19 May 2019
6pm LSO St Lukes
Barbican Sound Unbound Festival
// Free Entry
The 12 ensemble bring new perspectives to some of their major contemporary influences from across the musical spectrum. A pulsating suite from the score to There Will be Blood by Jonny Greenwood (Radiohead) sits alongside some haunting Tavener and futuristic Prokofiev, plus the world premiere of new commission Honey Siren from exciting young British composer Oliver Leith. The ensemble also welcome Elena Tonra (Daughter/Ex:Re) for a special collaborative appearance featuring a new setting of a song taken from her latest album.
A collection of 'Visions Fugitives'
[New commission premiere]
Suite from ‘There Will Be Blood’
Ex:Re arr. Josephine Stephenson
This concert features the world premiere of the 12 ensemble's new commission from award-winning London composer Oliver Leith. A recipient of a British Composer Award and Royal Philharmonic Composition prize, Oliver's unique visceral music explores tangible themes that "try to find poetry and honesty in humanity and the everyday."
Oliver Leith is a London based composer making acoustic music, electronic music and video. His work focuses on text, image, video, theatre and tangible human themes.
Commissions have been given by groups such as London Sinfonietta, Festival Aix-en-Provence, the London Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Festival, Heidelbelberg festival, Musicon, Homo Novus/Valmiera theatre and St John Smith’s Square.
Collaborators and performers have included Apartment House, Ives Ensemble, Exaudi, Plus Minus, Philharmonia Orchestra, An Assembly, Trio Catch, GBSR Duo, Loré Lixenberg, Explore Ensemble, Matthew Herbert and John Harle.
Performances have taken place at the Royal Festival Hall, Barbican Hall, Wigmore Hall, Kings Place, Royal Opera House, Aldeburgh, Huddersfield (HCMF), LSO St Luke’s, St Martin-in-the-fields, Horniman Museum, The Forge, CNSDMP (Paris), RCM, GSMD, Milton Court, Howard Assembly Room, The Place, Handel House, Mexican Embassy (UK and Tokyo), Liszt academy (Budapest), Maison du Canada (Paris), Howard Assembly and Leeds Lieder. Visual art collaborations are exhibited at The Museum of Western Australia and recorded is music played on BBC Radio 3 and NTS radio.
Oliver was the recipient of a British Composer Award in 2016 and of the Royal Philharmonic Composition prize 2014.
Photo credit: Anton Lukoszevieze
Oliver Leith on Honey Siren;
"I was thinking about sirens; the wailing kind, not the bird women singing on rocks. They make these beautiful, huge oblong sweeping glissandi between high and low, like a machine crying. They usually signal something ominous; these sirens do not. They are honeyed, dripping in globules of sweetness, golden and moving between solid and fluid. Like a smiling alarm."
Elena Tonra, guitarist, vocalist and lyricist of Daughter, has assumed the pseudonym Ex:Re for her eponymously-titled debut solo album, a deeply personal record that was made with both a sense of urgency and a cathartic need.
“Although the record is written for someone, a lot of the time it’s about the space without that person in it. In every scenario, there's either the person in memory or the noticeable absence of that person in the present moment. I suppose it is a break-up record, however I do not talk about the relationship at all, and he hardly features in the scenes. He is only felt as a ghostly presence.”
For this special performance, composer Josephine Stephenson arranges the song 'My heart' for voice and string orchestra.
Josephine Stephenson is a Franco-British composer, arranger and performer based in London. Described as ‘music to arrest the ears and stop the heart’ by The Times, her music has been commissioned by institutions such as the BBC, Radio France, Wigmore Hall, Bristol Old Vic, Spitalfields Music, Nonclassical and Arcal. Performers of her work include the London Sinfonietta, Sinfonia Viva, Miroirs Étendus, The Hermes Experiment, Explore Ensemble, the Van Kuijk Quartet, guitarist Laura Snowden, gambist Liam Byrne, violinists Eloisa-Fleur Thom and Fiona Monbet, and the Maîtrise de Radio France. She enjoys collaborating with film and theatre makers (FellSwoop, L’Éventuel Hérisson Bleu) as well as songwriters and bands (Daughter, Evergreen), and is a regular arranger for projects from the Berlin-based ensemble stargaze (David Bowie Prom 2016, concerts with Lisa Hannigan 2018-19). She is also, alongside composers Freya Waley-Cohen and William Marsey, artistic director of the London-based concert series and record label Listenpony, which puts on events mixing contemporary classical music with older classical music and popular genres.