Hailed as the ‘omnipresent wunderkind of British new music’ (TEMPO) An assembly embark on their debut UK tour with a programme of new music, film and performance by three exciting young artists from across Europe.
Founded in 2017 by the conductor/composer Jack Sheen, An assembly are a group dedicated to contemporary and experimental music, installation and performance, and are regulars on BBC Radio 3, London Contemporary Music Festival and NTS Radio.
For their debut tour of the UK they will present an evening of new music, film and performance by three emerging artists from across Europe, bringing together a rich collage of radical work in a variety of mediums by Charlie Usher, Rowland Hill, and Louis D’Heudieres.
Louis D’Heudieres: Laughter Studies 6b
Rowland Hill: New Work (world premiere)
Charlie Usher: An assembly (world premiere)
Throughout Louis D’Heudieres’ ‘Laughter Studies 6b’, four vocalists stand downstage from a small instrumental quintet, describing and imitating their own private soundtracks of synthesised tunes and field recordings, transmitted to them via earphones in a surreal and hysterical collision of subjectivities accompanied by angular melodies and midi-drum solos.
Award-winning visual artist Rowland Hill continues this process of interpreting found material in a new film and performance commissioned by An assembly. Created as a response to Edwin Denby’s 1959 review of Stravinsky’s final ballet ‘Agon’, Hill uses Denby’s review and its relentless metaphors, references and precise visual shocks as a script for a new work, taking the linguistic articulation of a dance and returning it to a choreographed state through film, live performance and sound.
These three concerts will culminate in the world premiere of ‘An assembly’ by Brussels-based composer Charlie Usher, a 45-minute meditation on listening, hearing, and duration for large ensemble and audio. A constant wave of 14-second miniatures, ‘An assembly’ invites us to eavesdrop on real-time transcriptions of music Usher listened to while writing, and as the piece folds into itself, and unfolds away from us, we trace this vast new work into our evening.
Conceived as a large, open, and flexible group with no fixed line up, format or personnel, An assembly has appeared in many guises, tackling works from virtuosic ensemble scores to mass group readings, via text scores, graphic notation, long duration performances, one-on-one ASMR installations, physical performance, and wrestling.