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An assembly Tour: D’Heudieres, Hill, Usher (Birmingham)

An assembly are a group dedicated to contemporary and experimental music, installation, and performance.

Throughout Louis D’Heudieres’ ‘Laughter Studies 6b’, four vocalists stand downstage from a small instrumental quintet, describing and imitating their own private soundtracks of synthesised tunes and field recordings, transmitted to them via earphones in a surreal and hysterical collision of subjectivities accompanied by angular melodies and midi-drum solos.

Award winning visual artist Rowland Hill continues this process of interpreting found material in a new film and performance commissioned by An assembly. Created as a response to Edwin Denby’s 1959 review of Stravinsky’s final ballet ‘Agon’, Hill uses Denby’s review and its relentless metaphors, references and precise visual shocks as a script for a new work, taking the linguistic articulation of a dance and returning it to a choreographed state through film, live performance and sound.

These three concerts will culminate in the world premiere of ‘An assembly’ by Brussels-based composer Charlie Usher, a 45-minute meditation on listening, hearing, and duration for large ensemble and audio. A constant wave of 14-second miniatures, ‘An assembly’ invites us to eavesdrop on real-time transcriptions of music Usher listened to while writing, and as the piece folds into itself, and unfolds away from us, we trace this vast new work into our evening.

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