Journey to the Underworld
- Date: Sunday, 31 July 2016, 2.30pm
- Venue: Sydney Opera House - Utzon Room — Bennelong Point, Sydney, NSW
- Tickets: Adults: $64 | Children under 13: $20 | Concession: $40 (booking fees apply) — Tickets can be purchased online or by phone on (02) 9250 7777
Woven through ancient mythologies is a ubiquitous theme - a sacred spiritual and physical journey into hell, the underworld, the afterlife. Brand new Australian chamber music for flute, clarinet, and saxophone quartet will explore the hushed and howling traditions and legends from ancient Greek, Egyptian, Celtic, Nordic and Chinese mythology.
"I am in a prison: one wall is the avant-garde, the other wall is the past, and I want to escape. … Now there is no taboo; everything is allowed. But one cannot simply go back … - we must find a way of neither going back nor continuing the avant-garde.."
In Hourglass' second tour for 2016 they are joined by the Barega Saxophone Quartet for an exploration of the unknown - not just steps into the afterlife, but into the avant-garde as Gyorgy Ligeti was describing it, and also into blends of musical voices not usually considered. The four members of the saxophone family create sounds ranging from sweet and suave to jazzy and jovial, and to gutsy and punishing.
Andrew Ball - Tenor Saxophone/Composer
Emma di Marco - Soprano Saxophone
Andrew Kennedy - Clarinets/Artistic Director
Ewa Kowalski - Flute/Piccolo
Samantha Mason - Alto/Baritone Saxophones
Ashleigh Porter - Baritone Saxophone
The Hourglass Ensemble plays with a unique spirit and honesty. As musicians they focus beyond technique, tell you a story and bring you beauty. They will carry you across the grassy Andean landscapes described by the 18-year-old Alberto Ginastera in his flute concerto, "Impresiones de la Puna", celebrating his 100th birthday. You'll hear the rambunctious Bagatelles by Ligeti, issued right on the cusp of his transition from digestible nationalistic folk music to the radical atmospheric compositions such as "Atmosphères". Be the first to hear the world premiere commissions of Andrew Ball as he coaxes you into the darkness of the afterlife, and of Margery Smith's "Fly Away", expressing our need to scream and escape from modern frustrations. And finally, sink into the mysterious land below the surface of the water after an earthquake creates a Jamaican Atlantis in Andrew Kennedy's "Port Royal: Sunken City".
Sydney's Hourglass Ensemble, comprising elite Australian chamber musicians, promises to reveal the world of sound to you like never before. Lead by artistic director Andrew Kennedy their mission is to show the fun and love of playing the best works of art and let the audience in on the adventure. They deformalise the "classical concert", telling anecdotes, explaining the life of a musician, and revealing the multiple layers of craft and meaning in the music.
Hourglass has recently toured Australia and Poland, and in 2017 will be visiting the east coast of the United States. With several different combinations of instruments available, and commissioning world premieres from Australian composers for performance and recordings regularly, the variety they deliver is tantalising.
The Barega Saxophone Quartet, one of Australia's leading contemporary music ensembles, joins Hourglass for their second collaborative East Coast tour. Hailing from Brisbane, they have twice been guests at the World Saxophone Congress, and have had multiple recitals in Australasian music conventions. In 2014 they released their album "Three Serpents" which features a large collection of Australian works written especially for the group, drawn from their catalogue of more than two dozen new pieces from their last six years.
Program also includes:
Ligeti - Six Bagatelles for wind quintet;
Ginastera - Impresiones de la Puna;
Piazzolla - Cafe 1930
Featured non-Australian music: Ligeti, Ginastera, Piazzolla
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