This year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours list, as is usual, included the names of several musicians, including a few working within contemporary music (for more details see this month’s news digest). But one name jumped out for me: that of Chris Shurety, awarded an MBE for services to music. The award is well deserved for Chris’s immense contribution to amateur music making in this country, through CoMA, Allcomers Music, East London Late Starters Orchestra and more; on a much smaller scale it was personally gratifying to see Chris’s award so soon after being featured in Issue 2 of SLN. He joins Louth Contemporary Music Society’s Eamonn Quinn – also profiled in Issue 2 and recently announced as sole nominee for the 2018 Belmont Prize – in winning major recognition at the same time (coincidentally, I might add!) as being featured in these pages.
Should something similar happen off the back of Issue 3(!), I can think of few people more deserving than Simon Reynell, the unassuming but brilliant proprietor of the Sheffield-based label for experimental and improvised music, Another Timbre, whose 10th anniversary is celebrated in Abi Bliss’s main feature. In this issue the violinist Mira Benjamin, an increasingly regular presence on Another Timbre’s recordings, also tells us about her listening habits. Moving from the quiet fringes to the noisy centre, the rest of Issue 3 turns a critical eye on two of the UK’s major festivals, one relatively new, one very venerable. Composer Emily Doolittle reviews this year’s Tectonics Glasgow in our Critics’ Notebook, while outspoken blogger Simon Cummings looks over the new music on offer at this year’s BBC Proms and asks whether an opportunity is being missed.
From next month, you can expect even more opinion on all matters new music as we introduce a short soapbox feature for musicians and other creators to sound off about whatever might be worrying them in the world of new music. If you have something you’d like to get off your chest, contributions are very welcome – please write to firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. Issue 4 will also include features on London’s burgeoning young concert series, the text scores of the KLF’s Bill Drummond, PRS’s New Music Biennial, and Hannah Kendall’s My Listening. Look out for it in your inbox at the start of August.