ELISION on the radio

Quick! For the next few days (until Saturday), you can listen to BBC Radio 3’s broadcast of ELISION’s appearance at the City of London Festival on July 15th. I was at the concert, and this broadcast was a very welcome chance to listen to it again, many times over.

The program order, and also the order of the broadcast, is:

Michael Finnissy: Aijal
Liza Lim: Invisibility
David Lumsdaine: Kangaroo Hunt
John Rodgers: Amor (from Inferno)
Percy Grainger: Random Round

Richard Craig, flute
Peter Veale, oboe
Peter Neville, percussion
Kerry Yong, piano
Séverine Ballon, cello

The first hour of the broadcast includes a conversation with Daryl Buckley. At the concert, the biggest surprises for me were the Rodgers and Grainger pieces. John Rodgers’ Amor involved wildly imaginative articulations and interactions, including, most theatrically and very effectively, the flute and oboe playing into one another in a progressively deepening V. Fortunately there is another ELISION video of Amor available on YouTube (this time with flutist Paula Francis).

The ensemble brought a strange, beautiful, and untamed sound world to Percy Grainger’s Random Round. In their hands, it sounded as if it had been written in 2011, rather than 1915. The total freshness of this listening experience do great credit to the imaginations of the performers, as well as the composer. I’ve heard and written about Liza Lim’s Invisibility before. This was the first time that Séverine Ballon performed it by memory, and it had a different quality of performance. It is wonderful to have a chance to hear the transformations that the piece allows, and even invites, from one performance to the next.

The second hour includes discussions by Julian Day (of “New Music Up Late with Julian Day”) with two Australian composers, Newton Armstrong and John Chantler, who also discusses Café OTO, a key new music venue in London. The program closes with Finnissy’s Red Earth.


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