Howard Skempton and Matthew Harris: Field Notes


A full press release and associated images can be downloaded using the links in the right column.

Produced by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Arts Alive and Craftspace.

Howard Skempton’s extraordinary collaboration with textile artist Matthew Harris, Field Notes, which uses old maps of Shropshire and graphic scores as a common starting point, takes to the road for a second rural tour of Herefordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire and Shropshire, in a programme that also includes works by Oliver Knussen, Betsy Jolas and master of the Queen’s Music, Judith Weir.

Matthew Harris’s intricately layered artworks, constructed through marking, piecing, patching, dyeing, cutting and hand-­‐stitching cloth and paper, and Howard Skempton’s joyous, enigmatic music tour to locations, including village halls, alongside a screening of a ‘behind the scenes’ film by filmmaker Chris Smart. A family concert at CBSO Centre, Birmingham and two special Field Notes Family Music Maze events for children explore graphic scores, at Trefoil House, Birmingham and the Sidney Nolan Trust, Presteigne.

Field Notes unites three West Midlands-­‐based arts organisations -­‐ Shropshire and Herefordshire’s Arts Alive, Birmingham-­‐based Craftspace and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group -­‐ with the aim of bringing world-­‐class contemporary work to a rural touring scheme. There are few galleries and even fewer opportunities to hear contemporary music played live in Shropshire and Herefordshire. BCMG rural tours have been bringing contemporary music to the heart of local communities since 1998.

Howard Skempton and Matthew Harris share a passion for contemporary music; their creative processes and approach to composition are remarkably closely aligned. A starting point for this project was a joint visit to the Shropshire Archives to see ancient maps of the local area – hence the title Field Notes. Inspired by these and graphic scores such as Cornelius Cardew’s Treatise each artist has generated new work, inviting audiences to make their own connections and associations between and through the work.

Further press information from:
Sophie Cohen on 020 7428 9850 / 07711 551 787 /

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