Performance with The Shirley Thompson Ensemble, with Shirley Thompson conducting and musical director. Other relevant details: 'Summer Notes’ is part of an ongoing collaboration with South Bank venues (since 1995). The Shirley Thompson Ensemble has developed an eclectic performing repertoire through performances with mixed modes of delivery, with premières of new works interspersed with contemporary orchestrations and popular music inflections, and dancing and rapping mingling with chamber ensemble orchestration and classical vocal writing.
The 2003 concert comprised Thompson as conductor and arranger. The aim was to bring together elements more usually associated with commercial music styles (especially rock and reggae) to the classical showpiece venues including the Purcell Room. The hyperexplicating choreography for solo dancer in each half of the programme reflects the instrumentation and melodic contour of the music as choragus to a narrative of human geography, rather than of chronology. Scoring for a mixed ensemble of this kind poses several compositional and logistical challenges. Thompson devised some innovative pre-recording rehearsal strategies in order to integrate the performance praxis of musicians from both classical and commercial traditions, and to emphasise their equal status, whether privy to processes of the interpretation of notation or of the improvisatory spirit within freestyle rapping and in kit drum playing. This incorporation of classical and commercial elements emphasises musical and cultural common ground, and thus transcends the often ignoble and tokenistic tradition of classical-rock fusion through its post-modern musical and cultural egalitarianism. The performance was reviewed in Time Out (June 2003).
|Date||28 Jun 2003|
|Completed||28 Jun 2003|