Tuesday 28 February 2023

About as close as you’ll get to an acid trip without breaking the law: George Crumb's Black Angels & a new work by Mother Moor from Manchester Collective

Manchester Collective - George Crumb: Black Angels

George Crumb's Black Angels, subtitled 'Thirteen Images from the Dark Land' is a work for electric string quartet written in 1970. Composed over the course of a year, the date "Friday the Thirteenth, March 1970 (in tempore belli)" as written on the score, the Latin phrase being a reference to the Vietnam War taking place at the time when Black Angels was composed. Notoriously demanding, musicians are instructed to chant in foreign languages, play instruments upside down, incessantly tap strings with thimbles and glass rods, scream, shout, beat, count and pray.

Touring across the UK from 16-24 March 2023, the Manchester Collective is presenting Black Angels, a programme for quartet and live electronics which features Crumb's iconic work alongside a new commission by Los Angeles-based hip-hop artist, activist, poet and composer Moor Mother (Camae Ayewa).

A self-taught musician, Moor Mother is one half of the art collective Black Quantum Futurism (along with Rasheedah Phillips) and is known for her experimental music work, mixing in influences from jazz, blues, hip-hop and other Black classical traditions. Her new work, DREAM CULTURE, is the artist’s first chamber commission.

Also in the programme is the slow movement of Schubert's Death and the Maiden quartet, the work that inspired Crumb's piece, plus Edmund Finnis' String Quartet No. 2 and Gabriella Smith's Carrot Revolution. The performers are Rakhi Singh – Music Director, violin, Emily Nebel – Violin, Alex Mitchell – Viola, Hannah Roberts – Cello and Joe Reiser – Live electronics, with performances in The White Hotel, Salford, Future Yard, Birkenhead, Howard Assembly Room, Leeds, Strange Brew, Bristol, Lakeside Arts, Nottingham, and Kings Place, London.

Full details from the Manchester Collective website.

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