Fortune Favours the Brave was written for flautist Jenni Hogan in 2016. The score of the piece is in the form of a Chinese-style handscroll, crafted by the composer out of 4.7 metres of shot silk and 4.5 metres of rice paper pages which contain the handwritten music and notes.
An exploration into ideas about how we choose to accept or reject challenges, Fortune Favours the Brave takes the form of a ritualistic game. After each movement, the flautist lays down her instrument and tosses a coin to determine whether she should play or skip the next section. She then decides whether to accept or reject the coin’s declaration and performs a gesture of acceptance or rejection accordingly. Having done this, she moves the scroll on to the piece she has decided to play (which will be the next section or the one following it) and performs it.
The music contains a range of extended techniques, including multiphonics, deliberate audible breathing, key clicks, tongue rams and various windy tones.
A radio edit version of Fortune Favours the Brave was performed by Jenni Hogan on BBC Radio 3 Hear and Now as part of Bastard Assignments’ live set performed at Southbank Centre. This broadcast also includes a brief interview with the composer. Hear it on iPlayer until 24 October »
Fortune Favours the Brave from Bastard Assignments on Vimeo.
Photographs by Dimitri Djuric from the premiere performance at Bastard Assignments: NEW TEETH 1.