Wednesday 13 September 2023

Continental Drift: BCMG's new season sees collaborations exploring the music of South Korea, Japan and China

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG) is celebrating collaborations across cultures and genres with Continental Drift its 2023/24 season. The traditions of the Far East feature quite strongly during the season. Things kick off when BCMG visits South Korea later this month for concerts at the Tongyeong International Festival, performing the music of Julian Anderson and creating a collaboration of centuries-old traditional Korean music and the cutting-edge music of today, with the world-renowned Ensemble TIMF.

Then on 26 September, back in the UK, BCMG join forces with Noh Reimagined and composers Hollie Harding and Ben Nobuto for an interactive workshop in Noh theatre. Then on 23 June 2024, BCMG performs Noh Reimagine New Music, a concert of new work by Nobuto and Harding inspired by their visits to Japan in winter 2023 and written under the guidance of Noh’s most skilled interpreters.

Moving on to China, in October BCMG joins forces with Ensemble Contempo Beijing as they perform the UK premieres of four brand new compositions by young Chinese composers, each work is a winning piece from the 10th China ConTempo Composition Competition, open to composers aged under 35. These new works are performed on erhu, sheng, guzheng and pipa as well as the more familiar classical instruments of flute, cello and violin.

As part of the Ligeti 100 celebrations, BCMG is inviting people to take part in a performance of Ligeti’s Poéme symphonique for 100 metronomes, enhanced by the cutting-edge technology of BEAST, the Birmingham Electro Acoustic Sound Theatre. Anyone with an old-fashioned mechanical metronome is invited to take part in the performance.

Further ahead during the season there is an innovative new work led by visual artist Haroon Mirza. Artist and performers are working together without a director or conductor, drawing on disciplines including sculpture, music, dance and costume, to create a new performance. And in Let Me Tell You A Story BCMG gives the world premiere of Hilda ParedesAbalorios - a magical 21st century guide for young people to the contemporary ensemble, echoing Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. This theatrical piece is performed alongside Ondrej Adamek’s Let Me Tell You A Story for Korean–style soprano voice and ensemble, for a concert full of story-telling.

Full details from BCMG's website.

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