Tuesday 21 February 2017

The slave trade refracted through music: Thierry Pécou's Outre-mémoire

Thierry Pécou & Ensemble Variances
Thierry Pécou & Ensemble Variances
Outre-mémoire (beyond memory) by Thierry Pécou, a work which looks at aspects of the slave trade refracted through the medium of music, is being performed by Pécou and his Ensemble Variances at St John's Smith Square on Wednesday 22 February 2017. 

The work was originally written for pianist Alexandre Tharaud who premiered it in 2004. Pécou's own roots are in the Caribbean, so for the piece he took a more distant perspective on the slave trade and its effects, a painter who travelled around the world, visited the countries of origin and the final destinations of the slaves and made paintings along the way. And when exhibited together, the impressions form the story of 300 years of the slave trade. The result is harmonious and hypnotising like a ritual, alternating dark harmonies with violent rhythms, all written for piano, flute, clarinet and cello.

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