WHAT IS MICROTONAL MUSIC?
our aims and who we are
Microtonal Projects was formed by composer Donald Bousted in 2004 with the objective of creating a focus for microtonal music in the UK. Microtonal Projects curated and promoted 4 UK MicroFest events between 2004-2012 in collaboration with Riverhouse Arts Centre in Walton-on-Thames, London Metropolitan University and Kingston University, The Vortex Jazz Club and The Royal Academy of Music. UK MicroFests were performance-focused but also offered an opportunity for composers, theorists and instrument builders to talk about their work. UK MicroFests attracted audiences and participants from all over the world and created the opportunity for excellent networking in an informal atmosphere: many projects and collaborations have resulted from these meetings.
In attempting to introduce microtonal music to a wider audience, Microtonal Projects co-curated (with 5 guest artist-curators) 5 Wild Dog events with the support of Riverhouse Arts Centre and The Space in London’s Docklands. These events featured microtonal music alongside live art, film, dance and mixed media. This approach to curation was was continued in a Late at Tate event in 2010 – Microtonal – (at Tate Britain, London, curated by Donald Bousted and Stephen Altoft) which attracted an audience of around 2,000 people.
In 2013 Microtonal Projects promoted the first EUROMicroFest as a bi-annual event. From 2015 EUROMicroFest has been promoted in collaboration with un-sound e.V and has become a hub for other microtonal events in Europe.
Events were held in in Cologne, 2-3 March, 2013 (Melle Weijters, Etienne Nillesen, ensemble Chronophonie), and Freiburg, 3-12 May, 2013 (Freiburg Gamelan ensemble “Anggur Jaya”; Neil Haverstick; Melle Weijters; Human Factory Band; ensemble Chronophonie; Satellite Gamelan; Deborah Walker; Institut für Neue Musik, Freiburg; Fo[u]r Alto, Donald Bousted, Ephraim Wegner). Partners included Ensemble Proton (Bern, 15 April, 2013), Dedalus Ensemble (Paris, 5 May, 2013) and duo Contour (13 June, 2013, Freiburg), who presented concerts of microtonal music. The final event of EMF 2013 was ‘Beyond the Semitone’ (a Symposium on Tuning, Scale Systems, and Microtonality in Historical and Contemporary Context) at the Department of Music, University of Aberdeen, 24–27 October 2013 in conjunction with SOUND.
Events were organised by: Akademie für Tonkunst (Darmstadt); the International Ekmelic Society (‘Small is beautiful’ Conference, Salzburg, 3-5 July, 2015); Panmonism (Zagreb, 10-12 April, 2015) and un-sound e.V (Forgotten Spaces Freiburg, 23 June-4 July,
At E-Werk in Freiburg, Germany (18-20 May, 2017). With the following artists: Stephen Altoft (UK/DE); James Batty (UK); Donald Bousted (UK); Agustin Castilla-Avila (ES/AT); duo Contour (DE); Michael H.Dixon (AU); Lee Ferguson (US/DE); Casey Hale (US); Christian Klinkenberg (BE); Jan F.Kurth (DE); Sevish (UK); Tassos Tataroglou (GR); Christopher Watford (US); Ephraim Wegner (DE)
Partner events were organised by the International Ekmelic Society (Internationales Symposium MIKROTÖNE ~ MICROTONES, ‘SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL’, Universität Mozarteum Salzburg, 30 June – 2 July, 2017); Croatian Association for Microtonal Art, miCROfest in Zagreb (27-28 October, 2017)
In Freiburg (24-25 May, 2019) was called ‘Das Stimmt!!’ and focused on historical tunings. It was held at the Elisabeth Schneider Stiftung and at the Museum für Stadtgeschichte, Freiburg. Our guest and Key-Note speaker was composer, Marc Sabat with performers Michael Kudirka (USA), guitar, David Henkelman (CA), harpsichord, Ensemble l’imaginaire (F), and duo Contour (DE). As usual, there were talks by visiting composers and musicians, and the Elisabeth Schneider Stiftung hosted a microtonal computer game/installation by students of Prof. Ephraim Wegner, from the Hochschule Macromedia.
Microtonal Projects publish music and recordings, see the Publications page for details.
In order to explore the 19-div tuning on the trumpet, Stephen commissioned 19 solo pieces from 17 international composers. We have now released a second CD, comprising a further 11 pieces in 19-div tuning, called ‘RASP’. Here is a preview of Stephen Altoft’s Yasser Collection CD – 19 pieces in 19-division tuning:
Sponsors and Funders
- Musik Gillhaus
- Kulturamt Freiburg im Breisgau
- Pro Musica Viva Maria Strecker Daelen Stiftung
- Deutscher Musikrat
- Carl Schurz Haus
- Regierungspräsidium Freiburg, Baden-Württemberg
- Stiftungen Landesbank Baden-Württemberg
- Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg
- Institut für Neue Musik der Hochschule für Musik Freiburg
- Kunstverein Freiburg
- Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln
- Royal Academy of Music London
- University of Aberdeen
- Sound (Scotland)
- Akademie für Tonkunst Darmstadt
- The Ekmelic Society
Microtonal Projects is a company limited by guarantee in Germany with a board set up to run EUROMicroFest events. The board consists of:
Donald Bousted (Artistic Director); Stephen Altoft (Manager); Ephraim Wegner (Administration); Astrid Wegner (Administration); Jan F. Kurth (Marketing)
- To sponsor and promote concerts, lectures, research and conferences of microtonal music
- To develop networks of microtonal composers, performers, instrument designers and builders
- To place microtonality in a wider artistic and cultural context
- To develop working partnerships with institutions in the inception of microtonal projects
- To build our catalogue as a publisher of printed and recorded music
Microtonal Projects have a package of Resources which includes documentation of some of our past events and a list of microtonal recorder music which is a supplement to the repertoire list in The Microtonal Recorder Manual (pub. Moeck). We are adding to this folder regularly. Fill in the contact form to receive an invitation to access this folder.
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