Saturday night Max and I attended the Warp Symphony at the Royal Festival Hall...
The program describes it as this:
"This evening will see the coming together of two different musical worlds which have much in common. Artists from the Warp label have been strongly influenced by the sonic experiments of avant-garde composters such as Ligeti, Stockhausen, Ives, Nancarrow and Cage. The London Sinfonietta, the UK's leading contemporary music ensemble, has long admired Warp artists, and has nursed the ambition to work with their music. Thanks to the Royal Festival Hall's Ether Festival, this event's concert brings together the London Sinfonietta and Warp not, we hope, in a forced marriage, but in an event where all this exciting music is allowed to be itself."
It was a one night only performance and I didn't know what to expect, I only knew that I love Warp Records and that the premise sounded interesting. The Purcell Room was completely packed (all 6 levels of it, but we were in the 6th row and had a great view) and from what the man who gave the introduction said the ticket sales far exceeded expectations. The audience was obviously packed full of Warp records fans and they applauded enthusastically whenever a Warp piece was performed. As said at the start of the show: only in London.
My overall opinion was good, although I have to admit that I enjoyed the transcripted Warp artist pieces and videos more than most of the avant-garde composer pieces. I especially could have done with a lot more Boards of Canada because I think their music transcripted into instrumental the best. When we left we noticed a BBC Radio 3 van outside so a recording of it may show up on their site eventually.
About each piece performed:
Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes realised by Sound Intermedia, Flat-e and Bluespoon
- This was playing as everyone found their way to their seats and the title is pretty self-explanatory. The metronomes' shadows were projected onto the screen above the stage.
CONLON NANCARROW arr YVAR MIKHASHOFF
Study No 7 for player piano
Sonatas 1 & 2 from Sonatas & Interludes for prepared piano
BOARDS OF CANADA arr DAVID HORNE
Pete standing alone: Disintegrations 2 (from Music Has the Right to Children) world premiere of new transcription
- I'm very familiar with BOC, so this was a pleasure. One of my favorite pieces of the evening.
Sonatas 5 & 6 from Sonatas & Interludes for prepared piano
MIRA CALIX arr SOUND INTERMEDIA
Nunu world premier version with instruments
Description: Nunu is a piece composed exclusively using recordings of insect noises; from wasps, flies, larvae hatching, butterflies beating etc. Mira Calix performed this in person.
- Wow! I thought this was beautiful, both the music and the visuals. Live insects were in a container on the stage with a video camera trained on them.
APHEX TWIN arr DAVID HORNE
afx237 v.7: Disintegration No 3 (from Drukqs) world premiere of new transcription
- I'm a huge afx fan, so I really enjoyed this.
Spiral saxophones + short wave receiver
- This was my favorite piece of the evening (Max's also). Haunting.
Monkey Drummer. Chris Cunningham. video
- I saw this video awhile ago, but it was good to see it on a big screen. It generated a big applause.
Perpendicular / vector. Markus Wambsganss. Music by Anti Pop Consortium. video
- Great film noir feel.
Little Numba. Daniele Lunghini. Mira Calix. video
- Liked the animation style and concept.
Blink! Simo Rouhiainen
- Epileptics beware.
Gob Coitus. Lynn Fox. Music by Chris Clark. video
- Bee boy!
New Family. Bob. Music by Plaid. video
- One of my favorite videos of the eve, yay Plaid.
Simone. Pleix Collective. video
- Another fav.
Gantz Graf. Alex Rutterford. Music by Autechre. video
- mmm Autechre. Intense. Big applause.
The Unanswered Question
Sonata 12 from Sonatas & Interludes for prepared piano
- I could have done without all 21 minutes of this.
SQUAREPUSHER arr MORGAN HAYES
Port Rhombus (from Port Rhombus EP) world premiere of new transcription
- Yay Squarepusher! Loved it.
SQUAREPUSHER arr DAVID HORNE
The Tide: Disintegrations 1 (from Budakhan Mindphone) world premiere of new transcription
(Mira Calix is the woman in the centre wearing a blue shirt).
There was an after party with a guest dj, but we didn't stick around long because we had to catch the last train home.
I'm kind of surprised at the choice of 'classical' pieces. Maybe that's because, personally, I've never liked any of the Ives / Nancarrow / Cage stuff I've heard. But I would have thought that artists like Riley, Reich and Glass would be a much better fit with highly rhythmic, arpeggio-driven techno. I dig Ligeti, though I haven't heard the piece that was played, but I think he'd match better against ambient/drone artists like Amp or Stars Of The Lid.
Still, I wish I'd been there :-)
While I respect the concept behind their pieces I have to admit that I'm not a huge fan of those composers either. I think the concert as a whole could have arranged slightly better, but that's probably just my personal opinion.
I haven't been able to get into Ligeti, perhaps I've just heard the wrong pieces. Is there anything in particular of his that you would reccommend?
did you die and go to heaven? wow what a show - in fact - it looks like one of my radio shows :). i play Stockhausen's Spiral a lot but my copy is flute and short wave receiver. maybe i will dig it out and play it tonight! if you ever find anything more about this let me know :)
p.s. i'm glad you don't use lj-cut - bravo for filling up my friends page with this great entry !
I wish I could point to an audio recording of it, I'm hoping one will surface eventually.
I knew I had heard Spiral before, but I don't know if I've heard it with flute. Please let me know if you play it, I'd love to hear it.
re: lj-cut.. I was almost expecting someone to ask me to cut it, I'm glad no one did. The photos are all relatively small, the only extra effort required is a little scrolling. I didn't think that was too much to impose on anyone. :)
wow! that autechre video must've been quite something on a big screen with the music coming out of a big sound system... it totally blows my mind just watching on my pc even though it can't quite keep up with the 200mb divx dvd rip i have of it.
Hi you are listed as a member of photochallenge but you haven't posted before so I thought I would message you and let you know that some changes are taking place on the community. Due to the ammount of members we are having to basically keep on the ones that post on a regular basis. If you are planning to post very soon (as in the next couple of weeks) then let me know and I will keep you on the list, we want the list to be only of people who post often. Otherwise on next Friday if I haven't heard from you I will take you off the list.
This does not mean that you can't watch the community if you prefer and vote on the competition winners. Anyone is welcome to do that and if at any point you feel you want to post again then you will be welcome to do so by emailing me and I will add you back.
PS. Forgot to mention, I am also very jealous. I remember many, many excellent concerts at the South Bank centre (I used to go there regularly about 7 or 8 years ago), and this sounds to have been up there with the best of them, if not better.