Martin Iddon was born in Manchester in 1975. He studied composition and musicology at the Universities of Cambridge and Durham and studied composition privately with Steve Martland, Chaya Czernowin, and Steven Kazuo Takasugi.
His music is performed across the world, most particularly in New York, Southern California, Germany, and Austria. Recent performances include ones at the Zentrum für Kunst und Medien (Karlsruhe, Germany), Kings Place (London, UK), the DiMenna Center (New York City, USA), the Uzerche Music Festival (Uzerche, France), the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (Huddersfield, UK), and the MATA Festival (New York City, USA) by Ensemble SurPlus, Distractfold, ekmeles, the Kairos Quartett, Heather Roche, Eva Zöllner, Rei Nakamura and others. A portrait CD, pneuma, was released in 2014 on Another Timbre, regarded by Richard Pinnell as “slow, quiet and brooding, almost menacingly so […] a fascinating album”, by Julien Héraud as “beautiful, innovative, intelligent, personal and rich”, and by Kurt Gottschalk as “simply—and complexly—wonderful”. His music is published by Composers Edition.
Ampelos, for voice and pre-recorded voices, is an extension of my earlier vocal quintet, hamadryads, and, like that earlier piece, makes use in the generation of its pitch material of Josquin’s Déploration on the death of Johannes Ockeghem, Nymphes des bois. It follows Karya (2011) for Disklavier, Syke (2013) for marimba and accordion, Balanos (2013) for organ and fixed media, Ptelea (2014) for bass clarinet, and Morea (2014) for violoncello in a series of pieces taking Josquin’s lament as a starting point, each based on a particular ‘reading’ of the source text and taking the title of one of the eight types of hamadryad named in the Greek mythological tradition. As well as being the names of the hamadryade bonded to vines, Ampelos was also the name of a satyr beloved of Dionysius. On his death, Dionysius transformed the youth into the vine, making wine from his blood.
Ampelos was written for Jeffrey Gavett and lasts a little over twelve minutes.