St Bartholomew the Great
London EC1A 7HW
Full price £15.00
Advance bookings only
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Sound installation and bar open 7.00pm
Programme starts 7.30pm
Bar open after concert
Doors close 10.30pm
On 16 December 2011, Musarc will be returning to St Bartholomew the Great with an ambitious programme of improvisation, instrumental and choral performances, a sound installation, and an exhibition of photographs by Yiannis Katsaris.
[1.] Musarc’s third visit to one of London’s oldest, most beautiful churches and great acoustic spaces will open again with an installation on the theme of sound and light: an ensemble of standing wave flame tubes, or ‘Reubens’ tubes’, created by designers/artists Yuri Suzuki and Mathew Kneebone.
[2.] The first part of the programme features a rare performance of Piere Boulez’s Dialogue de l’ombre double (1982–85) for solo clarinet and electronics. The pioneering piece, which was composed exploring the technical resources at IRCAM, is inspired by a scene in Paul Claudel’s drama Soulier de satin (1943) and sets a live clarinet in dialogue with its ‘shadow’ using pre-recorded sound, live electronics and spatialisation through loudspeakers that surround the audience. The clarinet will be played by Kazia Smith, one of the ensemble’s altos who is a professional musician and teacher, and a member of Tambourin Trio who performed with Musarc at St Bartholomews in 2009 and 2010. The electronic part of the piece was re-interpreted and developed for Musarc’s concert by composer and sound artist Ev Buckley (electronics).
[3.] In 2010, Musarc was paired with composer Jessica Curry as part of Making Music, Sound and Music and the PRS Foundation’s Adopt a composer scheme 2010/11. The result of our collaboration with the composer is a new work for choir and electronics based on dreams Jessica collected from the ensemble and will be premièred at the concert. The performance will be recorded by BBC Radio 3.
[4.] Jazz and improv trombonist Alan Tomlinson will be performing Three pieces for alto trombone by Michael Parsons and Solo for sliding trombone by John Cage, as well as improvising on a trombone made of glass by artist and ensemble member Kate Williams. Photographs of Alan with Kate’s glass trombone taken by Yiannis Katsaris earlier in November at the Barbican can be seen in one of our homepage galleries.
[5.] The choir will be singing four versions of Es ist ein Ros entsprungen, an ancient carol from the 16th century: the original which was first transcribed by Michael Praetorius (early 17c); a version from Hugo Distler’s Die Weihnachtsgeschichte (1934; Distler is pictured above); a recent arrangement of the song by Swedish composer Jan Sandström (1984); and a brand new arrangement commissioned by Musarc from composer Daniel Basford, Lo, how a rose for double choir, desk-chimes, handbells and electronics.
[7.] The concert will end with a performance of the ‘Troika’ (sleigh ride) fom Sergei Prokovief, Lieutenant Kije (1934), arranged for the Ealing Feeder, a robotic carillon created by Sarah Angliss
Jessica Curry first introduced us to photographer Yiannis Katsaris when we started our collaboration for the Adopt a composer scheme in late 2010. Since then, Yiannis has has become the choir’s resident photographer and regularly documents the ensemble’s work and performances. One of the projects that emerged from this collaboration is a series of captivating portraits taken during rehearsals that explore the facial expression of singers. There is a strong link between these images and the ‘libretto of dreams’ at the heart of Jessica’s new work for the ensemble.
Prints of the portraits will be available for sale during the concert. Proceeds from the sale go towards Musarc’s programme of commissions and teaching projects. A selection of these portraits can be previewed on our homepage.
The audience will be able to join in singing carols. The concert will end approximately at 9.15pm. After the performance, you will be able to experience more of Mathew Kneebone and Yuri Suzuki’s sound installation and the bar will remain open until doors close at 10.30.
Musarc is a not-for-profit organisation and entirely self-funded. We would like to express our gratitude to the many musicians, artists and composers who make performances like this possible by giving their time to the ensemble, often for free. We are especially indebted to the Faculty of Architecture and Spatial Design, LondonMet, which is Musarc’s home; and the parish of St Bartholomew the Great for their support in hosting our concert.