Arts collide

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I’m always a fan of anything related to Brighton Early Music Festival (BREMF) – they always seek to programme events in a highly ‘un-early-music’ way – not a wool shirt in sight.
Last year’s festival was a treat. A highlight for me was arguably one of the more low key performances; the pairing of guitarist Johan Löfving and flautist Yu-Wei Hu – Flauguissimo Duo.

Knowing something of the challenges of delivering a compelling and engaging duo performance, I feel I can conclude that these guys are the real deal.

Hearing news of the pair’s return to Brighton was welcome and to learn that they’ll be performing more of the 19th century gems that so impressed me on first hearing heralds another aural and visual delight. The performance space for this concert should bring a new dimension to the showcase too; this time Fabrica, on Brighton’s Duke’s Street, is the host.

The former church turned visual arts space is the scene of a bevy of unique arts projects and stages a number of BREMF artists’ concerts over the summer months, including a lunchtime recital of Renaissance polyphonic vocal music by Byrd, Tallis and Gesuals (this the 400th anniversary of his death); performed by a 20-strong vocal consort, directed by BREMF’s Deborah Roberts.

Sandwiched between the classical music recitals is an installation that Fabrica is probably more renowned for hosting – Resonator, a new commission by Susie MacMurray.
Running until 26 August the new work by the classical musician-turned-sculptor showcases thousands of musical manuscripts suspended from the ceiling of the space, to create what she calls a ‘fragile landscape that resonates with the history of the building’.

The manuscripts are assembled from sources such as hymns and other sacred works, choral pieces, chamber music, jazz and popular music; all designed to unite many musical genres within a ‘shared emotional experience’.

The link with BREMF was the original hook but I’ve certainly been enticed by the range of artistic performance on offer; and while I’m yearning for more 19th century pot pourri jewels, I’m intrigued enough by Resonator to step outside the comfort zone and experience MacMurray’s creation for myself.

Finally, for a Fluxus inspired fest, there are few better than Transylvanian-born György Ligeti’s Poème Symphonique (even though the piece marked the end of his experiment with the form), which will be performed at Fabrica on 24 July by members of MOOT (Music of our Time).

Definitely worth a try if ‘modern’ classical music isn’t usually your thing but you want to sample a work that truly divided opinion in its day.

About the Author
Tom is a copywriter, publicist and PR professional at Speedmediaone

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