News: January, 2015

Retorica and Recording

The violin duo, Retorica recently performed a new work of Robert’s that included experiments with electronics. They also performed one of his older works, ’Orange’ and will perform more of his older works in Inverness later this month.

Cardiff University Symphony Orchestra conducted by Mark Eager recently recorded Robert’s piece ’Ukuhamba Kukufunda’ for a CD that will be released later this year. It was originally performed by the South African National Youth Orchestra in 2013 and was revised this year for this new recording.

Orchestral recording

The Cardiff University Symphony Orchestra under Mark Eager will be recording my orchestral work Ukuhamba kukufunda in their recording session this year. The piece was commissioned by the SAMRO Foundation and written for and premiered by the South African National Youth Orchestra with Gerard Korsten in 2013 - this will be the first recording of the work. More details about the release date will be available soon.

Retorica Violin Duo Perform New Work

Harriet Mackenzie and Phillipa Mo perform a new work for violin duo and electronics at the Cardiff University School of Music Concert Series.

Tuesday 10 March 2015
Cardiff University Concert Hall, Cardiff, UK

Review: Tracing Lines CD

Fanfare - Jan/Feb edition
Fanfare Magazine | Carson Cooman's Review

This extremely appealing disc is the first devoted to the music of South African composer Robert Fokkens. it is clear that his identity as an African composer is very important to him, and there is certainly overt influence from traditional South African (especially Xhosa) music on his style. The main adjective that comes to mind when hearing Fokkens’s music is lucid—the pieces are nearly all very transparent in texture and harmony, and yet there is great personality and individuality in the writing. Several of the pieces make truly beautiful use of microtonal elements, within an accessible and luminous sound world. Each of the seven pieces has something striking and compelling about it. Though it’s still very early in the year, this terrific album is almost certainly Want List material.

CD Review

Robert’s CD, Tracing Lines received a very good review this month from Carson Cooman in US review magazineFanfare which described it as ’truly beautiful’, ’accessible’, ’striking’ and ’compelling’.

Other reviews from the past year have been equally positive:

’never a hint of banality ... a highly rewarding programme of music’ – Christian Morris, Composition Today

’well-defined compositional voice’ – Edward Venn, Tempo

Buy the CD here.