‘Much of my recent work has been electronic, and I’ve found myself interested in sound in its purest form. When I was asked to write for London Musici, I wanted to find a way to work with an unusual and unexpected range of sounds. Meeting Rob Millett (ensemble percussionist) proved a real catalyst – I discovered that he had a fantastic collection of appropriated and ‘junk’ percussion – everything from scaffolding poles to kitchen bowls from Ikea. From here, I evolved a sound I described to Andre as ‘car crash gamelan’, which seemed a perfect match to his virtuosic choreography. In this, I was influenced by a variety of gamelan music, but also in particular by Congolese bands like Konoko No.1, who play traditional ritual music but use inventive scrap-metal instruments heavily amplified using home-made PA systems, producing a wonderfully rich, unusual sound. I’ve used a selection of standard and scrap percussion instruments with electronic samples (mostly modified gamelan sounds) put through various effects. The music is extremely minimalist in style, to allow the attention of the listener to focus on the resultant sonorities.’
See below for some photos of the rehearsal/recording, and some of the instruments plus a couple of the musicians. Click to enlarge.