Pete Harden

Steel wounds & beaten sounds

work 2012 (14 min)

Steel Wounds & Beaten Sounds was originally inspired by the penny coins defaced by the Suffragette movement at the turn of the 20th Century. Around 1903, as part of their campaign of civil disobedience, they stamped ordinary 1p coins with the words ‘Votes for women’ graffitied across the face of George V. These mass-produced objects, each handcrafted into something of great political power, remained in circulation for years due to the cost it would have taken to remove them. Like the penny coins, the piece deals with this idea of interruption, or defacement, layers of material scratched over the top of each other, where the defacement eventually takes on a greater importance than the original object itself.

Premiere
  • 12 Dec 2012, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam

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Pete Harden

Pete Harden (UK, 1979) is a composer and musician whose work has been called “intriguing”, “fierce, exciting” as well as conjuring “a subtle three-dimensional landscape” (De Volkskrant). In 2003, having completed studies with Louis Andriessen and Richard Ayres at the Royal Conservatoire, The Hague, he helped found Ensemble Klang, for whom he is electric guitarist and artistic director.

As a composer his work seeks out new forms and structures, marrying conceptually rigorous content with rich sonic environments. He has had works commissioned and performed by, among others, the Netherlands Radio Kamer Filharmonie, Bang on a Can All-stars (New York), Maud le Pladec Dance Company, Slagwerk Den Haag, NorrbottenNEO, Saskia Lankhoorn, Marco Blaauw, and Trio Scordatura. As a guitarist he has performed with Ensemble Klang, ASKO | Schönberg, Red Note Ensemble and i Solisti, and he has been a featured soloist at the Canberra International Music Festival. For the 2017-18 season he was artist-in-residence for the Red Sofa Series in De Doelen Concert Hall in Rotterdam.

Recent years have seen a strong focus on interdisciplinary productions, particularly theatre and dance. In 2017-18 he performed in Ivo van Hove’s production ‘Network’, at the National Theatre, London – and in the same season he worked closely with the French choreographer Maud le Pladec, writing the music for the hour-long production ‘27 Perspectives’. He forms one half of the duo Avenue Azure with Saskia Lankhoorn.