Friday 18 September 2020

Choral-electronic mixology! Festival Voices perform Handel remixes live in Peckham

Handel Remixed Volume II from Festival Voices on Vimeo.

The vocal ensemble Festival Voices has livened up previous London Handel Festivals with choral/electronic re-mixes of Handel favourites and the plan was for them to do something similar at this year's London Handel Festival. That performance has now been re-scheduled and on Saturday 3 October 2020, in collaboration with the London Handel Festival, Festival Voices are performing at Copeland Park in Peckham. If you are a Handel purist, then stop reading here as I doubt this is for you, but if you are willing to open your ears and consider new ways of performing and listening to Baroque music then read on.

Gregory Batsleer will conduct Festival Voices and Ensemble FV in what is described as 'a programme of choral-electronic mixology featuring Handelian choruses and arias from the Coronation Anthems, Jephtha and Tamerlano.' The programme will be re-mixed live with electronic music by DJ and producer Nico Bentley.

I have to confess that the term 'choral-electronic mixology' really grates, I dislike the term when used to refer to cocktails and it seems even more false when applied to electronic remixes of Handel's music. But it is unwise to let over-clever marketing affect our appreciation of music, and certainly Festival Voices' performance promises to be a breath of fresh air.

Nico Bentley has this to say about the music, 'Without doubt the standout features of the baroque repertoire are a fixation of both rhythm and pulse plus they love a solid harmonic progression. This is also the backbone of all electronic music.  The fusing together of two genres like this is both an exciting and thrilling opportunity to experiment and explore how the fundaments of music haven’t changed for over 500 years. The style of Handel's music lends itself brilliantly to incorporating beats commonly heard in clubs throughout the world.'

There will be two performances, at 4pm and at 7pm, with 120 tickets for each. Full details from the Festival Voices website, and the London Handel Festival website.

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