Musarc Winter Konsert 2018
See, We Assemble
Over the last ten years, Musarc has developed a distinct practice of re-assembling traditional choral material through a series of interventions that range from manipulating the original score, instrumentation or lyrics to broader rearrangements. These collages sometimes take in activities on the periphery of the performance space, such as cooking and eating together, and cross the lines between music and other artforms, or the stage and the space of audience.
This year, Musarc has been invited to take its Winter Konsert to London Contemporary Music Festival, where the ensemble will also perform as part of the I Contain Multitudes Programme on Saturday. For See, We Assemble Musarc is working with composers Steve Potter, Georgia Rodgers, Sylvia Lim and multi-instrumentalist Ashley Paul on re-interpreting works by Dieterich Buxtehude, Johannes Brahms and Arnold Schoenberg around a central piece that sees composer/performer Jenny Moore and the choir mash up Purcell’s See, We Assemble and Hither, This Way from King Arthur with a 1930s protest song by Florence Reece.
The palindromic programme is held together by a libretto written by Edwina Attlee in collaboration with the group’s artistic director Joseph Kohlmaier, and book-ended by a performance of Claudia Molitor and Joseph Kohlmaier’s Die Gedanken sind Frei, a piece first performed at Odrathek in May 2018 which sees the ensemble using spades and brooms to shift a ton of earth across the venue – ‘unsettling what preceded and follows it and burrowing through the performance space … Aligning purposeful actions and seemingly purposeless design, it conjures something formidable and cosmic.’ (Sam Mackay, The Wire).
Musarc’s See, We Assemble programme is a collaboration between the artists, members of the ensemble, its director of music Cathy Heller Jones and artistic director Joseph Kohlmaier.