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Faster Than Sound: London Contemporary Orchestra

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Faster Than Sound: London Contemporary Orchestra

The fusion of classical music and electronica has always been at the core of Faster Than Sound. On 15 May 2010, London Contemporary Orchestra make their Faster Than Sound debut, fusing the two with a special appearance of the instrument, the ondes martenot. 

At the heart of the programme is a set of love songs from Emily Hall, winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Award (2005) and the Genesis Opera Prize (2004), in collaboration with the novelist and short story writer, Toby Litt.  The duo first performed their work at the Aldeburgh Festival in June 2007.  This new work, sung by the critically acclaimed Mara Carlyle, forms the centrepiece of the evening’s performance.

Also included on the night are new works by Jonathan Cole and Tristan Brookes.  There will also be a performance of Jonny Greenwood’s (lead guitarist of the hugely popular band, Radiohead) piece, smear, scored for ensemble and two ondes martenots. Greenwood has a particular affinity for the ondes martenot (an early electronic musical instrument invented in 1928).  By varying the frequency of oscillation in vacuum tubes, this instrument creates haunting, wavering notes and sounds.  It can either be played one-handed like a traditional keyboard, or with a metal ring around one finger, which is then waved in front of the keyboard, to produce unbroken notes and sweeping glissandi.  The left hand controls the musical dynamics, from silence to fortissimo.  Greenwood has used the ondes martenot for many Radiohead albums, amongst other solo works.  This is a chance to see innovative new works, set in a unique atmosphere.

To add even more excitement to this special evening, London Contemporary Orchestra have also been shortlisted for this year’s Royal Philharmonic Society Music award. 

To book tickets, please visit our website at or call the Box Office on 01728 687110.


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