Lépidoptères is a cycle of five works for recorder and electronics co-composed by Terri Hron and Monty Adkins in 2014-15. The project was conceived during Hron's residency in the summer of 2014 at the studios of the Centre for Research in New Music at the University of Huddersfield. The consort of recorders used belongs together. They have a broad sound with strong upper partials; there are intimate, almost inexplicable sonic and physical connections between the different intsruments. This has inspired similar connections and interactions between the recorder(s) and electronics.
In Saturniid, the recorder rides the crest of an acousmatic wave, sometimes submerged within the mix and at other points rising momentarily above it. Ephemeroptera delicately counterpoints the solo recorder and its fixed environment. Zygoptera and Anisoptera have an algorithmic mobile that creates a stream of sound files which are fed into a larger tributary of sound processing shaped by multiple envelopes and parameter changes. Lepidoptera combines and morphs these different approaches. The works are families of relationships, with no two performances ever the same as they are reconfigured and retuned anew for each iteration.
The titles refer to families of butterflies and moths. The nature and character of the recorder is similar, with its varying tonal colours, and its transformations from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. All sounds in the electronics are derived from recorders between the C-bass and the G-alto in a consort built by Adriana Breukink, based on instruments by the Schnitzers from the turn of the 16th century.
Monty Adkins is a composer, performer, and Professor of Experimental Electronic Music at the University of Huddersfield. He has created installations, concert and audio-visual works, and a number of collaborations with contemporary performers, video artists and photographers. His works have been commissioned by INA-GRM, IRCAM, BBC Radio 3, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (HCMF), SpACE-Net, ZKM (Centre for Art and Media, Karlsruhe) and Sonic Arts Network (SAN), among others. For his work, he has been awarded over 15 international prizes including the Stockholm Electronic Arts Award (Sweden), Grand Prize at Musica Nova (Prague, Czech Republic), and five prizes at the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition (France). Having read music at Pembroke College (Cambridge, England, UK) where he studied French medieval and Italian Renaissance music, Adkins then studied electronic music with Jonty Harrison at the University of Birmingham where he performed across Europe with the Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre (BEAST), and Simon Waters at the University of East Anglia (Norwich, England, UK). He is currently Professor of Experimental Electronic Music at the University of Huddersfield (England, UK). Adkins is also active as a writer and concert curator. He completed his first book in 2011 on the relationship between art and music (Shibusa – Extracting Beauty) a second on the music of Roberto Gerhard in 2013 (Ashgate, 2013). He is currently researching a new book on sonic art in Britain.
Terri Hron is a Montreal-based composer and performer. She works with composers, commissioning numerous works for recorder and electronics (Bird on a Wire). She also collaborates with musicians, video artists and dancers to create experiences both onstage and in the gallery (spacemelt, Portrait Collection). Hron studied musicology and art history at the University of Alberta, recorder performance and contemporary music at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, and electroacoustic composition and collaboration at the Université de Montréal. She is currently a Visiting Scholar at Wesleyan University, studying how media affects time and space for electroacoustic performers.
Prepared in collaboration with Department of composition of HAMU (Music and Dance Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague).