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Photo: Anton Lukoszevieze

Eden Lonsdale is a composer based between London and Berlin. He is fascinated by the ability of music to turn our experience of time almost into an experience of physical space, that we can wander around and explore freely. Often using very limited materials and clear architectural forms, his focused sound-worlds attempt to draw the ear into the smallest details and hope to inspire the listener’s self-guided exploration into the music’s manifold layers. 

His pieces have been broadcast on BBC’s Radio 3 "The New Music Show" and "Night Tracks" as well as Radio 6’s "The Freak Zone". In 2023 his debut album Clear and Hazy Moons was released by experimental label anothertimbre, described by Boomkat as "one of the most startling releases we’ve heard from anothertimbre in ages" and "an essential listening experience, one that demands your full attention".

Our Q&A with Eden: 

WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO ABOUT BEING PART OF THE MAGNUM OPUS PROGRAMME?
I am most excited about working with the Britten Sinfonia players and watching my music come to life through their impeccable sound. Spending time with musicians who are there to help you figure out how to make your music sound good - that is a luxury, and not one I take for granted. I am also really looking forward to getting to know the rest of the cohort and their music.

WHAT SORT OF MUSIC DO YOU LIKE TO WRITE?

My own experience of music is rarely linear, even when the composer intended it to be that way. For me, listening to music feels more like entering a parallel dimension, a multi-dimensional space that you can move round freely and go into as deeply as you like. There are endless facets to be explored and the deeper you dive into a piece, the more complex and mysterious it just seems to get. It’s these qualities and experiences that I hope to pass on in my own music, although I realise that everyone has their own way of listening.

WHO HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST MUSICAL INFLUENCE?
Bach is the reason why I got obsessed with composing. Without his music I would be doing a different job today. On a more stylistically measurable level, I have at different times been heavily influenced by composers such as Morton Feldman, Klaus Lang, Cat Lamb or Jürg Frey. The most important influences though have always been peers. Spending time with friends and just talking about music for endless hours. Sitting down together and trying to figure out how to write decent music - those are my most formative times.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU TO COMPOSE? WHY DO YOU THINK CREATING NEW MUSIC IS IMPORTANT?
My inspiration comes purely from my deep love for the craft of composing. I love everything about it, from orchestrating a chord to hand-drawing barlines, species counterpoint and structure graphs. Most of all I love the work that takes place before picking up a pen at all, of trying to imagine what the finished piece is going to be like. I think creating new music is important even if it is just to keep this care for the craft alive.

HOW DID YOU GET INTO COMPOSITION?
When I was 9, my cousin and I wanted to be rappers. We wrote lyrics and made beats, first on my grandma’s electric organ which we recorded on cassette and then in FruityLoops. I spent every weekend at his place and we recorded hundreds of tracks over the course of three years. My preferences changed quite drastically when I was 13, when I heard the Cello Suites on the radio. From that moment on I started writing classical pastiches, mostly in the style of Bach and continued that obsession for the next 4 years or so.

WHAT 3 PIECES OF MUSIC WOULD YOU CHOOSE FOR YOUR DESERT ISLAND DISC?
J.S. Bach - The Musical Offering. I will never be able to fully unpick the endless layers of complexity and mystery, so that’s an obvious choice.
C. Lamb - Divisio Spiralis. I wouldn’t want to be stranded on a desert island without pure intervals to listen to and this is two hours of the most beautiful harmony I have ever heard.
M. Feldman - For Philip Guston. Feldman is maybe my favourite music ever and there is just so much of this piece.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE SNACK?
I can’t resist roasted nuts of any kind.

Find out more about Eden on his website

Upcoming Magnum Opus concert:

Magnum Opus Composer Showcase

Magnum Opus Composer Showcase

Discover 3 new chamber concertos, written by our current Magnum Opus composers and performed by soloists Ryan Corbett (accordion), Sean Shibe (electric guitar) and Emma Smith (jazz vocals).
Book now