For fans of the muchos we have muchos, muchos on the horizon.
First up: muchos guitars (unless guitars of feminine in which case we have muchas guitars on our hands). On Sunday 7th Frontiers Festival and Capsule combine forces to bring Rhys Chatham‘s A Secret Rose for 100 Guitars to the Town Hall. It should be pretty special for those of us who are fans of minimalist music (I’ve got both hands up here). Now being the rhythm section for a band of 100 guitars must be pretty intimidating but a glance at the publicity reveals two of Stan’s favourites are in harness together: on drums Laurence Hunt (Modified Toy Orchestra AND Pram) and on bass Sebastiano Dessanay (last seen keeping muchos recorders in check in our mini-opera The Voyage) – smokin’.
Second up, on the following day: muchos voices. 1000 strong choir gather (twice) at Millennium point for the WORLD PREMIERE and SECOND EVER performance of David Lang’s Crowd Out.
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group have been talking about this piece for years and now it is finally commissioned, happening and, in a very small way, we have our hands on some of the leavers, having been asked to keep an eye on ‘choreography’.
On Monday the brave Notorious choir in Kings Heath agreed to be guinea pigs for our choreographic ideas. We’ve never done anything very much like this but there seem like some basic principles to be observed:
– remember it’s about the music not the visuals.
– keep it simple.
– don’t do much.
– 1000 people doing anything is going to be strong.
– 1000 people doing anything too regimented is going to look like a Nuremberg Rally, so avoid that.
With the choir’s indulgence we tried the ideas out, we tweaked some, we committed them to paper and handed them over to be distributed to the remaining 49 choirs in the performance.