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The University of Southampton

Project Instrumental Event

Music @ 1pm
13:00 - 13:50
9 November 2015
Turner Sims University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

For more information regarding this event, please telephone Louise Johnson on 02380598424 or email .

Event details

East London's boundary-defying orchestra perform their debut at Turner Sims

Recently described as “simply knockout” and a Time Out London Critic’s Choice, Project Instrumental brings thrilling performances to unbounded audiences. Bold, imaginative and boundary defying, this virtuosic ensemble strips back the peripherals with their straightforward contemporary approach to classical music, to create not just concerts, but experiences.



Thomas Seltz - String Quartet No. 1
Joby Talbot - String Quartet No. 2
Nico Muhly - Diacritical Marks

This programme captures journeys and moments. 3 contemporaneous composers hailing across musical genres converge in the driving rhythms and soaring lyricism of three 21st century string quartets.



Thomas Seltz (1978) is an intercultural composer with a professional background in popular music and hard rock. His string quartet developed over 8 years and documents his transition from rock musician to contemporary composer. He completed it in 2014 as a lecturer in composition at the University of Southampton. Retaining his “love for strong dynamic, rhythmic and melodic elements acquired as a band musician”, Seltz describes his 4-movement work as “a reflection of my transformation and a journey through time.” Project Instrumental will premiere the complete quartet at the Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton, in November 2015.

Joby Talbot’s (1971) versatility manifests in his work for film, pop, orchestra and ballet. His String Quartet No.2 was written for the Duke Quartet in 2002. Its mesmeric rhythmic and harmonic lines breathe with a minimalist transparency.

Nico Muhly’s (1981) Diacritical Marks was written for the Chiara Quartet in 2011. Over 8 short movements he deflects his anxieties about the expectation that string quartets are “normally meant to be giant expressions of a composer’s emotional life” by focusing on details: “a tiny dot above a letter, a tiny swivel of the bow.” Propulsive outer movements and rhapsodic middle movements are bound together by drone music “in which the second violin and the viola play an interlocking repeating pattern ad infinitum, while the cello and first violin spin very long, outrageous lines on top.”




Project Instrumental is a chamber ensemble devoted to creating exceptional, life-enhancing performances of contemporary and classical music, for anyone. Playing conducted and unconducted it takes a straightforward, relatable approach, exploring new contexts and cutting through conventions to create not just concerts but experiences. Project Instrumental thrives in making connections between people, art, in living, using music to touch people with something that makes them feel more alive.

A scalable collection of some of the finest professional young musicians in the country, Project Instrumental embraces a diverse and imaginative repertoire and relishes the potential for exploration in new commissions. Lauded for its skill, boldness and innovation, in 20 months since formation PI has premiered 8 new works, received awards from the Britten-Pears Foundation, the Hinrichsen Foundation and the Arts Council, and collaborated across the fields of art, video, light and sound analysis technology. Recently described as “simply knockout” it has been recommended as a Time Out London Critic’s Choice (Transfiguring Night, Apr 2015). In 2015, Project Instrumental began a new residency at the cultural heart of Hackney, East London, in the Picturehouse’s Hackney Attic.


Steven Crichlow - violin 1
Tam Mott - violin 2
Rose Redgrave - viola
Kirsten Jenson - cello




Following this lunchtime concert, Project Instrumental will be running a workshop with some of the Music Department’s composition students.

Free admission.



Project Instrumental
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