Mira Calix on British New Music and Beloved Friends

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The music of Mira Calix marries contemporary classical music with installation art, modern electronics and field recordings. At this fall's Sacrum Profanum festival in Krakow, the London Sinfonietta performed her music with a tank of insects, sampled and manipulated in real time. Her recent collaboration with artist Conrad Shawcross pairs a soprano and a robot. In January, her new multimedia installation "Inside There Falls" opens in Sidney, Australia. Calix has released five albums on Warp Records.

Mira Calix writes the following of her Mixtape:

If I were to give this mixtape a name, I’d probably borrow Tansy Davies’ Beloved Friend as a title, for a majority of these pieces are the creations of composers I feel lucky to call friends. This isn’t, however, an exercise in nepotism, but rather one in showcasing what I believe to be some of the best in British 21st Century classical music.

When I was asked to put together the show, I really wanted to highlight the work of my contemporaries, people I get to perform, hang out and talk shop with. There is plenty going on this side of the pond, with concerts in carparks, old powerstations, clubs and concerthalls alike. We are fortunately spoiled for choice.

There is one stray Fin in the mix, but I couldn’t exclude her on nationalistic grounds. Kaaija Saariaho is one of my favorite composers, and Sept Papillions, probably my most dearest pieces of music, something i haven’t stopped listening to since being introduced to her by my regular collaborator, cellist Oliver Coates. So for this mixtape, I’m granting her temporary residency and hope that you enjoy my very personal British invasion.


Edmund Finnis – Brother
Kaija Saariaho – Sept Pappilions: I - dolce leggiere libero
Oliver Coates – Cello & Autoharps
Tarik O’Regan – Virelai: Douce dame jolie
Mica Levi – Lonely Void
Anna Meredith – Heal You
Larry Goves – Trends in Personal Relationships: I. Threesome
Thomas Ades – January Writ
Avril Anderson – A Story Untold
Jonathan Harvey – Timepiece II
Oliver Knussen – Violin Concerto Op 30: II. Aria
Jonny Greenwood – Able-Bodied Seamen
Emily Hall – Eternity
Edmund Finnis – Sister
Sir Harrison Birtwhistle – Lullaby
Alexander Goehr – only two notes for olly (the other five for later)
Tansy Davies – Beloved Friend
David Sewer – Riddle
Gerald Barry – You Are My Delight

Soprano Charmian Bedford performs Mira Calix's "If Then While For" with a robot by Conrad Shawcross in October 2014.