Politics of the Imagination: Anselm McDonnell
With influences from dubstep to Balkan rhythms, and featuring rappers from Birmingham’s hip-hop scene – composer Anselm McDonnell brings together three short musical sets exploring themes of playfulness, imagination and politics.
Set 1: Cross-Purposes takes snippets from public figures apologising for breaking their own pandemic regulations and turns them into rhythmic grooves, accompanied by a sarcastic commentary from clarinet and cello. Vez draws us into a world of fast-paced Balkan rhythms and Arachnid unveils an unstable, skittering groove from long, undulating gestures.
Set 2: Black Arrow uses electronics to manipulate music from the bass clarinet into new shapes, and PADDY builds layers of ostinatos into complex patterns.
Set 3: McDonnell’s new piece for clarinet, cello, percussion, sampler and rap artists questions: How can imagination and playfulness inform our politics? What if our solutions to problems were more creative, bizarre or ridiculous?