atrium phase was inspired by listening to works performed at the 2013 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival in the atrium of the Huddersfield University Creative Arts Building. The atrium, despite being a functional area incorporating meeting areas and a cafe, has almost coincidentally evolved into a fantastic (if somewhat resonant) performance space. Performers can be positioned on three different sides and three different levels, making the atrium ideally suited to spatially separated performances of a variety of music from Gabrieli to Christian Wolff.
In atrium phase the band is separated into four groups – ideally these should be positioned around the audience as follows: group A to the left of the audience, group B in front of the audience, group C to the right of the audience and group D (the four basses) behind the audience. The music “phases” between the groups in the manner of contemporary electroacoustic music, with the bass group acting as a kind of “subwoofer”. Starting very slowly, the music accelerates using metrical modulations to finish at considerable speed.
The music is intended to be performed without a conductor wherever possible – the three percussionists should set and control the tempo, and there are clear points of overlap for percussionists to allow synchronisation between groups.
atrium phase won the inaugural Foden’s Band Composition Competition in 2014 and the first performance was given on 24 January 2015 at the RNCM Festival of Brass by Foden’s Band.