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Performance Space, City, University of London
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Concerts at City, University of London

Richard Barrett: close-up

The virtuosic Belgrade-based Ensemble Studio6 perform Richard Barrett’s major new piece close-up, scored for recorders, trumpet, accordion, harp, cello and electronics, the result of four years’ close collaboration between the ensemble and composer.

This 70-minute work comprises a cycle of smaller components (entitled tendril, codex Ia, pauk, codex XIIa, nachtfalter and šuma), that each explore a different angle on the relationship between pre-composed and spontaneous musical actions, while the electronic part explores a range of degrees of flexibility from fixed media to a completely “instrumental” approach.

While not being programmatic or illustrative, many aspects of close-up derive from a contemplation of natural and biological phenomena and, in particular, the ephemeral interventions into the natural world embodied in the sculptures of Andy Goldsworthy, conceiving musical materials as something analogous to the leaves, icicles, thorns and stones which Goldsworthy selects from the natural environment and then returns to it in such a way that the viewer sees them differently from that point on.

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