Dylan Lardelli

/ Composer Focus

Dylan Lardelli is a bright light to follow in New Zealand’s contemporary music scene. This up-and-coming 34 year old’s achievements already indicate that this is someone with a promising future ahead of them.

Straight after university Dylan held the position of composer in residence with the Auckland Philharmonia, before going on to study in Venice with Stefano Bellon in 2006 with support from Creative New Zealand’s Edwin Carr Scholarship.

From 2009-2010 he worked with Dieter Mack at the Lübeck Musikhochshule in Germany with a DAAD (German Academic Exchange) stipend to back him up.

Along the way he’s achieved a number of other scholarships and awards including first place in the Asian Composers League Young Composers’ Competition in Tokyo in 2003. As well as this his work has been performed in Europe, Asia, North America and Australia by musicians including Lucas Vis, Cygnus Ensemble, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, the NZ Trio and members of Ensemble Modern and Musik Fabrik.

As Dylan’s reputation develops his works have been programmed in international events including the Gaudeamus music week held in Amsterdam and the Darmstadt New Music Festival and he’s been able to participate in significant courses with key movers and shakers around the world. This includes the Acanthes course with Peter Eotvos, the Darmstadt summer school with Beat Furrer, Helmut Lachenmann and Dieter Mack; and the Royaumont course with Brian Ferneyhough.

As a guitarist Dylan has also made his mark through performances with some of New Zealand’s foremost classical music ensembles and orchestras including the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, Stroma and 175 East. He committed to supporting the development of NZ music and as a guitarist has recorded a number of NZ compositions. Internationally he has performed in Korea, China, Thailand and Germany.

Dylan’s formative years included schooling in Hawkes Bay followed by study at Victoria University in Wellington where he graduated with a Bachelors degree in guitar performance and a Masters in Composition. This is where members of the NZSQ first came across him in their role as Quartet-in Residence. They remember him well at composition classes through playing his string works and were very taken with what they describe as the ‘fine sense of colour and subtlety of nuance’ evident in his writing.
He’s always had a quiet sense of confidence and purpose about him and a fine aesthetic sensibility and innate musicality underpins his work.

Dylan is currently planning to write a new work for the New Zealand String Quartet and he says:

"The prospect of writing a large scale work for the quartet next year excites me immensely. As a student at Victoria University I had the privilege of having two of my student compositions read through and recorded by these master musicians. The yearly quartet read-throughs were always a time I keenly looked forward to, and provided me insight in to the mechanics of the string quartet. After already having shown sketches of my work secrets, listening to the qin to the quartet I sincerely can’t wait to work with them in China and in 2014 with my new piece for string quartet alone."

He has also just put the finishing touches to a work he was commissioned to write for the New Zealand String Quartet and the Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra. The work called secrets, listening to the qin is scored for String Quartet, Zhongruan, Guzheng and Sheng with male vocalist Xiao Ma. The work will be recorded in Beijing in December; then performed in the New Zealand Festival and toured by Chamber Music New Zealand in March 2014.

Although not present in the Forbidden City Chamber Orchestra, the qin, China’s oldest living string instrument has had a continual tradition for some 3,000 years and is regarded as the ancestor of many younger instruments.

Qin playing technique is divided in to three categories, which provide technical instruction as well as an indication of the resulting sound quality and incumbent emotional associations.

San Yin 散音 meaning “scattered sounds” refers to the production of open string sonorities. Fan Yin 泛音 or “floating sounds” indicates the production of the crystalline sonority of natural harmonics, of which the qin utilises thirteen, for each of its seven strings. An Yin 按音 or “stopped or pressed notes” provide the qin with its malleable pitches.

In this work the physicality, concepts and energy of the qin; an invisible entity with no material presence is re-cast and re-directed in the forces of the ensemble. The rich range of string playing production, from bowed to plucked to hit are all drawn upon.

The course of this piece is concerned with foregrounding the discrete “secret” information underlying the physicality of all string instrument sound production.

secrets, listening to the qin maps out a personal journey of attempting to unravel the mystery of Chinese instrumental sound-worlds, subtlety and physicality, and venture to understand the altogether holistic approach to Chinese art and aesthetics.

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