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violinist Lizzie Ball on her challenge with The Sixteen to focus on local weather change and international warming


Image from Heather Britton's film for All the Ends of the World
Picture from Heather Britton’s movie for All of the Ends of the World

All of the Ends of the World is a collaboration between videographer Heather Britton, violinist Lizzie Ball and The Sixteen which mixes plainchant, choral music, polyphony, free improvisation and beautiful imagery. Created to reveal the lengthy lasting and dramatic results of local weather change and international warming, the live performance will discover our relationship with the planet we reside on. Right here, Lizzie Ball explains how the challenge developed.

All of the Ends of the World happened after a reasonably distinctive collaboration between The Sixteen, Harry Christophers and I (as each a performer and producer of Classical Kicks), virtually 3 years in the past to the day. In Nov 2019, (pre-armageddon), the richly atmospheric partitions of the one and solely Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Membership hosted the likes of plainchant, polyphony and Purcell for the very first time because of an invite from Membership proprietor and supporter of The Sixteen, Michael Watt. The membership warmly welcomed The Sixteen along with me and an all-star line-up, together with: the membership’s Creative Director and co -curator of the occasion James Pearson, accordion celebrity Martynas Levickis, rapper and artist Isatta Sheriff, percussionist James Turner, and bass participant Tim Thornton. Woven throughout the world of choral perfection have been re-imaginings of Oscar Peterson’s Hymn to Freedom, bluegrass medleys, and even some Mexican boleros! Such has at all times been the flavour of any Classical Kicks occasion; it has at all times been large in its musical providing and goals to be hanging in its high quality and affect.  

The success and pleasure of the occasion meant that this might not be the final time we did a challenge collectively. To my delight, after three years of music business blackness, adopted by a number of patches of gray and pure query marks of how on earth concert events would possibly occur once more, right here we lastly are. All of the Ends of the World will likely be an immersive live performance expertise that hosts a shocking backdrop of evolving imagery from videographer Heather Britton, and free improvisation from myself on violin, as The Sixteen carry out music exploring the great thing about plainchant, the complexities of choral concord and the ethereal energy of polyphony.

Crafted to reveal the lengthy lasting and dramatic results of local weather change and international warming, the concert events will discover our relationship with the planet we reside on. The live performance combines an authentic video piece, interweaved with a particularly curated choral repertoire of highly effective works by Padilla, Perotin and Sheppard. This highly effective and affecting one hour live performance highlights Earth’s ever-changing panorama and the injuries of artificial destruction and asks audiences to replicate on their affect on the planet. The efficiency in Southwark Cathedral additionally encompasses a visitor look from Luke Jerram’s GAIA, a slowly rotating, floating artwork set up reflecting the Earth’s floor, and designed to painting the wonder and true nature of our planet.

We determined we needed to go in an immersive route, to pair visuals and create a straight by means of present, to ship extra affect and a component of theatre, quite than persist with the standard live performance format of clapping between items. 

On this challenge I’ve a performing and co-producing function. We now have been planning with the entire workforce since early 2021. We needed to focus one way or the other on local weather change, however didn’t need to be too ‘apparent’ or gimmicky with how we did it. Harry [Christophers] as ever recommended some genius musical programming which bore fruit for the way we might then deal with the challenge visually. Such is the facility of the music and the phrases sung, it appeared virtually not possible to present the visible flavour too intimate or sentimental topic. To our minds the music cried out for one thing really epic, not wholly detrimental, however extra a view of the world in its glory and several other key reminders alongside the best way of the hazard it faces attributable to man’s harmful tendencies. 

Musically, Harry recommended very highly effective items together with Perotin, Hildegard, Leonin and Sheppherd. After the primary rehearsals we added an additional piece to the programme, feeling that, as is usually the goal in any immersive manufacturing, there at all times should be an emotional centre-point, a nucleus. On this second it feels very a lot to me like we do, actually, present the tears of the world, albeit in a 3.5 minute items of extraordinary magnificence written by a seventeenth century Mexican choral composer, Juan Gutierréz de Padilla. 

Along with performing, a big a part of being a co-producer of this challenge has meant common check-ins with Heather, our good videographer. Most of this yr, we have now labored collectively on concepts, as she fastidiously crafted her 60-minute footage in sketches and drafts.  The fixed forwards and backwards between the 2 of us turned a comforting acquainted factor to look ahead to every week, after which at factors checking in with Harry and The Sixteen workforce to see how they appreciated it. I’ve spent moments all year long checking in with the music, as a result of almost all of what I’ll carry out within the live performance is fully improvised so, not like a extra commonplace classical live performance I’ve needed to observe differently, immersing myself within the choral masterpieces, and permitting my soul to form of open and pay attention every time, attempting to not management the method of observe, to disregard the crucial voices in my head and to belief within the course of. I’m no stranger to improvising, however this yr was a very particular one as I had my first little one, by the way as a solo mum by selection, which comes with its personal set of distinctive challenges in addition to fantastic moments. 

A day within the lifetime of a live performance producer/performer completely seems very completely different to the way it did for me pre-motherhood. I’ve drawn immeasurably on my earlier manufacturing expertise on this space of live performance type to assist me by means of the more difficult moments, in addition to the important thing help, collaboration and laborious work of the workforce. Classical Kicks Productions has accomplished two immersive productions up to now, this will likely be our third. These are Corrido: A Ballad for the Courageous: a storytelling audio-visual odyssey in regards to the life and instances of Frida Kahlo (co-produced by Emily Blacksell and premiered on the V&A alongside the Kahlo exhibition in 2018). We then created a re-imagining of Schoenberg’s masterpiece Verklärte Nacht, co -produced with Martynas Levickis and Mikroorkéstra, a younger and dynamic orchestra primarily based in Vilnius. 

What I’ve learnt as I method my forty second yr, is that collaboration with the proper folks is really the enjoyment and the aim of my musical endeavour, and if I might give one piece of recommendation to anybody beginning out on this area, discover your tribe for every challenge as as soon as the workforce is correct, all else will really feel means much less daunting. 

Lizzie Ball 

All of the Ends of the World will likely be at Southwark Cathedral on 29 October and Rochester Cathedral on 31 October. The efficiency will see violinist Lizzie Ball be part of The Sixteen, carried out by Harry Christophers. Supported by the Genesis Basis Kickstart Fund, the live performance unites movie, the facility of polyphony and improvisation. 

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