mon 26/07/2021

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, CBSO Centre, Birmingham | reviews, news & interviews

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, CBSO Centre, Birmingham

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, CBSO Centre, Birmingham

Tokyo composer turned American has style that looks medieval but sounds modern

Oliver Knussen: A career devoted too selflessly to other people’s music
This latest BCMG concert had its pleasures; and it had its irritations. Among the pleasures was a pair of works, one of them newly commissioned, by the under-performed Japanese composer Jo Kondo. The irritations were of the BBC variety: long pauses between short works while technicians in headphones faffed around with microphones and music stands, in sovereign disregard for the convenience of a large paying audience.
This latest BCMG concert had its pleasures; and it had its irritations. Among the pleasures was a pair of works, one of them newly commissioned, by the under-performed Japanese composer Jo Kondo. The irritations were of the BBC variety: long pauses between short works while technicians in headphones faffed around with microphones and music stands, in sovereign disregard for the convenience of a large paying audience.
Kondo is the inventor of a method as individual in its way as Reich’s process music or Ligeti’s micro-polyphony

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Dear Stephen, I thought last night's BCMG concert was amazing (though I thought the Feldman dreary and gutless), and couldn't agree with you more about the self-inportant faffing of the BBC engineers. I'm sure they shifted the same microphone at least seven times, a maximum of about two inches. Unfortunately I won't have enough space to gripe about it in my Birmingham Post review. And you and I both thought of the word "hocketing" in the early Kondo piece. Best wishes, Chris Christopher Morley

Dear Stephen, It wasn't announced during the concert but the title of John Woolrich's piece is 'A little song for Jackie and Stephen'. All the best, Tim

Tim and Chris, Thanks for those helpful comments. It's nice to be agreed with (for once) and good to get extra info. Stephen

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