sat 30/05/2015

Minimalism

Dark Arteries, Rambert, Sadler's Wells

After the disappointment of Wayne McGregor’s latest piece for the Royal Ballet, which opened on Monday, I thought last night’s trip to Sadler’s Wells for a new Rambert programme might cheer me up about the state of contemporary dance and composition...

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Exit

Taiwanese director Chienn Hsiang has given his lead actress Chen Shiang-chyi a role of rare complexity in Exit, and she dominates this bleakly naturalistic slice-of-life film completely. Chen’s character, Ling, is a seamstress approaching middle age...

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Jo Baer, Camden Arts Centre

At 86, Jo Baer is still painting vigorously. In the mid 1960s, she was an established New York Minimalist along with artists like Carl Andre and Sol Lewitt; but while they continued to explore abstraction, she changed tack – dramatically, or so it...

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Orpen, Françoise-Green Piano Duo, Aurora Orchestra, Kings Place

Teetering on the edge of a Steve Reich weekend, Friday’s concert in the Minimalism Unwrapped series at Kings Place gave us a very mixed grill called “Pulses: Steve Reich and his Influences”. In the process it didn’t offer all that much of the...

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In C, London Sinfonietta, Kings Place

There’s nothing like Terry Riley’s In C to reawaken a past epoch. Of variable length, built from 53 melodic fragments, this minimalist construct of 1964 was almost designed to be performed and experienced lying on cushions in a marijuana haze –...

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Just in From Scandinavia: Nordic Music Round-Up 12

The voice is unmistakably Icelandic. Fluting and dancing around the notes, the words it carries are broken into segments which don’t respect syllables. Although singing in English, Hildur Kristín Stefánsdóttir hasn’t sacrificed her Icelandic...

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CD: Kiasmos

As vaporous as the haze on its cover, the sound of Kiasmos resonates like clouds sweeping across low mountain peaks, intermittently breaking into a storm or opening to reveal wan sunlight. Although firmly within the boundaries of electronica, the...

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Glenn Ligon: Call and Response, Camden Arts Centre

“I was a nigger for twenty-three years. I gave that shit up. No room for advancement.” This astute joke, by American comedian Richard Pryor, is stencilled in black capitals on the gold ground of a painting by Glenn Ligon.I’ve long admired the work...

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The Trial, Music Theatre Wales, Linbury Studio Theatre

According to the programme essay, Philip Glass describes his latest opera as “serious, but also hilariously funny”. All I can say is, if The Trial is his idea of thigh-slapping hilarity then never, ever let him pick the movie on a night out. Whether...

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CD: Aisha Orazbayeva - The Hand Gallery

It seems that the gradual leakage of avant-garde-post-classical-call-it-what-you-will music from the rarefied environment of concert halls and into the spaces traditionally inhabited by alternative and club music is now inexorable. And violinist...

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Reissue CDs Weekly: I am the Center, Haiku Salut

Various Artists: I am the Center – Private Issue New Age Music in America, 1950–1990A landmark reissue either retells a familiar story in a new way or tells an unfamiliar story in a way that fascinates. In both cases, the annotation, packaging,...

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CD: Nils Frahm – Spaces

Although most readily pigeonholed as a minimalist pianist whose compositions are as much about the space between the notes as what he actually plays, Germany's Nils Frahm has also worked with the Juno synthesiser and released pieces which edge...

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