Friday, 24 December 2010


Here's some tasty bites from the recent Electronica Concert held at London, Southbank's Queen Elizabeth Hall.

The BBC Concert Orchestra along with an electronic ensemble made up of Moogs, Korgs, Rolands, ondes Martenots and theremins performed all manner of electronica from past and present, including a truly magnificent performance of Bernard Hermann's score for the 1951 movie The Day the Earth Stood Still.
Gort is readily envisaged: pounding the city streets; the theremin, used to exhilarating effect, creating a creepy yet truly cosmic unworldliness.
Quite brilliant.

The concert was keenly MC'd by electronica enthusiast Jarvis Cocker; his preambles, some of which I have included, explain and inform much of the music played.

His discussion with composer and performer Will Gregory (Goldfrapp) is hilarious: you can hear their anoraks rubbing together.

Following the film music, is a performance of Johnny Greenwood's (Radiohead) ever so dissonant but totally compelling smear; the strings and synths really tear and shred the air and space.
Yeah, compelling.

The downbeat smear is followed by an uplifting premier performance of Will Gregory's Journeys Into the Sky, a work still in progress, not that you'd know it from what is heard: it all seems very tight, the electronica marrying-up with the orchestra in homogeneous and harmonious splendour.

The gig ends with a rousing rendition of Kraftwerk's The Model, arranged by Art of Noise founder and Oscar winning composer Anne Dudley.
You really get the sense that the musicians are having a great time, recognising that the music they are playing is one of the reasons they are performing: anyone interested in electronic music must surely fall at the feet of the Teutonic maestros.

So, if you want to get yourself a last minute Christmas present, you could do worse than go get yourself a theremin.
Imagine this: the theremin, spoons and howling dogs.
You couldn't get more Christmassy.
Dickens would just love it.

Electronica (6/10/10)

Performed by The BBC Concert Orchestra & electronic ensemble.
Directed & conducted by Charles Hazelwood.

The Day the Earth Stood Still - Bernard Hermann
smear - Johnny Greenwood
chat (Jarvis & Will)
Journeys Into the Sky - Will Gregory
The Model - Kraftwerk (arrangement: Anne Dudley)

Ripped from DVD captured radio broadcast @320kbs
Plug in here

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