A spell of home refurbishments means that we have temporarily escaped the commotion and moved kit and caboodle into a neighbouring ground floor flat. Two cats used to live here, but much to Little E’s dismay, they took their cat flap with them when they moved out. For a couple of weeks now she has been trying to invite all feral creatures, great and small, passing by the patio into our new abode. With the excuse that we travel too much, I have so far been able to brush the pet-topic under the carpet.

You see, I would be more inclined to look into literature on cat coat genetics or reading about the curious particularities of whiskers, than spending time peeling cat hair off the herringbone. Of course, while H and I are busy contemplating carpet constellations, tile templates and wallpaper variants, we could also consider the design potential for matching cat coats with carpet culture.

A Napoleon, for instance, with its short legs and domed head, wouldn’t look out of place on an Aubusson-style rug. The Egyptian Mau might blend in nicely with some harlequin kitchen tiles. A little Minskin might literally disappear on a grey ash floor but give you the shock of your life when the optical illusion wears off. It would suit our Nordic style though…The dissonance of a Nebelung against a more chromatic fabric might also lift some eyebrows and make a few sky rugs quivver. But let’s leave the topic of Persian cats and carpets alone for a moment and see what else is happening this autumn:



After months of writing and planning, the cat’s out of the bag – we are recording the next French For Cartridge album! We’ll be collaborating with the terrific CHROMA Ensemble and have expanded our sound palette to include strings, woodwinds and brass for this special song cycle. Stalwart French For Cartridge mixing wizard, S. Husky Höskulds, is on standby and we’re ready to go to the studio next week. However, to make it financially possible, we are asking for your help to support the project from the outset by pre-ordering the record already now! Our Pledge Campaign has just launched and, apart from the actual music which you can pre-order on CD or as a digital download, we offer a lot of other goodies too: cooking lessons, visits to the studio and opportunities to feature your very self, one of your ancestors or maybe your own Felis Catus? A short video tells you more about the songs and I would be surprised if it doesn’t make you grin like a Cheshire cat! Here it is: . The campaign only runs for a short time so please support, share and smile with us right now!



I have just come back from performing with Quinta at the DOUBLEDOTBASH festival where we surprised unsuspecting Reading audiences with our theatrical performances. Three voices, three keyboards, waterphone, megaphone and stylophones accompany our blanched out faces and complicit expressions. Not your usual band, I dare say. Come and see us in Brighton and London in October.

21 October: The Scope at Caroline of Brunswick, Brighton.

25 October: Darkly Artful at Jamboree, London.



Patricia Freres will sing Lorem Ipsum, my piece for unaccompanied soprano voice, on the occasion of the Luxembourg presidency of the EU at the Centre Convict Salle “Rheinsheim” in Luxembourg, as part of the concerts du Foyer européen on 23rd October. I originally wrote the piece for Véronique Nosbaum in 2011 at a time when I was tired of sorting out the rights for the usage of text in music. As the text is set for voice, without the crutch of an accompanying instrument, it leaves the singer with a job for no scaredy-cat to give Lorem Ipsum back some of its original emotional content, lost since it has been used as a dummy by the typesetting industry. More information on the concert here.



I have been commissioned to write a new piece for soprano Juliet Fraser which will premier on 6th November and tour subsequently with her new program. Tea Break For Juliet, is actually a short tape piece, which features her voice in an 8-part overlaid texture. It was composed to give Juliet a break within the setting of this challenging solo program and designed to accompany, live on stage, the unfolding of a special kind of flowering tea instead.

I am collaborating with S. Husky Höskulds on the mix of the piece which should make for an interesting aural adventure! The program also features a piece by co-curator Nicholas Peters, as well as works by Scott McLaughlin, Christopher Fox and the epic Three Voices by Morton Feldman. Newton Armstrong will be assisting Juliet on electronics for this tour. Here are the dates announced so far:

6 November: The Pound, Corsham, 7.30 PM

7 November: Upavon Village Hall, 7.30PM, Box Office Tel: 01980 630628

10 November: bloc project, Sheffield

12 November: mima (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art)

14 November: Minety Village Hall 8.00 PM, Box Office Tel: 01666 861281



Customarily the moon shines brightly over the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. And so it will again! A large tam-tam will shine a light on St Paul’s Hall on Saturday 21st November at 19.30, so you’ll be able to distinguish one cat from another! Ensemble Lucilin, who premiered The Moon Moves Slowly (But It Crosses The Town) for large tam tam & ensemble at the Rainy Days Festival/Philharmonie Luxembourg in 2013, will also give the UK premiere here, alongside works by Dai Fujikura, Edwin Hillier, Manuela Meier and Mauro Lanza. HCMF always presents a fun and eclectic program of new music and handpicked performers, so it’s worth a trip up there to hang out with the cool cats!



I am delighted to take part in the Orgelbüchlein Project set up by William Whitehead to complete J. S. Bach’s Orgelbüchlein. Bach had completely planned this collection of organ chorales but left it unfinished. In fact, 118 chorale preludes out of the 164 remained unarranged. For this project, contemporary composers are being asked to fill in the gaps and complete the book. Although it might seem daunting to “collaborate” with the almighty Bach, it also provides a wonderful platform to explore one’s own musical style within a historic context.

There will be a chance to hear the world première of Wär’ Gott nicht mit uns diese Zeit, the chorale which I was given to rework, performed by William Whitehead before Christmas. At the time of writing I am still waiting to hear more details about this concert, so please do check back on my website if you are interested in attending! This commission is kindly supported by the Embassy of Luxembourg in London.



Now – if you are curious enough to hear me speak about my work, I can almost guarantee that it will not cause your death! I might occasionally put a contemporary cat amongst traditional pigeons, but that shouldn’t be lethal!

Together with composer Minna Orvokki Nygren, we will present the compositional process for our co-written piano duet on Pluto and Charon, commissioned by the Centre for Planetary Sciences UCL/Birkbeck.

First, we are invited to give an exposé to UCL staff on 1st October. Kerry Yong and Valentina Pravodelov will also perform the piece again here, which is exciting! It is really an internal event for UCL, but if you would like to attend, you can get in touch with me and I’ll see what I can do.

On the other hand you are all welcome to attend the Space Town Hall event at Hub Westminster in London on Monday 5th October from 18.30. Space Town Hall, which turns 1 this World Space Week, offers a platform for space-inspired citizens to share their curiosity and exchange information on space technology within different disciplines. Minna and I will be speaking at the event about our collaboration and the connections to astronomy. For tickets and more information, please refer here.

Furthermore, I will give a talk on my work and life as a woman composer in conversation with musicologist Danielle Roster at the Cercle Cité in Luxembourg on 29th October at 18.00. This will also be the occasion to see the first screening of Anne Schiltz’s documentary film on my work Pantomime for tenor voice, piano and three dictaphones, as well as some footage from the performances in Ouessant this summer. Entry is free and the talk will be held in Luxembourgish. More information here.



I am very pleased to have been chosen to take part in the next cycle of Nu:Nord, an international community of emerging new-music creators from Canada, Norway and the UK. I will be collaborating with Canadian percussion quartet Architek for this project and we will be touring the program next summer.



H and I still feel suitably thrilled after the first sessions with theater makers Dan Tanson and Milla Trausch earlier this month when we started devising a new play for young audiences. Following on from our French For Cartridge Kids EP, it seems only natural that we also continue catering to kids, even kitties…Look out for the première summer 2016.



After the success of my summer flashmob Bon Voyage! at the Tête-à-Tête opera festival this summer, I was asked to repeat the event as a pocket version at the King’s Cross Curious? Festival powered by the Knowledge Quarter. If anything, the photos and video (excerpts of my piece towards the end) prove that contemporary music can make you happy!



Finally, more and more of my musical scores are available to buy from my Noutefabrik Shop. The full harp catalogue has been added, with solo and massed harp pieces, as well as some piano, guitar and vocal scores. If you haven’t got room to swing a cat in your home, then I can recommend the miniature Kartenspiel for solo violin which might even fit in your violin case next to the rosin. It would for sure make a creative present under the tree for a young violinist…

There is always more than one way to skin a cat! Hopefully it will suffice to pay occasional visits to Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium where Little E will be able to indulge in feline company served with high tea, while I keep cat hair out of my soup at home. In the meantime, she has befriended a rat in our back yard. Perhaps we’ll have a reason to keep a cat after all…

‘til next time,

x Cat