is based on the division of quarter and half-notes into 3 – 12 parts. These rhythmical segments were transcribed into mensural notation. The polyphonic texture is based on rhythmic canon and melodic heterophony techniques.

Burkhard Stangl “Superposition” (2016), for symphonic wind orchestra, 9’ (World Premiere)

Under superposition, also superposition principle (from the Latin super = over; positio = position setting, position) is understood in physics an overlay of the same physical sizes which do not interfere with each other. I took (that meaning of) “superposition” as a starting point and challenge to create a composition for wind orchestra which is divided in three groups. These three groups or layers are independent from each other, but appear while listening as a whole, as a unit. Applied to social relationships this principle may give us a bit of hope (Druskininkai, August 2016).

Angela Elizabeth Slater “Dark Refractions” (2016), for symphonic wind orchestra, 7’ (World Premiere)’

Dark Refractions was written in 2016 for the VRM Wind Orchestra as part of a collaborative commissioning opportunity from Sound and Music and the DAR residency scheme. The piece explores the colours present in the light spectrum of a natural phenomenon called ‘black rainbows’. This phenomenon, which I have recast as ‘dark refractions’, sees the refracted light spectrum veiled through darkness, distinguishing this from more conventional rainbows.

The piece is inspired by the imagery associated with the colours emerging from black rainbows, leading to each section of the piece having a distinctive colour ‘identity’. These colours are expressed through a range of harmonic, timbral, and rhythmic devices. The distinct characters of each musical section take you on a voyage through the spectrum of a dark rainbow, with each colour being rendered musically. After each of the colours has been expressed, the piece builds towards an energetic and dramatic combination of the colours forming white light. It is not my intention for the colours to be made explicit in the piece, rather that I wished to create a clear sonic change in each identity.