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A celebration of the works of 20th-century musical maverick Conlon Nancarrow

A former soldier in the Spanish Civil War, Nancarrow spent most of his life in Mexico exploring intricate rhythmic designs only playable by mechanical instruments. This event highlights existing and new arrangements of his jazzy and hyperkinetically energetic music.

The players clearly enjoyed the helter-skelter rhythms, and seeing the conductor Baldur Brönniman projected twice on a screen — each image conducting at a different tempo, mirroring the music’s “bi-temporality” — added to the fun. The Telegraph

Production overview

Duration: c40mins + c35mins
Repertoire: [playout of specially commissioned short pieces in the hall prior to start of concert]
Conlon Nancarrow Study for Player Piano No. 21 4’ (new arr by Dominic Murcott) picc.1.1.1  1piano 1 perc + split-screen film of two conductors
Conlon Nancarrow Piece No 2 for Small Orchestra 10’ 1piano (4 hands)
Conlon Nancarrow Study No 6 4’ (arr Mikhashoff) 1/picc.1/cor.1/bass.0   2pianos +1celeste 2percussion
John Cage 5 5’ for five instruments

Conlon Nancarrow Study No 5 3’ (arr Mikhashoff) picc.1.1+bass.1 1piano 2percussion  
Conlon Nancarrow Study No 26 7’ (new arr by Matt Rogers) 1/picc.1.Eb.1/contra  1piano
James Tenney Spectral Canon 5’ for player piano
Conlon Nancarrow Toccata 2’ for violin and player piano
Conlon Nancarrow Tango? 3’  (arr. Mikhashoff) 0.1.1/Eb+bass.1  1piano/celeste + 1harpsichord 2percussion
Conlon Nancarrow Piece No. 1 for Small Orchestra 7’ 1piano
Conlon Nancarrow Piece for Tape (arr. Murcott) 2’ for solo percussion
Györgi Ligeti Continuum 4’ for solo harpsichord
Conlon Nancarrow Player Piano Study No. 49a c2’ for player piano
Conlon Nancarrow Study for Player Piano No. 49a, b, c (new arr by John Ashton Thomas) 10’ 1/picc.1.1/bass.1/contra  1piano/celeste 1perc + pianola (two conductors)
Total orchestration: 1/picc.1/cor.1/bass+bass.1/contra  1piano/celeste + 1piano + 1celeste/harpsichord + solo pianola  2 percussion (all instruments amplified) = 21 players + solo pianola + conductor + sound engineer
Stage Design: Visuals between pieces
Artists: Sound Intermedia sound projection / Netia Jones projection design / Rex Lawson   pianola
Artists who have performed with LS before: Baldur Brönnimann conductor + Ben Gernon second conductor.
Publisher: Mixed
Performed by London Sinfonietta in London: April 2012

Find out more

Please contact London Sinfonietta CEO & Artistic Director Andrew Burke for more information.

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