The Orrery. Musarc at London Contemporary Music Festival, 7 December 2019
1 Oct — 10 Dec 2019
School of Art, Architecture and Design, LondonMet
Saturday 7 Dec 2019, 7pm
London Contemporary Music Festival
The Orrery: Musarc at LCMF 2019. Photos by Yiannis Katsaris and Dawid Laskowski
Musarc’s inception in an architecture school more than ten years ago begins with a fall: the immediate expulsion from the humanist paradise of ordered rhythm, harmony and proportion in favour of Baroque messiness: the convoluted revolutions of civic bodies, walking minerals mopping up the debris of social life in the city. These are the origins of the choir’s collagist tactics, its flux, its joint incantations, the reason for its tendency towards the Gesamtkunstwerk – and everything forever at once, in forever changing constellations conjuring new interpretations, raw and cooked ingredients stirring in steaming cauldron: what is the choir thinking?
The Orrery – Musarc’s Winter Konsert at London Contemporary Music Festival – is a little apparatus, a looking-glass and reading machine that aligns and orders the choir’s semantic universe and exposes its machinations. Conceived by artist and founding member of the choir Sam Belinfante, the evening entwines the choir and the audience on a common stage and alternates between determinacy and serendipity, constructed around Musarc’s trademark methodology of juxtaposing new and existing works from within and around the periphery of music and its histories.
The first UK performance of Fritz Hauser’s Schraffur (2009–present) with its collective solitudes of compulsive, percussive sonic rubbing and hatching sets the tone. The evening revolves around a performance of Jennifer Walshe’s 30-minute long politico-pataphysical assemblage The White Noisery (2013) for choir and tape, and the snow-muffled post-war harmonies of Francis Poulenc’s Un soir de neige (1944). A rendition of Györgi Ligeti’s Poème Symphonique for 100 metronomes and new commissions by Lina Lapelyte and Joseph Kohlmaier test the choreographic and cartographic possibilities of the choral machine.
Musarc’s The Orrery is a collaboration between Sam Belinfante, the artists, members of the ensemble, the choir’s director of music Cathy Heller Jones and artistic director Joseph Kohlmaier.
The Orrery, video teaser by Joseph Kohlmaier
The Orrery – LCMF Programme