Saturday, August 30 at 7 pm, tune in for episode five of Q2 Music at the Proms, featuring the world premiere of Benedict Mason's Meld, as recorded live at London's Royal Albert Hall by the Aurora Orchestra and the Chantage vocal ensemble.
Mason is notorious for confounding expectations with highly experimental works, and offered little explanation to the concept behind the BBC Proms commission. Rather, he insists that Meld be heard without any preconceptions and with a completely open mind. The piece opens with unseen performers passing figures back and forth while moving around high in the gallery of the hall.
Members of Chantage chatter, shout and emulate animal sounds amidst punctuations of brass, electronic clicks, found-sound percussion and muted string pizzicati. The music balances on the edge of experimental theatre and requires performers to move among the audience, stamp their feet and utilize the full sonic spectrum of the hall.
The evening also includes a performance of Bulgarian-born British composer Dobrinka Tabakova's Spinning a Yarn. The emotive, folk-colored work pairs solo violinist Alexandra Wood with Stevie Wishart on the hurdy-gurdy.
Dobrinka Tabakova – Spinning a Yarn
Benedict Mason – Meld