The Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental Music: The Interviews

Posted by Maxine Cook, Marketing Assistant

This week, James Saunders has uploaded his interview with Tim Parkinson.


Interview with Tim Parkinson:

My first contact with Tim Parkinson, through Bryn Harrison, was via his work as a performer, notably at the series of concerts he programmed at the BMIC in its former Stratford Place home from 1997-2000. His industry in presenting music from composers who were new to me at the time, alongside my own pieces, was a galvanizing force. The associations we made through those events have led to many subsequent projects, including this book. Although I came to know his music well at this time, it was the later experience of working with Tim as a performer which led me to a clearer understanding of his work as a composer. We began playing together as a duo, Parkinson Saunders, in 2003, working on mostly indeterminate repertoire which uses any sound-producing means, seated at two tables. The kinds of strategies he uses to realise the music we find interesting reflects his tendencies as a composer: there is a meandering mix of randomness and extreme control, with one often subverting the other with surprising results. The multiplicity that appears in so much of his music confronts our notion of compatibility as a defining factor in a piece’s identity. There is an indirect connection between elements which only becomes apparent through our experience of them, and the way we make the links ourselves as listeners. So whilst found or pre-fabricated material is at the heart of his music, part of a need to look outside of himself to begin work, it is the often bare presentation of these tightly crafted moments which allows their natural beauty to project.

The interview was conducted by email between 3 November – 9 December 2003.

Read the full interview here.


The Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental MusicAll the interviews from James Saunders can be found in The Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental Music.

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