Musarc presents To Mill Two Queens
Musarc + Neil Luck + Joseph Kohlmaier + TONGUE + Sarah Kate Wilson
Music director Cathy Heller Jones
Choral collective Musarc first presented Les Tableaux Répétitifs at Palais de Tokyo, Paris, in April 2017. At the centre of the ensemble’s performances stood a large semicircular mirror which represented both the public domain in which the choir’s work unfolded, as well as its immaterial reflection - the surface that supports, and the symbolic arc that frames the choir’s practice (répétition).
Together with long-term collaborators Sam Belinfante, Ben Hadley, Neil Luck, Joseph Kohlmaier + TONGUE, and Sarah Kate Wilson, the ensemble took the idea of the mirror as the starting point for several new commissions. Arranged in the form of a series of tableaux which each follows with a specific line of inquiry - répétitive, politique, funéraire, and civique – the choir’s performances ranged from re-interpretations of traditional choral material to works that explored movement, internal dialogue, speech and crowd-dynamics, to interventions in the city.
For their performance (with all but the mirror) on the occasion of MK CityFest and the International New Towns Institute (INTI) Conference/Academy of Urbanism (AoU) Symposium, Musarc is rewriting the programme in a participatory version that includes a new hymn for Milton Keynes and a rendition of Neil Luck’s PA, both performed with members of the audience and based on letters dictated to the singers in the shopping mall. The concert takes place inside and outside the auditorium in the shopping centre.
Neil Luck, PA (2017) for Milton Keynes
Sarah Kate Wilson with Piper Haywood and Toby O’Connnor, Rainbows (2017)
Joseph Kohlmaier + TONGUE, Tableau Funéraire (after Henry Purcell, 2017)
Francis Poulenc, Un Soir de Neige (1944)
The Creation of Milton Keynes (after William Billings, 1794/2017)
Musarc is one of London’s most progressive choral collectives. It is at the heart of a research project at The Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design which explores making music, listening, performance and composition in relation to the creative process, and music as a social form in the context of architecture and the city. The ensemble regularly collaborates with artists and composers to commission new work that challenges traditional ways of making music, and that brings together art, performance and education. The ensemble has performed at Palais de Tokyo, Whitechapel Gallery, Cafe OTO, Serpentine Gallery, Bold Tendencies, MK Gallery, Camden Arts Centre, Barbican Gallery, V22, Chisenhale Gallery and Wysing Polyphonic. Musarc was founded in 2008 by Joseph Kohlmaier, who is its creative director; and is conducted by Cathy Heller Jones. For more information about forthcoming events, teaching programmes and how to join the ensemble, visit www.musarc.org.
Neil Luck is a composer, performer and director based in London. His practice focuses on the theatrical and physiological nature of live performance, fallible bodies, the pathetic and the esoteric. His work takes a range of forms from music-theatre, to concert works, curatorial projects, installations, public projects and recordings. He is the founder and director of the ensemble ARCO - a group which focuses on experimental approaches to music-theatre, and along with Federico Reuben and Adam de la Cour co-founder of squib-box; an artists’ cooperative dedicated to the production and dissemination of radical and avant-garde music. www.neilluck.com
Sarah Kate Wilson makes paintings that continue to evolve as they exit the studio and are kept alive by presenting them as events through the use of ephemeral materials, by directing others via instructions to interact with them, and by working with performers. Recent exhibitions include Iris a solo exhibition at Baltic 39 for Figure Three, Newcastle, 2016; Projected Paintings a solo exhibition at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, California, 2015 and a three-person exhibition at The Newlyn Gallery, Cornwall, 2014. In 2015 she was shortlisted for the Jerwood Painting Fellowships 2016 and in 2014 nominated for the 2014 New City Art Prize, Visual Arts, MK Gallery. Alongside her studio practice sits an ambitious curatorial practice, her recent project Painting in Time: Part Two was presented at the School of The Arts Institute Chicago in their Sullivan Galleries. www.sarahkatewilson.com
TONGUE is musicians Huw Thomas (Glad Hand), Timothy Slater (Adult Jazz) and sound artist Alex De Little. Paring down compositions to include only trombone and voice - alongside additional electronic manipulation from producer Dan Jacobs (AEVA, Glad Hand, Makeness) - TONGUE explore songwriting and arrangement within the framework of these instrumental limitations.