Ensemble 7Bridges (E7B) is the North East’s own contemporary music group and Durham University’s ensemble in residence. It is a collaboration between staff at the university, players from the Northern Sinfonia, and freelance musicians.
The E7B launch project, entitled "Channel Hopping", took place in May 2013. The programme, made up from works by French, English and Irish composers, plotted out a geographical route back and fort across the English Channel. Excitingly, the programme also featured the premieres of commissions from Bryn Harrison as well as from leading Irish composer Gerald Barry. Our major project for 2014 was a programme entitled "Around the world in 80 Minutes", with premieres of new adaptations from Clarence Barlow and Matthew Scholmowitz.
Barlow, Clarence (arr. Richard Rijnvos): Relationships (1974/2014)
Barry, Gerald: No People (2013)
Crane, Laurence: Come Back to the Old Specimen Cabinet (2007)
Hannan, Geoffrey: Lifeblood (2013)
Harrison, Bryn: seven circular forms (2013)
Johnson, Tom: Narayana's Cows (1989)
Kyriakides, Yannis: Paramyth (2010)
Oesterle, Michael: Emmy Noether (2014)
Pesson, Gerard: Nebenstück (1998)
Scholmowitz, Matthew: Five Monuments for our Time (2008/14)
Volans, Kevin: 1000 Bars (2002)
Xenakis, Iannis: Anaktoria (1969)
E7B SoundLab was founded in 2014. it is an ensemble dedicated to workshopping and premiering cutting-edge new music. The programme for the first concert, at the DurhamKLANG14 Festival, consisted of 7 brand new works by Durham University Staff and Students. The group is made up of some of the very best contemporary music specialist performers in the UK, including Richard Craig (flutes), Dov Goldberg (clarinets), and John Snijders (piano).
E7B regularly conduct composition workshops with undergraduate and postgraduate students at Durham University. So far the ensemble has worked on and recorded more than 100 students pieces with a wide range of different instrumentations.
E7B conduct regular outreach work in County Durham schools. Since running a pilot outreach programme at the Easington Academy and Wellfield Community School in 2013 the project has expanded to include four schools in the Durham area. The programme includes talks and demonstrations for the pupils as well as workshops on composition and improvisation. The partaking pupils are also invited to attend rehearsals, workshops and concerts with the ensemble, and are given opportunities to engage with Durham Music department staff as well as composers and performers from E7B.