Wolfe: Adventures in Sound
with the BBC Concert Orchestra
Thursday 11 October 2012, 7.30pm
Queen Elizabeth Hall (Southbank Centre), Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XX
BBC Concert Orchestra
Colin Currie percussion
Keith Lockhart conductor
Red Hot Chilli Pipers
Cruel Sister / Tell Me Everything / LAD / riSE and fLY
Free your ears with a night of hyper-driven soundscapes and blow your mind!
Julia Wolfe’s music draws influence from disparate sources, from Led Zeppelin to Beethoven to American folk – simultaneously tearing down the walls between them. The Bang on a Can founder pushes performers and audiences to extremes and is today regarded as one of New York’s most acclaimed composers.
Cruel Sister. It’s noir. It’s haunting. The ‘harp gone mad’. Inspired by an old English ballad first heard on an album of the same name by British folk-rock group Pentangle, Wolfe depicts the story. And boy what a story it is: a tale of greed and jealously, sibling rivalry and murder. Steeped in post-Minimalist style, hypnotic patters and frenzied chords, Wolfe’s Cruel Sister is a nod to Steve Reich Different Trains, but on different tracks: crossed with Bernard Hermann in a Psycho twist.
Tell Me Everything. Everyone plays in their own time but plays together in a kind of off-beat samba — like several joyfully unwieldy village bands. In LAD, Wolfe creates a kaleidoscopic landscape for nine bagpipes. The drones and drawn-out glissandos build into a mind-numbing climax of such shocking proportions that it sounds like the cries of 1,000 birds. Not for the faint hearted.
The ultimate sound spectacle of the night is the world premiere of Wolfe’s riSE and fLY featuring the trailblazing percussionist Colin Currie. Wolfe brings ‘the street’ into the orchestra with body percussion, chain gang tunes and a battery of street percussion, in a dramatically rhythmic and emotional work.
Part of Ether: Southbank Centre’s festival of innovation, art, technology and cross-arts experimentation.
How to get there
- Waterloo (Bakerloo, Northern, Jubilee and Waterloo and City lines). Embankment (Circle and District lines).