I'm going to see this tonight:
WIRED FOR SOUND
CHRIS CUTLER, JON ROSE, ZEENA PARKINS, JOHN OSWALD & ILAN VOLKOV
GLASGOW CITY HALLS
SATURDAY 4 NOVEMBER, 7.30PM
FREE TICKETS: 0141 353 8000 (or on door)
The sight of the massed ranks of a symphony orchestra in full flow is one of the greatest in all music, but prepare yourself for one of the strangest. John Oswald's Concerto For Wired Conductor requires that the conductor wear electronic sensors that create musical sounds based on his movements. When that conductor is Ilan Volkov, expect sparks to fly.
This is just one piece in a free evening of groundbreaking music to be presented by the BBC SSO at the City Halls on Saturday 4 November as part of a recording for BBC Radio 3's new music programme Hear And Now. They are joined by Chris Culter, the legendary drummer, performer and composer with experimental rock-group Henry Cow, Jon Rose, violin prodigy turned improviser extraordinaire, Zeena Parkins, composer and pioneer of the electric harp, and Canadian composer and saxophonist, John Oswald. Collectively these musicians have collaborated, and torn down musical barriers, with the likes of Björk, Robert Wyatt, Yoko Ono, John Zorn and John Cage.
Volkov is also the soloist in the premiere of Cutler's P53-3, in which the entire BBC SSO is his ‘instrument'. Collectively, the ensemble re-imagines, transforms and ultimately sets free fragments of Wagner, Debussy and Stravinsky into new sonic worlds. Volkov‘s dual role is akin to a club DJ: the musical excerpts are discs and the orchestra the decks, where the music is mixed, fragmented, combined and transformed on a whim to create a backdrop of startling new sounds for the other soloists.
Expect harmony, exhilaration, failure, improvisation, sampling, synchronicity, dialogue, one-upmanship, clashes, beauty, musical mind-games and aural tantrums.
This is an intense new direction for Volkov and the BBC SSO and will take the entire ensemble to some surprising new places.