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Southbank Centre's Purcell Room
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London Sinfonietta

New Traditions

London Sinfonietta travels to the future with three UK premieres and a favourite past commission. Sky Macklay’s Microvariations will lull you into a false sense of tonality before whisking you on a whistle-stop, microtonal tour of 19th Century European orchestras, “a fast-forward and transcontinental sonic truncation and fantasy on” the journey of British conductor George Thomas Smart and his tuning fork in 1825. In George Lewis’ lively Tales of the Traveller, the eponymous hero travels the limits of imagination: the piece allows a soloist total free reign to improvise against a notated ensemble part. After the interval, Katherine Balch’s “serenade to lost or wasted time” plays a soprano soloist against four hand-held cassette tape recorders to distort and fragment our memory of the piece even as it is played, while the programme is rounded off by Michel van der Aa’s latest commission for the ensemble, Shades of Red, which illustrates the different perceived properties of the colour red, alongside a soundtrack which confronts the players with their own warped and distorted soundworld.

Sky Macklay  Microvariations (UK premiere)
George Lewis  Tales of the Traveller
Katherine Balch  Waste Knot (UK premiere)
Michel van der Aa  Shades of Red (UK premiere)

Nina Guo  soprano
Jack Sheen  conductor
London Sinfonietta

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Note: due to Covid-19 this event may not be taking place in the format or venue advertised. Please confirm with the event organiser directly.