The London Contemporary Orchestra‘s latest concert is formed around Ron Arad’s installation to create an intriguing evening of music and imagery.
Cocooned in a ring, that feels perfectly intimate (not to mention cool on a hot summer’s evening) this is a surprisingly perfect way to present classical music in a unique way that transports the audience to a completely different world – thanks to the music of the London Contemporary Orchestra and the visuals that are projected all around the installation.
With the help of the visuals designed by Nicol Vizioli, Pavel Samokhvalov, Universal Assembly Unit, Hannah Perry and Iona Sisea, audiences can experience music in a completely different way, that almost brings a story through each piece.
While the over all atmosphere is calm and relaxing, the music comes across as quite melancholy and isolating – never really truly stirring the soul as it should. This is a great shame as it is performed beautifully by the orchestra and choir, yet perhaps the haunting imagery – particularly during the performance of John Tavener’s Svyati – can be a slight distraction at times from the serenity of the music.
That isn’t to say that the visuals haven’t been cleverly devised to try and enhance the music, but the audience can be left feeling as though they are isolated from everyone else in what should be a shared experience.
During the music, there is a wonderful ebb and flow about the performance that is enchanting to listen to, with every piece (including two world premieres) fitting together to create a coherent performance. Yet the gaps between each piece is awkward and disturbs the flow, meaning that the audience can be left feeling slightly disorientated.
There is an element of mystery about the whole evening, that can be thought provoking and is open to interpretation from the audience, but this also leaves you wondering about the purpose of hosting this concert inside an installation – is it so that people could be swept along on a journey through music? Or is it simply to create a unique way to experience music?
Whatever the purpose was, it was a truly mesmerising experience – even if the music itself doesn’t make as much of an impact on you as it could. If you have a chance to see the London Contemporary Orchestra in the future – grab it and let them whisk you away to a world of music that is uniquely their own.