In Dreams and Shadows
Explore Ensemble celebrates the music of Kaija Saariaho and Rebecca Saunders in a double portrait concert complimented by a recent work of Joanna Bailie. Joined by the renowned soprano Juliet Fraser, Explore give the UK premiere of Saunders’ duo ‘O Yes & I’, which sets texts from Molly Bloom’s stream of consciousness monologue that closes James Joyce’s Ulysses, sharply contrasted by Saunders’ beguiling piano work Shadow.
Saariaho’s ‘Je sens un deuxième coeur’ (I feel a second heart) escapes to a dreamlike world. Heating up the programme is Saariaho’s ebullient flute and electronics work, ‘NoaNoa’. More surreal is Bailie’s ensemble and electronics work ‘Artificial Environments Nos. 1-5’, in which the ensemble wander through sonically transformed field recordings of frozen and stretched church bells, speech and street noises, taken from walks around several international cities. Closing the concert is the UK premiere of Saariaho’s ‘Figura’ – a dazzling chamber music version of her renowned clarinet concerto D’Om le Vrai Sens, which sees soloist Benjamin Mellefont in dialogue with the ensemble, together evoking the medieval theories of sensuality.