Musical Inspiration

It’s possible to draw inspiration from all quarters and when in the midst of making a new show you are particularly open to being inspired. With these high hopes Craig and I headed to the Adrian Boult Hall.

The headliner was Louis Andriessen, the fantastic Dutch composer whose piece The Republic ‘influenced’ The Hearing Of Susan Tuesday a show we made with Students years ago. We were also lured in by Michael Wolters who we are collaborating with on I See With My Eyes Closed.

It was a great evening with a host of short pieces creating in effect a sampler of contemporary composition. We enjoyed Michael’s piece Pop which performs an outrageous edit of Debussey’s La Mere and made us laugh. We loved Mumiko Miyachi’s C-12, which despite its austere program notes proved delightful. Andriessen’s Hout and Bells For Haarlem were great but the real inspiration came from his extraordinary Workers Union.

The there were interesting formal dimensions to the piece which we may be able to apply cross art form, in the same way that the phasing patterns deployed by Steve Reich once influenced us, an influence most nakedly apparent in Bleak Heart Driver, but subtly embodied in much work elsewhere. In Workers Union our understanding is that the score determines with great precision how the ensemble should mesh rhythmically whist leaving the choice of pitch much more with the players. Craig has subsequently found recordings of the piece with wildly varying instrumentation. The upshot was an extraordinarily powerful piece. We also draw inspiration from the directness and confidence of Andriessen’s compositions, their boldness and luck of fuss– he doesn’t mess around.

Whilst on the subject of musical inspiration, I’m just finishing off Julian Cope’s Japrocksampler and find myself desperate to have Tuning Out With Radio Z powered entirely by the Japanese psychadelic hard-rock bands described in that book and which I’ve never heard (though we did all troop down to an Acid Mothers Temple gig a number of years ago and that doesn’t sound far off). Don’t worry, this won’t happen, but we do currently have custody of Graeme’s CD collection and yesterday good and righteous stuff happened with a monumental slab of Popol-Vuh playing. Maybe I need to get stuck into Krautrocksampler.

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